The “Hell, I Can’t Believe This Is Working!” Look. Also note the Nixon-esque facial expression here.
*Okay, there’s no TL;DR today. This one’s worth the read, I promise!*
Now, I’m usually not one to beat the proverbial dead show horse (ha), but the media, the current administration, and a healthy portion of the voter base seems to have a common question: why is current Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney so reluctant to release his tax history to the public? What could be in the paperwork of the past that the former Governor is committed to keeping in the past?
Why is it important? As the leader of a country, the people want some type of assurance that the person they chose to lead is honorable enough to have led his own life in a decent enough manner. If you stake your claim on being successful in business, that means all of your business should be in order. And in the event that it’s not, at least have the courage to own up to it, admit to what you’ve done wrong, and what you’re going to differently as President. That is, unless, you feel as though you’ve done nothing wrong.
Quite frankly, I don’t care how much money he has, or what he’s made, or even how much he was taxed on it. All three are probably equally mind-boggling and frustrating. The questions at hand are, is all of Romney’s money accounted for when tax time came around? And if not, where is the unaccounted portions? It’s one thing to work your way into a lower tax rate, but quite another to get to a lower tax rate with some-but-not-all of the money. The politicos have long questioned the location of parts of Mitt’s money — some in Switzerland, some in the Cayman Islands, some in random foreign shell companies with myriad tax loopholes. I don’t know for certain, and far be it for me to speculate. But, it doesn’t bode well for a potential President.
Oh, and in my perpetual add-to-the-story-but-more-like-general-procrastination-to-finish attitude, this lovely piece dropped today. With a little digging (more like sifting the dirt), I found that the Mormon church hasn’t disclosed how much they receive in member tithings since 1959. The money got too big, it seems. So, it’s a nice little out for Mitt, considering the Church won’t dime him out. That is, unless they found out that he was shorting them. But who knows.
The current response from Romney’s supporters to the tax request is, “Well, let’s see (President) Obama’s college transcripts first, and then maybe Mitt will give the people more.” I don’t really see the correlation between the President’s academic record and Romney’s tax record. I don’t care what someone did during their college days (save for extreme incidents), as long as they have the means and the capacity to be a competent leader once they decide that they would like to be the leader of a country. So, why does it really matter so much to some folks? I don’t think it’s cause of the grades, but rather a re-hash of the “birther” issue that people just can’t seem to let go.
For anyone who chooses to not care about politics, “birthers” are folks who believe that President Obama is not a born-in-America U.S. citizen. There have been several pieces of information used to support said claim, including, but not limited to: his birth certificate being fake, using a fake Social Security number, his parents not having a marriage license, and his school records being sealed.
Let’s go down the list. First — the birth certificate issue. The President put his out there, it got verified, end of story, right? Yeah…somehow, this form isn’t official enough for some, including resident celebrity rich-douche Donald Trump. What type of officiality are we expecting from 1960’s Hawai’i? Considering some parts of our country seem to have a tough time keeping up with records right now, with technology to pitch in, what we got was pretty damn good.
Second — the fake Social Security number. According to a private citizen, they were able to acquire the President’s Social Security number, run it through an E-Verify system, and determine that the number being used isn’t matching up with other federal records. Supposedly, it belongs to a French immigrant who lived in Connecticut, but conveniently happened to spent the last few months of his life in Hawai’i. When he passed, his death wasn’t reported as it should have been, and someone in the President’s family had access to various records, and “gave” him this French guy’s Social to use. In the same thread, the President has been accused of using several Social Security numbers over the course of his lifetime. Okay, let’s just nip this in the bud now: if this REALLY were the case, and Barack’s team managed to slip this one past every intelligence agency this country has, we might want to be more concerned about the lack of thoroughness by the powers that be than anything else.
Third — I’m not gonna even touch the marriage thing. Does it really matter is someone’s parents were married, and whatever circumstances behind their relationship? There are too many unconventional households to try and rain on this one.
Which brings us back to the college records. According to those clamoring about them, it isn’t because they want to see how he did in school (well, most people don’t), but it’s to see if he’s “an Indonesian foreign exchange student.” Oh, boy. Well, as it stands, all of our educational records are “me-only” access, and can’t (and shouldn’t) be released without our expressed consent. It’s true that former President George W. Bush’s school records were released, but not by him. I really don’t care about what someone did in their educational lives some 30 years ago, if they managed to clean themselves up enough to be able to potentially hold the highest office in their country. It’s more than a little unsettling that there are people that are determined to discredit a man’s life simply because they don’t care for his performance in the job he was chosen to do.
