Embassy attacks? Quick, find a squirrel! Warnings ignored? Squirrel! American troops killed by long-plotting jihadis exploiting security weaknesses? Squirrel! First Amendment sabotage by White House officials in the name of political correctness? Squirrel! Chronic joblessness, high gas prices, exploding dependency? Squirrel! Squirrel! Squirrel!
As Election Day draws nearer, the Obama campaign and its surrogates in the Fourth Estate have infested the political arena with an army of tactical and rhetorical rodentia. One week, it's GOP presidential rival Mitt Romney's high school hijinks. The next, it's a heinous smear about Romney killing a steelworker's cancer-stricken wife.
Or, it's a hit job on multiple sclerosis survivor Ann Romney's therapeutic horse. Then, it's faux rage over Romney's firm statement condemning the feckless White House response to the murders of our U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three other Americans in Benghazi.
This week, it's a "secret Romney video" shot undercover at a closed-door dinner with Florida donors in May. Unemployed Democratic operative James Carter IV (grandson of former president and malaise engineer Jimmy Carter) brokered the film to progressive Mother Jones magazine.
Now, the same media lapdogs who had conniption fits when the late Andrew Breitbart and conservative investigative journalist James O'Keefe used undercover video are tripping over themselves to publish glowing profiles of Carter the Fourth and his impressive "furtive efforts" to secure the Romney tapes.
Carter the Fourth found the cameraman on Twitter, invoked his family name and convinced the mole to leak the tape to Mother Jones' David Corn. To quote Joe Biden with all due sarcasm: BFD.
But back to the bigger Big, Fluffy Distraction at hand: Let's reflect for a moment on the Beltway hoo-hah over one small snippet from Romney's nearly hour-long talk. Here's the quote that has liberal finger-waggers and Republican wet-finger-in-the-wind windbags in meltdown mode:
"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what," Romney explained to an audience member who asked how the candidate was going to change the "we'll take care of you" mentality of Obama voters. "All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. ... And they will vote for this president no matter what."
Romney explained that this portion of voters was comprised of "people who pay no income tax. ... I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
He's talking, of course, about the Peggy the Moochers and Henrietta Hugheses of the world: savior-based Obama supporters for whom the cult of personality trumps all else. He's talking about the Sandra Flukes and Julias of the world: Nanny State grievance-mongers who have been spoon-fed identity politics and victim Olympics from preschool through grad school and beyond. And he's talking about the encrusted entitlement clientele who range from the Section 8 housing mob in Atlanta who caused a near-riot to the irresponsible, debt-ridden homeowners who mortgaged themselves into oblivion and want their bailout now, now, now.
Media wonks sliced and diced the words like hibachi chefs on bath salts. Beltway conservative scribes David Brooks and Bill Kristol denounced Romney as insensitive and out of touch. But Romney told hard political truths, which he's proclaimed openly on the campaign trail before. "If you're looking for free stuff you don't have to pay for, vote for the other guy," he told a heckler in March. "That's what he's all about, OK? That's not, that's not what I'm about."
Gasp! He said he's against freeloaders. Oh, the inhumanity.
In another section of the video that libs don't want to talk about, Romney received his biggest applause when he defended his success and mentioned what Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio's Cuban immigrant parents taught him. "When he grew up here poor, they looked at people who had a lot of wealth. His parents never once said, 'We need some of what they have. They should give us some.' Instead, they said, 'If we work hard and go to school, someday we might be able to have that.'"
Let the parsers and panicky pundits chase their tails and hurl their nuts. This election is about America's makers versus America's takers. Romney should never, ever apologize for making that clear.