Here's Andrew Sullivan in full flow:
Romney's Randian callousness also goes against the core American grain. Americans do not see themselves as victims, but as potential winners, even in rough times. Romney's contempt for the 47 percent violates a central tenet of the American dream: anyone can make it. Romney is saying that half the country can't make it, don't even want to make it, and are parasites on the rest. Asking for their vote would be like asking children to give up their toys. Why would they?
Now I certainly believe, as I explained yesterday, that this story is bad for Romney. But I think Sullivan overplays the importance of it here. My point is this: many of the 47% may actually agree with Romney's comment (even if, in the end, they don't think it's worthy of a president). Few people will think for a moment that he might be talking about them.
Most voters won't take time to consider the detail of Romney's comments, though the Obama campaign is doing a good job of prompting them to do so (see above). Many of those who aren't paying much attention will simply take this out: Romney's been saying there are "makers and takers"; producers and parasites.
And many of those people will agree with him - even if they're on benefits.
The idea that the nation is being dragged down by a minority of deadbeats and scroungers is a perennially popular one, in the US as it is here (and in Italy, Spain...). The logic of it is resistant to facts or economic reality or self-awareness. Crucially, the "takers" are always other people.
Having said that, it's a message with limited appeal, ultimately. Voters generally want their leaders to leaders of the whole nation, rather than a favoured part of it. So I wouldn't advise Romney to continue on this theme. But I just think it's not quite as unpopular a message, in itself, as we'd like to believe it is.