Oh, Were We Supposed to be Outraged That Romney Didn't Instantly Tell a Lady in Ohio That Obama Shouldn't be Tried for Treason?


For your entertainment and momentary outrage: the most recent in a long line of some weirdo in a crowd yelled something or said something to a candidate or politician and that candidate or politician didn't respond in the appropriate non-crazy fashion (or, to be fair to John McCain, the candidate responded by noting that no, ma'am, Obama is not an Arab).

Today a woman asking Mitt Romney a question at an Ohio town hall also said "We have a president right now who is operating outside the structure of our Constitution, and I do agree he should be tried for treason."

Romney, it seems, didn't immediately say hang on, that's nuts, lady, but instead talked about the general wonderfulness of the Constitution and then answered her second question which was related to H.R. 347, the "Trespass Bill.") 

(On that question, Romney gave a thrillingly vague answer that protest is important, but so is protecting people under Secret Service protection! Imagine! This once again confirms the somnambulist qualities of him as a candidate. Seriously, slightly-unhinged freedom fighters, Romney is not your guy. Write in Alex Jones for president, anything besides Romney or Obama.)

Here's the scoop and here's a little outrage, according to ABC:

Instead of addressing the "treason" reference by the woman, who went on to ask what the candidate would do to balance the three branches of government and restore the Constitution, Romney responded, "As I'm sure you do, I happen to believe that the Constitution was not just brilliant, but probably inspired. I believe the same thing about the Declaration of Independence."

Later, as he shook hands with supporters, Romney was asked by reporters whether he agreed with the woman, to which he responded "No, of course not."  Asked by CNN about the woman's comment, Romney said, "I don't correct all of the questions that get asked of me. Obviously, I don't agree that he should be tried."

Ben LaBolt, the press secretary for the Obama re-election campaign, immediately seized on the incident, tweeting, "When will Mitt Romney stand up to the extreme voices in his party? Where's the leadership he keeps calling for?"

LaBolt also wrote, "Once again today, Mitt Romney stood by silently as his surrogates and supporters made extreme statements & attacked the President's family."

Uh, sure. I guess that in a way saying the president should be charged with treason is sort of like saying he should be killed. And turns out the Secret Service takes that sort of thing seriously. And killing people is wrong and all. But really, the worst part about this is that the woman ranted to Romney as if he was going to be anything different than Obama. And no, Romney probably actually doesn't believe that Obama should be charged with treason. He was just being the awkward, stammering guy that back in 2008 asked some black kids "who let the dogs out." And for 2012, just pick your favorite of his myriad out-of-touch-rich-guy gaffes. 

Politicians are politicians. It's a stroke of genius on their parts that previous campaign seasons have been so consumed by hand-wringing over the negativity and mud-slinging between candidates. The idea that something as fundamentally uncivilized as a battle for who claims the right to steal, detain, and assassinate should be proper should strike anyone as more laughable the bigger that government grows.

But hell, maybe Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone is right. Maybe the negativity will have to be purely media-created this year because this is going to be a dull, dull race, folks. And whomever wins, individual liberty loses. It's just the the usual.

Reason on negative campaigns. And of course Reason.tv on how muddy the mud-slinging was in days of olde: