Op Ed

Editorial Masterbitch Theater: Tell Us How You Really Feel, Romney

Yesterday, Mother Jones brought attention to several surreptitiously-obtained videos from a Romney fund-raising event. In the videos, Governor Romney reveals that he doesn’t care about the people who will vote for President Obama, because Obama voters are a bunch of layabout whinypants parasites. (Paraphrased.) 

Obviously, your editorial team could not let this go without saying something, or, as the case may be, a lot of somethings.  Here are the quotes we took the most issue with:

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what”¦These are people who pay no income tax.

This one, on why his campaign won’t address serious issues:

Well, I wrote a book that lays out my view for what has to happen in the country, and people who are fascinated by policy will read the book. We have a website that lays out white papers on a whole series of issues that I care about. I have to tell you, I don’t think this will have a significant impact on my electability. I wish it did. I think our ads will have a much bigger impact. I think the debates will have a big impact…My dad used to say, “Being right early is not good in politics.” And in a setting like this, a highly intellectual subject–discussion on a whole series of important topics typically doesn’t win elections. And there are, there are, there are–for instance, this president won because of “hope and change.”

And this one, where Governor Romney can’t predict what the markets will do, unless he wins, which will definitely make the markets improve:

They’ll probably be looking at what the polls are saying. If it looks like I’m going to win, the markets will be happy. If it looks like the president’s going to win, the markets should not be terribly happy. It depends of course which markets you’re talking about, which types of commodities and so forth, but my own view is that if we win on November 6th, there will be a great deal of optimism about the future of this country. We’ll see capital come back and we’ll see–without actually doing anything–we’ll actually get a boost in the economy. If the president gets re-elected, I don’t know what will happen. I can”“ I can never predict what the markets will do. Sometimes it does the exact opposite of what I would have expected. But my own view is that if we get a “Taxageddon,” as they call it, January 1st, with this president, and with a Congress that can’t work together, it’s– it really is frightening.

This, in addition to other statements Governor Romney made about using his wife, Ann, “sparingly,” so the public won’t get bored with her, and his statement on the 47% of his fellow Americans who happen to disagree with him about politics; “[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.” Like many of our fellow bloggers have been doing in the past 24 hours or so, we had to talk about it.


Selena: I’m kind of speechless.

queSarahSarah: raaaaagggggeeee……

pileofmonkeys: So, a presidential candidate thinks that half the country is made up of lazy, entitled freeloaders. This is also the man who thinks that “middle class” is $250,000/year.

Selena: He said he’d have an easier time being elected if he was Hispanic. What?

Selena: Those 47% include the children in the public schools with terrible graduation rates, because poverty, which is their own fault, apparently? The elderly want a lot from the government, do you suppose he hates them, too? Or the enlisted veterans from our last few wars? People with disabilities?

queSarahSarah: It’s always the poor people’s fault. They feel entitled to food and housing and medicine… you know, the things people generally need to survive.

Selena: He’s pretty tone deaf, here. This is no way to win independents.

queSarahSarah: We can only hope.

pileofmonkeys: I’m out eating my poor person’s dinner, but when I get home, I have a lot to say.

Selena: That dinner better be a handful of lentils floating in gruel, like a good Poor. Vegetables and cake are for the Rich, who earned them.

pileofmonkeys: I had meatball parm. No fancy stuff for this 2nd generation working poor!

Hillary: Good grief, it’s not like people have to pay part of each paycheck into the social security system and medicare and the general tax pool that pays for their benefits. Oh, wait. Yes they do! And has he heard of the electoral college? Florida’s a big swing state filled with retirees who mostly don’t pay taxes since they don’t work. And they’re on Medicare. Please, keep telling them how they’re freeloaders and victims! (Sadly, most of them won’t even realize he’s talking about them. Must be those *other* people getting government benefits who are the problem.)

pileofmonkeys: This is the problem. The “anyone but Obama” voters will delude themselves into thinking he’s not talking about them. Oh, and the “using [Ann] sparingly” thing? If that doesn’t wrap up his entire view of a woman’s place (or lack of) in his world, I don’t know what does. And “My job is not to worry about those people”? That’s HALF the American population he’s not concerning himself with there.

Hillary: The only moral government benefits are MY government benefits!

pileofmonkeys: This: “If the Hispanic voting bloc becomes as committed to the Democrats as the African American voting block has in the past, why, we’re in trouble as a party and, I think, as a nation” is DEEPLY unsettling. Because dude’s not talking about votes, here.

queSarahSarah:  He’s definitely not talking about votes, but it’s not surprising that he has those kind of views, given that he thinks all working class people are lazy parasites.

