Tuesday, September 18, 2012

This Year's Twist On Class Warfare

Sometimes, at least occasionally, there is a leak from a fundraiser.   And when there is, it can be eye-opening.

In a video (below) obtained by Mother Jones of Mitt Romney at a fundraiser at the home of a wealthy supporter, Romney is heard saying

There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax.

Republicans- and John Edwards- are right:  there are two Americas.   But Romney believes that the individuals who inhabit the one are not quite American.   They don't accept traditional American values and instead "believe the government has a responsibility to care for them."

This is traditional GOP boilerplate language, and theory.   The portion of the nation which doesn't pay federal income taxes are the takers- parasites, really.  The producers, the job creators, have no use for them.   Whereas John Edwards merely acknowledged, as few politicians are willing, that the middle class is declining and power is vested in a few, the GOP meme is that some Americans are worthwhile and some are not.

We've heard this before, repeatedly from Rush Limbaugh and to a lesser extent from other talk show hosts spouting the Repub line.  Most infamously, however, we got it four years ago from the party's vice-presidential nominee, who stated

We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. We believe- We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation. This is where we find the kindness and the goodness and the courage of everyday Americans. Those who are running our factories and teaching our kids and growing our food and are fighting our wars for us. Those who are protecting us in uniform. Those who are protecting the virtues of freedom.

Different campaign and different gender; one elitist and the other a faux populism.   Either way, however, it boils down to the same construct, with one group meritorious and righteous, the other detestable and contemptible.   It's the old, ugly Republican class warfare, creating an artificial split and dividing Americans against each other.  Some kind of patriotism.

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