Romney on Obama Voters


One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

Related Post Roulette

197 Responses

  1. DRS says:

    It might be prudent to wait. David Corn says at the bottom of the piece there are more segments to come. Personally I think the Romney Campaign is running low on Advil right about now….Report

  2. Trumwill Mobile says:

    This is, quite simply, not the sort of thing that a would-be president should say.Report

    • gregiank in reply to Trumwill Mobile says:

      Yeah they should just say it at fundraisers and hide there true feelings in public. How can a good R get elected if they let out what they really believe.Report

    • It’s not even a sentiment a would be president should have.Report

      • I don’t disagree. My only hesitation on saying so is that I don’t know the extent to which it’s a Thought He Has and to what extent that it was an ill-conceived passing thought that was vocalized. I think we all have the latter and I don’t think it’s a bad thing to necessarily think these things in passing. But before a would-be president vocalizes these thoughts, at least in the manner presented (rather than a more cautious, “thinking out loud” sort of way), particularly one of this sort, it should meet the “this is not a passing thought” threshold. So I focus on what was said, rather than what was thought. I know more about the former than the latter.Report

        • Michelle in reply to Will Truman says:

          I think it’s what he actually believes. He says this stuff with far more conviction than he ever says anything on the campaign trail. And the tone–my gosh, the tone. They’re playing it again right now on Morning Joe and Romney just oozes contempt.

          I believe we’ve finally seen the real Romney. Even Morning Joe can’t rationalize this one, and he’s been pretty much in the bag for Romney.Report

          • Kimmi in reply to Michelle says:

            this has always been the real Romney.
            My god, you folks should see what the Real Clinton looks like!
            (a friend of mine got on the receiving end of Clinton playing hard-ball back in 2008…)Report

  3. gregiank says:

    Way to be a moocher Kazzy. Letting someone else try to explain the clear meaning of all this load of crap. What is there to explain. Romney is self made…i mean come on how can anyone argue with that. Oh and Mr. Business Man CEO is letting go with the real secret of succsess, which is …umm….think good thoughts or elect him and magic rainbow unicorn will poop jelly beans. And of course there was the giant FU to 47% of Americans.Report

  4. Jaybird says:

    Kvetching about people who don’t pay income tax is one of those things that is likely to play a lot better if you’ve released your tax returns and, I presume, have paid taxes in them.Report

  5. bmcmahan says:

    to be fair (to romney) – his comment about inheritance may be true – as it has been reported that his parent’s wealth was left to his (Mitt’s) kids, in order to avoid paying the estate tax twice. apparently common when you have enough money to worry about such things (which explains why i had no idea..heh)Report

    • Lyle in reply to bmcmahan says:

      Note at the time (the tax laws have changed) this was possible, but if Mitt were to try it the Generation Skipping tax would get there and if the beneficiaries are more than 1 generation away you get to pay double estate tax. (See Generation Skipping Transfer Tax) which now is a 45% tax on estates where the trust is set up after 1986. Since George Romney died in 1995 its not clear how the tax was avoided, unless the gifts were made irrevocable before then.Report

      • bmcmahan in reply to Lyle says:

        not an estate lawyer (not even a lawyer), but the suggestion of a dynasty trust (which are still permitted as far as I can sort out: could bypass the skipping tax for the life of the trust.

        point is moot, i’m not arguing that what romney said is factually accurate (re: not inheriting anything, since that has shown to be false anyway)…

        on the larger issue of the video? wow mr. romney….just wow. the 47% comment is problematic (not just for the relative inaccuracy or the potential offensiveness of it), but b/c it seems to gloss tax policy in a way that simplifies a complex problem/issue (perhaps for the purposes of firing up a wealthy donor group….but if he genuinely believes this? or doesnt understand why it is problematic as policy argument? again, just wow.Report

  6. Burt Likko says:

    This is Romney’s “clinging to guns and religion” moment.

    Now, it’s worth nothing that there are lots of people who aren’t millionaires who think pretty much exactly what Gov. Romney was saying. But they were already going to vote for Romney anyway. They’re called conservatives.

    The small number of persuadable, not-conservative-and-not-liberal voters Romney spoke of are more likely to be unsettled by these remarks than they were by the “guns and religion” comment from 2008. Which is why pretty much everyone in Camp Romney should be doing one of these right about now.

    P.S. — is that 47% number accurate? I don’t know one way or the other, but it smells funny.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

      This is Romney’s “clinging to guns and religion” moment.

      The “Did I say that out loud?” bit is. This is worse in a rather crucial respect in that it attempts statistical authority to the statement and the statistics are… problematic to the thesis.Report

      • Mitt is channelling GBS, is all: “A government with the policy to rob Peter to pay Paul
        can be assured of the support of Paul.”

        “We speak with voters across the country about their perceptions. Those people I told you—the 5 to 6 or 7 percent that we have to bring onto our side—they all voted for Barack Obama four years ago. So, and by the way, when you say to them, “Do you think Barack Obama is a failure?” they overwhelmingly say no. They like him. But when you say, “Are you disappointed that his policies haven’t worked?” they say yes. And because they voted for him, they don’t want to be told that they were wrong, that he’s a bad guy, that he did bad things, that he’s corrupt. Those people that we have to get, they want to believe they did the right thing, but he just wasn’t up to the task. They love the phrase that he’s “over his head.” But if we’re—but we, but you see, you and I, we spend our day with Republicans. We spend our days with people who agree with us. And these people are people who voted for him and don’t agree with us. And so the things that animate us are not the things that animate them. And the best success I have at speaking with those people is saying, you know, the president has been a disappointment. He told you he’d keep unemployment below 8 percent. Hasn’t been below eight percent since. Fifty percent of kids coming out of school can’t get a job. Fifty percent. Fifty percent of the kids in high school in our 50 largest cities won’t graduate from high school. What’re they gonna do? These are the kinds of things that I can say to that audience that they nod their head and say, “Yeah, I think you’re right.” What he’s going to do, by the way, is try and vilify me as someone who’s been successful, or who’s, you know, closed businesses or laid people off, and is an evil bad guy. And that may work.”

