Anatomy of a smear job

OK, here’s the Mitt Romney/illegal alien story in a nutshell:

Mitt Romney, lame duck governor of Massachusetts, likely 2008 Republican candidate for president, and outspoken opponent of illegal immigration, hired a landscaping company to tend his yard. The company is owned by a person who is either an American citizen or a legal immigrant. However, the owner has reportedly hired almost exclusively illegal aliens to work for him, including tending to Romney’s property.

At no point did Romney actually hire any illegal aliens, nor is he required to verify the immigration status of employees of the company he hired. In fact, I think he might not even be able to legally demand proof of their immigration status.

Well, that ain’t enough for the Boston Globe. Not only did they decide to temporarily set aside one of their favorite terms — “undocumented workers” — and embrace the hateful, bigoted, divisive term “illegal aliens,” but they thought that Romney’s offense was so great that they staked out Romney’s house for weeks, sent reporters down to Guatemala, and featured the story (and a big color photo) on the front page.

And now, days later, it’s the subject of not one, but two op-ed pieces on the matter, essentially calling him a hypocrite.

While the Boston Globe is on its high horse on hypocrisy and public officials, let me toss a couple of other primo examples of such behavior:

  • Ted Kennedy, staunch supporter of raising taxes and preserving the inheritance tax, arranged for his mother to be declared a resident of Florida upon her death. Florida, unlike Massachusetts, has no estate tax. The minor matter that Mrs. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy had not left her Cape Cod home in over a dozen years was overlooked.
  • John Kerry and Ted Kennedy (again), both leading proponents of everyone “paying their fair share,” have both repeatedly declined to pay more than the legal minimum in state taxes. In Massachusetts, taxpayers can pay the standard 5.3% income tax, or choose to pay at a 5.8% level if they feel the state needs more. Every year, less than .01% of taxpayers choose to do so — and neither senator ever makes that list.
  • John Kerry (him again) held on to his seat in the United States Senate, collecting his full paycheck, while running for president — missing roughly 90% of the roll call votes of the 2003-2004 session. That didn’t prevent the Globe from calling on Romney to resign as governor when he was just considering a run for president, and after he had announced that he would not see re-election this year.
  • Boston’s mayor, a frequent critic of people choosing their own vehicles to get around the city instead of public transportation and regular advocate (when he can be understood) of more economically-friendly vehicles, ordering a nearly-three-ton SUV for his official vehicle.

I could go on (and on and on and on — this is a perfect example of why I created a “Mass. Insanity” category), but I think I’ve made my point.

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