The presidential campaign made a stop this week in Sherwood Forest, as President Obama has declared his opponent, Mitt Romney, “Romney Hood,” a play on the Robin Hood legend.
The president is contending that Romney wants to take money from working Americans through taxation and give it to people like Donald Trump. Of course, that’s the opposite of what the British brigand Robin did. He stole from the rich and gave the loot to the poor. Far be it from me to accuse the president of doing that, but others have.
Robin Hood’s persona began taking shape in 14th-century English ballads in which the woodsman clashed with the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham. Over the years, the songs became more elaborate, and characters like Maid Marian and Friar Tuck came into being. Then, in the 20th century, dashing actors such as Douglas Fairbanks and Errol Flynn immortalized Robin. There was even a TV show starring a guy named Richard Greene who, appropriately, wore green tights.
By the way, no one knows whether Robin Hood ever actually existed, but we are pretty sure Romney and Obama do.
The president is basing his Romney Hood label on analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a liberal-leaning think tank. It says that Romney’s proposed tax plan would raise income taxes on the middle class by $2,000 on average, and that Trump and his cronies would get that money in the form of tax cuts for them.
The Wall Street Journal editorial page, a conservative crew, analyzed the TPC’s take and put forth: “It’s a highly ideological tract based upon false assumptions, incomplete data and dishonest analysis. In other words, it is custom made for the Obama campaign.”
More ale, Friar Tuck?
But really, who cares? Certainly not Obama. His entire campaign is now based on convincing voters that Romney is, indeed, the Sheriff of Nottingham, Henry the VIII and Louis the XIV all rolled into one.
So don’t be surprised to see the president sporting green tights and a hat with a feather when he campaigns in San Francisco where outfits like that are readily available.
As a 1 percenter, I would feel mighty bad if my mailman were forced to subsidize my lifestyle. It just doesn’t seem right. I’ve been lucky in my career and have done well. I really don’t want some guy working at Taco Bell contributing to my electric bill.
So if Romney is really considering taking money from the folks and giving it to Warren Buffett, I hope he will reconsider. This is not the way America should work. In this country, we are supposed to work hard and render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. That rendering is now becoming quite extensive and complicated. With all the campaign rhetoric and spin, it’s not easy to know for sure who’s really Robin.
Contact O’Reilly, host of “The O’Reilly Factor,” at www.billoreilly.com.