Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The class warfare of "makers and takers"

When something is as big of a story as Romney's remarks about the 47%, it becomes almost impossible to add anything that hasn't already been said.

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."

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.
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."

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.”

“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.”
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.

All Romney did in that video is clarify our choices about which side of that class warfare we want to support this November.


  1. I think I mentioned that I went to a rich kids' school before. I was one of the middle class kids who actually had to perform academically, unlike the rich. Yes--I've mentioned it, because I see the ire directed at Obama partially as a lingering resentment from preppies who resented people like him at their school making them look bad.

    Anyway, from the start I've felt like I knew Romney in some way. He has a huge house--compound--deep in the heart of darkest La Jolla, which, it so happens, is precisely the same place as the rich kids' school I attended. If my calculations are correct, we used to body surf either right in front of his house or a block or two away, on Marine St., after school.

    All the stuff Romney said are precisely the same things I heard from the vast majority of the rich kids at my school. Some said it gleefully, relishing how other people deserved their suffering, and some said it as if it was too bad, but there was nothing that could be done about it anyway.

    Romney not only represents his party, he represents his class. We do not need them.

  2. I swear that Ayn Rand "philosophy" is a religion to these scumbags. They are unaware of any weaknesses and when exposed they just double down. That "makers and takers" nonsense is the same thing as the "saved and unsaved" talk you'll hear from Christian sects. It's like some will view a nonbeliever as someone that wants to do evil unrestrained. Someone to the left of Vlad the Impaler doesn't really want to see people do better, they want to take your hard earned money and get high all day. In the real world you have to accept that there are people that don't think like you. I'm guessing Romney never got that memo.


  3. Romney is a uniter. He managed to unite the entirety of England, whether Labour, Tory, or Liberal, against him. Or as Jim Traficant would say, "I've united everyone against me. Give me $800."