Exit, Stage Class-less

I understand what it is like to lose a hard-fought campaign. I’ve been there, done that. And candidly, I don’t think my concession speech, back in 1980, was a model of good sportsmanship, although I tried. So I’d be inclined to cut Romney a bit of slack for the tone of his after-the-fact ruminations.

A bit of slack, however, wouldn’t cover the graceless and defensive comments Romney reportedly made to a group of his donors during a conference call a couple of days after the election. While his actual concession speech was gracious (as my son said after hearing it, “If that Romney had run, he might have won!), these remarks underscored his contempt for  the “takers” he dismissed as mooches and worse in those widely-reported remarks about “47% of Americans.”

“With regards to the young people, for instance, a forgiveness of college loan interest, was a big gift,” he said. “Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, Obamacare also made a difference for them, because as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people. They turned out in large numbers, a larger share in this election even than in 2008.

”The president’s health care plan, he added, was also a useful tool in mobilizing African-American and Hispanic voters. Though Mr. Romney won the white vote with 59 percent, according to exit polls, minorities coalesced around the president in overwhelming numbers — 93 percent of blacks and 71 percent of Hispanics voted to re-elect Mr. Obama.

“You can imagine for somebody making $25,000 or $30,000 or $35,000 a year, being told you’re now going to get free health care, particularly if you don’t have it, getting free health care worth, what, $10,000 per family, in perpetuity, I mean, this is huge,” he said. “Likewise with Hispanic voters, free health care was a big plus. But in addition with regards to Hispanic voters, the amnesty for children of illegals, the so-called Dream Act kids, was a huge plus for that voting group.”

Ah yes–those greedy, grasping poor people who want affordable health care! Those “takers” are so unlike us refined, genteel “makers” who simply want to keep our dollars  from being frittered away on public goods like clean air or highways or wasted on providing health care for the unwashed masses!

I know this is a favorite meme on the Right–the belief that people will vote for the party or person who promises them more “stuff.” Never mind those blue-collar culture warriors who reliably vote Republican because their opposition to  same-sex marriage or abortion is more important to them than their own economic well-being. And never mind the economically comfortable folks (like me and most of my friends) who willingly vote for higher tax rates that will cost us money because we believe a more equal country will be a better, healthier country.

I’m willing to support higher taxes for me, because I believe (with Henry Ford) that markets need consumers who are able to afford the goods and services those “makers” are selling. I’m also willing to pay more because I can read economic history, which shows pretty conclusively that the American economy was more–not less–robust when taxes were higher and the gap between rich and poor was not so immense.

Back in 1980, I lost an election because the voters preferred my opponent. It wasn’t because greedy or stupid or worthless people were unable to see past their own miserable selfishness to understand how wonderful I really was.

Mitt Romney lost this election for a number of reasons. The crazy wing of his party wouldn’t allow him to get real. On the stump, he projected all the charm of a robot. He was the master of the unforced error and gaffe. His campaign staff was inept, and his pollsters lived in an alternate universe. People like Akin and Mourdock kept reminding voters how crazy the right wing of the party has become.

Not to mention that voters not blinded by irrational animus to the President actually like him a lot, and believe he coped as well as could be expected after inheriting a next-to-impossible situation.

In short, there were plenty of reasons for Romney’s loss. Blaming that loss on “moochers” isn’t only inaccurate, it’s classless. But I guess class is one of those things money can’t buy.


  1. So, according to Romney, transactional politics are only “wrong” when they are targeting minorities, the youth or women? Someone should remind him of his trips he took to Coal Country promising to end the “war on coal” or his promises not to change Medicare for people over a certain age. The only reason he won’t be able to enact policy that is advantageous to certain groups of people is because he lost the election.

  2. Had ACA been in effect a few months earlier, my 24 year old granddaughter might still be alive. Her severe seizure problem began shortly before her 20th birthday; kept losing jobs because of seizures, could only afford anti-seizure medication and opted NOT to abort her baby which meant she could not take anti-seizure medication. She and her daugher lived with her mother (my daughter) rather than seek welfare. She died having terrible seizures. I do not agree that all women should receive free birth control; a resonable co-pay would be appropriate. My family are all hard workers but three of them developed terminal illnesses and couldn’t get help they needed. My oldest son died last year, my 2nd oldest son and only daughter are dying and struggling to pay for medical care and support themselves on poverty level disability. My youngest son and his wife pay $450 for family health plan with Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield; sounds good till I tell you about the $9,000 annual deduction. My daughter-in-law has a $6,000 annual deduction included in her health care coverage. This adds up to the fact they are paying for no health care and this isn’t covered in the ACA. I do support it but it does need work; President Obama has admitted this. I am one of Romney’s 47% who live on Social Security and a small retirement from 20 years working for this city. I paid into it all those years till becoming disabled at age 57. I do not get free health care, free mediation, nor I do have a dancing horse or so many cars I need a multi-level garage with an elevator to move them around. I voted for President Obama because I believe he is the man to pull us out of this slowly improving financial and joblessness he inherited from Bush. He will continue battling Ryan and his wealthy backers and Republican cronies trying to save this country and, if he keeps his word about ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, will be paying more taxes and doing it gladly. President Obama is a prime example of an American with class and a full understanding of working for a better life.

  3. It’s funny… the last time I received something “free” from the government, it was when George W. Bush mailed me a “tax rebate” check in 2008. According to Romney’s theory, I should have voted for W., and he should still be popular.

    I guess Romney’s theories about this work just as well as that “unskewed” polls guy’s theories about the electoral college.

  4. As the saying goes “Conservatism cannot fail, it can only be failed.” By putting the blame on “moochers,” he, his party and his backers are able to avoid any sort of introspection and analysis of their own flaws, so it works for him.

  5. Thanks Prof K. NOW–lets start looking forward. How about some simple easy fixes to these HARD choices we keep hearing about. When in the hospital recently, I was talking with the lady who kept my room clean. We discussed how the Doctors and administrators pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on only a small portion of their salary while she and her coworkers…the nurses and food staff and all…pay FICA taxes on 100% of their wages. (This was big news to her) Lets try this: Raise the cut off for FICA Contributions to 250,000 in gross wages per employee. That alone pretty much solves the solvency issues with those FICA funding problems. Now, was that so hard?

  6. The resistant defiance has already started! All that across-the-aisle stuff was just that…stuff! The R’s seem not to have learned a thing from this recent election.

  7. Will the GOP ever stop whining, crying, pissing and moaning over the loss of the presidency? As one of the 47% Romney “blames” for the reelection of President Obama I have two questions; where is my free stuff and where do I go to mooch?

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