Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mitt Romney is: a) stupid b) naive c) insane d) all of the above

You've got to hand it to Mitt Romney.

Acting under no duress or even the influence of a strong frappuccino, Governor Bushwood stood before the NAACP on Tuesday and chose to lambaste our first African American president.

Hey, Mitt, Charles Bronson called and wants his Death Wish back.

In my jaundiced view, this type of move from the presumptive Republican candidate emanates from one of two schools of thought:

1) The man has testes the size of recess balls, which explains the high-waisted airiness of his stone-washed mom jeans.

2) He's performed an act of stupidity not equaled since 2005, when Laura Bush was out for the weekend getting her hair refinished, and George decided to try a frozen pizza. Man, did it taste bad all frozen.

Romney wasn't even afforded an opportunity to choke out the rest of his sentence about nixing Obamacare before he was hosed down with a thick stream of boos and heckles. Nonetheless, he stood and looked blankly, freezing into that erect posture and odd half-grin to which we've grown accustomed.

Look, at least most of us can empathize with the situation the guy thrust himself into. Whether or not we agree that it was ill-advised for Mittens to court America's black vote on the merits of his platform, we've all entered the hornets' nest at one time or another.

While vacationing with my family in a cozy, coastal Oregon town a few years ago, I opted to wear my "Not My President" t-shirt, showing George W's monkey mug, front and center. One guy, who'd apparently just procured a delicious double scoop of rocky road on a waffle cone, looked at his young son and remarked, "Look, Mikey. That guy's a communist."

First of all, if I'd known that Cannon Beach, Oregon was a hotbed for conservative thought, I may have worn my "Go ahead and keep huggin' that tree while I get my chainsaw" tank top.

And secondly, who uses the words "communist" anymore? It's as dated as the terms "negro," "housewife" and "She's not here right now. Can I take a message?"

After the catcalls subsided, Romney persisted. He appealed to his audience to put race aside and consider which candidate offers the best prospects for putting Americans back to work. Let's break that statement down a bit.

Romney's ascendancy in church leadership positions coincided with his rising stock in the business realm. He was promoted to vice president at Bain Capital in 1978, a year after he'd been appointed counselor to the president of the Boston Stake of the Mormon church.

1978 was also the year LDS elders finally allowed African Americans  admission into its lay priesthood, a privilege which had previously been denied. A younger faction of the church had been pushing for such reforms during the student activism of the 1960s and 70s, but Romney didn't partake in the protests.

Fast forward to Tuesday's NAACP speech. Governor Romney claimed, to paraphrase, "I'm your guy. I've always been your guy. You just didn't know it."

Has he? Back in the 1970s, back when he held lofty positions in his spiritual community, he stood silent in the face of discrimination. Do you think he acted differently at his day job as a private equity consultant?

Did Mitt Romney look out for the best interests of African Americans on an economic level while blocking their full membership in his church? If so, his convictions are as sociopathically compartmentalized as someone who sells rabbits for pets or food.

And now he expects black America to believe that he knows what's best for them.

What an insult.

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