Can we leave the trash alone?
A major union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, has produced an attack ad (watch below) starring a man who says he picks up Gov. Mitt Romney's trash at his "beach house" in La Jolla.
We even get to see the $12 million home - which has become famous for Romney's plans to add space and a car elevator to it. The garbage man, Richard Hayes, argues, without evidence that he's talked with Romney about it, that Romney doesn't care about people with him. But he seems to have made this judgment from the notorious "47 percent" of video in which Romney declared at a fundraiser that 47 percent of the country was dependent on government and couldn't be reached by his campaign.
An attack on that attitude of Romney is very valid. But this particular ad seems to hit too close to home. Literally.
Garbage men should speak up politically, but there also should be some expectation of discretion from someone who takes out your trash. It would be one thing if La Jolla's garbage man had a particular grievance about how the Romneys treated him, but if there is such a grievance, it's not in this ad. His objection is political, and so the ad, and the attack, seem weird and trivial. I'd understand if Mr. Hayes' supervisors reassigned him to a different route in La Jolla after this.
There's so much to attack Romney for -- his record of weird statements, his difficulties in Massachusetts, his pandering to the right-wing, his rank dishonesty as running as some sort of deficit hawk when his own plans would add to the deficit -- that nonsequiturs from his garbage man seem beside the point.
I also had another reaction to the ad, one probably more common to real estate-obsessed Southern Californias. is that all the house you get for $12 million in La Jolla?