Mitt Romney: Derailment Machine

What The Fuck Was He Thinking?!

On Wednesday, I faced facts: the tax return subject was dead. Dead as dreams. Romney had finally found the thing that would distract the MSM long enough to kill the matter dead: Paul Ryan. The only people hammering away were us liberals on twitter, and the longer we were the only ones shouting into the void, the more like birthers we sounded.

And then on Thursday, in the middle of the oddest white board on an airport runway photoshoot, Mitt Romney opened his mouth.

“I did go back and look at my taxes, and over the past 10 years I never paid less than 13 percent. I think the most recent year is 13.6 or something like that. So I paid taxes every single year.”

He was supposed to be talking about Medicare, and how his plan is so different from Ryan’s without having anything to do with his own plan from before, or Obama’s right now. Obviously, for such complex flip flopping, a white board, and perhaps some training from Gabby Douglas, was necessary. But once that was out of his mouth, the white board, the Medicare lecture, the airport runway, all of it became utterly irrelevant. Even Ryan, and his odd hotdog incident, stopped mattering. In 50 words, Romney had not only derailed his entire message, he had derailed his entire week. His taxes, and their absurdly low rate were page one news, and the top talking point at the top of the hour for every news broadcast.

I have to admit, I am flabbergasted. All Mitt had to do was SAY NOTHING. If a reporter asked him, smile, mod and say “Next Question.” The matter was dead.

He’s out of VP picks to distract us with. The convention is in what, ten days? This is not the topic of conversation he wants us to be talking about heading in to that. the longer people wonder, the more the idea that he’s hiding his tax amnesty in 2009 is going to take hold. How much longer until this starts getting legs?

The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is expressly authorized to request any tax return. The Commissioner of Internal Revenue is required to comply with a request for specific tax returns from any of those designated with that authority under the section 6103(f) statute. The ease with which the Romney returns can be requested from the IRS from an authorized source under section 6103(f) makes it the likely that those tax returns are under review by that authorized source, in the opinion of Tax Attorney Alvin S. Brown.Mr. Brown speculates that the allegations that Governor Romney did not pay taxes for a 10 year period may be valid in part based on the ease of access for those returns by a host of members of Congress, including Senator Reid.

Today the Obama campaign released a statement noting that Romney had asked them to stop beating up on him. They said they’d be happy to agree, if he’d release five years worth of returns–taking us back to 2007, and exposing whatever off-shore letter-of-the-law-at-the-time shenanigans Romney is trying to keep quiet. To quote David Frum:

“Do you ever get the feeling the Obama campaign wakes up every morning thinking, “What can we do today to goad the Romney campaign and the media to discuss something other than jobs?”

Funny you should ask that, Mr. Frum. It’s not that I don’t think they do. It’s just that I can’t believe Romney, who has effectively been running for President since 2004–seven and half years!–has not yet learned the self control to not respond.

(xposted from ABLC)


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