But I want to echo something Steve Benen wrote about it this morning.
Romney accuses Obama of being divisive, especially when it comes to class, but here's a video of Romney castigating nearly half the country based on class. Romney's rhetoric says he wants to bring people together, but the clip shows him saying he considers it his job "not to worry about those people."When Democrats talk about needing to raise taxes on the wealthy (back to Clinton levels), we're talking about shared responsibility. But Republicans cry "class warfare."
And for my money, the most damaging phrase of all is, "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility." Half the country, in Romney's eyes, is made up of slothful and pathetic losers.
But the real class warfare being waged in this country is the idea of "makers and takers" that is embedded into Republican thinking these days - and expressed by Romney in that video. These folks are so completely removed from the lives of the working poor (who pay 15% in payroll taxes but no income taxes), the elderly who don't have big pensions or retirement funds, or those living in deep poverty, that they feel free to blithely dismiss them as nothing but "takers."
And so Romney got caught saying out loud what he wanted to keep behind closed doors during this campaign. But I would like to remind folks that this kind of thinking isn't unique to him. During the Republican primary just months ago, it was pretty common to hear Republicans talk about the need to tax this 47% in order to challenge their "taker" mentality and a Tea Party leader even suggested that we return to the idea that only property owners be allowed to vote.
“Some of the restrictions, you know, you obviously would not think about today,” he continued. “But one of those was you had to be a property owner. And that makes a lot of sense, because if you’re a property owner you actually have a vested stake in the community.”So whether its Romney suggesting that almost half the population of these United States are victims with no sense of personal responsibility, or other Republicans who are suggesting they need to pay taxes in order to have a vested interest in this country, or Tea Partiers saying they shouldn't be allowed to vote - this is not only the definition of class warfare - its what undergirds the Republican Party's approach to domestic policies in this country today.
“If you’re not a property owner, you know, I’m sorry but property owners have a little bit more of a vested interest in the community than non-property owners.”
All Romney did in that video is clarify our choices about which side of that class warfare we want to support this November.