To the Editor:
Like many others, my wife Marlene and I are concerned our national Republican Party has been purging its ranks of anyone who could be called “moderate” and leaving itself in the hands of extremists. So as lifelong Democrats, we were heartened to receive in September not one but two letters from Mitt Romney and the “Romney-Ryan team” asking for our support. Surely these letters, if serious, were a long-awaited sign of a rebirth of Republican moderation, bipartisanship and reaching across the aisle.
Well, we were wrong. The letters assumed we were Republicans, addressing Marlene as “one of our party’s most prominent members” and calling me “one of America’s most notable Republicans.” And the letters showed no retreat from the distinctly partisan Republican efforts at (1) causing the president to fail and (2) blaming the president for failing. Further, they asked for a “maximum personal contribution” of $2,500 (from Marlene) and $75,800 (from me), toward the election of Republican senators and congressmen as well as Romney and Ryan.
Much as we enjoyed, momentarily, the unexpected promotion that these requests implied – from the bottom 47 percent of Americans, made up of moochers and whiners, to the top 53 percent (maybe even 1 percent) who are productive citizens and Republicans – we realized that we had somehow misled the Romney-Ryan team.
Had we gone to church too regularly? But then, they should have recognized that it was an “open and affirming” church we attended, not a publicly anti-gay one. Had our charitable donations given a wrong impression? Surely they would have noticed that some of these went to PBS – a favorite conservative whipping boy – and some to the promotion of clean water and clean air – the “special interests” that conservatives denigrate. Had they seen in the military veterans in our families a sign of right-wing loyalty? Well, no, veterans returning home were not a priority in the Romney-Ryan budget.
In the end, we concluded it was nothing we had done that accounted for these Romney-Ryan letters. The letters, like other, much larger Republican projects of the 21st century, were simply the product of faulty intelligence.