Last Updated:July 22 @ 09:41 pm

Charen: The Fetid Slander of Harry Reid

By Mona Charen

Scurrilous would be a step up for Harry Reid. If he were a Republican ... you know the drill. The word "McCarthyite" would be on everyone's lips and the thoroughly contemptible accusation -- based (ha!) on an anonymous "investor" who supposedly phoned Reid -- would be the story of the day. Reid's fetid slander, and not Romney's response, would preoccupy everyone interested in politics.

For Romney to release his tax returns now would seem to reward this sort of disgraceful tactic. And yet, it may be worth doing anyway.

Romney has resisted releasing more than two years' worth of tax returns -- presumably because he knows that an army of Democratic operatives would pore over them, plucking out details and holding them between tweezers for all to see. "Look, Romney has holdings in companies doing business in (fill in the blank) the Philippines, Russia, China, South Africa, Singapore. Did you know that you could be arrested for spitting on the street in Singapore? Romney has described Russia as 'our No. 1 adversary' in the world, and yet he had stock in company X that sold widgets to St. Petersburg's water authority! What a hypocrite. What a traitor."

For a few days, there is no doubt, we'd hear nothing but repetitions about Romney's great wealth, including in-depth examinations of his various holdings, whatever they are, and a lurid emphasis on anything -- like expensive dressage horses -- that screams money. That much is a given.

But the recent dust-up over Romney's Swiss bank account illustrates the limits of this sort of strategy for Democrats. Democratic Party Chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz unloaded on Romney, saying he needed to release his tax returns "So we can see why he's invested in Swiss bank accounts and accounts in the Cayman Islands. And you know, we also need to know why does -- what is the allure of investments out of the country?"

Wasserman Schultz's indignation rang hollow when the Weekly Standard discovered that through her 401(k), she had investments in foreign drug companies, Swiss banks and the state bank of India. Just as Wasserman Schultz was hoist, so will others be. Everyone is encouraged to diversify his or her portfolios.

Also, there is a limit to how long even our dutiful, Democratic-leaning, lap-dog press can persist with the Romney-is-still-rich meme. After a few days, even they will feel constrained to change topics.

Even if they don't, there is no reason to believe that voters will hold Romney's wealth against him. Americans don't envy the rich; they aspire to become rich themselves. Class envy has limited appeal. Among recent prominent American politicians, it's challenging to find a single one who is not a millionaire. Harry Reid has a net worth estimated at between $2.6 and 5 million. Nancy Pelosi recently lost $8 million, bringing her net worth down to $26.4 million. John Boehner is said to have $1.7 million.

Hillary Clinton, one of the most popular political figures in the country, is worth about $85 million. No one objected to her wealth when she ran in 2008, and no one suggests it would be a handicap in the future.

Ross Perot made history in 1992 and 1996, getting more votes than any third party candidate in history. His status as a billionaire was not resented, but instead, admired.

Al Gore could have picked up the tab when dining with the Clintons. His net worth clocks in at about $100 million. But he could have asked John Kerry to do likewise, as Kerry's fortune is put at $240 million.

Darrell Issa and Arnold Schwarzenegger are wealthy men, which hasn't hurt their careers in politics. Teddy Kennedy, Mark Warner, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Herb Kohl, Rick Scott, Jay Rockefeller, Jon Corzine and George W. Bush are/were all multimillionaires. And let's not forget the man who seems to be mayor of New York for life and who is often mentioned (by the credulous) as a possible national candidate, Michael Bloomberg (estimated net worth $22 billion).

Romney's fortune puts him at the higher end of recent presidential candidates, north of Al Gore but south of John Kerry. Unlike many in Washington, Romney made money in the private sector, not by political leverage. Some voters, however, may conclude that Romney's reluctance to release his tax returns suggests that he's hiding something. To allay their suspicions, it's worth releasing the returns. Yes, Romney's rich and also charitable and clean. All are plusses in American politics.

