Democrats & Liberals Archives

Apples and Oranges on Disclosure

Republicans, seeking something to distract people from the question of what was in Romney’s Tax Returns, decided to press once again for disclosure of the President’s college transcripts, apparently in the hopes that they could scare Democrats out of looking any further. God knows, they need them to stop finding out things. There’s one problem with this strategy: Romney’s not disclosing his college records, and Obama released several years of his tax returns before he even got into office.

In seeking to dispel what they're calling a double standard, they really employ another. Mitt Romney has made his college transcripts available to no one, and what are the odds that he would release them?

Not good. For whatever reason, he's not bothering.

And you know what? Most Democrats I know aren't anxious to know.

I won't go into the reasons most Republicans want to search Obama's educational records, however crass, racist, or patronizing they might be. The simple fact here, the simple argument is that Romney has not released his college transcripts, and Obama has released probably ten years worth at this point, including the ones he released as President.

A recent CNN poll had 63% of people stating that he should release his tax returns. People genuinely want to know.

What's more, this is normal for a Presidential candidate. If you don't like scrutiny, President is not the job you should be going after. Obama's gotten more than his fair share, and stood up under the weight of speculation Mitt Romney's not had to.

For Romney Supporters and Republicans to come out and call on Obama to release his transcripts when Romney never has, while insisting Romney gets to duck out on the requirement that Obama has fulfilled is to set a double standard of opacity, where Romney gets to keep his secrets, while Obama has to divulge his. With the current lead that Obama has over Romney in the national and state polls, Romney's lack of candor, his insistence on a double standard hasn't served him well.

The Right cannot insist on secrecy for their own, and scrutiny for others, without causing people to question whether the Right's policies and politics can really stand the light of day. It's time for the disinfectant of sunlight to go where it really needs to go in this election, into the dark corners, not where the light has already been shined again and again without finding incriminating evidence. If Romney is clean, he might get to be President, might get to frame himself as a victim with somewhat more credibility. If he's not so blameless? Then really, it was never meant to be.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2012 4:55 PM
Comment #350463

“If Romney is clean, he might get to be President.”

Would Stephen care to define “clean”. Didn’t someone call obama “clean”. I don’t know what that meant either.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2012 6:13 PM
Comment #350465

I am enjoying the free-for-all in New York City of hundreds of women waiting in line for a free sexual pleasure device.

Some enterprising politician should run on a platform of providing those items free for all women, even illegals in our country. I am sure that some lib could declare that a “right” exists under our constitution in the “welfare clause” contending they have a right to the happiness supposedly provided by these devices.

Frankly, I find this to be discrimination against men. I am waiting for obama to weigh in on the issue after doing some polling.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 10, 2012 6:24 PM
Comment #350467

Royal Flush-
Clean in this case is the lack of scandal-worthy behavior. I thought that was obvious, but it appears that some people are too distractable.

As for the sex toy comment, I really think you’ve convinced the women on this site that the drugs they use in order to plan when they have their children, or to regulate their hormones are the equivalent of dildoes and vibrators. Good job!

In the meantime, I notice your’re not disputing my main point: That since Obama has released his Tax Returns, as is traditional, and Romney has not released his college transcripts, that Obama shouldn’t have to release the college transcripts, and Romney should release his Tax Returns. So, what are your thoughts on that?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2012 7:55 PM
Comment #350474


Romney paid his taxes legally. There is virtually no possibility of scandal.

What you guys want to do is keep up the class warfare. You want to show that Romney is rich.

Why didn’t you care about Kerry? His big money came from his wife, yet she never revealed a thing.

I believe Obama’s transcripts are more relevant than Romney’s taxes. See what kind of classes he took and what grades he got.

I think people like you and I would find out that Romney made makes more money than we do (no surprise) but that we got better grades as undergrads than Obama.

Posted by: C&J at August 10, 2012 9:49 PM
Comment #350483

Tomorrow morning Romney will announce his candidate for VP.

It’s his one chance to play his ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card, and completely change the national subject of discussion. In that respect, it’s a good time to make the announcement. The political situation was getting out of hand. The national discussion was about his failure to release taxes, Bain, and so on. The most recent polls show Obama up +7 (CNN & Ipsis) and up +9 (FOX).

The bad news is that Romney was forced to use his “Get Out of Jail Free’ card so early. It’s three weeks to the GOP convention, and barring an astonishingly bad selection along the lines of another Sarah Palin, the announcement will not control the news cycle for more than a week. If it goes more than a week, then there’s a big problem with the VP candidate. I predicted Portman a long time ago, and I’ll stick with that prediction. He’s vetted, clean, from OH, and not likely to upstage the top of the ticket. If it’s not Portman or some other relatively well vetted candidate, then Katie bar the door.

