Romney must release tax returns

Romney is making things worse by his wimpy, amateurish response to Obama's questions about his role at Bain capital. His faux outrage, after the republicans have spent the last 3 1/2 years ruthlessly doing everything they can, including such farces as the "birther" controversy, to bring Obama down, rings totally hollow. Mr. Romney is a big boy and he has to know that a presidential campaign is going to bring out everything that is there to bring out.

For Romney to think that somehow he is immune to this just contributes to the growing sense that he believes he is privileged above and beyond the average person. He needs to roll up his sleeves and get in the ring and scrap with Obama. If he can't, then he doesn't deserve to be president, and he won't be.

Romney is lucky that the mainstream media is still a little afraid of the republican machine, and is treading lightly on this when they should be digging hard. Yes, they are reporting that it will be problematic for Romney if he continues to withhold his tax returns, but they are still trying to maintain a sort of "middle of the road" attitude about this, when the middle of the road is simply asking the questions. This shows how skewed to the right our national politics has become.

Obama needs to come out strong and say that while the jobs reports aren't great, they are a lot better than they were in the years before he took over. To let mainstream reporters characterize 90,000 jobs being created as "dismal" when just a year or two ago we were losing hundreds of thousands of jobs a month has me scratching my head. How can that be described as "dismal?" What was it before? Ultradismal? Extraordinarly dismally horrible? Did we ever see such terms at that time in the press? I don't remember it.

Obama needs to fight back against that with the same fervor he is taking on Romney right now. Obama's record on the economy is not "dismal." It could be better, but it could be a lot worse too. Obama needs to point that out, as well as his path forward. His swiftboating campaign against Romney is working great, but his defense of his own record is pretty lackluster. He shouldn't be letting the republicans and the press define his record as poor when it isn't. It's hard to understand why he is letting that happen.