Fox Newsies are falling all over themselves defending Mitt Romney’s 1%-ness. Either they argue that it’s great that he’s so wealthy or they attack those with differing opinions are both. But in no case do they ever seem to really understand that what’s wrong with Romney is that everything about him says privileged and wealthy and nothing about him says he feels or understands or will work on behalf of those who are not.
Two recent segments on The O’Reilly Factor exemplified how Fox Newsies are as out of touch as Romney. At least, unlike Neil Cavuto, O’Reilly got what the problem was, i.e. the optics are not good, especially with Romney saying his speaker fees of $375,000 amounted to “not very much” money. But O’Reilly’s answer, as expressed in his January 18, 2012 Talking Points segment missed the point.
O’Reilly tried to argue that though Romney may have flubbed the optics, there’s really nothing much different about him and other rich presidents Americans don’t think of as “insensitive greedhead(s),” as O’Reilly said some Americans may see Romney. George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, JFK and John Kerry were all very, very wealthy men. “Many who go into public service are rich folks.”
True enough. But the problem for Romney is that he doesn’t come across as any George Washington or John F. Kennedy visionary. Meanwhile, Washington and Kennedy at least seemed like they were – to borrow a phrase from O’Reilly – looking out for us. With Romney, it’s not even clear he sees us at all.
From there, the argument goes to, “This is our capitalistic system that we should support. “Please consider this,” O’Reilly lectured. “The capitalistic system we have in this country is based on freedom. Freedom to earn as much as you can, provided you do it honestly. Some Americans have unfair advantages, of course they do and some folks don’t like that, demanding more ‘income equality’ from our free enterprise system. But as President Obama’s term in office demonstrates, the more the feds try to create so-called ‘social justice,’ the more debt piles up, leading to inevitable outcries of ‘Tax the rich.’ Further, the top 1% in this country pay 37% of the total income tax, yet the president believes that is not their fair share.”
But I have yet to hear anyone complain about Romney being rich. The problem is, he got rich at the expense of others, the same types of people he now wants to vote for him.
Last night (1/19/12), O’Reilly brought on Megyn Kelly for a “fair and balanced” look at Romney’s 1% situation. Predictably, she declared it not a real problem. “It looks like, obviously, his rivals will try to make it an issue.” But, she said, “objective” people tell her “there’s nothing particularly unusual about it.” She went on to “explain” that the reason he invests in the Cayman Islands is because of a “blind trustee” who makes the investments for him. “Doesn’t everybody (take advantage of tax loopholes)?”
It was O’Reilly again who acknowledged the optics. “The perception of him is that he has no clue what the regular folks go through which is not going to be a good thing if he gets the nomination.”
“I’ll bet you $10,000 you’re wrong,” Kelly said. She was making a joking reference to one of Romney’s earlier gaffes of making a $10,000 wager during a debate. But the fact that she would repeat it while shrugging off the other 1% optics suggests Kelly is just as clueless as Romney.
Sure he does. Rommel sees the 99% as an opportunity to enrich himself by any means he can pull off.