        All true. The Obama presidency is a failure for the poor as well. But they cannot hear past the class war propaganda against the rich.Report

        • The problem is the implication that all of the 47% are Paul and are voting for Romney Obama. (Corrected by WT)Report

          • It’s not an implication, it’s a fact, WillT, although I hope 47% is too high. But it’s the truth dawning on the Eurostate as we speak—when half are on the dole, a critical mass is reached and look about below.

            Newt’s remarks on the issue were demagogued [naturally]: When asked what he’d say to the NAACP, he said that poor blacks don’t want food stamps, they want jobs. A pity those words don’t come out of Barack Obama’s mouth. His presidency might have been the “transformative” era he fantasized about.

            Instead we get more race-baiting, unemployment, and demagoging the rich. I can’t wait for him to be gone.Report

            • greginak in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              What do you have against the EITC Tom? How much should poor elderly people or those solely on disability pay in income taxes? Please splain. Please explain why it is 47% don’t “pay income taxes”? Please , please educate usReport

            • Stillwater in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              Instead we get more race-baiting, unemployment, and demagoging the rich. I can’t wait for him to be gone.

              Oh Tom, you’re so cute when you act like this. Those issues will never go away. Victimization is the engine driving the GOP platform.Report

            • Naum in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

              Those partisan goggles are bolted on so tightly they’ve severely reduced the oxygen flow to your cognitive facilities.

              1. Those % are much higher (see the map in the Atlantic article) in the red states, mostly south. The only region (and not coincidentally, his only regional, and GOP stronghold).

              2. A good % of that 47% is the elderly, receiving social security and medicare, and that is the bulk of Romney electoral support.

              3. You really don’t see the insult — proclaiming 47% (people not paying income taxes, which may include Romney himself, some years, as we do not know, as he has, unprecedented in modern times, released tax returns) are losers who refuse to “take personal responsibility”? Wow, that’s an awful presumption.

              4. As for economy stewardship under ‘D’ v. ‘R’, the empirical historical record is quite clear on the matter — by just about any given metric — jobs, GDP, stock market indices, etc.…, economy better performs under ‘D’ than ‘R’.

              5. Race baiting? LOL. From the side that’s been unabashedly putting the “Southern Strategy” to work?

              6. Ask yourself why only ~6% of scientists are Republican now (and ~9% tag themselves conservative).Report

        • Well obviously it’s class warfare now that the non-rich want to fight back.Report

        • DRS in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          “Class war propaganda”, indeed. Nothing but a phrase to choke off debate about important issues like subsidies and taxation levels.

          I really don’t understand the animus against Obama. From where I sit, he’s done as good a job as could be expected, with almost no help from the rest of the elected representatives of either party, and it is by no means obvious that he is a failure. Do you ever actually explain these constant assertions anywhere? Repetition is rarely presuasive.Report

    • greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I completely agree Burt. What he said is pretty mainstream for conservatives. The 47% number is pretty ignorant of what it actually means and the condescension is pretty much off the scale, but this isn’t news about what R’s believe. There is ample room to call Romney a maroon for what he claims is knowledge of econ. This also speaks directly to claims by D’s that R’s want to destroy the safety net. If you believe as Rom does, then fish the safety net. And boy does it take epic level delusion for him to portray himself as self-made.

      I think Romeny’s staff will be going in this direction

      • Plinko in reply to greginak says:

        Actually, it’s one of those things that is said loudly and often by the conservatives that we’re not supposed to pay attention to when discussing what conservatives believe. It’s pretty much never said by the ones we’re supposed to vote for.Report

        • greginak in reply to Plinko says:

          Well yeah when Rush says it then he’s just an entertainer. Just move along nothing to see here. Maybe R’s should stand up for what they believe and in the open.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to Plinko says:

          Like we aren’t supposed to pay attention to the folks who want to “steal back” our national parks.
          Or who want to end veterans benefits, and see veterans as moochers.
          Or who hate the ADA.

          … these are the shmucks running the party.
          And you wonder why I’ve nothing good to say about ’em?Report

    • Kolohe in reply to Burt Likko says:

      the 47% is literallyjoebiden accurate, but as others have said, it’s misleading on what the actual tax burden on most of those 47% (who are paying full freight of SS, medicare, state and local sales taxes, etc).

      Particularly when the same people that talk about the 47% lump all the taxes together (and handwaving over marginal rates) when they talk about how they (and/or high earners) are paying 50-60% of their incomes in taxes.Report

    • Naum in reply to Burt Likko says:

      Yes and no.

      In a major respect, Obama “guns and religion” remark was a guffaw in that it displayed him speaking “off the cuff” when typically he illustrated much consistency in addresses.

      OTOH, his remark, though “inelegant”, was his way of attempting to get audience to empathize with the referenced voters. In stark contrast to the derision and disdain displayed by Mr. Romney.Report

  7. Stillwater says:

    On the one hand, it seems to be one of the few moments where Romney is being honest and genuine. On the other, his statements seemed riddled with falsehoods.

    I don’t think we can attribute honesty or genuineness to Romney just because the cameras were off. I mean, he was still playing politics, right?

    I do agree that his statement was riddled with what appear to be falsehoods. I don’t think that particularly bothers Romney, tho. Nor should it bother us as voyeurs on this otherwise private discussion. He’s saying whatever he feels he needs to to get the rich guy’s cash.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

      Well, he seemed much more… Natural there. Maybe he was simply relaxed in a more intimate setting that was supposed to be private. But it didn’t have the usual robotic, cue-card tone of his.Report

      • BlaiseP in reply to Kazzy says:

        Well sure. That’s what Romney’s best at, importuning rich people to invest in his cockamamie prosperity schemes. He’s been doing it for years at Bain. Only this time, it’s a proposition of donating money to get him elected so he can reduce their already-low taxes. Now there’s an investment with fantastic ROI possibilities come tax time.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Romney is, first and foremost, a grifter, who makes money without producing anything of value at other people’s expense.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Stillwater says:

            My friend, there is a philosophy afoot which states the only things of value anyone ever produced are valid contracts and long chain of invoices. I have come to believe this sort of thinking has merit. Mitt Romney takes it just one step farther. He doesn’t believe in the validity of contracts. When he enters a given situation, he loads up his hapless corporations with mountains of debt with every intention of defaulting upon that debt.

