We all know one guy who’ll be crying in his cranberry sauce this year. And there’s bound to be plenty of discussion around the Romney Thanksgiving table about “gifts” and “entitlements” and those darn “Latinos.” (Do they even celebrate Thanksgiving?)
But as the final counts of the Election Day vote totals continue to roll in, it’s becoming increasingly clear that, as Washington Post “Plum Line” blogger Greg Sargent put it, there’s some “poetic justice” coming Mitt’s way.
His final vote count could be 47 percent of the popular vote.
How’s that for irony? That’s the exact number of Americans he said weren’t worth caring about.
You may recall a video that leaked shortly before the election showing Mitt famously (infamously?) moaning about why 47 percent of Americans weren’t worth his time. They were moochers who just wanted government handouts – you know, welfare checks and food stamps, education grants and healthcare – because they were too lazy to work.
After it got out, people called it a “gaffe.” It wasn’t. A gaffe is when someone says, “Corporations are people, too.” (Romney again.) Or, to be fair – or, at least, even-handed – “You didn’t build that.” (Obama.)
A gaffe is an off-the-cuff slip-of-the-tongue which, in today’s frantically Twitter-speed world of journalism and pseudo-journalism, the media and the candidate’s opponents seize upon to embarrass and attack him with.
Mitt’s “47 percent” wasn’t a gaffe.
It wasn’t even a Freudian slip, where someone means to say one thing and inadvertently says something that reveals what they’re really thinking about. George H.W. Bush’s tongue-fumble about Ronald Reagan before a crowd of listeners is frequently cited as a classic.
“For seven and a half years I’ve worked alongside President Reagan,” Papa Bush said, “and I’m proud to have been his partner. We’ve had some triumphs. We’ve made some mistakes. We’ve had some sex – setbacks.”
(You can see it for yourself here.)
That’s a slip.
That’s not what Mitt did.
He thought he was just talking to a bunch of similar-minded fat cat donors, so he could just open up and tell them what he really thought.
“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” he said. “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 healthcare, to food, to housing, to you name it.”
That’s what he really thinks.
And what does he think he should do about it?
“My job is not to worry about those people,” he continued. “I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”
So here’s the poetic justice part:
Believe it or not, more than two weeks after the election, only about 10 states have actually finished counting all the votes cast. Part of the problem is what are known as “provisional ballots.” Those are the ones people cast, but there’s a question about the person’s eligibility or something that puts them in doubt. The local elections office has to determine whether it should really be counted or not.
Well, the provisional ballots, it turns out, tend to be heavily Democratic. That could be more irony for Romney since one of the reasons there are so many provisional ballots is because Republican officials around the country tried to impose a bunch of new rules to prevent minorities they thought would vote for Obama from being able to.
They’re also still being counted in heavily Democratic states, like New York, which had its election process thrown into chaos by Hurricane Sandy.
So as more are being added to the final total, Mitt Romney’s percentage of the popular vote is slipping ever closer to 47 percent.
Tuesday, it stood at 64,185,237 votes for Obama, 60,099,431 for Romney and 2,136,965 for “Other,” according to Dave Wasserman’s “Popular Vote Tracker” for the Cook Political Report. That comes to 50.77 percent for Obama and 47.54 percent for Romney.
And Wasserman told Sargent that because of the way the count is trending, he’s absolutely certain Romney will finish below 47.5.
The blatantly biased Daily Kos has launched a “Romney 47 percent watch” based on Wasserman’s tracker, and is savoring Mitt’s slide with regular updates.
“If Romney hits 47.49 percent, his totals will round down to 47 percent,” the “Kos,” Markos Moulitsas, wrote. “It doesn’t matter of course, but it would be delicious irony to see him finish the election at that very famous 47 percent mark.”
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