by Isaac Butler
1. Romney: I don't know why people are going around and saying that these tapes reveal "the real Romney," or tell you anything about what Romney "really thinks" or "really believes." If there's one thing we've learned about W. Mitt Romney, it's that he tries really hard to tell whomever he's talking to what he thinks they want to hear. The reason why this hamstrings him in a national election in today's media age is that he can't say radically different things to different groups of people.
But in this particular room, he had no other constituency that he thought might be listening in. And so he's speaking this particular audience's language. Yes, what he said was abhorrent. I am absolutely not defending it. But if you watch all of the videos, it seems clear that this is a guy who is surrounded by wealthy donors who are asking him in no uncertain terms to take actions that would 100% suicidal to any chance he has (had?) at the Presidency. And so he says over and over, "Well, you know I agree with you but the American people aren't going to like that and so I can't do it because people like Obama."
I see no evidence in these tapes that "The Real Romney" has been revealed, except to the extent that the Real Romney had already been revealed: A man without deeply held principles who well tell people what they want to hear in order to seek power for its own ends. I felt the same way when people claimed that "The Real Romney" was the moderate, technocratic Governor of Massachusetts. There is no Real Romney, folks. He might be the world's most inept shapechanger, but he's mercurial nonetheless.
2. His Audience. I hope that videos like this put the lie to most conspiracy theories. In order for a conspiracy theory to work, you'd have to count on people like these idiots being able to pull off some kind of massive snowjob on the American people.
Seriously though, a friend of mine posted on facebook that the videos made him sad rather than angry. Sad because he had always assumed that super-wealthy folks knew how the world works and were lying to us for their own financial benefit. That the audience there was stupid enough to really accept that 47% of Americans pay no taxes, live on welfare, and count on the Government for free housing was disheartening. And it is very strange to see what kind of bullshit people will come up with to justify a lifestyle that most of us think is obscene.