Now I bet you’re wondering, “Hey, I thought this was supposed to be about Mitt Romney. This got sidetracked real quick!” Yeah, that’s true, but it’s also a pretty good idea of how I see him, as a politician. Here we are, just over two months from the vote, and it still doesn’t seem like Mitt has a concrete plan to help continue to stabilize our economy. Yes, the economy is stabilizing. The lot of us may be broke still, but this is happening, slowly. Is he hitching his wagon to his potential Number Two, Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan? Ryan has created a plan, but most reports suggest that it would cause massive damage to the elderly, the needy, and women in general, while giving the reasonably (and unreasonably) wealthy the tax relief they so desperately need at this point.
"Now wait just a minute! I’m a senior citizen, and I’m still working! Come on, Gramps, show these whippersnappers what-for! And bring your Depends!"
Speaking of women, their place in the conservative household has been a bit of a hot button in recent times, most recently by Missouri Representative and Senate candidate Todd Akin, whose “legitimate rape” commentary has become one for the ages.
"Through the grace of God, these young ladies have been blessed with rape-proof reproductive systems, armed with the latest in anti-pregnancy thingy-bobbys —" "Uh, sir, that’s not a real thing…" "What? Sure it is! It’s in all that science evolution mumbo-jumbo folks keep clamoring about!"
Now, if he were talking “legitimate” in the sense of “someone really suffered and didn’t just cry wolf” (which Akin attempted to clean himself up to later on), that would be a mere misuse of vernacular. But, the stuff that came after that was just, well…I suppose the best analogy I can come up with is a roundhouse kick to the collective reproductive systems of American women. Having Akin’s sentiments aligned with the GOP’s name is a pretty tough deal for Romney, even if he does distance himself from them. Unfortunately, there are many people in the United States that believe in those very same ideals, the idea that women somehow are responsible for not just the prevention of rape, but the prevention of pregnancy as the result of said rape. And to some, the idea that maybe if some women weren’t out being whores, they wouldn’t have to worry about it. Did we just not put enough sunlight on some parts of the country, or what?
"Guys, I know what this looks like…but what about all that unemployment, huh?"
I won’t go too far on Mitt Romney as a person, mostly because he appears to be a bit more guarded than your average guy. Granted, President Obama is fairly outgoing, but it’s expected from a Leo (for those of you into astrology). Mitt does seem to be fairly forthcoming when he does speak; only problem is, what seems to be honest points of view from him are deadly in terms of his chances at winning the presidency. The overseas tour was especially fun — trashing the host city of the 2012 Olympics on their readiness, kissing a little too much ass in Israel to make up for it, apparently forgetting to remind his staff that foreign soil should probably be a no-profanity zone in Poland. His team saw it as a successful turn, which should worry Team Romney more than a little bit.
What concerns me most is that Romney is the guy the GOP is hanging their hats on to take down President Obama come November. The only thing about him that seems to be likeable is his money, and even in a nation of citizens who could stand to make a little more, that’s only likeable to the folks that have the same kind of money. I realize that I haven’t talked in a lot of specifics here, but I don’t believe Mitt has done it a whole lot, either. Only difference is, I’m not running for public office. Yet.
Another big one: The GOP’s convention is coming up soon, and they’re going to skip the formalities and nominate Mitt early. Now this is the part of the story that gets me — it’s not primarily because of the soon-to-be-hurricane that may or may not blow away any Republican of importance. It’s because they’re trying to C-Block Texas Representative Ron Paul from possibly sliding in the backdoor to the party nomination. Granted, Paul isn’t all that great either, but he doesn’t play favorites with anyone. Unfortunately, the political system isn’t going for that. This is strictly a “we do what we want” move.
"Wait, who?…you guys *still* haven’t gotten rid of this guy yet? He’s got two first names, for crying out loud!"
We’re heading into the home stretch, and it’s gotten pretty ugly, without a single debate in the books. Maybe in the time that’s left, Mitt Romney can show us (or he can hire somebody to show him how to show us) that he has some understanding of someone who wasn’t born into money, doesn’t have an exorbitant amount of it (and might not ever want to), and wants nothing more than to work, be paid well, for said work, and make sure his family is happy and healthy. But, from what I’ve seen, it doesn’t seem likely. The version of Mitt Romney that we’re getting is the head of a company that touts success, yet doesn’t understand why everyone not in management doesn’t care for him. Is the dream of getting into the management worth the cost to get there? I suppose we’ll find out pretty soon.
Or we could all get troll-faced.
- The Compartmentalist