[Also available in green]
My piece on poor Mitt Romney went viral, with over 4,000 shares of the orange version and 1,300 shares of the green. It spent most of the day atop the Daily Kos recommended diary list, and then Kos posted about it on the front-page. It obviously resonated with a lot of Democrats. And it's not hard to see why.
What I was trying to say without explicitly saying it, is that we suffer from a very real double standard. Our leaders suffer really calumnious attacks on a routine basis. Absolutely cruel and baseless things are said about us constantly. And it's routine. It's like an unremarkable vase that sits in the corner for years on end without being noticed. And the most important thing about these attacks is that they don't even have a shred of truthfulness to them. Half the time, the charges violate some cardinal rule of logic. And the press doesn't care.
But let a Democrat make an under-substantiated charge, and all of a sudden even Jon Stewart gets on his high horse and accuses that Democrat of being a terrible person. People on the left are sick of this double standard. We want our leaders protected by the press.
Let's compare a few events. We have witnessed a couple of dozen elected Republican officials express open doubt about whether or not the president is a legitimate U.S.citizen. They have no basis for saying that. None. It's as made up as my assertion that Romney is an atheist who pretended to be a Mormon so he could skip the Vietnam War. It's a lie. I had absolutely no basis for saying that about Romney.
Obama spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter, on the other hand, pointed out truthfully that Mitt Romney either lied on his financial disclosure forms, thereby committing the felony of perjury, or he lied about when he stopped being the CEO of Bain Capital.
The Republicans who challenged Obama's birth certificate paid no significant price for it, but Ms. Cutter was tsk-tsked six ways to Sunday for her statement.
"Oh my God, they accused me of being a felon," Romney cried, and people from all media corners raced to his defense. But you can accuse Obama of lying about his citizenship and his religious beliefs without anyone really caring.
People are tired of it. It couldn't be more obvious that Mitt Romney is hiding something in his tax returns that would render him useless as a viable presidential candidate.
We had a commenter here today who made a great point. He asked us to imagine what would happen if Romney picked a running mate but then told us that he couldn't reveal their identity because we'd just use that as an excuse to distort their record.
Obviously, we'd laugh Romney out of town. But that's really no different than what he's trying to do with his taxes. He's literally telling us that he won't release the information because we'd never elect him if he did. Would you sign a contract with a person like that? Would you sign a four-year deal with Romney when he won't even let you read the contract?
So, here you have a guy who is clearly trying to defraud the electorate in plain sight, and when people call him on it, they get criticized. But when people spend years investigating the sex life of a president and accuse him of murder and rape and drug-dealing, and then impeach him over a dalliance, that's not a problem?
My article was really rather simple. It asked people to imagine what it would be like if we used the tactics of the right. Because, no, what Harry Reid and Stephanie Cutter have done with regard to Romney's business experience and taxes is in no way equivalent to accusing this president of being a socialist, Kenyan, Muslim, or accusing the prior Democratic president of being a murdering, raping, cocaine-dealer.
It struck a chord for a reason. It needed to be said.