Via the Los Angeles Times…
Romney’s wife, Ann, was in attendance, and the candidate spoke of the concern he had for her when her plane had to make an emergency landing Friday en route to Santa Monica because of an electrical malfunction.
“I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don’t think she knows just how worried some of us were,” Romney said. “When you have a fire in an aircraft, there’s no place to go, exactly, there’s no — and you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous. And she was choking and rubbing her eyes. Fortunately, there was enough oxygen for the pilot and copilot to make a safe landing in Denver. But she’s safe and sound.” (Bold type mine.)
You know what? I don’t believe this.
Not the reporting. I’m sure the reporter at the LA Times got the quote right. If only because his editor dragged him into his office and made him play the recording of the quote at least six times to confirm that yes, the dumb son of a bitch actually said that!
What I don’t believe is that he is actually that a dumb son of a bitch.
I’ve suspected for a while now that Mitt Romney doesn’t actually want to be President. And this recent “gaffe” confirms it. And it looks Leslie Savan at “The Nation” agrees with me. And for reason more sound then just wanting to get out of the house.
When Mitt was 20 years old, he watched as his father, Michigan governor George Romney, blew his chance at the nomination in 1968 by saying he had been “brainwashed” into supporting the Vietnam war; that gave the far right all they needed to demolish Richard Nixon’s only progressive rival. For Mitt to win the nomination this year—despite his term as governor of Taxachussetts and his creation of the pilot version of Obamacare—is a remarkable accomplishment. During the primaries, the Tea Party crowd couldn’t stand him of course; they repeatedly elevated “anybody but Romney”—Trump, Gingrich, Perry, Cain, Gingrich again, Santorum—above him in the polls. But wielding his money and his “electability” Mitt eventually beat back just the sort of “muttonheads,” as he called the rabid right in ’68, who had humiliated his dad.
So even if he’s sputtering out now, Mitt nevertheless has the best of both worlds: he has vindicated his father before the people who count, and he wouldn’t have to actually govern. He can avoid the years of “gaffes” and words “not elegantly stated” and “you people” prying into his finances that his presidency would surely entail. And as Michelle Obama said: the office doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.
Anyway, Romney’s nomination has already done something very real for one of the few American institutions he truly seems to care about: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He helped to finally establish Mormonism as a legitimate part of the Republican Party hierarchy, not to mention American political history. Maybe he won’t be invited to speak at the 2016 GOP convention, but he did get Christians to at least nominally accept his once-persecuted faith.
And maybe, after all we’ve seen this past week, we should take Romney at his word when he says he’s not really in this as a politician. In the January 8 debate in New Hampshire, he gave us a big fat hint of his reluctance to actually be president. He claimed he was not a career politician but something more honorable—a smart businessman, a Cincinnatus from the first-class section, who made the wealth these politicians merely spend.
Forget even basic knowledge of Physics and Aerodynamics. Anyone who’s seen “Goldfinger” would have known what happens when you open a window in a plane. (And spare me the “Maybe he’s never seen the movie” excuse. It’s fucking “Goldfinger”. One of the essential works of cinema in the twentieth century! Ground Zero for the Super Spy Craze of the sixties! Everybody and his Uncle Fester, even if they ditched the series when Roger Moore started his run, has fucking seen fucking “Goldfinger!) This was no gaffe. This was a fighter in the ring taking a dive in the sixth.
And that’s just the latest. We have Libya! We have the 47%! We have Clint Eastwood indulging in performance art at the RNC!
This is not incompetence. This is the fix kicking in.
And it’s making me angrier than you think.
Now on one level, this is good news because not only does it mean that the GOP doesn’t get the White House for another four years. It also helps our side keep the Senate and maybe…maybe…if everything breaks our way, flip the House. (And keep in mind, if the GOP get routed this time around, it may embolden the moderates in the party to reassert control and purge the crazy.)
But on another level, a whole lot of stuff that needs to be talked about that’s not being talked about. Like Indefinite Detention, The rise of the security state, The Drone Program. We can’t have a national conversation on these things because Mitt Romney isn’t bringing them up. Hell, I’m sorry Ron Paul didn’t get the nomination because he would go after Obama on them. (Of course, Obama would have gone after Paul for wanting to gut the safety net.) I’m not saying that I would have voted for Paul. But I would have been grateful to him for putting them on the table.
To lightly paraphrase an Aaron Sorkin line, these are Serious Times and they call for Serious People. And it’s looking increasingly like Romney is not up to the task.
The running of a country is a tough gig and requires people who are up to the challenge. Not two-bit money grubbers or dilettantes who use elections to work through their daddy issues but people with smarts and spine.
Mitt Romney is a fool but not because he says foolish things. He is a fool because he’s wasting our time when we have none extra to spare. The upside is that he will soon be history.
The additional upside? The party that was foolish enough to nominate him will be history soon too.
The down side? We have no idea what will take it’s place.