---

To find out more about Mona Charen and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2012 CREATORS.COM

VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
Rate this post:
Rating: 9.1/10 (28 votes cast)
Charen: The Fetid Slander of Harry Reid, 9.1 out of 10 based on 28 ratings





Don't leave yet! Add a comment below or check out these other great stories:

19 Comments

  1. bgannyfComment by babs
    August 7, 2012 @ 9:34 am

    Current Obama commercial says “Romney paid 14% tax on 20 million dollars – probably less than you paid.” Are you kidding me? I didnt pay 2.8million in taxes last year or in the 46 years I have been working all totaled. But people wont stop to do the math – they will think Romney is not paying his fair share of taxes – give me a break. Stupidity is leading the stupid.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.7/5 (12 votes cast)
    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      August 7, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      You have to remind the Liberals that when people are paying 14-15% Capital Gains tax on investment, that means they have already paid in previous years the 35% tax when that invested money was earned. So not only does Romney’s life style and ideology create American wealth, jobs and taxes, but continues to contribute year after year with an additional 15% bonus to the American people, plus the jobs he creates with his wealth. Compare that to Obama who just borrows and borrows and borrows the wealth of the American people and only leaves them IOUs, failed Solyndra socialist experiments and debt in his wake as the jobs disappear faster than a tax dollar in the presence of a Democrat.

      Folks it is a no brainer who is fit to lead and enrich this nation and whose ideology builds wealth versus whose ideology creates NO WEALTH but just re-distributes what others have made depleting what was made not only to ground zero, but negative ground zero in debt.

      Are we just stupid to vote Democrat or have the liberals at some subliminal level finally succeeded in convincing us we are not worthy of the honest bread we earn???? You know what, I think they actually have which is the source of all our problems. Folks you got to understand,,,,,you ARE worthy! So vote accordingly. Don’t make the solution to the problem more difficult to understand than it is and ignore the diversions of real issues and the smoke they are blowing in your face. It is not about how much Romney makes, but how much Obama takes and destroys.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.7/5 (15 votes cast)
  2. johnlockeComment by johnlocke
    August 7, 2012 @ 9:36 am

    Romney has calculated that releasing his returns will do him more damage than stonewalling. That speaks volumes.

    Not releasing his returns because the other side will scrutinize them doesn’t say too much for what he thinks of the ability of American voters to make up their own minds. More information is better than less.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 1.4/5 (11 votes cast)
    • bgannyfComment by babs
      August 7, 2012 @ 9:51 am

      I am not sure that too many American voters do the research to make up their own minds – they let the media do that for them. So to release his returns to that bunch of parana’s is suicide, in my opinion.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.7/5 (14 votes cast)
    • inluminatuoComment by inluminatuo
      August 7, 2012 @ 10:45 am

      If Romney’s tax returns are worth so much to the Democrats, then no more should be released until Obama releases his school grades, particularly those earned during his self-professed years of drug use, which his grades will show were a lot longer than he admits in his book. His current grade as President also indicates he is still blowing smoke.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.8/5 (16 votes cast)
    • johnlockeComment by johnlocke
      August 7, 2012 @ 11:53 am

      False equivalence (and you know it). President Obama has released something like 10 years of tax returns – along with every other presidential candidate since Romney’s father. It has become the standard. No other presidential candidate has released college transcripts.

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

      Let’s place logic over ideology.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 1.3/5 (12 votes cast)
    • bna42Comment by bna42
      August 7, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

      “No other presidential candidate has released college transcripts.”

      johnlocke, no other presidential candidate has spent over $4 million keeping his background documents secret either. The Democrats want these documents from Romney so they can attack his wealth, and even though it may be “standard” it is not required by law.

      The college records would prove that Obama lied and attended school as a foreign exchange student, if his claim of being a natural born citizen is true. His passport records would reveal more fraud since he personally admitted to traveling to Pakistan when Americans were prohibited from going to Pakistan, so it would be relevant to know what nationality he claimed and what passport he traveled under, as well as what birth certificate he used to obtain that specific passport.

