On the EDge: Romney’s elitism just cost him the election

Image by Corey McNeil, St. George News

OPINION – About six months ago, when it became apparent that Mitt Romney was going to receive the Republican Party presidential nomination, I made an offhanded remark on Facebook that he would be beaten so soundly by President Obama this election that he would give his concession speech on Halloween.

If things keep going as they have been for Citizen Romney, I might be correct.

Back then, of course, I was basing it on his early flip-flopping on issues like health care and his witless take on foreign policy; his reluctance to be transparent to the voting public; his elitist arrogance.

As it turns out, we had no idea how elitist and arrogant this man is until recently when a video emerged from a fundraiser held in his behalf in Boca Raton, Florida where he chatted up about 30 GOP groupies in an attempt to lighten their wallets for his campaign.

Now, I fully realize this won’t play well here in Romneyville, where I will be shocked if he takes less than 75 percent of the vote on Election Day, but after watching the video from that Florida fundraiser I came away feeling as if I had just stepped out of a Jazz Age soirée where F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda, and their snobbish friends slurred drunkenly, after sloshing gin all day, about the poor people and wondered how they were doing before changing out of their tennis whites and into formal attire for the cocktail hour and dinner.

Romney’s neo-conservatism, narrow world view, and disconnection from the working class fall more in line with the horsey set he is a part of than with you or me. Remember, this is a man who pays about $25,000 a year more than the average American makes to care for Rafalca, the horse he bought for his wife that competed in the recent Olympics.

Still, I gave him the benefit of the doubt when word of this videotape first surfaced. He claimed his words were taken out of context, which, as a longtime news reporter, I have learned is the first excuse a person uses when something they said that is of controversy becomes public. Hey, it happens sometimes.

Not this time.

The tape clearly shows the context of remarks Romney made that pretty much hold nearly half of all those who live in the United States in disdain, as he fired another salvo in the GOP’s continuing class warfare.

What does that mean?

Look at the person sitting next to you right now. According to the statements Romney made to this bunch of political mavens, he only cares about one of you. The other? They are among the 47 percent who will vote for President Obama no matter what, who believe they are entitled to health care, food, housing; who don’t pay taxes, he said.

“My job is not to worry about those people,” he said at that meeting. “(It is) to convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center (to vote for him).”

Now, excuse me if I have a mild come-apart here, but I have paid into Social Security for a long time and know what? I am damn well entitled to that money when I finally retire. It is mine. If I was in a position to request unemployment insurance, I am damn well entitled to that as well because that money? It is mine, too. I paid a lot of years into both accounts and, well, am entitled to it if I need it.

And, as far as the rest of it?

First of all, I would put a lot more credence behind what Citizen Romney said if he would only open up his tax records to the voters and tell us how much, if any, he has paid in taxes the last 12 years as his father did when he ran for president.

Then? Well, let’s just say I fall in line with a blog I read the other day on the Huffington Post that stated:

“According to the (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a) United Nations declaration, to which the United States is a signatory, ‘Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.’”

That 47 percent Romney mentioned?

Look around at your family. Are Mom and Dad retired? Do you have a family member in the military? Is anybody out of work because their job was eliminated by one of those companies that buy and sell troubled businesses and ship jobs overseas? They either fall into a category that is tax exempt or at the lowest end of the scale or simply cannot afford to pay taxes.

But, it’s not Citizen Romney’s job to worry about them, either.

The comments on this video are as egregiously elitist and arrogant whether taken in full context or in snippets and he is taking a beating from those who study and write about politics for a living.

Let’s be fair and toss out the liberal comments. We already know how those from the left feel about Citizen Romney.

But, what about those who come from his side of the political spectrum?

The Weekly Standard’s Bill Kristol said Romney is “arrogant and stupid.”

David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, said Romney’s comment was “country club fantasy.”

The explanation of all this alliteration, however, is better found in Ernest Hemingway’s “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” than Fitzgerald’s “Rich Boy.”

“The rich…were dull and they drank too much, or they played too much backgammon,” Hemingway wrote in his famous short story. “They were dull and they were repetitious. He remembered poor Scott Fitzgerald and his romantic awe of them and how he had started a story once that began, ‘The very rich are different from you and me.’ And how someone had said to Scott, ‘Yes, they have more money.’”

And, they want to keep it, which is why they endorse a guy like Romney.

No bad days!

Ed Kociela is an opinion columnist. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @STGnews, @EdKociela

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2012, all rights reserved.

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  • Cathy Avery September 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I do not often agree with you but this time you are spot on Ed! I just do not know how ANYONE with a clear mind could vote for Romney now. I posted his comments on FB account and I had so many people telling me I was a liar. until I posted the actual video. Then people were telling me I clipped the video, LOL. IMHO, Romney just wrote himself out of the race.

    But then again, most people in Utah will vote for him regardless. Even if he came out and said I am going to keep millions of your money for myself, take away health care, Medicare, unemployment and basically we are going to become a country where I totally control you. They would still vote for him because he is Republican and a Mormon.

    What a shame that people can not open their eyes for themselves and not just follow along with a certain political party or just vote for the good ol’ Mormon boy who can do no wrong.

    • urbanboy September 20, 2012 at 5:20 pm

      Right on, Cathy! I couldn’t have said it better, girl! Anyone in Utah who argues your statement is in denial or simply can’t handle the truth!

