The Late Show with David Letterman’s “Top Ten Things We’ve Learned About Mars”:
1. Easier to get to than Mitt Romney’s tax returns.
My take on why Mitt Wrongney won’t release more extensive tax returns than those he’s already released is this: He doesn’t want to be seen as wimpy or wussy, caving in to the calls and demands of the press, of Democrats, of anyone not a Romney supporter.
I’m going to be a different presidential candidate, Mitt insists. When I say that’s all, I’m going to mean it. That’s all. Now move on. On to other issues. I, of course, will determine those issues. And one of them will not be the tax returns, for I have released all I’m going to put out, you’ll just have to be content with what I have released, and I’m not talking about this subject anymore. You may, but I will not.
But that’s just the problem: They are continuing to talk about it, the press, the Democrats, and the country at large. We won’t let go of it. Because Romney’s obstinance and narcissism – chiefly, his ego and insistence that he’s not going to be seen as cowering or surrendering to those who want him to release the returns – won’t let it go away.
I’m not inclined to please everyone or to do what others would want me to do, Mitt must believe. It’s my prerogative not to release those returns, so deal with it, people. It’s part of projecting a presidential image: don’t give in; stand your ground.
If he’d released them months ago, during the primaries, that would have been that and they wouldn’t be the distraction that they have metastasized into now. But it’s too late for that now, isn’t it? Even if he released them between now and November, the damage is done. He indeed would risk being perceived by supporters and others as every bit the wimp that Newsweek, in its front cover (“Romney: The Wimp Factor – Is He Just Too Insecure to be President?”), wondered whether he was.
We’ve heard it before, notably when referenced in context with Nixon’s Watergate and Clinton’s Monica scandals: It’s not the crime itself but the cover-up that’ll undo you. Romney, I guess, must have forgotten or chosen to ignore that. Someone on his campaign staff should have long ago taken the candidate aside and advised him to get those returns out. Full disclosure. Not a shred withheld.
The overarching issue here is not how much income Romney has acquired, or even how much of that income he has paid in taxes. It is whether he possesses the candor to open his books and the prudence to recognize and accept that candor is a trait we value and expect from our presidents. Anything less is undesirable. And on both counts, the candor and the prudence, Romney has flunked the test.
If you refuse to be open and candid about your returns, Governor, then what else would you withhold from us if we assigned you the Oval Office? What else?
DID YOU, TOO, NOTICE IT?
I detected not one non-Caucasian face in the crowd at the Paul Ryan unveiling two weekends ago. Goes to show the wide gulf that exists between Romney and the African-American community, a voter bloc he’s expected to do worse among than John McCain did in ’08.
The choice of Ryan was a Hail Mary pass by the presumptive nominee. Recognizing that he needed to placate the reich-wing wingnuts in the GOP who eye his self-stamped credentials as a “conservative” with great suspicion (don’t we all?), Mitt tapped Ryan and seems, for the time being, to have quelled any rumblings from the right.
Until the morning, that is, of Nov. 7, at which time and on which day neo-con Republicans throughout the country will wake to the sour headlines in their Wall Street Journals and on their Fox Propaganda morning squawk shows lamenting the president’s reelection the night before.
“I TELL YA, WE SHOULD HAVE NOMINATED SANTORUM-GINGRICH!” “BACHMANN-PERRY WOULD HAVE BEEN THE WINNING TICKET!” “LIMBAUGH-TRUMP OR THE OTHER WAY AROUND WOULD HAVE BEEN THE DREAM TICKET FOR US!” they’ll all harrumph at one another while tearing out their hair, downing the Pepto-Bismol, and cursing Romney’s name.
THE ASS-WIPE TROPHY
It would be all too easy to award this week’s butt tissue to the well-deserving congressman from the Show Me state who showed he’s all mouth and little brain (I’d still like to know who these so-called doctors are from whom he formed his rudimentary education on the reproductive system of the female anatomy. Names, please. And did their medical degrees come out of boxes of – which was it? – Cracker Jack or Cap’n Crunch?).
It wasn’t just that Todd Akin “misspoke,” as he claims. That’s bad enough. What was worse was that he mis-thought. How come you didn’t offer a mea culpa for that, sir?
But he’ll share this week’s distinction with the ass-wipe I truly want to (dis)honor, the dictator of Russia, Vladimir Putin. President to you, perhaps, but dictator to me.
Pussy Riot, you see, is a Russian punk-rock girl band. In February, they staged a protest in a Moscow cathedral, see? The authorities jailed them, then tried them, and, last week, the judge gave them a draconian two years in the clink, see? All a part of Vlad the Bad’s current campaign to stamp out dissent, rewind the clock, and take the country back as close to the days of Uncle Joe Stalin – right up to the edge – without going so far as to reinstate all the vestiges of the good ol’ days, like gulags and executions, that sort of thing.
But give him time – he’s got years left in his current term and the prerogative of reelection to more – and he may yet turn out to be Joe Stalin, Junior. He’s doing a super job at rolling back democratic rights, not to mention flipping the bird at an international community bent on sanctioning his bloodthirsty comrade-in-tyranny, Syria’s Bashar Assad.
Where’s an assassination-minded Chechnyan terrorist with a well-poised bomb or weapon when the people of Russia could really use one?