Stick a fork in it, Mitt. You're done. And what's more, it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.
You wouldn't think that a Mother Jones reporter would get a boot-legged videotape of Mitt making an arse of himself at a $50,000-a-plate dinner for Floridian plutocrats, but somehow, he did.
Astute political analysts are already guessing how brutal the GOP's civil war will be after Romney's defeat. Will the moderates win out or will the hard-line Tea Partiers dig in for a fight? How many times will the GOP have to lose before they change their slant to the extreme right and come back closer to the center?
Right now, Mitt Romney is sticking to his drop-dead stance that 47% of Americans are moochers and fail to take personal responsibility for themselves. We know there's a grain of truth in that paranoia, but how much truth?
Are the elderly who have paid into Social Security and Medicare for decades moochers? Do they fail to take personal responsibility for themselves? How about disabled vets who can't find a job? How about the working poor who get Medicaid and food stamps? Why are they so poor? Maybe because they're not paid a living wage?
I talked to a young father once in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics when I was a social work intern there.
"I'd like to be a paramedic," he said, "but I feel that if I studied to be a paramedic and made enough money to get off Medicaid, it would be irresponsible. My son needs health insurance."
His son's medical issues were not short-term. They were long-term.
I couldn't argue with the father whose son absolutely had to have continuous good health insurance. His point was valid.
Was the young father failing to take personal responsibility, or was he doing what was best for his son, regardless of his personal ambition to be a paramedic?
We all know how risky it is to not have health insurance. I remember bringing my infant daughter to the emergency room at Mercy with pneumonia on Sept. 1st, the day my husband's health insurance kicked in after a three-month hiatus while he explored other careers.
I know a 40-something year old man who lost a good job and found another job that's only part time at half the pay. He has to drive a long way to get there and back. If he applied for food stamps to help feed his family, would he be failing to take personal responsibility and care for himself?
How about my 50-something year old friend who lost her husband, her job, and her health insurance within a short space of time? She has a heart condition. What's she supposed to do if her young adult son wants to move back in with her because he can't find a job that pays a living wage? Say no? She's got a part-time job now that doesn't pay nearly as much as she made before. But she is taking personal responsibility for herself and helping her family at the same time. She gardens, she cans, her son hunts, and they eat.
All of these are real situations with real people. Mitt may despise this 47% that pays "no taxes," (don't forget sales tax, property tax, Social Security, Medicare, and so on) but those of us who have friends who are unemployed or under-employed through no fault of their own know that "those people" are doing the best they can.