Source: Yahoo

Do you think the Obama campaign is drawing inspiration for their “where are the tax returns?” push from the birth certificate debacle? It’s been interesting watching and listening to this developing over the weekend. I’m hearing questions and comments about Mitt Romney’s tax returns that sound a whole lot familiar to anyone who followed the birth certificate mocktroversy over the past several years. Questions like:

Where are the tax returns, Mitt Romney? What are you hiding in them? What don’t you want the American people to know?

Comments like:

Mitt Romney must be hiding something in those tax returns. There’s something on them he doesn’t want us to know.

Even other Republicans are jumping on the “Show us the tax returns, Mitt” bandwagon. Haley Barbour, not very well known for his liberal leanings, when asked by Wolf Blitzer if Mitt Romney should release his tax returns, responded, “I would,” adding that he didn’t think it should be a campaign issue. Of course, this invites the rejoinder that the Mitt Romney tax returns wouldn’t be a campaign issue if he’d just release them.

Now, mind you, I do understand the difference between the Obama birth certificate and the Romney tax returns. For one thing, no other presidential candidate in history felt the need to show his birth certificate publicly because the public had never demanded to see a candidate’s birth certificate before. Where tax returns are concerned, on the other hand, every modern presidential candidate HAS released his tax returns for multiple years, not just a single year, as Mitt Romney did.

And the tax return issue also plays into a few other themes that the birth certificate story rang; to wit:

– He’s not like the rest of us (the rich are different than you and me, after all)

– He’s unAmerican (Swiss bank accounts, offshore accounts in the Cayman Islands)

– He’s hiding something!

Other things play into the whole “he’s not like us” narrative, too, notably Romney’s awkwardness relating to everyday constituents and his remarkable comfort with his monetary peers. Reports from those who know him well suggest that he’s at ease, open and approachable among his fellow 1%ers — it’s just around us peons that he gets tongue-tied and finds himself saying odd things like “cheesy grits for breakfast” and “the trees are just the right height.” It certainly seems as if Mitt Romney doesn’t know how to relate to the “common people” — likely because HE thinks that the rich are different. They have different concerns. They have different lives. They have different aims. They believe that the world should be arranged for their convenience and policies should be designed to best benefit their portfolios because, in their experience, it always has.



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