Mitt Romney has recently dismissed 47 percent of Americans as moochers off the dole who don't pay taxes, and that is rather extraordinary. He says to his private super-rich donors that the said 47 percent "will never go for him" because of his tax policy ... which is yet to be explained.
His arrogant honesty explains why earlier in his campaign he remarked that he "didn't worry about the poor." Well, he can count on poor old West Virginia. For reasons described in Ed Rabel's excellent column recently, politics here have been poisoned by Big Coal for a long time. Too long.
Statistically, we are old and we are poor, but here's the important thing: The vast majority of us worked hard all our lives, paid our share of income taxes, still pay property, sales and gasoline taxes and the innumerable taxes that are called fees these days. Fees on everything from the Sanitary Board, the fire department and garbage to the "user fees" in some cities. Mitt has no concern or respect for that. But he'll snag the vote here because our politics are corrupt in both parties, and he is white. We will lick the boot that kicks us aside.
Nationally, though, it's a different story. Romney's campaign is a mess and he's losing. I believe GOP operatives are aware of that, but hey, in that party, it was considered, with a sigh, that yeah, it was Mitt's turn to run and they fell in line. They always have. So the GOP operatives are actually concentrating on the Congressional races, as well they might. Super PACs will be dumping money here and elsewhere to ensure that the House remains in GOP hands, at a minimum. I believe the GOP has demonstrated a genius for losing Senate seats in recent years, by nominating absolute kooks and nuts as candidates in Nevada, Delaware, and now Missouri. (The GOP even walked away from Todd Akin in Missouri recently after his obnoxious demonstration of ignorance regarding women's health and rape.) So I believe the Senate will remain in the tenuous hold of the Democratic Party.
If the status quo holds, we can expect more of Mitch McConnell threatening filibusters in the Senate, more of John Boehner crying because he can't control Eric Cantor in the House, more stalemate. But West Virginians can make a difference if they vote out Capito and McKinley.
It has been an accepted paradigm that Americans prefer a divided government over a unified government. That is to say, one in which one party controls Congress while the other holds the White House. I believe that was true in the days of a loyal opposition. Yet there is nothing loyal in the opposition of the GOP these days. They have devoured their own reasonable people. The Democrats were perhaps naive too long, blindsided by the ferocity of the scorched earth policy of the battle waged against them for the last 15 years, since Grover Norquist rose to prominence with the GOP.
It's a shame on all of us. But West Virginia has perhaps, the most shame of all, because collectively, we will lick Romney's filthy boot.
Claymore is a retired teacher and a Gazette contributing columnist.