Thanks, Mitt. I mean it. Your remarks to well-heeled Republican donors regarding the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal taxes (the poor, the sick, the elderly, the uninsured, as well as students racking up debt in pursuit of an American dream that recedes before them faster than they can race toward it) bring even greater clarity to the choice we face this November. You claim what you said to that audience of one-percenters wasn’t “elegantly stated,” but that’s disingenuous in the extreme. The problem was that (for once) you were clear. Your contempt for those who dwell outside of America’s gated communities and country clubs and corner offices was breath-takingly unambiguous. For a long time you’ve struggled to define yourself, but at last you have done so, as the embodiment of a Republican ethos regarding those less fortunate than themselves (“Are there no workhouses?”) that’s run pretty much true to form since I was a child. We’ve long suspected, of course, that this was how you regarded us, but we owe you one for being so transparent. Still, grateful though we are, I gotta say, dude, you are SO STUPID.
-- Richard Russo
Richard Russo's novel Empire Falls received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
He has written six other novels, including Straight Man, and a short story collection, The Whore's Child and Other Stories. His memoir, Elsewhere, will be published in October. His novel Nobody's Fool was made into a film of the same title, starring Paul Newman. Russo wrote the teleplay for the HBO adaptation of Empire Falls, the screenplay for the 2005 film Ice Harvest, and the screenplay for the 2005 Niall Johnson film Keeping Mum.