      I don’t understand the people who are outraged at Romney because he won’t release IRS returns yet they excuse Obama who has refused any hints of his background and expects us to depend on only his word.

      If you want to use “logic over ideology”, apply the same logic to both candidates.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.6/5 (9 votes cast)
    • johnlockeComment by johnlocke
      August 7, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

      I don’t think you know what false equivalence means.

      You also need to substantiate your $4 million figure.

      http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/no-president-obama-hasnt-spent-millions-to-keep-his-birth-certificate-private/

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 1.7/5 (6 votes cast)
    • bna42Comment by bna42
      August 7, 2012 @ 2:33 pm

      “You also need to substantiate your $4 million figure.”

      The “4″ was a typo–I meant to type $2 million. However, it has been reported in several news articles on various websites, but you throw out some article about his short form birth certificate that has been proven bogus, so how credible is your substantiation?

      Instead of finding fault with Romney or even myself for making a mistake, why don’t you show some outrage at Obama for not giving any credible evidence of who he is, or to Reid and Pelosi for their obvious character assassination of Romney? Since you request substantiation, why don’t you substantiate anything about Obama’s background.

      “Not releasing his returns because the other side will scrutinize them doesn’t say too much for what he thinks of the ability of American voters to make up their own minds. More information is better than less.”

      Why don’t you apply that same logic to Obama since he obviously doesn’t trust the Americans’ ability to make up their own minds?

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)
    • Mort_fComment by Mort_f
      August 7, 2012 @ 3:29 pm

      ’2′ million, ’4′ million? The law firm that has been handling Obama’s obfuscartion has reportedly received well over the 2 million mark. But more important, that amount is only monies billed purportedly for court cases. and pray tell, what was the source of those funds. Were those ‘campaign’ expenditures? Were those ‘personal’ expenditures?

      Follow the ‘money trail’. It cost money to hide ALL those records. Obama’s ‘released’ financial records show no way that his reported income could have possibly funded those ‘hidings’.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)
    • bna42Comment by bna42
      August 7, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

      Mort,

      I can show evidence that my $4 million figure was a typo because in a comment on this same topic two and one-half hours earlier I made this comment: “I will release more of my tax returns when you release the background documents you have paid $2 million to keep secret from the American people, i.e. school records, passport, college transcripts, etc.”

      I think it is damned hypocritical that there are people out there who are so anxious to attack anyone and everyone who disagrees with their support of Obama, yet they blindly excuse every violation of law he commits. He invents all these non-issues to keep people focused on anything but his dismal failures and his ridiculous record.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)
    • CarmineComment by Carmine
      August 7, 2012 @ 7:25 pm

      johnlocke, It doesn’t matter how much or how little he spent to hide his records. Obama used the power of the office to sign an executive order to hide his information. Stop me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any other president has done the same.

      So the question remains: how much of that information shows that he is an illegal alien, or was not born where he says he was, or did not attend the schools he says he attended, or is not qualified to hold the office? In plain english, what kind of fraudulent information is he trying to keep from the public? He knows that sooner or later this informationwill be revealed. And when it does he will be in a big pile of trouble.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  3. joe93Comment by joe93
    August 7, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    The REAL scandal…

    http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/obama%E2%80%99s-college-classmate-the-obama-scandal-is-at-columbia/

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  4. bna42Comment by bna42
    August 7, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    I think Romney should call a press conference, publicly challenge Obama, and say something like “I will release more of my tax returns when you release the background documents you have paid $2 million to keep secret from the American people, i.e. school records, passport, college transcripts, etc.”

    Obama would suddenly be put on the defensive and we would never hear another word about Romney’s tax returns. You have to fight fire with fire, and Obama is playing a dangerous game when he knows his closet is overflowing with skeletons. He has a habit of destroying opponents in elections by releasing documents from their past that would humiliate them, but he has always managed to keep his records out of the public view.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.6/5 (11 votes cast)
    • bgannyfComment by babs
      August 7, 2012 @ 10:20 am

      I totally agree with you – but why wont he do it? Is he waiting to receive the official nomination? Why are people so afraid of Obama? I for one would relish the idea of giving Obama and his wife a huge piece of my mind.

      VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
      Rate this comment:
      Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  5. Mort_fComment by Mort_f
    August 7, 2012 @ 10:30 am

    I wonder when smears and innuendo reach the level of libel. Or are the press and the Congress exempt from the libel laws.

    Just an observation, but I believe that there are only three entities that are, or should be, privy to my tax returns. They are my wife and myself, my accountant if I use one, and the IRS. They should only be opened to anyone else, even law enforcement agencies, if there is adequate rationale for a judge to issue a search wrrant.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.6/5 (9 votes cast)
  6. 49bobComment by 49bob
    August 7, 2012 @ 10:55 am

    Mona I agree with you but for different reasons. I think Mitt should say yes I will release my tax records for the last ten years the day after I am elected President. In other words we need to elect him to find out what he has done. Does that sound familiar? Nancy Pelosi “We need to pass it to learn what is in it.” So all you Democrats with inquiring minds need to vote for Mitt so you can see his taxes. I know I will.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)
  7. makesenseComment by makesense
    August 7, 2012 @ 3:10 pm

    Steve Forbes has the right idea — a data dump for both candidates. Here is my variation.

    Romney will release 5/10 years of returns, his birth certificate, his social security (first 3 numbers only – the rest blacked out for security purposes), his draft card and his school record. In return, Obama releases his birth certificate, his social security (first 3 numbers only – the rest blacked out for security purposes), his draft card and his school record. He can re-release his tax returns to make the exchange the same.

    He can push and push Obama on this. If Obama resists, he can then pound him with the question…. WHAT ARE YOU HIDING, FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTS?
    This will be a good way to resolve the birther issue quickly. If Obama attempts to re-release his Certificate of Live Birth from last year that Sheriff Joe Arpiao posse deemed fraudulent, Romney can ask Obama to permit the Honolulu Hospital to release his birth record .

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 4.0/5 (4 votes cast)
  8. JDZComment by JDZ
    August 7, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

    The problem I see with Mitt Romney is that he is too nice and a gentleman. He really finds the “gutter politics” of the Obama campaign as unprofessional and all misdirection away from the real problems we are facing in our country. They just keep making up utter distortions and lies about Romney and are out there selling it to the public because lot of the public are naive, uninformed, will almost believe anything, and will not take the time or energy to find out what is true or not.

    You have to ask why they continue this line of political ads instead of focusing on the phenomenal positive record of the Obama administration and out there bragging about it. Why aren’t they bragging about Obamacare, for example? Oh, maybe it is because most Americans want Obamacare repealed. What about the economy? Oh, maybe it is because the unemployment rate is stuck at the highest sustained level since the great depression. What about our national debt? Why aren’t they bragging about how they have reduced the national debt? Oh, maybe because he has raised it more in his four years then all Presidents before before him combined?

    So, the problem they have is that they have nothing positive to run on and have gone to gutter politics in a desperate move to stay in power. They have decided in order to stay in the Whitehouse they have to personally attack Romney and hope that it will take some votes away from him to keep Obama in the Whitehouse.

    VN:F [1.9.6_1107]
    Rate this comment:
    Rating: 3.7/5 (3 votes cast)

Leave a Comment





  • "Don't worry folks. To pay for these refugee giveaways,your Social Security benefits are going to have to be reduced big..." Comment by patriotone
    Posted in Bordering on Madness
  • ""We are as good as you are", is a non sequitur having nothing to do with the issue. We are..." Comment by nhpollack
    Posted in Bordering on Madness
  • "ragweed, "What has our government done to us????????" That was answered best by H. L. Mencken when he said, "Democracy is the..." Comment by nhpollack
    Posted in Bordering on Madness

Network-wide options by YD - Freelance Wordpress Developer