by Benjamin J. Kirby
I think we can all agree Ann Romney's comments about the Mitt Romney Tax Return Fiasco were pretty ugly and really unhelpful:
Mitt Romney's wife is reinforcing her husband's refusal to make public several years of tax returns, telling ABC News "we've given all you people need to know" about the family's finances.
"You know, you should really look at where Mitt has led his life, and where he’s been financially," she said in her interview with Robin Roberts. "He’s a very generous person. We give 10 percent of our income to our church every year. Do you think that is the kind of person that is trying to hide things, or do things? No. He is so good about it. Then, when he was governor of Massachusetts, didn’t take a salary in the four years."
It's clear Mrs. Romney was trying to deflect the question from what's in the returns, to look at what a swell dude Mitt really is.
A few problems there. One, Mitt is not a swell dude, and everyone knows it. Two, it doesn't really matter than he didn't take a salary in four years. Nor does their charitable giving. Those things are irrelevant to the fact that it now looks like the Romney's have a great deal to hide, and are thus not releasing their returns.
Of course, none of that matters, because Mrs. Romney flubbed the interview with ABC's Robin Roberts with the "we've given all you people need to know."
You people? Look, I get that the Romney's are frustrated on this point, but until they can understand why that doesn't matter, then their problems are going to get worse, not better.
This plays directly into the notion -- a notion I think happens to be based in total truth -- that the Romneys are elite snobs, and that everyone else is "the help" and is treated accordingly. How dare the common person ask to see the private financial information of these well-meaning people?
It's not going to work. The returns are going to have to be released. This one ain't going away.
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A victory for the Romney people: they have effectively framed Ann Romney's dressage horse around her having multiple sclerosis, and so the DNC will refrain from using the horse in any attack ads on the Romney Campaign.
Probably for the best. After all, if you need physical therapy for a debilitating condition, you probably wouldn't want your dressage horse attacked, either.
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Speaking of really rich people, how many dressage horses... er, that is, American families with median wealth would you need to equal the wealth of the Walton -- of Walmart fame -- family?
They explain it, just in case the "median" thing is confusing (it always is for me):
To address these points in one last way, take the wealth of the Walton family ($89.5 billion) compared to the wealth of the median American family—that family that is wealthier than half of all others and less wealthy than half. In 2010, median wealth was $77,300 (down from $126,400 in 2007). How many of these “typical” American households (i.e., those with median wealth—wealthier than fully half of the overall population) would you need to lump together to reach the Walton family’s wealth? About 1.16 million, up from 580,000 in 2007.
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Around this time last year, the Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal unfolded. It was pretty ugly, and the person for whom it was most ugly was then-Congressman Weiner's pregnant wife, a woman named Huma Abedin who, as it happens is a long-serving aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
When all that was happening, I wrote then about Huma:
As a very brief aside, I happen to have met Huma Abedin, and remember her to be a lovely person. She worked for then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at the same time I did (she started in 1996, and has stayed with her in the Senate, and now the State Department). I know her more by reputation, and understand her to be a woman of class and decency who didn't deserve any of this. She has my sympathy and good wishes in this troubled time.
"...a woman of class and decency who [doesn't] deserve any of this."
You could say that same thing now about her with respect to the unjust and really immoral persecution she has faced at the hands of insane Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Bachmann is ludicrously charging that Ms. Abedin, a Muslim, has ties to the Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and that they have thusly infiltrated high levels of American diplomacy and international relations. She is asking to have Huma's security clearance reviewed.
It should be noted that Senator John McCain, a Republican, vehemently defended Human Abedin on the floor of the United States Senate, and at the same time attacked Congresswoman Bachmann for her thoughtless -- and, let's face it, downright evil -- witch hunt.
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And unfortunately, Huma Abedin is not alone in her plight.
The other side -- the tea partier side, the crazy side -- is targeting Muslim Americans in government and public service. This has got to stop. Now.
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Come down off your throne.
It's almost Friday.