Maeve Reston scoops a conference call that Mitt Romney held for the poor schlubs who donated to him. (Note: said schlubs are not actually poor." The lede is that Romney blamed his loss on "gifts" from the administration to the moochers. What gifts are we talking about?
- the administration’s plan for partial forgiveness of college loan interest and the extension of health coverage for students on their parents’ insurance plans well into their 20s
- free contraception coverage under Obama’s healthcare plan
- health care plan’s promise of coverage “in perpetuity”
- “amnesty” to the children of illegal immigrants
In these remaining moments that Mitt Romney remains a national figure, I have to ask: Does he not understand the transactional nature of government spending? This is a candidate who stumped in coal country promising to save the industry from health regulations and the natural gas industry, and who stumped in Virginia promising to increase spending on the defense programs that employed people in Tidewater.
I'm sure Romney gets this, and I'm sure -- because he keeps saying it -- that he views social programs as a dirtier deal for votes than actual spending on jobs that benefit certain constituencies. What's fascinating is that he keeps saying this to donors. The "47% tape" was recorded in front of wealthy donors who didn't understand why the rest of the country didn't back a candidate who was going to cut their taxes. Romney understood, and understands, that these people want to believe that poor voters are being exploited by Democrats and forced to vote themselves more benefits. It's a theory that undergirds a lot of conservative election analysis. Let's not just write off Romney as some gormless dweeb.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
How Movies Like Contagion and Outbreak Distort Our Response to Real Epidemics
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
Everything You Should Know About Today’s Eclipse
An Unscientific Ranking of Really, Really Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.