Romney’s One Principle

You know, I find Mitt Romney a most detestable politician, whatever are his personal qualities. And I find Donald Trump to be, as I have related many times, a cretinous buffoon who continues to hold, for reasons I cannot comprehend, a grievous grip on a segment of the Republican Party that either fears him or worships him, or both.

So, because I find both men abominable as public figures, it’s not surprising that I am gnashing-my-teeth annoyed by what Romney told reporters:

(CNN) – Mitt Romney said Monday he wasn’t concerned about Donald Trump’s commitment to the “birther” conspiracy, one day before the GOP presidential candidate hosts a fund-raiser alongside the celebrity business magnate.

Asked on his charter plane whether Trump’s questioning of President Barack Obama’s birthplace gave him pause, Romney simply said he was grateful for all his supporters.

“You know, I don’t agree with all the people who support me and my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1% or more and I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Now, we have here a situation in which a man, who on Tuesday in Las Vegas may wear sacred skivvies to a high-priced campaign fundraiser with Trump and Newt Gingrich, has admitted to the world that he will keep the company of anyone, so long as it might bring him a vote or two.

Romney’s entire political life has been organized around that one principle, which is why, throughout his various campaigns, his position has traveled from one end of an issue to the other, in search of that moment’s electorate. And which is why there are still more than a few conservatives out there who simply don’t trust him.

But for me the issue goes deeper. There is something stunningly insensitive about the way Mitt Romney conducts himself, beyond the simple political reluctance to not offend even the tiniest pocket of voters. When given a chance to publicly correct Rush Limbaugh for calling a Georgetown student a “slut” and a “prostitute,” Romney said with cowardice aforethought:

I’ll just say this, which is, it’s not the language I would have used.

Apparently there is a nicer, more Mormon way of calling a girl a whore.

Earlier this month a supporter prefaced a question to Romney with the suggestion that Mr. Obama “should be tried for treason,” a comment that provoked not even the slightest moral twitch in Mitt’s Mormon flesh.

So, given what we have seen, who would expect Romney to paddle away from Donald Trump?

Yet, if Trump were selling, say, radical Islam instead of his asinine birther conspiracy, would Mitt Romney and his campaign sell chances—three bucks a pop—to have dinner with him? Well, no, and that is the point: Romney just doesn’t find Trump’s creepy fascination with birther fanaticism all that creepy. He’s “appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people,” he told us.

Except that Donald Trump is not “good people.” Nobody can be who is trying to do to President Obama what Donald Trump is trying to do to him. Through his promotion of birtherism and his assertion that Obama wasn’t good enough to get into Harvard Law School on his own merits, Trump is using racism in a wretched attempt to stigmatize the President, to do to him what was done to the black man at the time of our founding: regard him as a being “of an inferior order,” who has “no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

That’s it, you see. Our black president, sitting in the White’s House, has no rights which palefaced people like Donald Trump—and now by extension, Mitt Romney—are bound to respect.

It is a sad state of contemporary American politics that we find the soon-to-be head of the Republican Party sharing a campaign bed with such a man as Donald Trump, cuddling up with his conspiracies.

But given who Mitt Romney is as a politician—and I am beginning to think who he is as a man—it by now surprises no one.


Vicki Hartzler Is Out Of This World

If you drive about 20 miles north of Joplin you will enter what has become another world.

That world is Missouri’s 4th Congressional District. I call it another world partly because it is represented by that otherworldly congresswoman, Republican Vicki Hartzler.

The Sedalia Democrat reported that at a town hall last week Hartzler got all Trumpy on us:

“What do you think about Obama’s birth certificate being called a forgery?” asked a man who identified himself as an Army veteran.

“You know I have a lot of doubts about all that,” she said. “I don’t understand why he didn’t show that right away.”

When asked to clarify her doubts during press availability after the event, Hartzler said: “I have doubts that it is really his real birth certificate, and I think a lot of Americans do, but they claim it is, so we are just going to go with that.”

Hartzler declined to say whether she believes Obama is a U.S. citizen, calling the issue “irrelevant” and said people should “focus attention on his specific policies and not his birth certificate.”

What should we make of such folly?

Is it really the congresswoman’s fault that some sad soul at her town hall ask her about Obama’s birth certificate and she felt compelled to keep his hope alive that Obama is not a citizen? In fact, trying to walk back her comments, her press secretary told Politico,

this issue has been raised by many 4th District citizens with whom she has spoken.

Many?  How many? And, now, how many more will feel free to flaunt their ignorance and make fools of themselves because Hartzler has given them a license to do so? Here is what Hartzler actually said, after she was asked about the legitimacy of Obama’s birth certificate:

I have a lot of doubts about all that, I haven’t seen it. I’m kind of, I’m just at the same place you are on that. You read this, you read that…But I don’t understand why he didn’t show that right away. I mean, if someone asked for my birth certificate, I’d get my baby book and hand it out and say ‘Here it is.’

I suppose it never occurred to Ms. Hartzler that no one would ever ask her about her birth certificate, since she looks the part of an American citizen. Here, look at her:

She looks like a real American, right?  Would Donald Trump or Sheriff Joe Arpaio ever question the legitimacy of her birth certificate? In fact, Arpaio said he appreciated Hartzler’s “having the courage to speak out about the legitimacy of the Obama Birth Certificate released by the White House.”

The creepy sheriff actually thinks the certificate is a “computer-generated forgery” and whoever pulled off this incredibly foresighted crime should be “brought to justice.”  He is now calling for a congressional hearing “to address the facts in this matter.”

Of course that is the point: there are no “facts” that will satisfy the appetite of deluded Obama-haters. These people are not interested in facts. They have been presented the facts and have found that the facts inconveniently contradict their claim that Obama is a non-white foreigner sitting in the White’s House.

Sadly, Hartzler will not likely pay the slightest price for her birther foolishness. She will probably not lose a single vote for failing to educate one of her constituents and for revealing her utter ignorance. She in fact may come out ahead for plopping more conspiracy slop in the mind-troughs of some delusional folks in the 4th District.

As I said, it is another world.

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