Friday, July 27, 2012
Willard Is Still Hiding Something
The affair has gotten so ridiculous that a growing number of his own Republican officials and right-wing pundits are calling for him to release more years. And now, one of the most solidly conservative newspapers in the country, the New Hampshire Union-Leader in Manchester, is asking Romney to just get it over with and release more tax returns. Here is what the paper had to say:
It is very clear, from the current debate over revealing more of his tax documents, that Romney knows the steps he has taken to minimize his tax bite, while legal, will subject him to still more fire from President Obama and his supporters. That is a given. No doubt, Romney is right. In fact, his wife, Ann, made that very clear when asked why he would not reveal additional years: “Because there are so many things that will be open again for more attack … and that’s really just the answer.”
Well, yes — and no. Maintaining the secrecy creates the impression, justly or not, that there is something there to hide. No escaping that reality. The impression is there. And it will cost Romney votes he cannot afford to lose. Those voters might not cast their ballots for Obama, but not voting can be just as damaging. And yes, for using the tax dodges and loopholes legally available to him, he might lose votes as well.
But there is no place for secrecy or, indeed, privacy in a Presidential campaign. If you want the job, you have to subject yourself to the scrutiny. . .
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this entire controversy is the one NOT being discussed much: How did Romney get himself into this position in the first place? He has been running for office for a long time. His presidential aspirations predate the tax returns in question.
What could he possibly have been thinking when he failed to ensure that everything contained in those documents was above reproach? Or was he simply not thinking at all? Surely he could not have arrogantly believed that he could withstand any storm that developed by bluffing his way through it? If so, it hasn’t worked. . .
Unfortunately, as long as some voters believe there is something the presumptive Republican nominee is attempting to hide, the true debate takes a back seat. It’s time to get the inevitable over with. Release the tax returns, explain them, take the heat, and move on.