Quiet Rooms

When you get Mitt Romney off his 3×5 note cards, little windows open up that reveal his real thoughts.  Like that time in debate he mentioned how he told his groundskeeper he couldn’t hire any illegal aliens because he’s running for office, for God’s sake. Or when he said how much he likes being able to fire people.  Well, this week he let slip a doozy.

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In an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, the topic came up of the GOP’s accusation that Democrats are engaging in class warfare trying to stir up envy and jealousy among the masses.

Lauer:  .“Are there no fair questions about the distribution of wealth without it being seen as envy, though?”

Romney: “You know, I think it’s fine to talk about those things in quiet rooms. But the president has made this part of his campaign rally.”

As to who can be  in the quiet rooms where income disparity is discussed, Romney didn’t say. We can only surmise that he feels these matters are properly debated in secrecy by captains of industry and playboys of high finance, with maybe a few politicians in attendance to give the quiet rooms an air of official sanction.

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It is clear, however,  who is not called to Mitt Romney’s quiet rooms:  you and me.  God forbid a public figure should discuss matters of wealth and poverty within earshot of us little people, lest we proletarians be incited to take up our torches and pitchforks to raise a Marxist revolution against the Wall Street bourgeoisie. Much better to keep it in the quiet rooms and post security outside the door.  Nothing going on here. Move along.

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To be fair, Mitt Romney’s Quiet Rooms doctrine has noble origins, and it might even have merit. Plato, who was a strident foe of democracy, had the same idea 2,500 years ago. In his Republic a few wise and benevolent philosopher-kings worked these matters out in quiet rooms amongst themselves, while telling noble lies to the vulgar common rabble outside,  just to keep everything nice and orderly.  And who among us hasn’t thought at one time or another what a rotten thing democracy is, given the results of some elections? And yet, Plato surely didn’t mean that the philosopher-kings in the quiet rooms, who only seek  wise counsel for the well-being and happiness of all, would be corporate buccaneers from Banes Capitol  like Mitt Romney, swooping in to destroy firms and chop the legs off working folks for the benefit of a few investors.

What a window into the soul opens when Mitt Romney goes off script. Look for many more of them in the coming months as he goes head to head with President Obama.

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