August 3rd, 2012
By Frank Byronn Glenn -- In a curious turn of phrase -- since everyone in the country has been calling on Mitt Romney to release 10 or 12 years worth of tax returns for the last several weeks --
Mitt Romney, in response to Harry Reid dropping the dime on him about not paying taxes for the last 10 years, call Senate Majority leader Reid out, telling him to "Put Up or Shut Up". And -- a top Romney campaign spokesperson essentially called, "shame, shame" on Reid as well. Reid responded, in classical form, to point out to Romney that he himself had already "Shut Up" on his tax returns, when he should be revealing details about them. Reid also, right on cue, said Romney should "Put Up" his tax returns and put all this baseless chatter to rest. Hear that, Mitt?
It has been a well-known and widely written about tactic of the Lee Atwaters and Karl Roves of the political world to do three things:
1) always accuse your opponent of the "dirty trick" or nasty and often illegal thing that you are about to do to them -- right before you do it to them -- so that when your opponent cries "foul", it has the appearance of a "turn-about-deserves-fair-play" tactic, as well as a political "playground" or "kettle calling the pot black" kind of whine -- and, accordingly, loses it credulity, its power, and its sting; 2) always attack your opponent on their strengths -- the theory being that if you can neutralize their strengths -- they will appear less substantial in the yes of the press and therefore in the eyes of the public -- and will be much easier to defeat; 3) always attack them for the unique "weakness" that you yourself have as a candidate -- only attack them for it before they attack you -- that way your accusation of them will always take precedence, resonate more, and have more credibility -- even if the accusation is a bald faced lie -- and when your opponent attacks you on your weakness -- it will seem "small minded", copycat, and paint the opponents campaign as one devoid of originality.
Of course, the real political genius in this thing this time, lies with the Democrats and Harry Reid -- in my opinion. Just as Romney returned from an international "charm" offensive that hadn't gone very well -
- and had the opportunity to change the subject back to the econc0nomy -- Romney runs into the Harry Reid "drops the dime on Romney" buzz-saw and Mr Romney arrives back home in the United States and walks right into a "firestorm" and "buzz-saw" that he appears helpless and hapless to do anything about -- creating at first and then deepening and enhancing the perception that there really is something in Romney tax returns that his campaign feels could be terminal to his Presidential run. The problem is -- it looks like a no-win situation. Handled effectively by the Democrats -- which so far it appears to have been -- either option selected by Romney may prove to be "terminal" to the Romney campaign for President. There appears to be something in the man's tax return that is so nasty he is willing -- at this moment, at least -- to run the gauntlet right on through summer and fall and right up and into the November Presidential election. Not an enviable position to be in -- for Mr Romney -- to be sure.
And even if there is nothing more damaging in Romney's tax returns ultimately than a "rich guy" simply doing what "rich guys do" -- and Mitt is embarrassed by it
-- then the Democrats and President Obama will have succeeded in gleaning the maximum -- and perhaps decisive -- political advantage from a non-event which was created by the Romney campaign itself refusing to divulge the legitimate but very revealing tax return of an American millionaire -- if not necessarily an American political hero.
And if Mitt Romney does in fact release 12 years of tax returns -- then he is correct in saying that the Obama campaign will pore over the "hundreds -- or thousands -- of pages" -- and will doubtlessly find innumerable things to point out,
question, reveal to the American public in campaign speeches, and things to query upon with raised eyebrows -- signaling the American people -- who have no idea how labyrinthine millionaire tax returns can get -- that something is suspiciously remiss and amiss in this rich man, 1% percenter's tax returns.
There has been a couple of phrases coined over time to describe predicaments like this. It is clearly a "no-win" proposition for Mr. Romney. And the Mittster has clearly -- now -- caught himself "between a rock and a hard spot". And I am definitely glad I am not a young, ambitious and on the rise political consultant in the Romney campaign charged with finding an attractive path out of this dilemma for candidate Romney who would be President. Until one is found, however, the national mantra should definitely remain, as Romney put it so well: "Put Up or Shut Up", Mr. Mitt!
July 18th, 2012
By Stephanie Devereaux -- It's amazing that Mitt Romney and his 'goof-ball boys" campaign team have not yet figured out that there has
been enough intrigue and suspicion surrounding the Romney tax returns -- that even the deer, the wolves, and the cows in the meadows are wondering what is in there that is so damaging that Romney and his campaign officials keep dancing and dodging, head-faking and shaking their heads "no, not in this lifetime" in response to requests for them to release the tax returns.
It is one of those things in human nature -- when you hide things from us and adamantly refuse to reveal the details -- all the while denying
emphatically that there is anything to hide -- we double down, cross our arms, and say, "We aren't going anywhere until we get the tax returns".
The strategic errors and tactical bumbles in managing the information flow, the volley and serve of the daily campaign skirmishes and
counter punches, and the inept framing of the introduction of the "real" post-primary Mitt Romney to the American people -- has reached near epic (and perhaps un-recoverable) proportions. So much so that every day the Romney campaign dodges the release, avows they are all good and above reproach -- but doubles down on their assertion that they are giving up nothing -- spurs another round of ever-escalating debate in the media about the kinds and potential lethal degree of the lethal information contained in the documents. The "hundreds -- or thousands of pages", as Mitt so adroitly framed it, and proclaimed that he just was not about to give up all that information because the Obama campaign would just have a field day poring thought the cornucopia of data, distorting, lying, and misrepresenting the information contain in the returns to the American people.
My sense of things at this point is that the damage done from Mitt's refusal to release his taxes, added to the "retroactive resignation", the
non-working, non-involved, $100,000 per year apparently "free lunch" salary, the potential felony misrepresentation of his actual status to the SEC, and the $101 million retirement fund (which would have taken 16,800 and some years to have pulled off legally -- and he could not legally have done it if he had retroactively resigned, as he said) -- have come perilously close to the tipping point for the wobbling Romney campaign.
The lies to hide the lies that hide the fakes, that hide the fudges that hide the dodges that hide the misrepresentations have escalated to the point where it's become a stampede of "lie cattle" -- trampling each other and all the by-standers as well as the fences and the out-buildings in their race for the apocryphal political cliff of destruction.
Mitt Romney's penchant for "etch-a-sketching", flip-flopping, "mis-underestimating", and his pathological necessity to people-please absolutely everyone on earth appears to have reached epicly unmanageable and cannabalizing proportions. He has complicated his positions on things so much that he can't even remember what he is supposed to be for -- or against -- and therefore cannot remember whether he is supposed to be doubling-down when a question is asked -- or denying for the third time that he ever said the six things that have been shown saying on video-tape non-stop for three weeks on cable news. He is fast reaching the stage where he may have to just pull the "Butch Cassidy and Sundance Kid" escape maneuver -- and just yell "sh-t" -- and jump. The splat from a fellow that big will not look good, either. And it could definitely smash his fossilized, frozen hair -- in the process. Good luck with that campaign, Mitt. And God Speed, as they say, wherever you're going!