You have to love how the media handles gaffes. If Sarah Palin makes a gaffe— real or invented by Saturday Night Live— it’s “proof” that she’s an idiot. If Joe Biden makes a gaffe, it’s “just Joe being Joe”.
If Barack Obama slips and says in a speech, “If you have a business— you didn’t build that… someone else made that happen!”… it was taken out of context. He didn’t really mean that— he was talking about words and bridges! (Of course, that means our brilliant president— with the highest IQ of any president ever, don’t forget— has a problem with grammar… not that MSNBC would ever make that connection.)
But if Mitt Romney slips at a private fundraiser and says that the 47% who are polling for Obama are probably the ones who don’t pay income taxes— and have a dependency mentality towards government— that suddenly becomes the big focus of the campaign. It’s “proof” that he’s out of touch, proof that he isn’t cut for the Oval Office… you get the idea.
Now look: I’m not going to go out and pretend that it wasn’t a gaffe on his part— that he wasn’t making a weird connection that probably wasn’t really there to be made. It’s true, to be blunt, that a good deal of the folks who don’t pay income taxes are on the dole— and that the vast majority of folks on the dole are probably solidly in the Democrat camp. But if you want to get technical… yes, his statement wasn’t fully accurate.
Nonetheless— a few things must be kept in mind.
First— this was a private gathering. Someone took a recording of it on a cell phone— and Jimmy Carter’s son posted it online. Now, all’s fair and love in political warfare… but the fact that it was a private meeting is important. In private, when we’re among friends or allies, we say a lot of odd things— we’re less guarded over what we say. After all, Barack Obama himself said a little something four years ago along the lines of blue-collar voters being “bitter” and “clinging to their guns and their religion with antipathy towards those who aren’t like them”. But you know… why bring that up?
Second— Mitt Romney did not say, regardless of what the hacks on MSNBC claim, that he didn’t want to be the president of anything less than 100% of the American people. All he was saying was that those dependent on government will not be swayed by anything he, or the GOP, could say on self-empowerment and individualism. To be honest, that is nothing less than the truth.
Third— if you want to talk about “dividing” America… well, that’s rich, considering the nonsense coming from the Left about the evil rich, the “millionaires and billionaires” who supposedly make up the Republican base— the only ones Mitt and Paul are supposed to really care about. All Mitt did was slip and make a weird connection— in private.
Meanwhile, the Democrats are not above lying through their teeth to cause division: “Mitt Romney will raise your taxes by $2000!” (The Washington Post and Fact Check both called out “pants on fire” on that.) “Paul Ryan will end Medicare and Social Security and throw our seniors over a cliff!” (Actually, the Ryan plan exempts current retirees.) “The GOP is being obstructionist, and holding tax relief hostage until they get their breaks for Millionaires And Billionaires!” (Actually, the man most responsible for obstructionism since the 2010 election is Harry Reid, who still refuses to allow any budgets or tax bills from the House onto the Senate floor.) “The GOP is imposing a War On Women!” (Tell that to Mia Love, or Rosario Dawson, or Ann Romney, or Sarah Palin, or Susana Martinez, or Nikki Haley, or…)
And that’s before “Republicans want dirtier air, dirtier water,” “Mitt Romney killed my wife,” etc. And don’t get me started about all the alleged “code-words” that “prove” that conservatives only hate Obama because he’s black. (Frankly, Chris Matthews, if you honestly believe taking Obama to task for his endless golf games is a reference to Tiger Woods, and therefore invokes the stereotype of “sexually aggressive black men”…you’re the one who needs therapy.)
Of course, this is all emotion-driven demagoguery, meant to distract America from the real issues. Pray we don’t fall for it.