In most forms of discourse, it’s understood that just because someone utters a statement does not mean that said statement is accurate or even truthful for that matter. Apparently this unwritten law does not apply to politics, specifically when a Democrat is composing the statement. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) took to the floor of that very chamber this morning with the assertion that Mitt Romney failed to pay federal income taxes for an unspecific ten-year period. With no documentation and no proof to substantiate his erroneous claim, Reid trumpeted that “the word is out”. Yet, the “word” is complete here-say. Where did he get such information? Purportedly, someone from Bain Capital leaked this information to him. Who exactly? Reid’s not telling, at least not yet.
Rush Limbaugh put it best this afternoon:
Either he’s lying to the American people now, or he has information that federal investigators might find useful. It’s one of two things. He’s either lying saying that somebody from Bain Capital called him and said Romney hasn’t paid taxes for ten years, or somebody’s breaking the law.
This is not a new strategy on behalf of the Democrats. They pulled this out of the playbook and utilized similar chicanery against Ken Starr. Basically, the playbook calls for said Democrat to level any random allegation and then the dumbstruck Republican has to prove the claim to be untrue – even if there is nothing to the claim itself. After the statement is made, it is then parroted by the press and lifted up as gospel. Doesn’t sound fair, does it? Well, that’s because it isn’t. The phrase “dirty trick” doesn’t even define these tactics well enough. Devious. Pathetic. Hopeless. Those are a little closer. Here’s a sampling of Reid’s comments:
“…He’s refused to release his tax returns as we know. If a person coming before this body wanted to be a cabinet officer, he couldn’t be if he did the same refusal about tax returns. So, the word’s out that he hasn’t paid any taxes for ten years. Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t. We already know from one partial tax return that he gave us, he has money hidden in Bermuda, the Cayman Islands and a Swiss bank account..Not making that up. That’s in the partial year that he a gave us. Mitt Romney makes more money in a single day than the average middle class family makes in two years or more.”
So, let me get this straight. Romney didn’t pay taxes for a ten-year period, which Reid didn’t specify. Thanks for the specifics. By the way, wouldn’t the IRS have come for their money by now? Secondly, there’s no requirement in any law book that says presidential candidates must release “x” amount of tax returns. Even if he released every last tax return that he had and there was nothing questionable about the filings, Reid and the Democrats would find something to tar and feather him over or just continue to foster crises out of non-existent problems. By the way, Harry why don’t we see some of your tax returns along with Cruella Pelosi. After all, you’re public officials. Shouldn’t we know how you’ve become so wealthy while serving in Congress. Mitt Romney, why, he’s just a little-old private citizen.
Third, it’s nobody’s business where Romney keeps his money – even if it is in a Swiss bank account or related to some other type of investment. If I had as much money as the Governor, I would be trying to keep the IRS and liberals away from as much of it as I lawfully could, which is exactly what Romney is doing. By the way Senator Reid, your esteemed colleague Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of Florida has similar investments related to a Swiss bank account. What’s that about? Oh I forgot, she’s a Democrat.
Fourth, since when is it a cardinal sin to work hard and make a lot of money in this country, Senator Reid? I know in your wet dreams, the United States has been transformed into a Soviet Union-type panacea, but the reality is that we still live in the United States. I know you’ll grit your teeth and cringe when you hear this, but this is the greatest country in the history of human existence. We don’t denigrate and punish hard work or wealth creation, we celebrate those things. We, conservative/libertarian types.
Earlier this afternoon on Sean Hannity’s radio program, Romney addressed the accusations:
“Harry’s going to have to describe who it is he spoke with, because, of course, that is totally and completely wrong. It’s untrue, dishonest and inaccurate. It’s wrong. So, I’m looking forward to have Harry reveal his sources, and we will probably find out it’s the White House.”
Of course, we all know there won’t be any names given or documentation provided, because Romney’s exactly right. This new line of attack is coming from the White House and Reid is nothing more than the assigned attack-dog. He’s propagating the bogus story, the media is getting the word out as if this is real news, and its up to Romney to refute the allegation. There’s nothing civilized or fair about how Democrats carry themselves, but this is the card that the Republican party has been dealt. The GOP’s allies are few and far between with regard to the media, so no help will be forthcoming there – Fox News being the unspoken exception.
This business about Romney and his tax returns is nothing more than a weak distraction from the failed presidency of Barack Obama. The president can’t be allowed to stay on the defensive because his record is indefensible. So, the Democrats have to make sure that Romney is kept on his heels. Their accusations don’t have to be legitimate. They can be completely fabricated, ginned up, and pulled out of left field. Distract from the economy. Distract from this administration’s radicalism. Distract from Obama’s double-speak. That is the strategy.
Now that the charge has been levied, it’s up to Romney to prove his innocence. This is the deranged set of rules that Democrats play by. Well more specifically, they set the rules up for Republicans, but they themselves are not required to abide by the same rules. Welcome to American politics in 2012.