What About The Quiet American?

Henry Olsen nails it.
When I came of political age in the late 1970s, conservatism was led by two giants, Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp. Each came from humble backgrounds; each had known real adversity and expressed genuine empathy for the common man. Both had created uncommon lives for themselves. But neither thought that the people from the neighborhoods they left were anything but decent and honorable Americans, no matter how much they paid in taxes.
I'm not sure Romney's comment on its own means much. He was talking strategy off the cuff, and he's perfectly right that no matter what happens, Obama's poll #s hold steady at about 47%. But boy, talk radio the past few days has me depressed. They're all acting as if what Romney said was simple truth that ordinary folks will secretly respond well to.

Bollux. They could not be more out of touch if that's what they actually think.  And Romney is going to lose if he can't find a way to connect with working class America and quit speaking as if everyone was an entrepreneur. That's just a gussied up version of class warfare. (Maybe Romney is the actual Rand disciple on the ticket?)

Besides, if you're not paying taxes, by which we mean income taxes --the working poor pay social security, payroll taxes, state and local taxes, etc., thank you very much-- thank a Republican. Who do we suppose it is that indexed taxes to inflation and gave families the child tax credit? (We ARE at a tipping point where more people are receiving government help than paying into it, but there is a big difference between taking government loans for your kids' college and living entirely on the dole --as "takers.") 
when Romney divides the world into makers and takers and presumes that our ability to pay federal income tax is a measure of which group we belong to, he sends a different message. He implicitly tells average Americans that their quiet work doesn’t “make” America unless they are entrepreneurs who make enough money. Worse, he tells them that their lives aren’t even dignified, that they are “takers” who are unable to exercise personal responsibility over their lives.
I don’t know if my dad, who never graduated from college and who worked on his feet for 40 years, ever had a year in which he didn’t pay federal income taxes. Perhaps in 1970, when he was laid off during a recession and had a mortgage, two children and a third on the way. But I know he and millions like him “made” America because they made the things we buy and, more important, they made people like me.
It's not too late for Romney to pull this out. If the guy who showed up in Ohio mid-summer went back on the trail that would be something. But I increasingly have the feeling listening to Conservatives and to Catholics interested in social issues that Obama was right when he said in his inaugural address that the ground has shifted underneath "those people" (who still believe in the Declaration).  It has. As a group we are too busy pontificating and not spending enough time listening to what people actually say and how they think -- and then showing them how the Conservative vision includes them and is good for them. We all talk as if our principles were self-evident. Look at the polls. They ain't.