Posted by Bob Lord
David Sirota is a well respected progressive blogger and author. I read his book "Uprising" a few years back and found it insightful. He is an occasional guest host on the progressive talk shows and hosts a local show of his own in Colorado.
But I think he engages in wishful thinking in this post, which appeared in Salon today. Sirota quite accurately explains how Romney was outrightly lying when he said last week in the debate that he would not reduce the taxes of high-income Americans. But then Sirota predicts that Romney's lying is a forerunner to Repbulicans honestly opposing tax cuts for the rich. The logic has some superficlal appeal. He reasons that Romney's motivation for his lie is a recognition that Americans see how skewed the tax system is towards the wealthy. Ultmately, he concludes, Republicans will bend to that reality and oppose tax cuts for the wealthy for real.
I hope David is right, but I fear he's looking at this through rose colored glasses. Romney likely was not reacting to a perception that Americans "get" the unfairness of the tax system. Rather, Romney was working his way out of the jam he got himself into with his 47% remarks. Those remarks, drippiong with disdain for the unwashed masses, made Romney's unabashed elitism oh so clear to the voting public. So Romney had to avoid any confirmation of the impression folks had of him after hearing his view of the 47%.
Thus, Romney's remarks are anomalous. When you step back, low taxes for the wealthy are at the core of the Republican party for a very logical reason. Low taxes for the wealthy are one area where all sub-groups of the Republican Party come neatly together. Country Club Republicans? Check. Libertarian leaning Republicans? Check. Teabaggers? Check. Bible Thumper Republicans? At first blush, you might think they would bristle at tax cuts for the rich. But I think writers like George Lakoff and John Dean are spot on in their view of Bible thumping Republicans. They adhere to the "strong father" or "authoritarian" model. If they are poor or struggling, they believe it is becuase of their own shortcomings in the eyes of God and that the wealthy are more worthy than they. It's why they throw their money at some filthy rich preacher when they themselves are hanging on by their fingernails. Sad, yes, but it explains how they vote consistently against their own best interests. This is why the reddest states happen to be the poorest states and the states where Bible thumping reigns supreme.
I hope I'm wrong. I hope Romney's untruthful opposition to tax cuts for the rich really does foretell truthful Republican opposition to tax cuts for the rich. But I'm not holding my breath.