Posted by: phx8 at August 11, 2012 12:20 AM
Comment #350484

Correction: the GOP convention is the week of 8/27.

Various outlets are reporting Ryan is the VP pick. Could it really be Christmas in August for the Democrats? It seems to good to be true. Ryan for VP. Lots of backslapping and high fives on liberal web sites. Obama must be the luckiest politician in the world.

Posted by: phx8 at August 11, 2012 1:08 AM
Comment #350485

I’m not sure why you are so happy that Ryan may be the pick… The goal is not to convince progressive who would never vote for a republican, but to convince the middle/libertarian and conservatives who are questioning Romney…

Many liberals already believe that Republicans wouldn’t mind seeing children (poor, minority and handicapped children, at least) contracting deadly bacterial diseases, even if conservatives won’t explicitly say so. Many liberals assume that the wealthy (especially those who have an exotic career, such as “banker”) never really pay their share in taxes and probably cheat and devastate the poor to achieve success. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid might not have any proof that Romney hasn’t paid a penny in taxes in a decade, but it plays to a larger social truth about conservatives; it is a given.

So, no matter whom Republican Mitt Romney finally taps as his vice presidential nominee, Democrats will accuse this person of crimes against common decency and fairness. This person will, you can bet, be indicted as someone hellbent on “dismantling” Social Security, sacrificing Medicare to the gods of social Darwinism and “slashing” the safety net into worthless tatters.

If that’s the case, says David Harsanyi, why not pick a politician who actually speaks about reforming entitlement programs in a serious way? Someone who has actually come up with some ideas that reach beyond platitude? Rep. Paul Ryan, who was spotted pushing a frail wheelchair-bound elderly woman off a cliff in a political ad last year, is really the only person on the shortlist we keep hearing about who fits the bill.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 1:13 AM
Comment #350486

Running against Ryan is a dream come true for Democrats. The most obvious reason is the Ryan budget, with its proposal to replace Medicare with a voucher system. There are other, less obvious reasons as well.

First, Ryan is inexperienced. He has never run at the statewide level, never mind a national campaign. While he might be head and shoulders above someone like Sarah Palin, he is, nevertheless, inexperienced. He won’t be bringing any significant organizational skills to the table; instead, it will be OTJ training for him.

Second, Ryan is inexperienced. He has no foreign policy experience whatsoever. That might not be so bad, but neither does Romney; and even that might not be so bad, except that if foreign policy becomes a focus in the next few months, these guys are toast.

Third, Ryan is inexperienced. He is only 42 years old. His job experience is limited to some odd jobs, internships, and being a young congressman. He’s more charismatic than Romney, but just as unable to understand the concerns older people might have about issues such as, oh, say, Medicare.

Ryan might help swing WI to the red column. Then again, maybe not. In any case, he will not bring along any significant demographic blocks, such as women, latinos, and so on.

It’s a risky choice calculated to appeal to the conservate base. But Ryan lacks clout in so many other areas, it will be a tremendous relief to the Obama campaign.

Just some armchair quarterbacking on my part… I think Romney needed to assume he would carry his base anyway, and find a choice with a moderate reputation that would help carry the middle. Ryan helps solidify support among conservatives, but leaves the middle and the left totally out of the voting mix. It’s a badly unbalanced ticket that might make right wing ideologues happy… at least until they see the results of the vote.

Posted by: phx8 at August 11, 2012 1:58 AM
Comment #350487

First, there’s a question about what he did with those Swiss and Cayman accounts. He may have had to take advantage of an amnesty back there a few years ago, and paid the taxes, penalties and fees. After all the Republican Party has done to bash Democrats over their tax mix-ups, it’s rather doubtful that such a problem would be overlooked.

But let’s say for the sake of argument, since the evidence isn’t there, that he’s done nothing illegal. Well, not all practices that are legal are smiled upon. There are plenty of legal things one can do that reflect negatively on oneself. Clinton did not cover himself in glory with Monica Lewinsky. Nor did Bush cover himself in glory with his time in the TANF, even if he made an arrangement with them to make up the missed drills. It doesn’t have to be illegal to look bad.

In your urgency to defend him, you have to keep that in mind.

Lucky? I guess it depends on the situation. I think Obama recognizes that by this point, he’s running against a group of people who reliably flee to the right, and who will react to the most normal, unquestionable policy in an excessive and abrasive way.