            Caveat emptor, Romney fans. He’s taken others for a ride. He’ll take you on one, too. Unless you’re part of the privileged few in on the scam, especially if you’re the chump who thinks he’s going to actually honour his contracts, he’s gonna clean you out.

            …Some people’s not very swift to behold.
            Some people do it
            Some see right through it.
            Some wear pyjamas if only they knew it.

            • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

              My friend, there is a philosophy afoot which states the only things of value anyone ever produced are valid contracts and long chain of invoices.

              That’s damn interesting, Blaise. The Romney part not so much.Report

              • BlaiseP in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

                Well, Tom, I’ve been doin’ it for years ‘n years. Value is perceived and the more people pay for something, the more they seem to think it’s worth. But then, most such people are cretins and I consider them my lawful prey. We’re talking about people who will bring me in to implement what their own (perfectly competent) people have been demanding for years. Only a few differences between me and those guys. I wear good suits and polish my shoes. For some reason, this seems to impress them.

                And that’s what the Romney fans are in for. A jackass in a better suit. And like Yerz Truly, he’s more than a bit of a Grand Panjandrum.

                There’s another little difference between a good software contractor and some Bain Bozo. I’ll leave you with a system in place which actually solves a problem in accordance with the needs and intentions of those peons out in the cubicle ranch. Romney’s going to leave you with a BK filing.Report

        • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Ever see the $hundreds & hundreds of millions public unions have invested in Bain Capital? Look it up some time.Report

          • BlaiseP in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

            Oh sure. The leveraged buyout has made lots of investors very wealthy. Bain Capital’s not such hot shit on a returns basis: they’re about par for the course. They’re just weird, that’s what distinguishes them from Goldman Sachs or Blackstone or KKR.

            Tell you just how little difference there is: Bain was rigging bids with Goldman Sachs back in the day. Just now coming to light.Report

            • Tom Van Dyke in reply to BlaiseP says:

              OK then, I’ll look it up for us, Brother BP, the billion+ public unions invested in Bain Capital.

              Since 2000, Preqin reports, the following funds have entrusted some $1.56 billion to Bain:

              * Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund ($2.2 million)
              * Indiana Public Retirement System ($39.3 million)
              * Iowa Public Employees’ Retirement System ($177.1 million)
              * The Los Angeles Fire and Police Pension System ($19.5 million)
              * Maryland State Retirement and Pension System ($117.5 million)
              * Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada ($20.3 million)
              * State Teachers Retirement System of Ohio ($767.3 million)
              * Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System ($231.5 million)
              * Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island ($25 million)
              * San Diego County Employees Retirement Association ($23.5 million)
              * Teacher Retirement System of Texas ($122.5 million)
              * Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System ($15 million)
              These funds aggregate the savings of millions of unionized teachers, social workers, public-health personnel and first responders. Many would be startled to learn that their nest eggs are incubated by the company that Romney launched and the financiers he hired.
              Leading universities have also profited from Bain’s expertise. According to Infrastructure Investor, Bain Capital Ventures Fund I (launched in 2001) managed wealth for “endowments and foundations such as Columbia, Princeton and Yale universities.”
              According to BuyOuts magazine and S&P Capital IQ, Bain’s other college clients have included Cornell, Emory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Notre Dame and the University of Pittsburgh. Preqin reports that the following schools have placed at least $424.6 million with Bain Capital between 1998 and 2008:
              * Purdue University ($15.9 million)
              * University of California ($225.7 million)
              * University of Michigan ($130 million)
              * University of Virginia ($20 million)
              * University of Washington ($33 million)
              Major, center-left foundations and cultural establishments also have seen their prospects brighten, thanks to Bain Capital. According to the aforementioned sources, such Bain clients have included the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the Doris Duke Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Ford Foundation, the Heinz Endowments and the Oprah Winfrey Foundation.
              Why on Earth would government-union leaders, university presidents and foundation chiefs let Bain oversee their precious assets?
              “The scrutiny generated by a heated election year matters less than the performance the portfolio generates to the fund,” California State Teachers’ Retirement System spokesman Ricardo Duran said in the Aug. 12 Boston Globe. CalSTRS has pumped some $1.25 billion into Bain.

              Read more:

        • Mike Schilling in reply to BlaiseP says:

          Blaise and Kazzy for the win.

          It was a straight sales pitch, which put Romney in his element. We can’t necessarily conclude that Romney believed everything he said, especially the part that’s just plain wrong, but it was his (shrewd) idea of how to appeal to people that combine the salient qualities of Mr. Potter and Scrooge McDuck.Report

  8. Nob Akimoto says:

    ?”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.

    … [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.

    Emphasis mine. Accuracy of the statistics aside the sentiment is troubling.

    Essentially a man who wants to be responsible for the government that provides safety net believes he should ignore nearly half the country and denigrate them as dependents who don’t take responsibility or care for their lives. As if fully half the country isn’t even his responsibility. That a man like this would be managing those services and looking for every way to screw people on them.

    Safety nets exist for a reason. Sometimes they’re not optimally designed or administered, but there’s a world of difference between critiquing that and declaring people to somehow be illegitimately receiving benefits. This particularly from a man who hasn’t struggled with money for a single day of his life is ludicrous.Report

    • I’m not as troubled by that tidbit. It’s the difference between his job as a candidate and his job as a president. As a candidate, it’s not Obama’s job to worry about Idaho or Texas. As President, it (presumably) is. Obama is both President and Candidate, but Romney at present is only candidate.Report

      • I dunno.

        Imagine the furor if candidate Obama had said: “Well, white Americans in the South aren’t my concern. I’m never going to reach them anyway.”

        As it is we have plenty of strange innuendo somehow that Obama doesn’t care to try to govern as the President of all Americans, blahblahblah.Report

        • Kimmi in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

          Oh. My. Gawd.
          At kos I talked to tons of folks from the South. They’d be out with pitchforks (or maybe guns), to haul him down South and get him to apologize. They put in a ton of work with hard rocky soil — they don’t need someone from up high pissin’ on it.

