Monday, July 23, 2012

Watcher's Forum: Should Mitt Romney Release Additional Tax Returns Beyond The Last Two Years?

Welcome to the Watcher's Forum,where every Monday the Council Members and our invited guests weigh in with short takes one of the issues of the day.

In view of ( or more likely, in sync with) a blitz of negative ads by the Obama Campaign, there has been a great deal of media frenzy for the likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney to release 12 year's worth of taxes..and that call has been echoed by conservative pundits like Bill Kristol, George Will and the editors of the National Review. Up until now, Governor Romney has cited two years of current tax returns by former presidential candidates John McCain and John Kerry and has stood firm on releasing only two years of returns.

Should he reverse himself and release more?

The Independent Sentinel
:If Romney releases his tax returns, the opposition will use them to demonize him no matter what they find - they'll just make it up.

In the end, there will be no end and it will make Romney look weak. Romney needs to turn the tables and ask Obama to first release all his sought-after records, starting with information about why the publisher of his faux autobiography thought he was born in Kenya.

Bookworm Room:No. That simple. No.

Joshuapundit: I certainly like the idea of full disclosure. I personally suggest President Obama do what a leader does, and provide the example he wishes others to follow.

I'm particularly interested in President Obama releasing from executive privilege all the documents from Fast and Furious that Congress subpoenaed; releasing any and all documents pertaining to the Democrat primaries in Pennsylvania and Colorado where two Senate candidates publicly admitted they were offered quid pro quos by the White House not to primary incumbents ( a felony under federal law); disclosing exactly why his campaign disabled the default VISA identification software on his campaign website, allowing campaign donations to be submitted under aliases and fake addresses; Full disclosure on exactly why Michelle Obama's law license was revoked by the Illinois bar, and a statement by the president addressing what connection, if any, there was between his obtaining an earmark of over $1 million for University Of Chicago Hospital and the employment of Mrs Obama as 'vice president of community relations' at an exorbitant salary in what essentially was a no show job.

There are a number of other things I think the American people have a right to know about this most secretive and clandestine of presidents, but since President Obama is obviously not going to be 'transparent' about any of it, calls for Governor Romney to do so are hypocritical at best. It might also occur to you that the IRS is a federal agency under the president's command, his people have almost certainly already seen Governor Romney's returns and a whole slew of distorted and misleading negative ads are no doubt already in the pipeline.

Governor Romney has absolutely nothing to gain from providing the minions of the Obama Campaign and their media lackeys with fresh ammo to Palin-ize him. If he stands fast, Governor Romney's taxes will just become another leftist talking point...and one that will likely be obscured by this president's execrable record to all but True Believers.

David Gerstman, AKA Soccer Dad: My short answer is no. My long answer is "hell, no."
Seriously, there are those who claim that transparency's at stake and if Romney doesn't release more returns than he is required to by law, it will be because he is hiding something.

I don't buy it.

Though there are Republicans and even supporter of Gov. Romney who feel that he should release his returns, the main groups asking for the returns are Democrats and the media.It's simple opportunism. The media has disqualified itself from being a fair or impartial arbiter of the political sphere.

One of the most disgraceful attacks on Sen. McCain during the 2008 campaign was a poorly sourced New York Times story suggesting that the Senator had an inappropriate relationship with a younger woman. The story was so shoddy it even earned a rare rebuke from the public editor.

I think that ignores the scarlet elephant in the room. A newspaper cannot begin a story about the all-but-certain Republican presidential nominee with the suggestion of an extramarital affair with an attractive lobbyist 31 years his junior and expect readers to focus on anything other than what most of them did. And if a newspaper is going to suggest an improper sexual affair, whether editors think that is the central point or not, it owes readers more proof than The Times was able to provide.

The editor who shepherded the story through to publication was Jill Abramson. Abramson didn't back down after the rebuke and stood by the story. Last year the New York Times promoted Abramson to the position of executive editor following the retirement of Bill Keller. Abramson's unapologetic role in a partisan hit piece did not disqualify her from assuming the top job at the paper. Clearly, non-partisanship is not a quality that is essential at the New York Times.

The media has abdicated any pretense of fairness. What they want is control. They want to dictate to us what are the important qualities of a candidate. They want to dictate to us how a candidate should behave. But most of all they want Democrats to be elected.

As McCain learned, no matter what Romney does he will never earn their love or even approval. The demand for Romney's tax returns is just another hoop the media wants him to jump through before they pronounce his unfitness for the Presidency. He has nothing to gain by releasing more returns. Romney's better off signaling his contempt for the media by refusing to play by their rules and not releasing any more returns.

(Read the rest here)

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