It’s been difficult, though, because he’s taken a lot of flack both for what he didn’t get done because of them, but also for making deals with them.

His luck has been to realize that people haven’t turned hard to the right, they were just getting a little desperate, and faced with some of the Republican policies, they’re not going to be as thrilled as the GOP wants to believe.

And unfortunately for them, the Tea Party’s cut the brakelines for the GOP, so they can’t react to the unpopularity of the bills outside the party, without running into the popularity of the bills within it.

This is not the position a political party should seek out, when it’s got itself on the horns of a dilemma between responding to the general population, the centrists and moderates, and trying to keep its base intact with policies that don’t appeal to them. The more the Obama campaign forces those conflicts, the better the chance they have to win.

And the Romney campaign, if they’ve really chosen Ryan, have handed Democrats manna from heaven. They’ve taken the author of one of the most poorly received policy proposals of the last four years, and put him front and center on the ticket. If I didn’t know any better, the Romney campaign was giving up and setting Ryan to take the fall for the crappy campaign. I mean, the Romney campaign has just been the gift that keeps on giving, and Ryan gives us a golden opportunity.

Oh, yes, and we get Ayn Rand to throw in their for free. Nothing like a bit of Objectivism, with all its sociopathic business philosophy to liven up a campaign.

I mean, my first reaction was to laugh out loud that he was the pick. Romney’s in full cave in mode to the right, and he’s so panicked he’s not even going to see it coming when Obama snaps up the center.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 3:21 AM
Comment #350488

Interesting, so his big knock is his inexperience, while running for VP, yet weren’t we told in 2008 that inexperience wasn’t an issue for Obama? Then, inexperience was ok but now it’s something you think progressives are going to hammer on, without having quotes from four years ago thrown back at them?

You are right, this could get interesting…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 3:23 AM
Comment #350489

Just as a start…

Obama has a learning curve to go through- I will concede that- but he seems capable of learning, and his attitude is mature. No one comes into the office of president fully prepared and knowing everything. It’s impossible.

Phx8 in 2008

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 3:31 AM
Comment #350494

The big knock against Ryan is not foreign policy. It is the Ryan Budget. That’s why virtually everyone one on the left is raising their glasses and whooping it up. It… it seems too good to be true.

Anyway, this is not a foreign policy election, and neither was 2008. Foreign policy will be a weakness, though, if it unexpectedly comes to the forefront. While Obama might have been inexperienced in 2008, he now has a very strong resume and string of accomplishments.

I agree about this being a move that seems like a kind of concession by Romney to a big loss. I guess the GOP will console itself for its ideololgical purity, even as they wonder what the heck happened.

Posted by: phx8 at August 11, 2012 9:27 AM
Comment #350495

Ryan basically innoculates Obama on the “never worked in the private sector” charge- the man is a lifetime politician.

But more to the point? A lot of people in Romney’s critical demographic are going to come to realize that the architect of the plan that many of them found alarming, is the man who is going to become Vice President.

Romney just turned this campaign into a referendum on Medicare. Or, in other words, He just lost Florida.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 9:56 AM
Comment #350501
Oh, yes, and we get Ayn Rand to throw in their for free. Nothing like a bit of Objectivism, with all its sociopathic business philosophy to liven up a campaign.

As expected, let the smears begin… don’t let the facts get in the way.

In April, Ryan told the National Review’s Robert Costa that his supposed devotion to Rand’s teaching was “an urban legend.”

“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan said this year. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas…Don’t give me Ayn Rand.”

While Ryan said he “enjoyed” Rand’s novels when he was young, he added that it “it’s a big stretch to suggest that a person is therefore an Objectivist.”

There is a difference between saying that a writer influenced you and that you agree with some of their ideas and assigning every thought that person had onto them…

But, I wouldn’t expect the progressives looking to further their partisan power of the lives of the citizens of the United States to worry much about things like that…

Bring back the pushing grandma out of her wheelchair again, that’s an old standby!

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 11:29 AM
Comment #350504

BTW, it didn’t matter who Romney chose as I pointed out, the progressives were going to tar them with being evil incarnate, eater of children’s lunches, hater of old people, Godzilla in a suit, etc. It’s really all they have at this point, it’s not like they can run on record or success…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 11:44 AM
Comment #350522

In the meantime, I notice your’re not disputing my main point: That since Obama has released his Tax Returns, as is traditional, and Romney has not released his college transcripts, that Obama shouldn’t have to release the college transcripts, and Romney should release his Tax Returns. So, what are your thoughts on that?
Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 10, 2012

I believe the key word you wrote is “traditional”. Has Romney met the requirements of law? If yes, then it is up to him to decide since they are His tax returns. Not bowing to political pressure could be considered a strong point in a candidate.

