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Mitt Romney, Dark Prince of Oligarchy, Battles the Demons of Democracy

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The gaffe-prone candidacies of Michele "Elvis" Bachmann and Rick "C'mon, Men, Let's String Us Up Some Bernanke" Perry, and the slapstick non-candidacy of Sarah "Two If by Sea" Palin, are merely the cheap theater of an ill-defined Republican presidential race. The real drama of the 2012 race continues to come from the CEO party's CEO candidate: Willard Mitt Romney.

It is Romney, the buttoned-down professional who was born to the corporate class and remains its truest exemplar in the current contest, who framed the 2012 debate as starkly it ever will be with his sincere declaration that "corporations are people."

Romney gets it.

There's a class war going on in America.

And the dark prince of oligarchy has taken a stand.

Provoked by a grassroots activist who refused to take spin for an answer, the GOP's CEO candidate revealed why he is running.

Corporations need unapologetic and aggressive representation not just in the judicial branch but in the executive branch of our federal government.

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After all, It's not just conservatives on the US Supreme Court who think that corporations should enjoy the same protections and privileges as human beings.

Romney is standing up for the principle that conservatives who would be president must be just as bold when it comes to bending the intent and language of a Constitution that opens with the words "We the People" in order to make it a corporate charter.

If we needed any more confirmation of the necessity for a movement to renew the democratic promise of the American experiment, it came when Romney was confronted by members of Iowa Citizens for Community Involvemen t. When Romney appeared at the Iowa State Fair to pitch his candidacy for the nomination, the Iowa CCI activists demanded to know whether he was going to cut Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Romney tried at first to stick to the spin he was supposed to be peddling to fair-goers who needed some pablum to go with their corn dogs and cotton candy. But the grass-roots activists of Iowa CCI -- a multiracial, urban-and-rural group aligned with the National People's Action movement -- made a "where's-the-beef" demand. And Romney delivered.

The activists wanted to know why a CEO candidate -- like so many other politicians of both major parties -- would even consider undermining needed programs that care for the elderly, the disabled and the disadvantaged when billionaire CEOs and corporations pay little or nothing into the federal treasury.

When Romney began to ruminate on how he would not "raise taxes on people," the Iowa activists shouted: "Corporations!"

As the crowd began to cheer on the idea of taxing corporations that enjoy the benefits of government bailouts and subsidies without -- in all too many cases -- giving anything back, Romney became incensed.

The former corporate CEO shouted: "Corporations are people, my friend."

The crowd shouted: "No, they're not!"

"Of course they are," replied Romney, with a "there, I said it!" statement that he and his staff would later confirm as his true faith.

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John Nichols, a pioneering political blogger, has written the Online Beat since 1999. His posts have been circulated internationally, quoted in numerous books and mentioned in debates on the floor of Congress.

Nichols writes about politics (more...)

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Ron Paul can and will end the millions of murders ... by Louis Nardozi on Tuesday, Aug 23, 2011 at 9:55:17 PM
that the notion of corporations being people is "r... by John Sanchez Jr. on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 7:00:00 AM
The target is getting money out of politics, not j... by Larry Kachimba on Wednesday, Aug 24, 2011 at 10:20:22 PM