That is how Eugene Robinson interprets Mitt Romney's speaking to his peers in his Friday Washington Post column, Romney's class warfare. He begin with this trenchant paragraph:
Now, at least, there can be no doubt about who is waging class warfare in this presidential campaign. Mitt Romney would pit the winners against the “victims,” the smug-and-rich against the down-on-their-luck, the wealthy tax avoiders against those too poor to owe income tax. He sees nearly half of all Americans as chumps who sit around waiting for a handout.And it only gets better. As for what Romney said about the 47%,
This analysis is not only grossly offensive but astonishingly ignorant. Romney suggests that nearly half of Americans are layabouts who leave the house only when they need to cash a government check — or when it’s time to vote for President Obama. Greetings, lazy bums, I’m Mitt Romney. Vote for me!But this is only scratching the surface of what Robinson offers.
Romney goes through examples of those who would fall in the 47%, struggling hard to make ends meet, to be responsible, then considers Romney's attitude as
And it must be devastating to learn that, try as he might, Mitt Romney will never be able to show these unfortunates the error of their ways.There are comparisons between early European settlers encountering those already inhabiting this continent and how their descriptions of those people might compare with the attitude of Romney and his fellow Republicans to ordinary Americans.
Romney might as well have quoted Cee Lo Green: “Forget you!”
To be fair, Robinson has evinced a more consistent concern for ordinary Americans than Romney with all his consultants and speechwriters and the various remakes of his persona to get to 50.1% of the popular vote has expressed in all of his statements in all of his public life, going back to when he first ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy. Thus Robinson has an ability to speak in a way that not only honestly addresses ordinary Americans, but - and this is dangerous for Romney - speaks about them in a way those of us more well of can clearly understand.
Robinson thinks the words of the video clip first released show us Romney in his true element, as well as those upon whose largess and support he is depending:
In an elegant dining room where the self-satisfaction was thick enough to cut with a knife, Romney made clear that he sees this election as “us” vs. “them” — wealthy Republicans vs. the unwashed hordes, makers vs. takers. Romney believes half of America is lazy, dependent and, frankly, not too bright.Of course, Romney makes the mistake of thinking he can say one thing behind close doors and pretend that ordinary people will not notice that he has been insulting and demeaning them. Perhaps in a day before video and youtube that might have been possible.
His reaction since the tape was released has been as telling as how he reacted when criticized for his words on the Middle East a few days back - he has largely doubled down on his thoughts and tried to spin them. Unfortunately he has now lost much of the real press, and an increasing number of conservatives as well.
As for the voters, Robinson's final words might be telling"
Voters will soon have the opportunity to show him we’re not as stupid as he thinks.That's not just those in the 47% upon whose votes Romney must depend in order to get to his famous 50.1%.
That is a lot of voters in the 53%, who do pay federal income tax, but who may have experienced being in a situation where they did not, at least temporarily, pay federal income taxes, or might even have been dependent upon handouts - as CNN's John King so powerfully offered a few days ago.
Most Americans have a sense of decency. They will overlook disagreements and malapropisms if in general they agree with the thrust of a candidate's policies. Some, especially in this cycle, may so intensely dislike or even hate the opponent that they will be willfully deaf and blind to what is wrong about the candidate they are supporting.
But there comes what Cornelius Ryan called Operation Market Garden, which most will know through the film version by Richard Attenborough, "A Bridge Too Far." In this case it is verbal overreach, or perhaps better, it is when the veneer behind which one has been hiding one's true beliefs is peeled away by one too many statements displaying your core. Or in Romney's case, his total lack of a belief in anything except his own superiority.
At some point people stop listening to your explanations. They have heard enough of what you have already said. And collectively they may choose to believe of Romney what Joseph Welch finally said of Senator Joseph McCarthy:
You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
When I look at Mitt - and Ann - Romney, when I listen to her complain and him bloviate, it no longer matters how offensive I may find him. What is of greater interest is to watch him lose not only liberal journalists like Eugene Robinson, but also centrists, moderate conservatives, and even some real conservatives.
It is fascinating to see that some are so offended that even their hatred of Obama is being cancelled out. They may not vote for the President, but now they may not vote against him either.
Look again at the line I used for my title, because it seems to be as pithy an illustration of Romney's attitude as one can find:
“We must stop coddling the servants.”
Why? So Mitt and his buddies can have even more for themselves, and to hell with the rest of us.
Only Mitt forgot that there are a lot more of us than there are of him. Most of us don't like being able to fire those who serve us. Too many of us have at some point been in a position of service, whether as waiters or bartenders, or in jobs and careers that involve serving others, and that includes some highly paid professionals like lawyers and doctors.
Most people are neither exclusively nor primarily motivated by monetary concerns, even as we understand the importance of finances to be responsible for ourselves and our kith and kin.
Romney has stripped the mask off of Republican ideology. He has demonstrated that he is - and they have been - waging class warfare against all of us.
We only exist to serve him.
He doesn't want to "coddle" us.
We don't want to coddle him either.
His wife says he doesn't need this job.
Which is why he is going to lose come November.
And quite conceivably take his party down the toilet with his presidential ambitions.
Read the Robinson column.
Pass it on.
And work like hell to consign Mitt Romney and Republicans like him to the ash heap of history.