Romney is suspected of being too embarrassed by his possibly low (but legal) tax percentage rate to reveal the returns. Perhaps this is true. It is a possible reason.

On the other hand, if obama has extremely high grades, something of which most people would be proud, what is his explanation for not making them public?

Since Stephen seems enthralled with “tradition”, I would ask why he does not follow the two thousand year tradition of his church regarding practicing homosexuality.

Posted by: Royal Flush at August 11, 2012 1:46 PM
Comment #350530

So, when did the love affair with Ayn Rand supposedly fall apart?

From the New York Magazine:

Ryan now frequently casts his opposition to Obama in technocratic terms, but he hasn’t always done so. “It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the health-care plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” Ryan said in 2009. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.” Ryan’s philosophical opposition to a government that forces the “makers” to subsidize the “takers”—terms he still employs—is foundational; the policy details are secondary.

As for the love affair with her books being something of a youthful fixation, I don’t think being roughly 35 years of age counts you as all that young, thank you very much. That was 2005, when he addressed an Atlas Society event, an organization of Rand devotees.

I mean, really, I expect you to try and argue your way out of this, but I think this is pretty clear evidence that Ayn Rand is more than a youthful vice for him.

I know it’s uncomfortable, because Ayn Rand positively hated religion, believing man’s reason to be the sole route to insight, true morality, and freedom. She was a militant atheist. But as with all thinkers, great or not, her followers don’t necessarily follow the cord all the way to the wall on what folks believe. Like many philosophers, her beliefs get adulterated and bunched in with others. That’s not to say there aren’t incompatibilities, but since when has that stopped people from being hypocrites, of one kind or another?

But as for your second comment? Perhaps any Republican would have to bear the brunt of some criticism, but what you should understand is that with Ryan, you have a particularly high profile policy, a budget that was condemned by many as immoral in its harshness on the poor and disadvantaged, as it redistributes wealth upwards.

Ryan makes several 99% vs 1% arguments visceral, making this a referendum on issues the Republicans would have been better off leaving alone.

Royal Flush-
Don’t confuse legal with moral, or well-thought of. It was never a question of whether he had to, but of whether he should, and most Americans come down on the side of disclosure. They want to know what he’s been up to.

As for the transcripts? That’s not normally asked for in a Presidential campaign. People don’t tend to assume that colleges commit academic fraud. The fact that Obama’s achievements have not been given the benefit of the doubt should be a shame for your party they never live down.

I think it’s only fair if Romney won’t disclose his educational records, Obama shouldn’t have to either. I also think it’s fair that the extent to which Obama has been transparent with us about what he’s earned and how he’s dealt with it should be the extent to which Romney must be so candid. Why do you not stand for such equality of disclosure? Or, put another way, what’s behind your assertion that Obama must be given special scrutiny?

As far as the other “tradition” goes?

It was once traditional that women be withheld from the workplace and forced to live out their lives making babies for the rest of their lives. Slavery was once traditional.

And Western Tradition, if you go back to the Romans and Greeks, also includes quite a bit of homosexuality, and that goes further back than the earliest Christian texts. Let’s also keep in mind that the bible is a product of its times, and those times had people believing some now not so beloved things. Honestly, I’m going by what my own experiences told me, and the conscience that helped developed. I know what it is, thanks to my autism, to be different from others in a way you can’t help, and can never undo.

Understanding that, I can’t look at somebody who is born that way, and tell them, no, you can’t be happy with others who are different like you, you can’t create a permanent, monogamous, loyal, loving relationship with the other human being you can love as most men and most women love each other.

I don’t think of homosexuality as immoral in and of itself. I think the ancients were wrong about that, as they were wrong about things like dietary laws, and what kind of fabric you could make your clothes out of. They had this cosmogonical idea of order and chaos, and to their mind, homosexuality was unnatural. Science now tells us otherwise.

I can’t believe God created people like them, just to chuck them into hell if they followed through on the way he created them. I think there’s a morality to sexuality, don’t get me wrong, but it’s one that applies to the common experiences that the different orientations go through. Forcing yourself on somebody is bad whether it’s heterosexual or not. Cheating on somebody is bad for any orientation. And yes, a consenting adult should only be with a consenting adult. Children just simply aren’t able to make mature decisions, and if they’re young enough, don’t even have a real appreciation for what’s supposed to be involved. Children should have the chance to grow up, grow into that part of their lives.

