Wow, Mitt Romney really does hate poor people

I’m not normally the type to talk about how Republicans hate poor people. I have personal acquaintances with conservative/libertarian views on economic policy, and while I may disagree with them, I think they sincerely believe the policies they advocate would be best for the country as a whole, the poor included. In at least one case (a guy who happens to have a rich dad), I can suspect there’s some motivated reasoning in there, but I don’t doubt he really believes the things he says. But now…

Holy crap. Mother Jones has released a leaked video from a private fundraiser Romney had that included this clip (I’ve included a transcript for those who prefer one, but I strongly recommend watching the video, for reasons I’ll explain below):

Transcript (grabbed from Ezra Klein):

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. 47 percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn’t connect… my job is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.

From this, I think it’s perfectly clear that Romney hates poor people. There’s been a lot of outrage over this clip, but I haven’t seen anyone else willing to go that far. Well I am willing to go that far. In fact, Romney not only hates poor people, he hates a substantial portion of what is by any sensible definition the middle class (though rich as Romney is, he may not see it that way).

Just think about this logically. The 47 percent are not people who’ve gone out of there way to avoid paying income tax. After all, it’s not like they can hire a fancy accountant to help them minimize their tax burden the way rich people can. Rather, they’re not paying income tax because they aren’t making very much money. Well, that and in many cases deductions, but if you’re making enough money deductions won’t get you out of paying some income tax.

And from the mere fact you aren’t making very much money, Romney not only believes he can deduce your policy views and who you will vote for “no matter what,” not only that you believe you’re a victim, but also that you don’t believe you should take personal responsibility and care for your life.

Fuck you, Mr. Romney. Fuck you to hell and back.

(I didn’t mention the “dependent upon government” line in the paragraph above because it’s true, though not in the sense Romney probably intended. I’m pretty sure we’re all dependent upon government for little things like police and roads if nothing else.)

If that’s not hatred, I don’t know what is. Now a lot of people have suggested that maybe Romney didn’t really believe it, and was just playing to the crowd. That would be significant if true, both in what it tells us about the crowd and how vile Romney is willing to be to pander to crowds. But–in spite of our probable lack of agreement on anything else–I agree with this conservative commentator who said:

Unfettered by the presence of reporters, and speaking to a gathering of friendly, wealthy donors, Romney spoke freely over the din of clinking silverware and the murmur of dinner conversation. His cadence and rhythm were noticeably different from the more strained, sing-songy voice he gives to his scripted stump speeches, and the words came much more quickly, and less haltingly, than when he answers questions in public town hall meetings.

That’s why I’m saying listen to the video. When I first did, I couldn’t believe it was Romney at first. I haven’t seen much of Romney’s campaign stops, but I’ve seen enough of them to have a sense of how fake he normally seems. The guy on the video, on the other hand, actually felt like a real person, one who really hates anyone who doesn’t make enough money.

Further choice commentary from around the web:

On Twitter, Ezra Klein write a mini-blog post worth of tweets that elaborates my point:

At his blog, Ezra also points out that the fact that so many people don’t pay income tax is in large part due to Republican tax cuts.

Paul Krugman makes an important point about who exactly Romney is smearing:

 Actually, if you look at the facts, you learn that the great bulk of those who pay no income tax pay other taxes; also, many of the people in the no-income-tax category are (a) elderly (b) students or (c) having a bad year, having lost a job — that is, they’re people who have paid income taxes in the past and/or will pay income taxes in the future. The idea that half of Americans are just grifters is grotesque.

Andrew Sullivan and the Daily Kos highlight Romney’s crappy attempts at damage control.

A few more twitter reactions:

And as much as I hope this is the last nail in the coffin of the Romney campaign, I can’t resist finishing with this (explanation here):

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