Veronica Roberts

Political satire: The funny side of serious

The saga of Mitt Romney's tax returns has entered a new episode with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) now center stage in a starring role.

Democrats and some Republicans have called on the GOP's presumptive presidential nominee to release more of his tax returns, as many others have done before him. Even his father had released 12 years worth during his presidential run in 1968. This paternal penchant for transparency apparently hasn't rubbed off on the son, for so far Romney has refused, leaving many to speculate, fill in the blanks and accuse him of not even having any returns to reveal.

Reid, jumping with both feet into the fray, has accused Romney of not paying any taxes for at least 10 years, saying he got that explosive bit of info from a reliable but unnamed source who had worked close to the former Bain Capital alum.

Romney, showing a bit of rare emotion, heatedly called for Reid to "put up or shut up"--meaning he should name the person who made this serious allegations against him. The former Massachusetts governor's camp has gone so far as to call Harry Reid "a liar" and the right-wing press has dubbed him "Dirty Harry."

Not to be outdone, liberals think Romney is hiding a multitude of tax "sins" and Shady might be an appropriate name to add to "Etch-a-Sketch"--this one given to him by his own Republican fellow presidential candidates, who thought he flip-flopped a tad too much. Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and others also challenged their rival to show his tax returns during the heated race for the nomination.

Their challenged wasn't heeded. Maybe he would have risen to the ocassion if they had offered him a $10,000 bet to show his returns. After-all, Romney's high-stakes bet to challenge Perry during one of their debates, shows he responds to a certain kind of incentive.

Sorry, I digressed, where was I? Yes the battle "to put up or shut up." The blame game continued and Romney's "people" have also pointed an accusatory finger at President Obama and his "people," saying his senior campaign strategist David Axelrod visited Reid shortly before the "no taxes paid for 10 years" accusation flew out of the senate leader's mouth.

The president's camp is not only accused of starting the fire but of not making any attempt to put it out. But aren't the Republicans forgetting something? They are expert "arsonists" and have started some fires along the way. Birther controversy anyone?

Remember the ridiculous call for Obama to show his birth certificate because a faction of the GOP didn't believe he was a natural born U.S. citizen? What about the prolonged accusations even after he presented his long-form version--with no high-ranking republican putting a stop to this raging fire until very late into the absurdity? Which even today, is still an issue for some, with a new call for his academic papers to be shown.

Romney's BFF Donald Trump is one of the doubters leading this new incredulous charge, and I don't recall hearing Romney tell Trump or Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio --another rabid birther-- to knock it off.

Now Romney is calling for Reid to put up or shut up, but shouldn't that apply to him as well? Moreover, calling him a liar could just as easily apply to him. Reid is not providing any substantive evidence to back up his reliable source tax claims, but Romney isn't backing up what he is saying either.

Plus, there is a simple, efficient and swift way to deflate any liar. Provide him with the truth.

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