Now comes word that Mitt Romney’s handpicked vice presidential running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has pronounced Romney to be "obviously inarticulate." The reference, of course, is to Romney’s now well-publicized diatribe against the poor, the working poor, retirees, the non-working disabled, enlisted military personnel, and just about anybody else who could not afford a seat at his private $50,000-per-plate May fundraiser in tony Boca Raton.
Ryan’s remarks about his would-be boss were uttered during a KRNV-TV interview this past Tuesday. He said of Romney: "He was obviously inarticulate in making this point." But, despite Romney's inability to articulate, Ryan said that the comments and the focus of this whole brouhaha are misplaced. We should instead be talking about President Obama’s past, present and future plans to “redistribute” the wealth of America from the rich to the poor—or anyone who may happen to have his hand out for any available freebie.
In attempting to deflect criticism for his “inarticulate” statements, Romney himself has declared himself to be “not elegant” when it comes to discussing issues like this. That is as true a statement as you’ll probably get from him on this. Recall that just a few months ago, after Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a “slut,” Romney could not muster the decency, let alone the righteous indignation, to condemn Limbaugh’s slur, but said only that “slut” is not the word he would have used to describe her. Hmmm. Wonder what word would he have used? "Whore?" "Prostitute?" "Easy?"
The Republican Party’s media echo chamber has now gone into damage-control mode in order to lessen the obvious damage that Romney’s Boca Raton message has wrought. They have sought to redirect the ire, incredulity and growing anger at Romney-Ryan by concentrating on the “redistributionist” theme and meme. In fact, they have gone so far as to dig up a 14-year-old sound-only video of then-Illinois State Senator Obama (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge3aGJfDS
See! The Republicans are practically apoplectic as they try to draw our attention away from Romney-Ryan’s own “reverse redistribution” scheme (from the poor to the rich), which has been in effect since St. Reagan initiated the neo-liberal, supply-side, trickle-down, voodoo economics program in 1981. Obama really is a socialistic, communistic, Muslim-sympathizing, America-hating, foreign-born, un-American, Black-Black-Black!, African-American!
This effort by the Republicans to present Obama as just as much a “redistributionist” to the “have-nots” as Romney is to the “haves” is a tired game that they never seem to tire of playing. It’s called “false equivalency.” No matter what they might do or say that is obviously wrongheaded, misguided, evil or just plain bad, their retort is always—always—the same: “Well, the Democrats do it, too, don’t they?” Plainly speaking, they try to present Democratic Party “evil” as consistently equal to or worse than their own. They never address their actual evil itself, but say, essentially, well, everybody’s doing it, so we can’t be blamed for simply keeping up with them.
So now they have given us dueling videos. Tiresome. And childish. But at the level of the “lowest common denominator” and their fiercely loyal “low information voters,” it works.
And so, as the Romney/Ryan ticket appears to be splintering and sputtering into the last few weeks of this campaign, it is well to note that some of the heretofore most staunchly Republican officeholders, media mavens, very prominent members of the right wing commentariat, are all beginning to face the distasteful music, read the now clearly legible handwriting on the wall, wring their hands to the point of breaking them, and shed not a few crocodile tears.
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