These guys watch the Repuglican debates so you don’t have to:
• Charles P. Pierce: “(Newt) Gingrich’s political gifts are solely those of an arsonist. Challenged with the reality of what he’s always been, he will bluster and fume and light a dozen strawmen on fire, but he’ll never actually answer the damn question in a way that anyone with the intellect of an andiron would find to be adequate. Asked any kind of decent follow-up, and you can almost see his megalomania collide with his insecurities while he gropes for what comes next.”
• John Nichols: “Ron Paul and Rick Santorum took some pokes at the front-runners—indeed, Santorum got off a decent “there is no difference between President Obama and these two gentlemen” riff late in the debate. But neither of the other contenders stated the obvious: the leading contenders for the GOP nod embody everything that leads Americans to dismiss politicians as crooks.”
• Conor Friedersdorf: “Republican voters, who like the connotation of ‘conservative,’ say it’s a quality they prefer; revealed preference suggests what they actually want is an inconsistent right-leaning opportunist (George W. Bush, John McCain) who helps them evade certain kinds of cognitive dissonance (like hating deficit-financed government health care in theory and loving the budget-busting Medicare prescription-drug expansions in practice).”
And so on.
Meanwhile, the RomneyBot 2012 outputs some tax info and it ain’t pretty. None of his more than $42 million in income in 2010 and 2011 came from wages — it came from “a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments,” according to The Washington Post. And his tax rate last year? 13.9 percent. Ouch. That’s gotta sting. I tip better than that for bad service.
Notes Steve Benen: “(E)ven if Romney argues that he’s simply playing by the rules — taking advantage of existing tax loopholes to pay lower rates than much of the middle class — this doesn’t explain why Romney is eager to exacerbate issues on tax fairness with his tax plan that makes the problem worse.”
Steve adds: “Romney and his aides believe these materials should end the discussion. That’s backwards — the larger debate is just beginning.” Let’s hope so.