Perhaps it’s the fact that politicians are under even more scrutiny than ever before, but there seems to be many more high profile gaffes being made of late. Embarrassing mistakes have always plagued politicians of every stripe in every corner of the globe, but there is just something about the way American Republican leaders have detached themselves from reality that allows for the most amazing mind bending antics. Sitting on the sidelines and unable to vote, it is a very entertaining spectacle!
Political gaffes are nothing new, and you would think politicians would guard against this sort of thing, or at least watch out for potential slip ups. But it seems that they don’t. Or can’t. If it were me up there on a podium, then the entire time I’d be worrying about saying the wrong thing in the wrong way, hopefully ensuring that those fears never come to fruition.
So, as a lover of political gaffes and the resulting satire, imagine my delight when good old Mitt Romney made not one but two huge mistakes in one speech. A video of the speech in question, given at a private fundraising diner, has been leaked by Mother Jones.
First, he manages to insult almost half of the American electorate.
Asked how he could potentially win in November he replied:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it. That that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what…These are people who pay no income tax… My job is is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.
Wow. While I’m sure there are people who are lazy and think like that, I highly doubt it is anywhere near 47%. Even if it is that high, a good number of those people are probably made up of the elderly and veterans and other such groups — not exclusively of out-of-work benefit scroungers. I know a few people currently not working who claim benefits to help support them through their unemployment and they all hate it. Most people take pride in their actions and their successes, and the social stigma of being supported by the state can be a powerful motivator.
Wanting a system to support others when they fall out of the job market, pick them up, and help them get back into it does not make you lazy. Similarly, socialized health care is not an entitlement — you pay for it out of your taxes! Just where is Romney drawing the line, and under what basis? Is access to an education an entitlement? Is a functioning fire department an entitlement?
Secondly it appears he has already given up on the Middle East before even being elected — and taken to its logical conclusions is saying: “Vote for me! I’m not going to lift a finger trying to fix the Iraeli-Palestinian problem!”
“So what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem… and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”
Wait, What? It couldn’t be much more clearer — he openly says he doesn’t think peace is possible and just plans to leave it for someone else to deal with. Lasting peace in the Middle East will be difficult, I’m not saying its easy. I could understand if he said he didn’t know how it could be solved. There’s nothing wrong with that. But to reveal that your grand plan, as leader of the free world with the might of one of the largest military powers in the world behind you, is to sit there with your thumb up your ass doing absolutely nothing just seems to be morally and ethically bankrupt. It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out in the election and whether this will damage Romney’s campaign in the long term.