Garry Wills, in the NYRB, on Romney’s “trust me, I’m a rich white guy!” ploy:
One of the oldest bits of practical advice in the English language advises people not “to buy a pig in a poke.” It dates from days when there were shortages of meat, and con men sold what purported to be succulent ham or bacon in the form of a piglet wriggling in a poke, or burlap bag. A bargain price was offered on the condition that the poke not be opened. When it was opened, too late for the payment to be called back, the sucker found he had bought a stray dog or large cat, not a pig.
Why would anyone be stupid enough to submit to the condition that he not open a bag and inspect its merchandise before purchasing it? Now we know how dumb Mitt Romney thinks we are. He tells us he has a pig—a reasonable account of his taxes—in his pouch, but he won’t show it to us. Imagine our surprise if, after his election, we get to peek inside the pouch. There would be anger at him for hiding what he was selling us until after we had bought it by voting for him. But we cannot claim that as any excuse. We were obviously buying the unknown. If we do not ask to know, why should he let us? He will even tell us we have no right to look in the bag—that it is his own private pig until we take it off his hands. It is a distraction from the negotiation he is carrying on, which is about buying, not knowing….
It must be terrible for him to keep defying reasonable demands, those that any prospective buyer would make, that other sellers in his position have acceded to readily. Good heavens, unreasonable demands, such as that President Obama should publish his birth certificate once again, have also been met though they are just causing trouble. Romney’s defiance of precedent, public clamor, and even his allies’ concessions can only make sense if the size of the danger outweighs the problems of resistance…
Apart from gearing up to listen for the squeals and other suspicious noises coming out of Tampa, what’s on the agenda for the end of the weekend?