But that wasn’t the kind of tradition I was talking about. No, what I was talking about here was a tradtion of openness. Why can’t Romney be that open about it, when that is the norm? Is scrutiny only required for those who are not Republicans? What justifies a double standard here?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 3:42 PM
Comment #350543


We all know Romney is rich. In 2010, he paid more than $3 million in Federal taxes and over the past two years gave more than $7 million in charity. Obama by comparison paid $162,000 in taxes last year.

That means that Romney’s “Contribution” to the U.S. treasury was more than 18 times as much as Obama’s.

Both candidates paid more in taxes than I earned, so I figure that both made bigger contributions than I did, so I cannot complain about either.

Posted by: C&J at August 11, 2012 5:16 PM
Comment #350561
I mean, really, I expect you to try and argue your way out of this, but I think this is pretty clear evidence that Ayn Rand is more than a youthful vice for him.

I am not arguing out of anything, I’m making the point that agreeing with some things that another person says doesn’t not mean you agree with EVERYTHING that other person says…

For example, libertarians find common ground with conservatives and progressives, but that doesn’t mean we are conservatives OR progressives. Catholics and Muslims and Jews all have a common basis for their sacred texts, but that doesn’t make them the same.

Just because Rand inspired Ryan when he was younger and he has carried a fondness of some of her ideals, and the way her writing has mirrored some conservative ideals, does not make him an OBJECTIVIST.

I expect more out of you, Stephen.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 8:03 PM
Comment #350563

Obama does not want his college records revealed for the simple reason that smokin’ dope 101 is probably the only class he got an A+ in. Blowin smoke up yours 101 he got a B- in that one. Lying 101 he got an A in that one. Constitutional Law he failed. So it is this brief that he is not wanting to reveal his college records. And he has spent $4 million to keep them hidden. Quite a dildo that guy.

Posted by: tom humes at August 11, 2012 8:19 PM
Comment #350569

And the Obama camp is jumping into the muck feet first…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 8:48 PM
Comment #350702

The guy is promoting Randian ideals by name, and attending conferences of Rand Devotees well into his adulthood, well into this last decade. Why should I be ashamed of calling the man a devotee of Ayn Rand?

The basic problem for a true Randian in a broader Republican Party is that Objectivism is a militantly atheistic philosophy. Republicans, however much they have integrated elements of Objectivism into their doctrine and dogma, are still dependent on Christian Conservatives, who, however well indoctrinated into the practice of Randian beliefs, still don’t react well to somebody saying God doesn’t exist and the people who believe in Him are deluded.

Hence the charade on Ryan’s part. But however deeply behind the coats he buries himself in Ayn Rand’s closet, he still had quite a length of time in his life, up until recently, when he wasn’t jockeying for the shortlist of GOP VP candidates, or trying to keep Congress together on an issue, where he was free to be a fervent Randian and said quite a lot to that effect.

I look at your attempt to make me feel ashamed of myself, and can only smile. The evidence is definite on the matter. The guy was handing out Rand books as Christmas Presents within the last decade. He was attending conventions of fellow enthusiasts, in the midst of the last decade. It is possible he could have suddenly decided to shed Randian thought within the last few years, but is it likely?

No. The guy is an objectivist. And like some, he may consider himself a Christian, doing the usual business of not paying too much attention to the contradictions that accompanies trying to hold two incompatible philosophies together. But he knows that his favorite philosopher said some pretty divisive things on religion, particularly Christian religion. So, he’s going to say, “Don’t look at that woman behind the curtain!”

As for whether conservative ideals were mirrored from her works, I would dispute that. I would say that they are the basis for much of the Middle-class aimed rhetoric, the Welfare Queen/Entitlements are bad rhetoric. They’re the central core philosophy that makes it possible to challenge the moral sentiments which underly Social Security, Medicare, and indeed anything helpful the government might do for its people. It’s not coincidence that the Conservative movement has gradually gotten more and more intolerant of anything being done by government means.

The Trouble with Randian thought, at its core, is that it relies on the goodness of man. I know that sounds strange, but without the real world cooperation of people, without them all coming together and acting in a manner that comes to moral conclusions based on that reasoning, the unbinding that the Randian believers do usually results in the unchaining of sociopathic behavior.

Reason alone cannot guide human behavior, people must value things beyond money and self-gratification for a workable society to function.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 14, 2012 12:46 AM
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