So, a week or so ago I noted Romney’s odd adherence to rules in the Ultimate Fight otherwise known as the presidential campaign.
I considered this odd for two reasons: One, there are (almost) no rules in a presidential campaign, but, two, he nonetheless believes that others should follow rules that he sets but doesn’t (necessarily) follow himself.
The whole tax return-and-Bain shebang is blowing up and besides his testimony before a Massachusetts state panel and documents filed with the SEC listing him as sole shareholder in Bain Capital LLC and the $100K salary and statements made to the press at the time, his campaign (and various surrogates) argues that there is no evidence linking him to Bain after 1999.
He’s also insisting that there’s no reason for him to release his returns since Teresa Heinz Kerry didn’t release her returns in 2004—because, as one commenter noted, Romney is apparently running for First Lady.
Another commenter [at the Update at the bottom of the James Fallows's post] wondered if he’s not playing his own version of the long game, trying to draw out his critics only to smite them as they stand—but how would this work, exactly? How is the tactic of saying “this shouldn’t matter” going to make it all not matter?
No, more convincing were the rebuttals to Romney-as-ninja suggestion:
Like many Captains of the Universe, Romney has an absolutely huge sense of entitlement. He is just dripping with condescension when he answers questions about this stuff. He has always been brittle when his record has been questioned, even when it was done with kid gloves by fellow republicans….
I know the “campaign” is probably in full pushback mode, but I wonder if Mitt, personally, really even understands how important this is. He behaves in every way like it is something he can dismiss with a wave of the hand… At the end of the day, Romney is the one deciding on the direction of this campaign. And right now I think we see that he just doesn’t think is anyone’s business.
I didn’t get into the psychology of Romney’s refusal to deal, but Entitled Prick makes more sense than Strategic Sensei.
In any case, I still don’t know how much any of this is going to matter come November, but this has all been so poorly handled that I have gone beyond mere schadenfreude into delighted amazement: Did he really think he could run on his business record and not have that record questioned?
Odd. Very, very odd.
Note to transition2balance: I tried writing a post on the plagues and pestilences which befall poor maidens who turn libber—but it wasn’t funny, wasn’t funny at all.
I guess what they say about feminists and humor is true. . . .