  • Don Leonard September 20, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I don’t get what the big deal here is. He made accurate statements. What he said is true. How can he be faulted for stating the truth? If you feel the need to be offended by being lumped into that group, you have that right – go for it. Keep on crying about being a victim. I’ll keep on taking care of myself and my family, and I’ll vote for the kind of leadership that will nudge the bottle feeders into a little bit more independence. I’ve paid my taxes (social security & medicare) all my working life, but I don’t have any reasonable expectation that I will ever see any of it returned, thanks to the tax & spend Democrats. My personal opinion of either party is pretty low right now. They all lie to your face, then do what they are required to do by those in charge. I have the luxury here in Utah of voting for a third party, because the state vote will go for Romney no matter what my vote is. I think I’ll write in the name of my unemployed son who is the married father of two sons, and can’t seem to get a start. He needs the job more than either Obama or Romney, and believe me, he is connected to the problems of the common man.

  • Brett September 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Thanks for the heads-up. I do not follow political campaigns until literally the last month since 90% is rhetorical nonsense anyway. I checked out the video clips and while Romney is a moron for saying those things at a public event, he DID NOT say anything that died-in-the-wool conservatives do not already believe. Anyone who watches Fox News (not me) hears those same “shocking” remarks ten times a day. If anything, it will shore up in their minds that he really is a conservative. And, of course, make died-in-the-wool liberals (like Ed here) hate him even more.

    Now as for independent voters, the same ones that he touts as needing to win the election, his words will damage his chances for election no doubt about it.

    And thanks Cathy for your bigoted remarks about us mind-less mormons who will vote for puppies as long as they’ve been baptized. While it’s a miracle that a Mormon is even being considered in a presidential election with the likes of people like you, I do know of at least one or two who actually care about the issues.

    He will win Utah by a huge margin for the SAME reason McCain won Utah by a huge margin: He’s Republican!

  • sam September 20, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Thank you Ed for writing this article its getting people to think a little deeper about whats going on even with the angry comments from the fortunate ones its still making them think instead even if they all put fox news comments they still had to ponder about it which is a start to free thinking

  • Murat September 20, 2012 at 10:18 am

    Obama and Romney are both elitist scumbags, but Obama’s much more adept at charming the inept.

  • Ron September 20, 2012 at 10:54 am

    Romney seems to be doing everything he can to lose this election. John Huntsman could have walked away with an easy victory. Will the moderates in the Republican Party reclaim their party after this fiasco?

  • ken September 20, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Obama wins because the GOP is in disarray! Unity has been lost and the strength of their candidate is weak! The results of this election will mirror 08.

  • urbandesert September 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Romney is a clown. Period. Infact he’s just another McLown (McCain)

  • Big Bob September 20, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    All politicians tell you what you wanna hear, this year’s conventions in Tampa and Charlotte couldn’t have possibly been a better example, especially when the Dems were being attacked by the Repubs as of not using the word god in their party, so sure enough, after every figure spoke, they closed with “god bless America or god bless you”…Although I enjoyed the First Lady’s speech-she’s real (or seems real) and expresses how both her and Barrack have been through rough times and trying to survive. Just that right there can relate with most Americans, not just the biased wealthy minority who’ve had it easy all their lives.
    It’s very clear who will remain president this November. Frankly, I’m all for him over another Bush.

  • Rebecca Wild September 20, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I can hardly believe my eyes. It is so refreshing that this has been published by the daily spectrum. Thank you for your voice, Ed and way to go St.George, its wonderful to hear opinions from the “other” side of Utah for once.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic September 20, 2012 at 7:52 pm

      We are St. George News | STGnews.com, Rebecca; glad you enjoy this column.

  • Bebo September 20, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Good ole Ed still stirring it up. Hope you’re healthy and happy, my friend. Kelly says hey.

  • David September 21, 2012 at 8:51 am

    It’s apparent that stgnews.com appeals to the left-wing, liberal nut jobs of southern utah… thankfully there are very few.

    • Joyce Kuzmanic September 21, 2012 at 9:20 am

      It is our effort to represent and appeal to variety, David; dear nuts included.

    • Jade September 21, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      A LOT more of us in “your” town than you think, buddy. STG is far from that town it was when everybody thought and believed the same. (thank God)

  • Karen September 21, 2012 at 10:25 am

    I’m not a liberal, left-wing nut job. I’ve been a Republican my whole life. I did not leave the Republican Party. The Republican Party left me with the advent of the Tea Party. People like Sen. Mike Lee are obstructionists and refuse to compromise so nothing gets done. We should make Mike Lee a one-term senator.

    Mitt Romney has been a terrible candidate. Who know what he believes at this point? He keeps trying to reinvent himself.

    I am LDS and I am voting for Obama in 2012.

  • D. Riggs September 21, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Good for you Karen! There’s a vast and growing number of us who can see what damage the republican, ultra-conservative right has done to society lately. They elect people like Mike Lee whose only job is to see that nothing gets accomplished while Obama is in office. Their worst nightmare is about to come true in November when the people re-elect the president for another term. My hope is for a landslide or mandate large enough to shake the halls of congress sufficiently to get the GOP to actually do the job they’re paid to do.

  • Jade September 21, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    So nice to see I’m not a sole Utahn fully against Romney. Whew, this incredible, much-needed news source is a breath of fresh air to the increasing diversity in the area. Thankyou!

  • urbanboy September 21, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I’s gonna lmao at these “perfect” Repubs when Obama gets re-elected! They know it’s gonna happen, if not, then they is just blind sheep bahahaha!

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