The Critical Mass

Mitt Romney thinks you’re dumb

Since the first day of the Republican National Convention, the Romney campaign has been unspooling like a disaster-flick trailer. I can’t think of one positive tidbit of news that’s emerged about the dynamic duo of Romney-Ryan since then.

Character flaws? There are plenty. But I suspect there’s more to it. With the possible exception of Jon Huntsman, who never stood a chance, it’s simply unimaginable that any of the characters who were a part of the Republican Primary Circus could have been taken any more seriously than Romney. The idea seems outlandish now, but at one point or another the Republican frontrunners were Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain and Rick Perry.

It’s the intellectual vacuity of the Republican platform that is behind this parade of mediocrity. It is impossible to argue, without short-circuiting the logic centers of your brain, that the deficit can be reduced and jobs created by cutting taxes for the rich and allowing banks and corporations to do as they please. This has never happened in the history of the world. In fact, the effect is the opposite, as the eight-year George W. Bush experiment proved.

It is impossible to argue that climate change is not real and intelligent design is responsible for the existence of humans. Science tells us otherwise. Anyone who denies climate change and evolution is operating on faith-based beliefs, and is holding back the rest of  society.

Any politician who accepts the Republican platform must explain, if abortion is murder, what the prison sentence should be for a woman who seeks to end her unwanted pregnancy. Even if that pregnancy is life-threatening, or the result of incest or rape.

Anyone supporting the Republican platform must explain why it is important to cut federal funding for education, yet increase military spending, including the purchase of weapon systems that even the Pentagon agrees it does not need.

Anyone in agreement with the Republican platform must explain how gays and lesbians cannot have the same rights as other Americans, including the right to marry who they love, yet we’ll still collect taxes from them.

Smart people can’t explain these positions, and many others.

Unless, those people actually are smart, and they just think you’re dumb.

The Romney campaign effectively self-destructed yesterday with the release of secretly recorded video of the candidate, in an unguarded moment while speaking to a small group of wealthy donors. “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney says. “All right – there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

You know what? In the world we should be building, people should be entitled to health care, food and housing. Not just the rich, but the poor.

Romney also said of the 47 percent that, “my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

The candidate’s position here has already been hacked to pieces by virtually every honest analysis available. There’s no need to list the falsehoods and discrimination that are not only the foundation of these indefensible comments, but that are at the heart of his entire campaign. I’ll just say this: My mother worked most of her adult life and will probably vote for Romney, out of habit. But as a senior citizen now, enjoying her well-earned retirement, but with no income other than her hard-earned entitlements of Social Security and Medicare, which she paid for, she’s in that 47 percent that Romney will not “worry” about. She’s one of those people who Romney says do not “take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

How bad is it? Even Bill Kristol, the conservative pundit who was one of the biggest early supporters of Sarah Palin, and remains one, has called Romney’s comments “stupid and arrogant.” When a Palin acolyte recognizes stupid and arrogant, he must be looking upon an Everest of evidence.