|Mitt Romeny (Pool/ REUTERS)|
In the year of Occupy Wall Street, with a still growing global movement protesting the completely shocking levels of income inequality that are currently choking capitalism around the globe, what does the GOP do?
The select a multimillionaire, their third richest candidate ever to run, the living personification of a Wall Street fat cat, a one percenter who makes $10,000 bets as casually as other people order a slice of pizza, to run for president of the United States -- Mitt Romney.
How tone deaf, really, are the GOP? If you suspect we are living in an alternate universe now, where the 99% lumpenprole, meaning us poor working stiffs, are increasingly ignored by the staggeringly wealthy, meaning Romney and his most ardent Wall Street backers, you'd be unarguably right.
Bluntly, Romney’s richer than Croesus. His wealth actually makes him one of the 3,140 wealthiest people in the country‚ which means he's well beyond just the one percent.
He’s actually in the top tier of the richest 0.001 percent of Americans. He's the 0.001 percent.
It doesn't get much richer than that, folks. Well, not outside of fairy tales. So he probably won’t have to wear a top hat and tails or some spats and a silver cane for most people to figure it out that he’s minted.
It's why he won't release his tax returns, too. He is hiding all that money in plain sight.
Even his own hugely wealthy Political Action Committee (PAC) is reticent to even bring the subject of how just how rich Romney actually is. There’s a good reason for this. They fear that being that spectacularly rich means you, the ordinary voter, won’t be able to relate to him at all.
He doesn’t look like he has ever been late with a Con Ed payment, after all. He doesn’t look like he even knows who pays his Con Ed bill.
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So his supporters, and in particular his campaign, really don’t want you to think too much about how he made his money. But the fact is that with his background in exactly the sort of pirate capitalism that passes for commerce on Wall Street nowadays, Mitt is really the poster boy for the modern GOP.
Under his leadership he created staggering wealth for the investors and shareholders in his portfolios, but not so much for the working stiffs who populated the companies he hired and fired.
If the recent Bush presidency taught us anything it's this -- tax cuts for the super rich allow them to grow impressively richer, but zero job growth reminds us that creating wealth for America's golden circle doesn't necessarily lead to job creation outside the circle.
This week we learned that the wealth gap in America is now a bigger source of social tension now than racism. Income inequality is at the center of that tension, and it’s something that Romney only wants to dismiss as “class warfare.”
But can you even call it a war if your side keeps on winning?
Voices on the right who might have been expected to criticize his candidacy for a host of predictable reasons have been strangely silent. It turns out there’s a good reason for that.
Romney’s private equity firm, Bain Capital, owns Clear Channel Communications, one of America’s largest media conglomerates. Clear Channel broadcasts conservative luminaries such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and many others.
It’s amazing how much you can overlook if your paycheck depends on it. Clear Channel essentially owns the conservative talk radio industry.
But shouldn’t all of these commentators be frank and forthcoming about the ties that bind them? And isn’t there a conflict of interests at work here anyway? How much criticism are any of these pundits going to offer a man who is essentially their employer?
If you want to grasp how rich Romney is you just have to look at his clout. It’s almost enough to make you sorry for Karl Rove.
Banished to the outer darkness by the GOP's acknowledged kingmaker Limbaugh for apostasy, Rove must be eating his own wire-rimmed glasses with indignation and scorn.
That's because Rove generally understands what his colleges -- blinded by their unfathomable contempt for Obama -- have failed to notice -- Romney is the image of the unfettered corporate greed that for the past three decades has been destroying America from the inside.
He’s not hope you can believe in. He’s the man in a suit who signed your severance check without ever knowing who or what you did.