I finally watched the Romney video in its entirety last night. What came through to me was how indignant he is with respect to those who don't pay federal taxes. He has been dog whistling this in public speeches, but in this private setting setting there was a touch of passion to it - something I hadn't expected. I suspect this is close to the real Mitt - someone who has always had an enormous advantage who can't understand what it must be like to lack that.
The revelation to me is there is a deep core principle and a equally deep conviction. He really does believe these are lazy people and he strongly believes in the flourishing of those who are better - the rich. There are strong strains of Ayn Rand's social Darwinish as well as prosperity theology.
He hasn't backed off the core of this because he deeply believes it is true and probably believes his form of social darwinism is the basis for America. It is increasingly clear why he went with Paul Ryan for the VP slot. There are guys who would happily roof-rack a large percentage of the population in the support of their own class. American's wondrous caste.
I wouldn't be surprised if some of his tax years have rates that are much lower than what he has stated. The guy has a history of not telling the truth. I'm wondering, if his campaign continues to flounder, if he will start pushing the class warrior notion even more.
There were several other interesting points. Perhaps the most interesting was a grounding the idea that there was opportunity to be had in the violence against the America in the Mideast last week and the hope for an unfortunate event that would build his stature. The wording he used last May gives a clue (from the transcript)
Questioner: When Carter was president, we had hostages. Ronald Reagan was able to make a statement even before he became, he was actually sworn in, and the hostages were released…
Mitt Romney: On the day of his inauguration.
Questioner: Right. So my question is really how can you sort of duplicate that scenario?
Romney: I could ask you, I could ask you how you do I duplicate that scenario?
Questioner: I think it had to do with the fact that the Iranians perceived Reagan… That’s why I’m suggesting that something that you say over the next few months gets the Iranians to understand that their pursuit of the bomb is something that you would prevent. And I think that’s something that could possibly resonate very well with the American public.
Romney: I appreciate the idea. One of the things that’s frustrating to me: in a typical day like this, when I do three or four events like this, the number of foreign policy questions I get is between zero and one. And the American people are not concentrated at all on China, on Russia, Iran, Iraq, and this President’s failure to put in place a status of forces agreement allowing ten to twenty thousand troops to stay in Iraq- unthinkable! And yet, in that election, in the Jimmy Carter election, the fact that we had hostages in Iran, I mean, that was all we talked about. And we had the two helicopters crash in the desert, I mean, that was the focus, and so him solving that made all the difference in the world. I’m afraid today that if you simply got Iran to agree to stand down on nuclear weapons, they’d go, “Now hold on. It’s really a-” I mean, if something of that nature presents itself I will work to find a way to take advantage of the opportunity.
amazing - at least he has supplied some clarity to his positions.
Many in the current Republican Party believe in the Romney/Ryan/Rand form of social darwinism. This is great red meat. Within the echo chamber of the right there will probably be quite a bit of reinforcement. But the Republicans aren't totally united behind this concept and perhaps the seeds of an internal battle are now growing. If Romney doesn't win it will be brutal looking forward to 2014 as the long knives come out of both sides.