          Thing is? Republicans don’t do the same thing. They don’t have folks out workin’ the hard fights. It’s all “up high messagin'”Report

      • Plinko in reply to Will Truman says:

        I would be more sympathetic to this view if he’d said he wasn’t going to convince them to vote for him instead of what he actually said.Report

      • Trumwill Mobile in reply to Will Truman says:

        Nob & Plinko, I can agree that it’s stylistically problematic (like God & Guns) but I don’t think it’s substantively problematic like the 47% remark.Report

        • Chris in reply to Trumwill Mobile says:

          I think what is offensive, and it would be offensive from anyone, regardless of whether they’re running for office, is the part about personal responsibility and care for their lives. It ignores the realities of most of the “47 percent’s” lives.Report

    • Mr. Harris in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

      If the old saw is true about Republicans being like the father and Democrats being like the mother, with the father telling the child – in this case, the American people – the bad news about how the world really works; than Romney is like a father kicking his 18yo son out the door with a duffle bag full of clothes and 10$ gift certificate to Dunk n’ Donuts. Naturally, if the America ends up on skid row dealing drugs or worse, it’ll be because he was a bad kid all along.Report

  9. Kazzy says:

    One of my questions is: Is this the kind of thing candidates say all the time at closed-door events like this but never saw the light if day because of largely technological reasons? Or is there something unique about this? I realize that might not matter in terms of the electoral impact, but knowing that (and that may simply be unknowable) would be a useful piece of context.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

      So it’s pretty common for candidates to express sentiments in private fundraisers they wouldn’t otherwise say if they were on the record. Especially with the higher end donors who get personal dinners. It’s surprising what some things are said at fundraisers.

      Technology is making it harder to get away with this stuff, but there’s still a very high barrier to entry to a lot of these fundraisers (specifically the price to get into a fundraiser is several thousand dollars) and the bundlers are even worse.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

      Big money fundraisers want to feel like insiders, like they’re getting in on the next circle of strategy not available to the public. That’s what Romney is doing on the video, making these big check-writers feel like they’re getting something they can’t read in the Times. Reasonably, they don’t expect they’ll get the very inside stuff, but they want to feel like they are trusted by the next President. This is how it works. Obama does that sort of thing too, I’m quite sure; hopefully he learned his lesson about watching what he says even in that controlled of an environment after that remark exploded on him last cycle.Report

  10. trizzlor says:

    In both style and substance this is nearly identical to Obama’s fundraising leak about bitter people clinging to guns, religion, and xenophobia. The sad truth of this is that both party leaders are practically dripping with contempt for the American voter.Report

    • Nob Akimoto in reply to trizzlor says:

      It might be similar in style (expressing a sentiment with terrible phrasing) but the substance is substantially different.

      For one, Obama’s full statement:

      You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.

      And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

      Was a response to a question about how to deal with voter attitudes in rural PA. It was part of an answer about dealing with the disappointment in that segment of America and trying to engage it. (And he later rather deftly turned it around as him knowing those sentiments and his opponents not.)Report

      • DRS in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Where’s the part where Obama says he doesn’t have to worry about those people?Report

      • trizzlor in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

        Nob, I’m inclined to agree but I honestly can’t tell how much of that (engagement) is in the statement itself and how much I’m reading into it because of my natural sympathies towards Obama. Granted, Romney nailed himself by saying that those people are a lost cause, but that’s largely a true statement given the way he has chosen to run his campaign. It will be useful to see how Romney responds, if it’s anything like EWErickson then he might as well call it a day.Report

  11. Michael Drew says:

    I need to find the source, but I’m hearing that Reince Priebus has now stated that Romney was simply on message when making the comments. (I suppose that would be at most as far as the RNC’s view of what the Romney campaign’s message is/should be is concerend; Reince doesn’t speak for the camapaign itself). This could be mistaken; I’ll try to confirm and provide a link.Report

  12. Stillwater says:

    On the one hand, it seems to be one of the few moments where Romney is being honest and genuine. On the other, his statements seemed riddled with falsehoods.

    I don’t think you can conclude that Romney is being honest and genuine when he says these things just because the cameras are off. He’s still conducting politics, right?

    I do think his statement is riddled with falsehoods, but from a political pov, Romney is just saying what he feels he needs to in order to get the rich guy’s cash political support.Report

  13. KatherineMW says:

    I don’t understand how someone can run for president and admit outright that he doesn’t give a damn about half of the American population.Report

  14. Jason Kuznicki says:

    I’ll happily side with the 47% on this one. I don’t think anyone should have to pay income taxes.

    How though do you expect to pay for everything that you’d like the federal government to do? The lower class is too poor and really shouldn’t have a significant tax burden. The upper class is too few — while they could obviously pay, their contributions won’t add up to enough.

    That leaves raising taxes somewhere in the middle, and… well, have fun with that.Report

    • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      I’ve happily said taxes on the middle classes probably need to be higher to pay for everything. Of course, in my perfect world, they’re not paying insurance premiums or student loan payments either.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

        Why not student loan payments?

        And I’m okay with raising taxes on the middle and upper classes.Report

        • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kazzy says:

          I’m for paying upfront for public universities via taxation and as a result, making them near free like back in the socialistic 60’s and 70’s. So, yes, if you decide to go to a private university, you’ll be paying student loans, but since that’s a smaller part of the population (about 16%), I’m OK with that, plus I’m assuming their costs will have to go down when the choice isn’t $10,000 at State U or $30,000 at Private U, but instead $0 or $1,000 at Public U or $30,000 at Private U.Report

          • Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:


            In that model, could universities refuse admittance? I’d think that free publicly financed universities would have to accept everyone, much like public K-12 schools.Report

            • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kazzy says:

              Everything I’ve read on other countries system is that there are still requirements to gain entrance to certain colleges, whether it’s their version of an SAT, certain other requirements, or just a question of space.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                You don’t see a problem with a publicly financed institution that is not open to the public?Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                Given that a lot of public institutions are in fact means tested in one way or another, I’m not sure this is as big as a problem as you say it is.

