A Conservative Method

Who: Paul Constant
What: "Mitt Romney Needs More Time to Finish His Taxes, Goddamnit", Slog
When: April 13, 2012

Noting that Mitt Romney has filed for an extension on reporting his taxes that would suggest a mid-October release of the candidate's 2011 financial information, Paul Constant speculates on the reasons:

I can't understand what the Romney campaign's motivation is in holding off on this. It seems like they'd just want to tear the Band-Aid off now, while the race is still heating up. Maybe they're afraid that releasing the 2011 taxes will incite more calls for previous years of Romney's taxes? But it seems like you'd want that controversy to happen as far away from Election Day as possible, wouldn't you? Maybe they're hoping the economy will flatline between now and then, because Romney's great personal wealth could again seem like a positive. Do they really think the press will forget about this? Why are they waiting to release these taxes?

We should remember that a tactical favorite of conservatives is to stir up a controversy and then complain about the fact that there is a controversy. We've seen it most recently and apparently in the GOP's War on Caterpillars.

Wait, wait, wait. It's not caterpillars. War on ... uh ... war on ... I don't know. The GOP's War on Something Important, but after GOP Chair Reince Priebus made that delightful joke about fuzzy-wuzzy caterpillars, I'm just too charmed to remember.

Or something like that.

But you know how it goes: Pass a bunch of stupid laws; say a bunch of stupid things. When everyone else gets pissed off, complain that ne'er-do-wells are mudslinging a manufactured controversy.

Having Romney's taxes come out in October would simply set up his campaign to pitch to the exceptionally gullible among that curious bloc that calls itself "independent voters" and whine about how the evil liberals are manufacturing a controversy to take everyone's attention away from the real issues.

True, it sounds almost unbelievably simplistic and stupid, but there is nothing about the transparent cynicism Team Romney has shown thus far that suggests intellectual exercise.