Speaking in the safe havens of Fox News Thursday morning (Aug. 2), Romney spokesman Eric Ferhnstrom compared Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's attempt to embarrass Romney into releasing his tax returns to "McCarthyism."
No, I think you've got that wrong there, sir. McCarthyism was about what were almost entirely fabricated allegations. This is about asking Romney to clear up the potentially false allegations that first he paid not tax for ten years and second had to use the 2009 tax amnesty to regularise his offshore tax affairs by making late declaration of what had been tax evasion.
Now those accusations could of course be entirely unjustified. But given that we know Romney had extensive offshore interests and given we know he had a tax rate of 15% in 2010 both have that element of something called plausibility which very little had in the McCarthy era.
So I think it's pretty fair of the US people to want to know the answers to the questions. After all, who wants a tax cheat in the White House?