                VA hospitals are public institutions but not open to the public. Ditto for public housing, or even arts institutions.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Nob Akimoto says:

                I’m not sure what you mean by art institutions but VA hospitals and public housing are largely part of a safety net… I don’t know that college falls into the same category.

                College is a means of improving one’s self. If you told me that my tax dollars go towards helping others improve themselves, improve their employment opportunities and long-term earning potential and all that we associate with a college degree, in a way that you are not going to allow me to even attempt? I’d have a much bigger problem with that then telling me that my tax money is going toward public housing I don’t need or a VA hospital that I don’t have access to because I never served.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                What about tax breaks for entrepreneurs? Or Self-Employment Assistance? Or for that matter, even things like magnet schools or grants for performing arts?

                Basic science research? R&D tax credits for gigantic firms? Farm subsidies? Mortgage interest deductions?

                All of these things are generally improvements and investments into other people, that are in effect, tax payer supported.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                I guess it is just the logic of it all…

                “College should be free so that everyone can go! Well, except all y’all…”Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                Higher education should be free, or at least affordable. Doesn’t mean you should get into the school of your choice without merit.

                I mean a highly merit structured admissions process would essentially serve the same purpose as merit scholarships.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                What makes higher education different than K-12? And do we apply this to all levels of higher education? Grad school? Law school? Medical school?

                Are my taxes going to go up so you can pursue a free degree in philosophy while I’m told, “Sorry, bro, you’re not up to snuff”?Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Kazzy says:

                What Nob said. I’m sure it’ll break down as it does now. The “main” campus of the public universities are most selective, the satellite campuses are less selective, the “directional” schools are even less selective, and community colleges (which are basically open enrollment) take up the rest.

                Except of course, nobody will have to go to a crappier public school than they actually tested for simply ’cause it’s too expensive.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                You’re not going to be told “No you’re not up to snuff”.

                You’ll be told “No you can’t go to the University of Blahblah, but you can go to Blahblah State instead” or even “You can start at Blahblah Lake Community College and then see about going to the University of Blahblah”.

                And this already happens to a substantial degree with everything from pell grants to merit scholarships from state schools to magnet schools in K-12.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                Gotcha. That is much less objectionable, and maybe even something I’d support. I read it very differently. I would insist that there were some mechanisms to ensure that the gaps between the schools weren’t increasing in some sort of self-fulfilling cycle.Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                I think there’ll be some stratification regardless, we already see it to some degree when you look at state university systems. There’ll always be “flagship” universities like UC-Berkley, UT-Austin, Texas A&M within the respective systems. But in the long run it’ll probably matter less if the overall quality of students go up too.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                I don’t mind some divergence… I just think there are limits to what you can justify if the cost is the same.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kazzy says:

                “You can start at Blahblah Lake Community College and then see about going to the University of Blahblah”.

                That’s actually killer advice for the financially responsible, Nob. That way, you don’t have to impoverish your parents, go into massive debt, or beg strangers for money to complete your degree.

                If you transfer to a 4-yr school, yr diploma still reads “UCLA” or “University of Texas,” whathaveyou, and nobody is the wiser.



                “The first two years of college are really a period of feeling out classes and exploring career paths. Although many students declare majors out of high school, a sizable amount will end up changing directions once they get more experience with their department’s curriculum. I cannot stress how important it is for undecided students to attend junior college in order to save money during this important period. Unless you have a fully mapped out career path, it’s better that you take the time to discover your real passion in an environment that won’t cost you up to $15,000 per year. You’ll also be able to knock off all of your general education requirements in the first two years, so that you’re covered no matter what major you apply for when transferring.

                5. It will boost your confidence!

                Starting at a community college can be great for your GPA and overall confidence before transferring to a four-year school. Junior colleges are usually less challenging, offer more personal time with professors, and allow you to have more free time to study. Since a large number of students do poorly their first two years, their GPAs will never recover. This can leave a lasting impact on your educational future, because graduate programs consider your GPA heavily during the admissions review process.”Report

              • Nob Akimoto in reply to Kazzy says:

                Tom, I did my first two years worth of credits at a community college, then eventually transferred to a 4 year institution for my BA. It worked out decently, but on some other hands I think I could’ve had a more fulfilling social life while in school if I’d done it differently.

                This is particularly true when I consider my experiences in grad school. But take that as you will.Report

              • Tom Van Dyke in reply to Kazzy says:

                I hear you, Nob. I had a full academic scholarship but I think I took it for granted. Can’t say I was mature enough to have done anything differently had my parents been paying or if I was racking up some abstract future debt.

                But I socialized. Boy, did I socialize.Report

              • Kimmi in reply to Kazzy says:

                we have TONS of safety nets to get people GEDs. If you have a GED, you can go to college.
                this really isn’t that difficult.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

              When I started at Berkeley, fees were $150/quarter. And it was about as exclusive as a place could be and still take people like me and my dormmates.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                First, if I was truly a conspiracy oriented person, I would say those in power connected easy access to public university and the trouble of the 60’s and decided to fix that problem so that kids were so deep in debt after college they had to take a soul-killing job to pay off student loans. 🙂

                Second, I truly think the idea that kids are going to crazy not going to classes, partying, and such just because college is free is sort of overblown. People who were going to spend more time smoking pot and trying to get laid than studying are going to do that whether they’re spending $200/semester or $20,000/semester.

                And personally, I think the advantages of making sure that scores of poor and middle class kids can go to college without being burdened with student debt is worth the occasional kid who blows his GPA in the first two semesters with lots of Maui Wowee.Report

          • KatherineMW in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

            I’m a student, but I question the desirability of free education. I’ve been in classes, I’ve been a TA, and that’s enough to see that there’s plenty of people in college who don’t really care. You can get through college with a C average and be no more use to anyone, including yourself, than you were when you went in.

            My recommendation? Reduce tuition fees somewhat (in Canada they average around $5000/yr; I’ve checked the numbers for some US state universities and they’re similar), and massively expand the scholarship and bursary programs. As in, anyone with an A average in high school gets a full scholarship (plus living expenses) for their entire degree provided they can maintain an A (or maybe even A-) average. If someone doesn’t have an A average in high school but gets one their first year in university, they too get a full scholarship for all subsequent years so long as they maintain it. (The main problem with this policy is that the high value it puts on grades would greatly incentivize cheating, and grade-buying from high school teachers, but I think there should be some policy ways to deal with that).

