~George Barnard Shaw~
You know things are going bad for you when Joe Biden of all people is letting your words speak for themselves to his advantage. Poor Mitt, he made a great effort to keep cameras and microphones out of those fund raisers with the wealthy few, but then he fooled around and pissed off Jimmy Carter's grandson by talking about his grandpa. (Always keep an eye on the help, Mitt)
In that now infamous video, Mitt wrote off forty seven percent of the people in America by saying that they are all basically freeloaders with a victimhood mentality. They are people who do not contribute their fair share of taxes. (Forty seven percent?!) Now we know why Mitt's idea of where the middles class starts and ends in this country is so out of touch.) Mitt, of course, is wrong. The truth of the matter is that ninety percent of entitlements in this country will go to seniors, people who are disabled, and working households. In other words, some of the very people Mitt might just need to beat Obama this November. Mitt and those other fat cats in the room were all thinking Reagan welfare Queen. They were thinking that a sizable amount of that forty seven percent belonged to *clearing throat* certain groups of people who tend to congregate in urban areas. Sadly for them, that forty seven percent includes a whole lot of people and not only urban folks.
Amy Davidson writing for The New Yorker does a wonderful job of breaking down Mitt's problem:
"The perfect concentricity of the income-tax-paying and the Republican-voting circles does not bear scrutiny. But the pliability of that number also says a great deal about Romney’s world view—the transitive property of wealth—and will make it hard for him to say (though he tried) that he was only talking about his lack of concern for votes, not for lives. That forty-seven per cent of Americans, by virtue of their tax treatment, “believe that they are victims”; think they are entitled “to you name it”; and are not even persuadable on the question of voting for anyone with the tax policies Romney offers: they are thinking not about growth or their country but their little check. What they are entitled to, in Romney’s view, is only contempt.
Does Romney think that this is why people will or won’t vote for him? Then he will lose this election. (There are people who have never worried about money who are attached to the idea that no one should starve in America.) It will not be lost on anyone that forty-seven per cent is a very big number. There has been a fair amount of discussion about how high the income level that is considered “middle class” by both candidates has become, to some two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. But one thing that is striking about the video is how many people Romney does not consider to be middle class—how many he lumps into the dismissible poor.
And how can they stop being poor? Simply and only by taking “personal responsibility.” And this connects with something else Romney related in the video: the story of his own wealth.
'I have inherited nothing. There is a perception, “Oh, we were born with a silver spoon, he never had to earn anything and so forth.” Frankly, I was born with a silver spoon, which is the greatest gift you can have: which is to get born in America.'
Romney was the son of a governor and an auto executive who gave him a wealth of connections, a private education, college tuition, a stock portfolio that he lived on while in graduate school, help buying a first house. That he recognizes the value of none of these things is both dismaying and discouraging for anyone who thinks that he will be able to do much to actually encourage opportunity in America. He is clear enough about one difference money can make in life, when he tells those present, “Frankly, what I need you to do is to raise millions of dollars,” and talks about how many foreign customers his campaign consultants have had. But Romney did, in the video, talk about a disadvantage that he feels he has labored under: had his father “been born of Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot of winning this.” [Source]
Mitt, of course, is hoping that this too will pass. The country is pretty much divided down the middle and his people will not vote for the beige guy. Fortunately for Mitt, gaffes don't cause candidates to lose elections. Unfortunately for Mitt, the inability to connect does.