Willard Romney for President?
Willard Mitt Romney is my leading candidate for president – of the Lucky Sperm Club. Willard can't admit publicly that he's a member of the LSC without blowing his cover (to include never using his real name). But there are some things even super rich disingenuous politicians with perfect teeth can't hide. Like mountainous slag piles of money.
If it hadn't been for an accident of birth – make that three accidents of birth – he wouldn't have a prayer of becoming president of the United States of America. And not having a prayer is something no devout Christian, much less a Mormon ("devout" being redundant here), ever wants to face in life or death.
The truly amazing fact is that many of the respondents in recent polls – a lot of folks presumably stuck in the stagnant middle of the middle class – don't seem to get it. Why else would anyone who works for average pay in this country want to elevate a guy like Willard Romney – the scion of a wealthy family whose father was the Republican governor of Michigan (who himself had presidential ambitions, by the way) – to the nation's highest office?
Willard Romney! A person who has shown himself to have no understanding whatsoever of what it means to work for average pay – or to worry about paying the bills, getting sick and not having health insurance, facing foreclosure, finding a decent job (one with benefits), et cetera.
About the three accidents of birth I mentioned earlier: First, the obvious one. Willard Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Of course, there's no disgrace in that, but it's hardly a reason to admire his, ahem, great accomplishments. It's a little like saying that a portly Fat Cat whose horse wins the Kentucky Derby ran it himself, as though there's no meaningful distinction between buying the winner and being the winner. And as for that silver spoon in his mouth, Romney on the stump has frequently managed to find room in there for a foot, as well.
Exhibit A: "I like being able to fire people who provide services to me." (January 2012)
Exhibit B: "I'm not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there." (January 2012)
Exhibit C: "Corporations are people, my friend… of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to the people. Where do you think it goes? Whose pockets? Whose pockets? People's pockets. Human beings, my friend." (August 2011)
Exhibit D: "[My wife] drives a couple of Cadillacs." (February 2012)
Exhibit E: "President Obama has been unable to stand up to union bosses and unwilling to stand up for our kids…We have to stop putting campaign cash ahead of our kids."
Writes Charles Pierce in the latest issue of Esquire: "…while he was governor, he didn't let cash of any kind get ahead of the 'kids' in the public schools of the state where public education was pretty much invented. In 2006, he cut $37.8 million from the state's higher education budget. Fees skyrocketed, as they did generally throughout the state. In 2003, he tried to cut $100 million from that same budget while raising tuition by $50 million at state colleges and universities. He also wanted to slash job training initiatives and workforce training funding."*
The second accident: Romney's looks. Ask a sketch artist from another planet to draw a picture of a hypothetical president of the most muscular military power on Earth – one which had never in its collective wisdom elected a woman – and it would probably look a lot like Mitt Romney. So what? Unfortunately, qualities that are only skin-deep too often sway the public and sell products without value, celebrities without talent – and politicians without scruples.
Accident #3: what Romney is not. He is not an African-American. He is not a woman. He is not LGBT . Nor is he Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist, or, perish the thought, atheist. If he had any of these inscriptive characteristics, his chances of becoming president would be roughly equivalent to a snowball's chance in hell. And that is why it's okay with his fellow super rich Republican bankrollers, Evangelical Christians, Tea Party sign totters, and a colorful spectrum of rednecks and Know-nothings to back him for president despite a wooden personality that makes Calvin Coolidge seem charismatic by comparison.
Romney won an election for the first time in his life – for governor of Massachusetts, no less! What better proof that money moves mountains? Former Governor Willard now pretends he was out of the office when Massachusetts adopted health-care reform that walked and quacked like "Obama Care". Or when same-sex marriage was written into Massachusetts’s law. To listen to him now, you'd think he never made a move without calling Grover Norquist.
So let's be clear: The latest iteration of Willard Mitt Romney does not represent the 99%. No one knows the real Willard Romney, or which (Willard? Mitt? Grover?) Romney would spring full-blown were he to be elected in November, but this Romney, the one currently campaigning for the presidency, can no more relate to – much less claim to represent – the middle class than the real Willard Romney, the one born to privilege. The one who likes to "take a lot of credit" for things, even things like the auto industry recovery, despite his 2008 call to "let Detroit go bankrupt."
No version of Romney thus far revealed to voters can have any idea what life is like for the "poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind" of the New Testament (Luke XIV, 21). Mitt Romney has a lot of money. His sense of superiority and entitlement would make a self-aware aristocrat blush. But like his super rich Super PAC backers, many of whom are also members of the super exclusive Lucky Sperm Club, he apparently has absolutely no shame. Until he demonstrates otherwise, he ipso facto does not belong in the White House.
*See, Charles P. Pierce, "The Truth About Governor Willard Romney," Esquire, May 23, 2012, on line at: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/mitt-romney-education-policy-9091219.