            In addition, provide bursaries scaled according to household income (e.g.: if your family makes under $25,000/yr, you get a full bursary, plus money for living expenses; the amount falls gradually as income rises). You keep the bursary as long as you get at least a B average every year.

            Result: University access isn’t dependent on income, the people who would be most likely to benefit from it are assured of being able to go, and the public isn’t paying the bill for people who aren’t committed to university and want to party and slack off. Possible downside is that better-off kids have access to better high schools, maybe get better grades, and the public’s subsidizing education for people who can afford it anyway, but you’d be subsidizing them anyway if you made university free, and it does provide an incentive to do well in school; the problem’s better solved by improving the high school system.

            And no, this wouldn’t disadvantage people in the sciences; possibly the opposite. It’s easier to fail in math and sciences, but it’s also easier to get an A+ (whereas you’re very unlikely to get an A+ in the arts).

            It’s open to tweaking, but I prefer its general principles over making university free. Not all undergrad students are the most responsible of people, to say the least.Report

            • Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:

              The only problem I see with this is the enormous power it puts into people giving out grades.

              “Oh, you need an A to get a free ride to college? Well, well, well…”Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Kazzy says:

                Well, not only, but a helluva big one.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Kazzy says:

                …the people giving out grades are teachers, not mobsters. There’s definitely a problem there, but as I noted, it probably lies more with the heavy incentive it creates for cheating. You might have to base it on provincial exams (Canada’s equivalent of SATs), except that brings up all the issues with standardized testing; still, for math and sciences “teaching to the test” still ensures students learn all the major things they need to know, and the humanities tests like History and English include random essay components, so that’s not a lost cause. It’s not ideal (there’s a lot more to learning then test-taking) so I’d prefer to find another way around that challenge. But I’m confident it can be done.

                It beats paying for people to go to university only to have them show up to about half their classes and spend their time partying. And yes, if you give teenagers a free pass to university, some of them will make that call. Some of them do make that call – most often, likely the ones whose parents are paying for their education.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Is there where I’m the bad person and say ancedotally, from my college experience, the people partying and not caring about school weren’t the people taking out massive amounts of loans and working a job to make ends meet? Most of the people I saw not showing up to half their classes also didn’t have a job, but drove a nice car and always had money to party somehow.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                That’s what I’d guess, too.

                The issue with making university free is that you’re paying for it for everyone, not just low-income people. If university’s free, for rich kids it just means the state’s paying instead of mom & dad, they can still party, and there’s not even the faint possibility of funding ending because mom & dad got too fed up with their shenanigans.

                A major point of the scholarship plus bursary proposal is intended to avoid that situation, while ensuring that nobody needs to have a job on the side in order to afford undergrad.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to KatherineMW says:


                I’m a teacher myself so I don’t mean to impugn the integrity of the profession as a whole, only to point out the potential for perverse incentives, which no industry is immune to.

                Perhaps there is something wrong with our education system if folks can blow off half their classes, party, and still do well enough to maintain enrollment.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Kazzy says:

                As a TA – general rule is that if a paper is minimally readable, it gets a C- or C. Which means the student is still passing. Which means that someone who, in my estimation, doesn’t have high-school level writing or analysis skills will be entering the job market with a BA, and most employers won’t be asking for their transcript.

                In shorter form: you said it!

                The alternative to my proposal is to raise admission requirements, make university grading about twice as tough as it currently is, and then make it free. But somehow I don’t see any chance of that.Report

              • Mr. Harris in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Right now all the pressure seems to be on educational institutions to insure that students are prepared for college. But what if college was harder and more downward pressure was placed on students to insure that they’re academically capable. Students who graduate with a B.A. should have a better chance at getting a job than they do now and in the foreseeable future. If students can’t cut it in a new, more challenging educational environment than why should they have access to the better jobs later on? But, of course, the parents of the sons and daughters of privilege would never stand for this. Meritocracies be damned!Report

              • Kimmi in reply to KatherineMW says:

                Teaching to the test teaches surprisingly little, at least in my field. there’s a reason American students are preferred over Japanese/Korean/Chinese, even though those people always get 100% on their GREs. The Americans tend to excel.Report

            • Jesse Ewiak in reply to KatherineMW says:

              As I said above I think, when I say “free”, I mean “radically lower down to 1980+ inflation levels (so around $2500-3000/yr depending on your location).Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                That’s a reasonable proposal, although in my experience affording housing/residence (for people whose town doesn’t include a university, or people in rural areas) is as much as if not more of a problem than affording tuition, which is a reason I like the idea of more complete (tuition & living expenses), but more selective, funding. If tuition goes down from $5000 to $2000, but housing is still $5000/yr, the economic challenge hasn’t been changed a huge amount.Report

            • Burt Likko in reply to KatherineMW says:

              Grade inflation is a problem now. If it weren’t I’d be a lot more enthusiastic about the broad strokes of this proposal. Maybe if all grades were on curves?Report

        • Will Truman in reply to Kazzy says:

          No student loans because college should be free, I think, is where he is going with that.Report

          • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Will Truman says:

            While we’re playing that game, I think college, health care, national defense, retirement savings, and vodka should all be free.Report

            • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

              Yes, yes, it’s impossible to pay for things that are in the public good via taxation of the populace. No one in the world is this being done successfully with a better rate of return than in the good ole’ USA where we try to privatize everything.

              It’d be much better if private charity and the free market. After all they were doing such a bang up job with that whole poverty thing prior to when the evil federal government started getting involved in the 1930’s.Report

            • Jason, personally speaking the notion of free college education is one of those things that brings out the rightwinger in me.Report

              • Jesse Ewiak in reply to Will Truman says:

                Tuition in the Oregon state university system, depending on your school was about 1,000 a semester for residents ( That’s $2500 in 2010 dollars going by inflation. Is that sufficiently expensive or is that still too little of a burden to make sure nobody gets into university who doesn’t want it enough?Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

                Well, I suppose it depends on what you consider the purpose of public education is.Report

              • I would be more comfortable with $2500 than with free.

