I received about 100 tweets today–all on the theme that gaffe-prone Mitt Romney said “corporations are people, too,” thus proving what a corporate plutocrat Romney really is.
As it happens, Romney deserves harsh criticism for many of his actions and his policy views. Boiling things down to two words, he deserves criticism because he is a conservative Republican. So he should be called out for supporting regressive tax and spending measures, for his failure to speak out against tea Party brinksmanship on the debt ceiling, and a lot more. I certainly don’t plan to vote for him.
I don’t think he deserves specific criticism for what I see in this video clip—or at least for the “corporations are people, too” comment. In fact, I’m embarrassed by the rather rude, Tea Party level of decorum displayed by Romney’s hecklers.
It also gets pretty tiresome to follow along with the gotcha dynamics of modern campaign politics in which we make hay out of some political adversary’s comment pulled out of context. Romney’s statement can be made to sound like 19th-century conservative dogma, but it is actually more substantive and complicated than various funny tweets let on.
Politics is a contact sport. But let’s wait for the opportunity for a clean hit and not irritate the refs—er, the voters—with a rather cheap shot.