There’s already a horde of commentary that tries to compare Mitt Romney’s now infamous words to Barack Obama’s equally dumb remark: how in bad economic times, “people get bitter, they cling to their guns and religion.”
Okay, let’s cut through the superbole of gotcha and get one thing straight. These words were said to ardent donors – to inform the wallet warriors about policy ideas, but more important, to learn more about the candidate’s intimate notions, underlying motives, and true agendas. In both cases, Romney and Obama are merely chalking out the outlines that define followers versus detractors.
But I think the problem for Romney is that he played to the fences a bit overmuch. Did he really have to cast nearly HALF of the population as wonton freeloaders? I’m a liberal voting for Obama, and if I wasn’t supposed to be paying taxes, I’d better give my accountant a call. The fact is, Romney’s “47%” includes retirees. Like Ol’ Kemp – 87 years old with a face like crabgrass. He was a former USAF operative during Vietnam who later busted his ass to earn an engineering degree and worked for about 30 years for Hughes Aircraft as a ground systems analyst and trainer. He’s an old Texan Democrat (if you know what I mean). I’m sure that ‘ol’ bag o’bones’ will give me an earful about Romney’s blunder. I hope Mittens isn’t planning to hold a rally around Amarillo, TX any time soon. Thurman might go “second amendment” on him, if you know what I mean. But I digress.
Personally, I want to cut Romney some slack. He has the right to define his followers and cheer his donors. You must admit that the post-gaffe period is a lot less messy than it could have been. He gains buko respect points for sticking to his guns today. And here’s the bonus for the rest of us moochers and lazy liberals, the chalk lines were never more clearer; the mission never more urgent.