                To be honest, it’s not so much the “free” as it is the combination of:

                1) Free.

                2) The existence of open-enrollment universities.

                3) The idea of college as a crucial element of the workforce.

                (My own preference is more aggressive merit-based and discipline-based scholarships.)Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Will Truman says:

                This sounds more expensive than free. Tuition inflates to meet the available supply of money.Report

              • KatherineMW in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Wait, are you suggesting that if the government provides more scholarships, universities will just compensate for that by raising tuition more?

                …That actually sounds a lot like something my dad would suggest when he’s poking holes in my policy ideas. Sigh.Report

              • Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

                Crap. Now I sound like someone’s dad. With my forty-second birthday looming.

                Thanks a lot, Katherine. 😉Report

              • Will Truman in reply to Burt Likko says:

                By “this” do you mean:

                (a) $2500 Tuition

                (b) #1-3

                (c) Aggressive merit-based and discipline-based scholarships?

                To clarify something, I almost added a #4 with the total cost of education not being held in check. I assumed, to some degree, that a maximum out-of-pocket tuition cap would involve cost control of some sort. That might be a generous assumption.

                I didn’t really elaborate on my preferred (c), but it does involve reining in student loans pretty significantly and shifting expectations to those who are not getting scholarships (namely, if you don’t have a lot of money, and you don’t earn a scholarship, you need to try again to be scholarship worthy at CC or through distance learning).Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      The upper class has seen their taxes slashed back to minimal over the last 30 years. The upper class controls over half of the money in the US. Why the heck shouldn’t they pay more? And why should we assume their contributions will be negligible if their taxes are raised, when they hold most of the money and have accounted for the overwhelming majority of increases in income over the last 30 years?

      I don’t object to higher taxes on the middle class as well, but we can’t ignore the fact that from Reagan onwards there’s been a major and deliberate redistribution of wealth towards the already wealthy, and that it’s coincided with serious revenue issues.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

      Yeah, let’s have the middle class pay. Everyone earning six figures or more, stand up. Voila, now we have the numbers.Report

  15. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Also, Obama voters and the 47% who pay no taxes? Two distinct groups of people.

    • Kazzy in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:


      Those numbers wouldn’t support the high-40,s nationwide number. Are they counting differently?Report

    • As I have noted elsewhere, you are correct that there are a lot of 47%ers that vote for Romney. However, a map highlighting that the south is disproportionately likely not to pay taxes does not underline that point particularly well.Report

    • Brandon Berg in reply to Jesse Ewiak says:

      State-level aggregations obscure more than they reveal. It’s not like every state votes 100% either for Democrats or Republicans.

      The former slave states tend to be very polarized, characterized by a heavily Republican white population and a large and overwhelmingly Democratic black population. The white population is significantly larger, so the states consistently go Republican, but the things you try to pin on Republicans with maps like this are actually due largely to the Democratic demographics.

      As you know, blacks tend to have lower incomes than whites, so it’s a pretty safe bet that a disproportionate share of the non-income-tax-paying residents of the red states in that map are black, and thus almost certainly Democratic voters.

      As you move west, you get a similar dynamic with Hispanics in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, though Hispanics aren’t as heavily Democratic.

      I’ll give you Idaho, though.

      Furthermore, if you look at exit polling data from 2008, it shows a negative correlation between income and voting for Democrats, especially at the low end, though it flattens out a bit at the top. People who don’t make enough to pay income taxes vote heavily for Democrats.Report

  16. Brandon Berg says:

    Romney’s wrong quantitatively. If 47% of the population actually reliably voted for Democrats, Republicans would never win an election, because they’d have to get 95% of the remainder. I think the reason he’s wrong is that the 47% includes a big chunk of retirees. Cashing a Social Security check doesn’t magically turn a Republican into a Democrat.

    But qualitatively, there’s really nothing wrong with what he’s saying, other than that it’s impolitic. He’s basically laying out the left-wing philosophy of government. Do any leftists here not believe that people are entitled to food, shelter, and health care? Does anyone here who believes these things plan on voting for Romney, or any Republican, ever? Does anyone here really think that people who pay no income taxes care how high the rates are?Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to Brandon Berg says:


    • Stillwater in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      But qualitatively, there’s really nothing wrong with what he’s saying,

      But he didn’t make a qualitative statement BB. I mean, I realize you’re saying that a valid point can be extracted from his words, but that point wasn’t expressed by his words. Nor was it intended by his words.Report

    • DRS in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Actually in many countries it’s a sign of being good citizens to believe that people are entitled to food, shelter and health care. America is quite unique in that regard.Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Brandon Berg says:


      Do any leftists here not believe that people are entitled to food, shelter, and health care?

      You got us there. On the other hand, do any rightists believe people aren’t entitled to those things? Well, sure, of course there are. Lots of them. No rightist believes people are entitled to food, shelter and health care. It’s part of the definition of being a rightist!!

      So, what’s the rightist solution for folks who don’t have food, shelter and healthcare? Hope for better days? Charity? Imprisonment? Bootstraps?Report

    • Chris in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      I guarantee you a lot of people who believe those things plan on voting for Romney and Republicans exclusively. It’s not an exclusively left-wing view.Report

    • KatherineMW in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Yes, I do believe that people are entitled to food, shelter, and health care.

      Two things about Romney’s statement are qualitatively repellant: that he said outright that he doesn’t care about half of Americans, despite running for office to govern them; and that he doesn’t believe people are entitled to food, shelter, or health care, and believes that anyone who receives government benefits for those things is basically worthless.

      And yet Republicans don’t believe in a minimum wage. So if someone’s making $6/hr at a full-time job (and that’s presuming they can find a full-time job in a recession economy; heck, I’ve got a BSc and a stable place to live and I couldn’t do that), and therefore making $12,500/yr, and that’s not enough to afford shelter, food, and health care – that makes them a lazy moocher? For working full-time?

      It’s a repugnant and immoral philosophy.Report

      • Liberty60 in reply to KatherineMW says:

        Sort of pivoting sideways-
        I’m not fond of asserting that food, shelter and healthcare are entitlements or rights.

