The blowback has been huge, understandably, to the undercover video that captured Mitt Romney telling rich backers what he really thinks about poor, working Americans.
He rushed to explain his statement that almost half of Americans think they are "victims" was "not elegantly" stated. But it was nothing but a rare moment of candor for Mitt Romney and a stark illustration of his — and his party's — understanding and empathy for the plight of ordinary people.
And here's a primer on Mitt Romney's 47 percent. Most pay payroll taxes. A significant number, benefitting from the earned income tax credit, will move to the tax-paying rolls within two years and many are elderly, drawing Social Security benefits they earned from payroll deductions. Deadbeats all.
Romney and Co., of course, have sold this myth to a goodly number of the very people he describes as predatory deadbeats who believe in entitlements — think the lowest paid members of the military, for example; pensioners, and others. His cold dismissal of them should cause some second thoughts, but faith is a powerful thing. Facts, not so much.
UPDATE: Good analysis from Ezra Klein on Mitt Romney's war on the non-millionaires.
ALSO: A conservative writer for National Review explains further that a significant number of the deadbeats don't pay federal income tax thanks to the child credit, a pro-family deduction that Republicans favored but wipes out tax liability for many low-income workers.
And speaking of facts, more video of the clueless Mitt Romney, in which he asserts that middle income in America means you earn $200,000 to $250,000. Yes, really. Income sufficient to put you in the top 1 or 2 percent of all of Arkansas is "middle income."
It's really not a long walk from the clueless Mitt Romney to the Koch Billionaire-inspired legislative effort sweeping the country to suppress the votes of poor people, as Voter ID laws would do. In their hearts, Republicans don't think poor minorities are qualified to vote, so they've come up with a non-existent claim of in-person voter impersonation to justify the ID laws that will disenfranchise millions of American.
Don't believe it? This is a MUST READ. A Washington Post reporter examines up close the bureaucratic maze that attends the new Pennsylvania voter ID law, which a leading Republican sponsor has already boasted would deliver the state to Romney through vote suppression. Follow the tortured path required for a 54-year-old woman, a voter since 19, to obtain a photo ID. The bureacratic maze is working as Republicans intended:
Perhaps 100,000 registered voters lack the right ID, although no one knows for sure; estimates have ranged from 1 to 11 percent of 8.3 million registered voters. Through Sept. 11, the state had issued 7,548 of the free non-driver IDs for voting, said PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight, and 579 of the cards of last resort, 343 of those in Philadelphia — and one of those facilitated by McKnight herself, to the father of Jim Cramer, after the CNBC host complained via Twitter last Wednesday that his dad couldn’t get ID.