At one time or another, most people have fantasized about what they would do if they were rich. I'm talking what we used to call filthy rich. I know what I would do. I would start a Super PAC. I would fund it myself, write the ads, make the media buys, and drive liberals crazy. It would be so much fun.
I would start with Mitt Romney's taxes. The Obama campaign points out that Romney pays a lower percentage rate than does his running mate, Paul Ryan. The premise of the argument is faulty, of course, but conservatives don't seem to know how to stop the other side from defining the issue.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger first ran for governor of California, he tapped billionaire Warren Buffett to advise him on economic issues. Buffett proceeded to tell the media that he paid more than $14,000 in property taxes annually on his primary residence in Omaha, which was valued at $500,000, while paying less than $2,000 a year on his $2.4 million home in Laguna Beach, California. It was Buffet's belief that the California model, not Nebraska's, was the flawed one.
This attitude is at the heart of the current debate over Mitt Romney's tax bill. My fantasy Super PAC ad would ask several questions: Where is it written that government always has to grow? If a wealthy person pays a lower rate than someone making less, why is it logical to assume that the rich guy's taxes should be raised? Why not lower the taxes of the person with a more modest income? Of what benefit is it to Paul Ryan — or any of us — to raise Mitt Romney's taxes? You want to help me out? Lower my taxes!
My second Super PAC commercial would fill the vacuum left by Republicans who have abandoned Missouri GOP U.S. Senate nominee Todd Akin. Admittedly, by expressing his opposition to abortion in cases of rape the way he did, Akin provided a giant political hole through which pro-abortion radicals could drive an armored personnel carrier. Democrats and the national media (but then, I'm being redundant, aren't I?) immediately began calling for Akin's head and linking him to Romney and Ryan. This hysteria on the left was soon followed by frightened GOP establishment types like Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove throwing Akin under the bus by threatening to cut off funding for his campaign unless he steps down as the Republican nominee challenging U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill. To his credit, he has refused to do so.
Akin has apologized for the clumsy way in which he addressed the issue, but that, of course, is not enough. When liberals apologize for "misspeaking" (think Joe Biden every other week), everyone is supposed to accept it at face value. When the apology comes from a conservative, the candidate cannot do enough bowing and scraping to stop the harangue.
As is so often the case, the Republican Party and its candidates are going to be tarred and feathered from top to bottom with the Akin comment regardless of what they do — or what he does. That's why my Super PAC would immediately start running ads in Missouri contrasting the views of Barack Obama and Claire McCaskill with those of Todd Akin and other conservative Republicans.
My ads would tell Missouri voters the truth about Obama's radical views on abortion. They would learn that as a state senator in Illinois, he supported infanticide by opposing the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, which called for saving the life of a baby born alive in the course of a botched abortion. Voters in the "Show Me" state would be told the truth about Obamacare, which, among other things, forces religious institutions to provide abortion services through their health plans — a loathsome provision for which Claire McCaskill provided the crucial 60th vote in the United States Senate.
As long as I'm fantasizing, I think I'll run my ads in every battleground state. Let's just see if these really are discussions the White House and their pet candidates want to have.
© 2012 Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. Now working as a freelance writer, his weekly columns are syndicated exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Astute supporters and inane detractors alike are encouraged to email him with their pithy comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.