In these remaining moments that Mitt Romney remains a national figure, I have to ask: Does he not understand the transactional nature of government spending? This is a candidate who stumped in coal country promising to save the industry from health regulations and the natural gas industry, and who stumped in Virginia promising to increase spending on the defense programs that employed people in Tidewater.
I'm sure Romney gets this, and I'm sure -- because he keeps saying it -- that he views social programs as a dirtier deal for votes than actual spending on jobs that benefit certain constituencies. What's fascinating is that he keeps saying this to donors. The "47% tape" was recorded in front of wealthy donors who didn't understand why the rest of the country didn't back a candidate who was going to cut their taxes. Romney understood, and understands, that these people want to believe that poor voters are being exploited by Democrats and forced to vote themselves more benefits. It's a theory that undergirds a lot of conservative election analysis. Let's not just write off Romney as some gormless dweeb.
Points for the phrase "gormless dweeb."