Editor’s Note: In the interest of balance, I reached out to GMP writer Mark Ellis in order to get a more politically conservative take on the video that Mother Jones released of Presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaking about “The 47%” at a private fundraiser. We are grateful for his take and willingness to open up the conversation further. -Joanna
When the Good Feed editors asked me to offer a perspective on the secret video of Mitt Romney talking about the 47% of the electorate who will not vote for him, I was heavily obligated, and could not immediately respond.
Now, a few days later, two or three news-cycles have passed, and the right has unearthed a counter-video showing President Obama waxing philosophic about his affinity for the dreaded “redistribution.”
In other words, it’s back to politics as usual.
With the Good Feed prompt, I was obliged to visit a site I’d heard of, but had never read, Mother Jones. For opposition research, my site of choice is Common Dreams, because there I won’t have to get past any dubious allusion as to the concept of matriarchy.
Once at Mother Jones I must say I was underwhelmed by David Corn’s smoking-gun footage.
This is what they’ve got?
As a long time coverer of the conservative beat, I can honestly say that there isn’t one meet-up, rally, or damn garden party at which Mitt Romney’s exact words to his supporters at the private event are not reiterated as a matter of course.
Not more than an hour after watching the video, I heard Washington Examiner columnist Byron York say the same thing to Greta Van Susteren on Fox’s On the Record.
Yes, conservatives, even working-class conservatives like me, worry that our country has reached a tipping point from the standpoint of the ratio of the citizens who’ve grown evermore dependent upon the state. And we know that those people will always vote for more government.
Beyond that, there is the Governor’s mistake of forgetting contemporary society’s cardinal rule: there’s always a recording device of some kind everywhere. While I don’t think there was anything wrong with what Romney said, he obviously needs to be more careful, apparently even when within his party’s inner circles.
In the wake of the secret video’s release, conservative pundits like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others lauded the statement about the unreachable 47%, saying that Romney should fully own it, and that bankruptcy looms for the nation if the imbalance of “takers to makers” is not righted. I agree.
“There’s no more money,” opined Bill O’ Reilly.
Another thought occurred to me, an unfortunate one. The outcry over Romney’s comment presupposes that we still believe that any president represents all of the American people. Do we really buy anymore that leaders elected by razor-thin margins in such polarized times, do?
It’s a wonderful precept, but give me a break.
More problematic for me in the secret video was Governor Romney’s answer to some of his supporters who asked him why he was not floating more specific policy proposals. Romney seemed to indicate that the majority of our nation’s voters were more motivated by vapid, bumper-sticker concepts like “Hope and Change.”
We can’t blame that on Romney or Obama; that’s our problem.
Along those lines, the absolute worst Romney optic of last week had nothing to do with any ostensibly game-changing but in reality painfully obvious comments on a secret video.
It was the spectacle of the Governor on a mainstream daytime talk show discussing Snooki of Jersey Shore and something called Honey Boo Boo.
I’ve gotten to where it doesn’t surprise me when the president appears on something as egregiously beneath the dignity of the office as a show called Pimp with a Limp.
Watching my candidate pretend to care about the most God-awful, lowest-common-denominator programming on television is the bell I wish I could unring.
Photo: AP/Charles Dharapak