Slay Belle: Let’s not forget his running mate received social security benefits and used them to pay for college. So Paul’s a freeloader too.

pileofmonkeys: Well, with that guy’s tenuous grasp of the truth, I’m sure he’ll manage to find a way to say that never happened. Like, I can’t even find a way to be funny about this, because I’m SO FUCKING ANGRY. I just want to shake all of these Romney supporters and be like, YOUR CANDIDATE HATES AMERICANS. HE HATES YOU. HE THINKS YOU’RE LAZY AND BENEATH HIM. And they still won’t think he’s talking about them.

queSarahSarah: Slay, he also requested that funds from the ACA be directed to facilities in his district. So, it’s a terrible policy, unless it benefits his voters.Most of my fb friends are pretty middle-class, and the people I see on my feed “liking” Romney and Ryan are people who will be the most hurt my the cuts they want to make….teachers, students, self-employed, public servants, not exactly fields where you’re raking in the dough. Those are the areas they want to cut the most…

pileofmonkeys: I only know maybe a handful of people who fall into his highly skewed “middle class” income bracket, and they aren’t Romney supporters. The only people I know who support Romney are ones who don’t seem to understand that he’s not going to be working for their benefit.

queSarahSarah: The few that I know that are in his “middle class” are hippie-tree-hugging-Obama-lovin’-liberals.

pileofmonkeys: Man, so now I’m not only the 99%, but I’m the 47%, too? What this says to me is that Mutt really thinks that 53% of the country thinks like he does, and that’s terrifying. Typo, but I’m keeping it.

Selena: If I’m not mistaken, Mittens doesn’t pay income tax, either, he pays capital gains. He hasn’t had an income from work in a while, right?

Hillary: He gets speaking fees and whatnot (or did before the campaign) and royalties from his books.

Selena: Hillary, does that count as income in the same way a job does? Or is that closer to independent contracting?

Hillary: My husband is a CPA and he doesn’t even know. There are lots of different ways to report royalties; some rich people have them paid directly to their charitable foundations and whatnot. And capital gains taxes are an income tax; they’re just a much lower rate than taxes on salary.

Selena: Can we back up that he only paid 13.9% taxes? I don’t want to use “facts” like “teachers in Chicago make a million dollars a year and get gold-plated platinum cars with tenure.”

Hillary: Yes! Mitt Romney tax rate.

queSarahSarah: I think people with those kind of incomes and resources can also have a staff of accountants that find ways for them to pay the least amount of taxes. There are lots of ways to “hide” money with shelters and write-offs. I’m sure when they have many business-related travel expenses.

Sally:  First off: going to the gym after work means I miss most of masterbitch theatre. Second: Oh lord in heaven. I think y’all have already pointed out that anyone who ever did anything in the US of A benefits in large part from Government influence. Do you like public infrastructure, Romney? Cuz that’s a government thing. And I suppose there are those 1 or 2 people out there who don’t want to do anything with their lives, but the rest of us work hard and just want a tiny slice of pie. Maybe a nice vacation with the family 1 week during the summer. Doesn’t have to be much. A cottage by a lake. We’ll tie the dog to the roof of the car on our way. Or maybe, you know, we’d like to have a little to maybe not have to have a miserable job that we keep just for the health insurance.

pileofmonkeys: “It’s hard to serve as president for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation.” -Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, commenting on the hidden camera video showing Romney talking disparagingly of 47% of all voters.

Hillary: How about the part where he doesn’t want to have an intellectual discussion of the issues because Obama won on “hope and change” so sounding smart would backfire on him? Yes, we’re all ignorant dumbasses. Let me call up the good folks at Jeopardy and have them erase my episode.




By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

6 replies on “Editorial Masterbitch Theater: Tell Us How You Really Feel, Romney”

Aw man, I’m so sorry Romney. Obviously me and my boyfriend are part of the problem. What, with me being a full-time grad student and him being an unemployed college graduate who, despite years of working in retail and despite sending out tons of applications, has been unemployed for eight months now. (The school district still hasn’t gotten its shit together to get him sub work, either…)

Clearly the fact that we haven’t been able to afford our own living space for these past eight months means that we just don’t work hard enough.

Course, it would be nice if the economy was good enough to actually give us work to begin with.

Ain’t that something?

 who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it

Call me crazy, but yeah, I think the government owes me back for what I put in, and part of what I think I’m owed is the shit I need to exist. The whole reason we put up with this government nonsense is so that it will stabilize and protect our society. All of it. What exactly does Mitt think government does? Add revenue to his money machines? Give a nice smoking lounge to the proper sort of rich old white man? I don’t follow. Too much government is bad, so no government is best, only I want the power of government, just not the having to take care of the citizens part? My head hurts.

A great article an old Poli-Sci professor of mine posted on FB:

Basically, people who don’t pay federal income tax fall into one of three categories: 1. Students under age 24 (cuz, part-time work, minimum wage, etc), 2. Retired old folks (cuz…they’re retired.  Most of them paid income tax previously), and 3. Unemployed people.  Are these really people who never “take personal responsibility and care for their lives?”

I don’t know if Romney could have been more insulting to more people if he’d tried.

From my mostly awesome accountant’s Facebook feed:

A main problem with broad characterizations is that they tend to include people who are not really part of the problem. In the Romney quote about the 47% of those who pay no taxes not being relevant to him, it included many people who are retired or who are disabled and are living on small incomes and social security. These are people who have never been on a government handout program at all. There are over 16 million retirees who pay no taxes. I did not even think about this until I was at a meeting at (local private school) last night and one of my clients, who is retired, told me that Romney just excluded him as well.

 This number also includes those that receive government backed student loans. It also includes combat pay for those in the military on the front lines. I guess they are part of the undeserving as well.

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