        Not that I think they are privileges, its more that the words “entitlement” and “right” mean that people are just , well, entitled to them without any reciprocal obligation.

        I would prefer to assert that we all have dual obligations- one obligation to work and be as self-supporting as possible, and another obligation to assist those who need it.Report

        • KatherineMW in reply to Liberty60 says:

          I think that everyone should have them. I think we have a moral obligation not to let people starve, or die on the streets, or die due to lack of health care.

          I’m fine with the “reciprocal obligation” phrasing provided we recognize that, at certain points, some people will have minimal ability to be self-supporting due to addictions and other issues, and just letting those people die is still not an option.Report

    • Kimmi in reply to Brandon Berg says:

      Yes, I plan on voting for republicans!
      Yes, I do think people care.Report

  17. North says:

    At first glance this looks like utter electoral poison and I’m struggling to think of a worse time for this to pop out. I’d assumed his polling was at a nadir and he was due to come back but this could push him down further. It’s important to keep in mind that his base supports him (and loathes Obama) but they don’t like him. If a gap opens up and it looks like Romney is blowing it there’s serious danger that the base will either rebel or get apathetic. I have read that it happened to Dole in ’96.Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to North says:

      You’re not following 538. Romney’s been bouncing back as of the last week or so. I will be surprised if many Republican voters even bother to think very much about this gaffe.Report

      • Chris in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        The number of Republican voters who will think about it at all (except perhaps to defend it, as one or two here), is statistically irrelevant.

        And it’s September, so the dumbest people on the planet, undecided voters, won’t even remember it.Report

        • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

          No, they won’t remember it, but a fraction of them will vote for Obama for reasons they aren’t completely aware of and can’t clearly articulate.Report

          • Chris in reply to Stillwater says:

            This is an election that, like many to come I suspect, will be decided based on all that is the case in the week or two leading up to the election: gas prices, unemployment, whether bombs are exploding elsewhere too visibly, etc. Right now, all either side is doing is trying to shore up enough that a last minute break one way or the other can win them this “battleground state” or that one. Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina, and a few other states are the country right now. Texas, New York, California? We’re just robots whose behavior is wholly determined, watching the train wreck from am uncomfortable distance.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Chris says:

              That hypothesis can be the case for any close election. But that doesn’t mean that the two-months out tear-your-heart/out-it’s-the-economy-stupid propaganda-barrage is without merit.

              If the election is one sided, it just means the other side needed to step of the propaganda barrage. Two months out. And didn’t.Report

      • Ain’t had a debate yet. Nutshell: Everybody knows Obama sucks. Does Romney suck worse?

        2nd Term referenda:

        Verdict 2004: Dubya sucks. Kerry sucks worse. But if John F. Kerry can get 48.3% of the vote, anything is possible in this here 21st century.

        Verdict 1996: Clinton’s OK, especially after we took Congress away from him. Keep him.
        Verdict 1992: Bush41’s OK. but we could do better with Clinton. Pitch Bush.
        Verdict 1984: Mondale’s OK. Well, not really. But Reagan’s pretty damn good.
        Verdict 1980: Carter’s so frigging bad we have to take a chance on Reagan.
        Verdict 1972: George McGovern? OK, now we’re kidding.

        We’ll wait for the debates. Meanwhilst, the Obama foreign policy, with which I haven’t had a strong objection, is showing itself why I haven’t objected—you can’t object to something that doesn’t exist.

        But by all means, let’s discuss what Romney said at a fundraiser 6 months ago. That’s how we play.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          I don’t think or know that Obama sucks. Glad we’re having respectful and reasoned discourse here.Report

        • Mr. Harris in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          It’s not so much that Conservs like Tom truly believe he sucks, it’s more like a consistent revenge fantasy following on the heels of the Bush experience and it’s consistent, catastrophic failures. Repubs were always going to come back swinging at whoever the Dem President was because they were so angry at having to take it on the chin for so long. It’s one of the actual, palpable differences between the two governing parties; Dems are usually willing to admit when their guy sucked and put themselves through a painfully public flogging with ample time for reflection and self flagellation. Repubs on the other hand will disavow the existence of their guy who sucked and move forward with the same sucky ideas that got them into trouble in the first place. Their immediate rejection of Obama has thus allowed them to ignore whatever good he has accomplished and pretend he doesn’t exist so they can continue believing the same sucky ideas they always have.Report

        • North in reply to Tom Van Dyke says:

          Perhaps we’ve watched Romney in different debates Tom but if the right is hanging their hopes on Mitt’s debate performances I’d say that sounds pretty desperate.Report

      • Kolohe in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        One man’s bounce back is another man’s regressing to the mean.Report

      • Scott Fields in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        You’re not seeing how this will truly play out.

        Romney will attempt damage control for these comments to try to mitigate the damage it might cause with independents. But, the rightwing loves these comments, because they all think they’re the Peters being robbed to pay the others who are Pauls. (This despite the entitlements and subsidies they receive in large numbers – see Jesse’s chart above.)

        So any damage control he tries will alienate his base to the extremes, while Obama gets to hammer him from the other side. This will reverberate for the next 50 days.Report

      • North in reply to Jason Kuznicki says:

        I read it but not daily. Not surprising he was recovering, convention bounces only last so long. Still this stikes me as badly times though, I suppose, if it had come out say a week or two before November it could be worse timed.Report

  18. greginak says:

    Its more than just the 47% stuff. Its that Mr. Self Made thinks if you believe gov has a role in safety nets like SCHIP or Medicaid you are not responsible and lazy. So if you think gov has a role in making sure everybody has health care you’re one of those moochers. Unemployment insurance….fishing moochers. Food stamps….must be lazy.Report

  19. Jesse Ewiak says:

    Also, this video isn’t the bad thing. The bad thing is in a couple weeks when Obama can respond to a debate question with, “As some of you may know, Governor Romney said he doesn’t care about the 47% of people who don’t pay federal income taxes. Well Bob, as President, I have to care about every American and their future, even the ones who will never vote for me because of their own prejudices or economic situation….”Report

  20. Reformed Republican says:

    Generally my attitude towards elections has been “both candidates really suck, it does not matter who wins,” but I think I am actually starting to develop a preference for Obama.Report