Plenty of conservatives are pushing back against the worldview espoused by Mitt Romney in his "arrogant and stupid' remarks at a private fundraiser earlier this year.
The conservative case against Romney's analysis is multi-pronged. His description of the 47 percent who don't pay income taxes as "dependents" flies in the face of the conservative view that Americans should be paying fewer, not more, taxes. And historically, most Americans have not paid income taxes. Moreover, most of those who don't pay income taxes still contribute to the federal government in the form of payroll taxes and other federal taxes and fees. The political argument, that those who are "dependents" won't be voting for Romney anyway, is demonstrably wrong, and the content and tone of Romney's remarks don't strike many conservatives (and others) as particularly presidential.
At the Daily Caller, Jim Antle notes how Romney's use of the "47 percent" marker who are "dependent" on government is simply wrong:
“I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives,” Romney said of the dreaded 47 percent.
The problem is that Romney isn’t basing that figure on dependency on government programs. He’s using the rough percentage of people who pay no federal income tax.
There are two reasons the percentage of Americans who don’t write checks to the IRS has spiked in recent years: the bad economy, which Romney pledges to ameliorate, and Republican tax cuts, which Romney plans to continue....
Far from enabling the growth of government, tax relief for the working poor and middle class has made it possible to enact across-the-board tax cuts that apply even to upper-income earners.
Ramesh Ponnuru, who has been arguing against this trope for some time, demonstrates that Romney's political analysis of the "47 percent" just isn't true:
Is there a reason for conservatives to be concerned about a broader culture of government dependency? Absolutely--it's the sort of thing Romney's running mate, congressman Paul Ryan, has talked about when it comes to Medicare reform and reining in the federal budget. Reform-minded conservatives argue that without making important changes to the welfare state, this is exactly the sort of future to which the United States is bound. In fact, this is the debate some on the right have pushed for in this presidential campaign.
But Romney's reductive characterization of the political landscape indicates he doesn't understand any of this.