Mitt Romney and his Republican backers are trying to pass his tax-records shell games off as transparency. This is the same party whose members have been passing legislation requiring multiple forms of photo identification to vote, but don't want us to know the financial history of their candidate.
Romney has not broken any laws by refusing to release more of his tax records. And his filings may provide the country with a much-needed snooze.
But Romney isn't running for president of the local merchants association. He has been in an almost non-stop campaign to become president of the United States for several years. Not only should he have been prepared for this kind of scrutiny, he should have welcomed it.
Romney has tried to position himself as the candidate who can fix the economy, and he has the job creation experience to do it. Fine.
But he also wants us to take his word for it. We don't know whether his claims on the campaign trail are reflected in what he has reported to the Internal Revenue Service.
And he has argued that Obama is attacking him because he's rich, a case of class warfare, and an attack on successful business people. The guy who has been running around the country lambasting Obama for "apologizing" now wants a public apology.
The longer that Romney drags this out, the more he twists in the wind. And he is stoking the suspicion that many Americans have about people who are as rich as he is: that they don't play by the same rules as the rest of us, and that their wealth often comes from deals that hurt others.
Just release your dang taxes records, Mr. Romney. That would shut your critics down. And if your tax records are as clean as you claim they are, your campaign would gain something it sorely needs: credibility.