Schmucks With TurboTax

     Liars tend to think people are lying to them.
     Thieves think people want to steal from them.
     Dope pushers think people want to steal their drugs.
     But honest people, I’ve noticed, tend to think people are honest, unless they’re given reason to think otherwise.
     So it interested me when Mitt Romney said this week that President Obama “wants Americans to be ashamed of success.”
     Romney said this Tuesday, in Irwin, Pa.
     This is nonsense, of course. It’s a reprehensible and nonsensical thing for an American citizen to say about his president, after watching the Republican Party’s behavior for the past four years.
     No one accuses someone else of a flaw, a shortcoming – or, if you prefer, a sin – with which the accuser is unfamiliar.
     I used to think our presidential election campaigns were far too long. But since the horrendous slog of 2007-08, I’ve changed my mind.
     With a semi-sentient press – which we still have, barely – candidates’ character flaws, eventually, will emerge. That’s why Barack Obama beat John McCain 4 years ago. (Well, that, plus the lamentable record of George W. Bush.)
     Relentless press exposure, even stupid, sheeplike press exposure, will show us who the candidates are.
     Romney’s whiny accusation had nothing to do with President Obama. It was an inept response to the Obama campaign’s fair complaint that Romney should release his tax returns.
     Romney doesn’t want to do this, for obvious reasons.
     If he did, the people he wants to vote for him would see how much unearned income he gets, and where he parks it. They would see, not only that he dodges his taxes, but how easy it is for people like Mitt to dodge their taxes, by throwing a little money at accountants and tax lawyers.
     Voters would see that Romney, and people in his tax bracket, skate on our heads, on the thin ice of the laws they paid people to write for them, leaving people like you and me – schmucks with TurboTax – to carry the burden.
     To be fair about it, President Obama’s domestic policy has been a horrible disappointment.
     He refused to stand up to crooked bankers.
     He appointed Ken Salazar secretary of the interior: the worst secretary of that department since Reagan appointed James Watt.
     He’s let Republicans roll him, and us, again and again.
     But President Obama’s failings have been the failings of most modern Democrats: spinelessness, inept politics, refusal to fight.
     Obama has alienated the people who elected him, by being so relentlessly moderate. He has sought compromise on every domestic program.
     He has bent over for the Republican Party.
     In return, he has been attacked with code words – “liberal,” “socialist,” an opponent of “states’ rights” – words that anyone with an elementary knowledge of U.S. history can decode.
     What we are facing in November is a choice between two parties: one dominated by liars and the other by cowards.
     Not much of a choice, I’ll admit.
     But we all know, by and large, how a coward will act.
     There’s no telling what a liar will do next.

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