George Allen was best known as a football coach, but he was out of the game for a while, working as a television color analyst on NFL games. I recall Allen laughing over a play in which a defensive back should have been flagged for pass interference in the end zone, but no penalty was called. “It was a good play,” Allen chortled, “because he got away with it.”
I was probably 12 years old at the time. But I remember thinking: That isn’t right. Even as a kid, I knew the difference between right and wrong. And an adult didn’t.
If Mitt Romney is elected president today, we’ll have a man in charge of the country who likewise doesn’t understand right from wrong.
Over the course of his seven-year run for the presidency, including his failure to get the Republican nomination in 2008, Romney has constantly shifted his position on virtually all issues, simply saying what he thinks the people in front of him want to hear. His multiple stances on abortion, the auto bailout, President Obama’s handling of revolution in Libya and dozens of other questions are well documented.
Romney has led a campaign fueled by deceptions. He’s lied about Obama stealing $718 billion from Medicare, that Obama has doubled the deficit (it’s actually down a little from what he inherited) and dozens of other issues, including his infamous TV ad claiming Chrysler is moving Jeep production to China, a lie refuted by reporters, the Republican governor of Ohio and the CEO of Chrysler. I was watching one of the cable news shows Monday night when this ad was mentioned by a TV advertising expert as one of the Romney campaign’s best, truth be damned. Apparently, the ad world shares Romney’s lack of scruples.
As the leader of his campaign, Romney has stayed smiling in the background while allowing his surrogates to falsely describe the president of the United States as lazy, a traitor to his country, a Kenyan, a Muslim, a man who pals around with terrorists and the creator a plan that would deny needed health care to senior citizens, on the premise that they’re going to die anyway.
Romney’s refusal to release his tax returns is hiding another likely lie: Bloomburg News, through the Freedom of Information Act, has obtained Internal Revenue Service records on Romney’s exercising of a legal maneuver called a “charitable remainder unitrust.” According to a 2007 filing, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity, the Mormon Church, to defer paying taxes for more than 15 years. Though such loopholes, tax analysts surmise, and contrary to his claim that he’s never paid less than 14 percent taxes on his income (an astonishingly low number in itself), Romney has very likely been paying little or no taxes for years.
It’s often been noted that Romney is a stiff public speaker – not a punishable offense – and seems uncomfortable when in the company of regular folks. But here’s the moment when he has seemed most at ease during his seven-year campaign: that infamous secret tape made of him at a high-end fundraiser in May, where he called 47 of Americans freeloaders who believe they’re entitled to housing and health care. When that tape was released, Romney at first said his point was “inelegantly stated.” Then he was forced to recant further. “In this case I said something that’s just completely wrong,” Romney told Sean Hannity on Fox News. “And I absolutely believe, however, that my life has shown that I care about 100 percent. And that has been demonstrated throughout my life. And this whole campaign is about the 100 percent. When I become president it will be about helping the 100 percent.”
Do you believe him?
This is the question that Romney supports must answer: When did it become acceptable to cheat and lie, if you can get away with it?