Arrogance and Apathy
Arrogance and Apathy
By Grey Matter
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Romney has been in campaign mode for many years now, so how is it possible for him to be blind-sided by expectations that he release several years of his tax returns? Why should it appear as if he was caught off guard and not ready with a clever retort, quickly putting it to rest?
I think it comes down to AAA, arrogance and assumed apathy. The former being Romney's sheer arrogance when it comes to most things in life. He's accustomed to not being told what to do or forced into doing that which he chooses not to go along with. In his mind, he's borderline-royalty so when it comes to running for president, he (and his team) apparently believed he could just take a pass when it came to releasing prior tax returns -- a norm applying only to lesser candidates (including his father).
It truly is astonishing that he, and even more so his advisers, felt he could skate through a presidential campaign refusing to release years of tax returns. The very fact he assumed this wouldn't be a problem speaks volumes about the extent to which he is utterly removed from everyday reality. Is this what we want in a president, a Walter Mitty-ish sense of clueless detachment? Yikes. He makes GW Sr. at the grocery scanner look like a hipster dude.
As for the assumed apathy, I also believe Romney coldly calculated that after the inevitable initial dust-up by the media, calls for releasing the tax returns would drop-off fairly rapidly. Reporters in the MSM would move on and the public would soon follow. Team Romney likely felt it would be a small bump on the road to the White House, thanks to the short attention span of the media and the unfortunate apathy assumed in most voters.
Insulting? Of course. Off base? Perhaps. But all too often, we do see the MSM gloss over important issues, looking to keep things light and "fair minded," and unfortunately the voting public obliges. Sadly, I can see where they cynically concluded this tax return thing would be a brief problem, there is basis for their conclusion. All the more reason the Dems should keep pressing this issue, to keep it on the front burner and side-step the urge of reporters and the public to simply move on.
On a related note, I would also add that when it comes to voter suppression, if it works in states like Florida and Pennsylvania, giving Romney the close win come November, what will be the blowback, if any? Will the voting public sternly demand recounts or better yet call for a referendum on voting laws in general?
Based on the aftermath of Gore/GW in 2000, I would submit that we're likely to see a few weeks of outrage, maybe even a few months, but eventually it will die down and life will go on -- with a Mr. President Romney in the White House. Again, sadly, Romney and the Republicans have made a calculated assessment that naked voter suppression, while on the surface unseemly, will in the end work and more importantly will not galvanize people into mass outrage. In other words, based on past precedent, they've arrived at a fairly logical and safe conclusion. In effect, we have only ourselves to blame.
George Santayana once said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I would say that those who do not react strongly enough to right wrongs when they occur are doomed to have such wrongs repeated on them, only worse the next time around.
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