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October 22, 2012


Some of my followers may recall the old movie “Elmer Gantry” in which Burt Lancaster portrayed a revivalist preacher who frequented whorehouses, had the whores show up on the front row of the tent revivalist sermons he gave about sin and hell the day following, and had them in tears for fear of eternal damnation for their grievous sins. It was and is a living embodiment of the old saw “Do as I say, not do as I do” and not “practicing what you preach,” the equivalent of a moral lecture given by Casanova to his many conquests after the fact(s).

Mitt Romney would never want to placed in a position where what he says and what he does are inconsistent, yet with his flip-flops galore he is in precisely such a position, and now we have a most interesting finding that explains some of why he refuses to show his tax returns to the people he is asking to vote for him. We have been suspicious that he had something to hide all along, and now we have found at least one good reason to have been suspicious.

Greg Palast, investigative reporter, writes in today’s The Nation Magazine, that Romney (with the help of his wife Ann’s “blind” trust), profited greatly from the auto bailout he condemned. How? He took millions from his wife Ann’s “blind” trust and gave them to a hedge fund that bought Delphi’s (GM’s auto parts division) shares at 67 cents a share. Delphi received more than 12 billion dollars in bailout funds, and subsequently moved almost all of its plants to China. Romney made at least 15 million dollars from the auto industry bailout of Delphi, and his hedge fund donors made billions of dollars, all from a bailout that he publicly condemned while profiting privately. (Shades of Gantry!)

Could this transaction be one of the reasons Romney refuses to show us his returns from past years? Are two and two four? How many other such transactions are there on his past returns that he DOESN’T want us to know about? Please don’t give us this “blind trustee” stuff; when he doctored his return of last year to “under 14%” to keep his promise that he always paid at least that much in taxes, he blew any pretense that his “blind” trust is blind out of the water. There was clear intervention on his part; the “blind trustee” plainly was and is a cover for tax and other such hijinks and artifices practiced by Mitt Romney. Once again, we can clearly see by this example that the pretended piety of morality in a “free market” marketplace and greedy capitalism are at their intersection oil and water, an unmixable combination.

As I have blogged many times before, “Level with us, Mitt.” When a candidate won’t come clean, we the people are rightly doubtful and wonder what it is that they are trying to hide. If he has nothing to hide, then why this refusal to show us his returns for the past, say, 10 years? He hasn’t answered that often-asked question and will not release such tax returns to us for a reason, one known only, perhaps, by his wife Ann and their respective “blind trustees.” We are left to guess the reasons why, and can be forgiven for  thinking negatively in such connection. We know he has investments through his “blind” trust in the Caymans (a well-known tax dodge venue). Where are they? In Iran? Libya? China? There is a popular expression to “Follow the Money,” but we cannot follow the money because Mitt won’t tell us what he does with his money. None of our business? Wrong. It is very much the business of the IRS, a public institution not (yet) owned and controlled by Wall Street. It is very much our business, especially when he is asking us to elect him to the presidency. His demonstrated lack of trustworthiness in this and other connections where he has shown a practiced evasiveness may well cost him that office, as it should.

We have a candidate who will not level with us on his tax returns ( though we know he pays less than half the rate his janitors pay); a candidate who pursues his greedy impulse to make money while condemning the method which made such pursuit possible (see above); a candidate who is asking us to trust him and vote for him when he will not give us any grounds to trust him or vote for him by his continuing refusal to come up with his tax returns (or, among other such atrocities,  how he proposes to pay for his five trillion dollar tax break to the rich and corporate class if elected).

As I have blogged before, I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. This man is asking me for my vote for him to the highest office in the land, but refuses to tell me what his qualifications (and possible disqualifications) are for office. It is his own fault that we cannot trust him – he has brought it on himself by his refusal to come clean with us on his tax returns (and several other tax and budgetary matters).

Speaking of “blind trustees,” it appears that Romney want us to blindly vote for him, to buy a pig in a poke, as it were. His history of equivocation and arrogant refusal to tell us what we need to know in order to make such a judgment militates against such a “blind” vote.

I am not “blinded” by the last-minute Koch-Rove propaganda machine into voting for an unknowing (and unknowable) candidate who will not level with the American people. If he can’t (or won’t) tell us about himself now, what can we expect him to tell us if he is elected? Apparent Answer: Whatever he pleases. I am more than uncomfortable with such insolence from a man who is not yet elected and can only wonder at what his level of arrogance might be AFTER he is elected – if he is – a scary prospect.

I thought we settled the question of arrogance in office when we booted out the divine right to rule by English kings over two hundred years ago and replaced it with a state based on principles of democracy. I hope we are more than serfs of old and accounting entries in the brave new world of business today and are to be treated as real and not corporate people (since Citizens United), but rather as human people who are not mere servants and cogs in a machine owned and operated by the rich and corporate class. I do not believe that royal arrogance and democracy can exist on the same page either as personified by Romney, English kings or anyone else.

I will be voting for Romney’s opponent (who has had no problem in divulging his tax returns over the past several years), and I invite you to join me. GERALD  E

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