by David Safier
In what I've read and heard analyzing Romney's 47% remarks, there's one point I haven't seen emphasized nearly enough: the actual items Romney says disparagingly some people think they're entitled to: "to health care, to food, to housing." By choosing those categories, Romney demonstrates his complete disdain for people who are "beneath him."
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.
In Romney's version of American exceptionalism, it's just fine for Americans to go without health care, food and housing. It's not something the government should concern itself with. There's a somewhat reasonable argument over whether health care should be considered a right or a privilege. But in Romney's world, a roof over your head and food on the table are clearly privileges that should only go to people who earn enough money to pay for them.
Republicans are usually more careful than that. Reagan compartmentalized his anti-poor, anti-black statements by talking about welfare queens and men who used their food stamps to buy gin. The idea of people paying no taxes is usually separated from the image of lazy, shiftless, welfare-loving freeloaders. But from Romney's lofty financial perch talking to others who stand on that same perch looking down at the great unwashed, all those little vermin down there are the same. They all want some of his money. And it's MINE! Not yours! It's MINE, I tell you! I inherited EARNED IT!