Thursday, August 23, 2012


The general response to this story is "Oh please -- what's going to be Romney's next excuse for not releasing his tax returns?" But I see something else going on: an end to Romney's silence on Mormonism, and a pivot to a strategy of using the religion to try to win votes -- by claiming persecution at the hands of liberals and elites, a complaint right-wingers love to hear:
Mitt Romney says in a new interview that one of the reasons he’s distressed about disclosing his tax returns is that everyone sees how much money he and his wife, Ann, have donated to the LDS Church, and that’s a number he wants to keep private.

"Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given," Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday. "This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church." ...
I said a couple of days ago that I thought perhaps the Republicans were pivoting to a campaign that places a new emphasis on claims of religious persecution -- see Paul Ryan, a couple of days ago, boasting of being a Catholic who proudly clings to guns and religion; see the plans for a closing prayer by the highest-profile religious leader to pray at a political convention in years, cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York (a master at claiming persecution); and see the recent "war on religion" ad:

I think Romney and Ryan are going to look for any excuse to portray themselves as aggrieved people of faith -- and that would definitely be a change for Romney. I think they may have figured out that evangelicals love tales of religious persecution more than they distrust Mormons (and certainly more than they distrust Catholics, who are now seen, if they're right-wing, as almost more evangelical than the evangelicals). We'll see if I'm right, but I think we're going to hear a lot of this from the ticket from now on.


Anonymous said...

Release the tax returns. Now.

Mr. Romney is running for President of the United States.
This is a position of Trust.
Ronald Reagan said, "Trust but Verify."
Mr. Romney has said, "Trust me," re his tax returns.
It is not unreasonable for voters to want to "Verify.

It is not just liberals who want to see Romney's tax returns.
It is 63% of American voters who do.

The longer Mr. Romney delays, the more suspicious it appears.

Obama released 8 years of tax returns
GW Bush 10 years
Clinton 12 years
GHW Bush 14 years
George Romney 12 years.

What is the problem, Mr. Romney? Release your tax returns.

PurpleGirl said...

The Romneys could release the tax returns and black-out the amount of the contribution to the Mormon Church. We want to see the taxes paid and the maneuvers used to reduce taxes due, not the exact amount given to the church.

Victor said...

Race AND religion!
Two rich and powerful white guys, playing the victims of racial politics and religious oppression.
Oh, and also trying to play the victims of sexual politics - the white males as the target of all of those nasty baby-aborting Heathen Liberals, of all colors, flinging their aborted fetuses at the good white Christian males, who are again the targets of racial and religious oppression.

I never thought I could ever hold anyone in lower esteem during elections than George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in 2000 and 2004, and Palin in 2008, but R&R seem determnined to try to change my mind.

And, of course, the common denominator in the last 4 excremental Presidential Elections is that waste of flesh, blood, and bone - that creature in semi-human form, Karl Rove.

I never thought playing the victim made you look like a leader that people should, or even could, support - but then I must have forgotten some of the lessons that Hitler taught our Conservatives.
Fuck Godwin!
That political parallel is appropriate. If the jack-boot fits...

These people need to be stopped at all costs, before they stick the final nail into the coffin of representative democracy - or, what's left of it.

Philo Vaihinger said...


How close to a Vatican endorsement do they dare to go?

Might as well just sing out from the pulpit every Sunday from now to November, "Jesus Christ wants you to vote the straight Republican ticket!"

BH said...

If Mitty wanted to keep his contributions to his church between him & the Big Maybe, then why did he report them on his tax returns in the first place? No law says he has to claim all his charitable contributions - except the only law that matters to Mitty, i.e., "Enrich thyself".