The Man Who Fell to Earth Redux
American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
I'm only 98 or 99 per cent certain that Mitt Romney's of earthly origin. During this election cycle, I've thought that, if a conspiracy theorist were to put enough work and research into it, s/he could get an unlimited number of people to also believe that Mitt Romney is simply not terrestrial.
Obviously, he is. If you look at pictures of a younger George Romney, the similarity between him and his son Willard at comparable ages is striking. Mitt is George's son, no doubt about it. No alien in the woodshed in Casa del Romney.
But there's something about Willard Romney that isn't all... quite there. He's the kind of sociopath that makes me wish I'd gone to college and gotten a PhD in Clinical Psychology because if I had, I could easily see myself devoting my entire career to just studying the fascinating, dark metronome that is Mitt Romney's clockworks.
One hears the stories and listens to Romney himself during inevitably disastrous unscripted remarks on the campaign trail and one is struck by how inept he is when dealing with other sentient carbon-based life forms. Because one gets the impression that that's exactly how Romney sees his allegedly fellow humans: As carbon-based life forms who fall into one of two categories: Those who will help him achieve his ravenous ambitions and those who are obstacles that need to be, and eventually are, dealt with.
Romney is like David Bowie's character in The Man Who Fell to Earth minus the humanity and addiction to alcohol evident in Bowie's character, Thomas Newton. It's as if Romney has actually come from the Kolob star system in which his cult believes God resides. He came to earth, started a corporation, grew very wealthy, met a middle-class girl and all for what? The movie tells us that Newton was trying to bring water back to his dessicated planet. What Romney wants to bring back to Kolob (American manufacturing jobs, non-711 cookies, Sheetz subs, cheesy grits?) is anyone's guess.
But what blogs and especially the mainstream media fail to do is to keep a running tally of the almost inexhaustible supply of sociopathic or psychopathic indications of the humanity-challenged Mitt Romney. Each revelation or disclosure is treated as separate, isolated incidents, which then dooms it to the memory hole. But if we were to assemble under one title all the examples of Willard Romney's sociopathic disconnects from normal human beings, we are then able to see more than a dot here and there and can begin connecting those dots to complete a picture that virtually anyone not blinded by a paranoid, racist hatred for Obama can see.
Adventures in DogsittingThere was the Seamus incident. Yes, I'm bringing that up again. So does Gail Collins in every other article in her byline and God bless her for that. It takes something on a par with a human monster to subject a dog, a family pet, to such terror for 12 straight hours to the point where it shit all over the family station wagon. Romney used the resurrected incident to take a swipe at PETA by saying, "PETA doesn't like the fact that my dog likes fresh air."
The problem was, Seamus was no longer his dog because he ran away as soon as they got to Canada. We're talking about an animal that's renowned for its loyalty to its human pack members. Seamus, contrary to official family history, actually ran away because the poor pooch knew he'd be better off taking his chances in the wild and eventually getting rescued (we can hope) by someone who wouldn't synonymize him with inanimate luggage.
Bishop to PawnNow, let's review what Bishop Romney did right after coming back from his infamous 1983 Canadian vacation, sans Seamus. A woman, Carrel Hilton Sheldon, had been advised by her Mormon doctor that if she didn't have an abortion, her life would be in serious jeopardy. Enter Bishop Romney who told her to keep the child and that, "as your bishop, my concern is with the child." Even worse, when Sheldon told him she was advised to have the procedure at the behest of her physician, the stake president, Romney flat-out accused her of being a liar and threatened to track him down to prove her lie. Sheldon's father, when confronted by Romney over the matter, was so offended by the young bishop that he threw him out of his home. Decades later, he'd reminisce, "I have never been so upset about anything in my life. [Romney] is an authoritative type fellow who thinks he is in charge of the world."
When confronted with this damning testimony about past sociopathy, Romney's non-reaction was identical to the Lauber hair-cutting incident, which is to say he was suffering from what the president would call "Romnesia": He didn't remember. Once again, it's entirely possible that Romney doesn't remember brow-beating this woman, who would eventually leave the Mormon cult, because it was just one of several incidents betraying complete indifference to the suffering of the vulnerable. It's famously difficult to turn devout Mormons and other cultists into apostates but Romney's personality is so abrasive when his authority is threatened or challenged that he drives people out of the cult.
There's No Veronica Lake in the Great LakesAs if torturing poor dogs wasn't enough, Romney's sociopathy was obviously well-established by the time he was a pampered adolescent in Cranbrook Academy. It had come out only last spring after over four decades that Romney had viciously attacked a fellow student with a sharp object, this time a pair of scissors. John Lauber, a closeted gay student at Cranbrook, had come back after spring break with dyed hair that draped over one eye and that filled Mitt Romney with rare emotion. He flew into a rage at the thought of anyone wearing their hair differently than him and, with a small posse, tracked down Lauber and cut off his hair.
Even more telling was Romney's non-recollection of the incident when confronted with it. His refusal to remember the incident shows, at best, that he's a fucking liar who knew he'd done wrong. At worst (and I think this is actually the case), it's likelier that Romney really doesn't remember assaulting Lauber with a pointed object in a fit of rage that was serious enough to leave emotional scars on Lauber for life and fill his little posse with remorse. Perhaps it was lost in a welter of memories of similar incidents at Cranbrook and Harvard that haven't come to light. Romney waving off the incident as a nonstarter was disturbingly similar to George Bush's non-reaction after Doonesbury cartoonist Gary Trudeau reminded us of Bush similarly torturing another Jewish classmate by branding him with a red-hot coat hanger.
Dial 1-800-EAT-SHITThen there was Romney using yet another disaster for political fodder and his reaction to a Louisiana woman who'd just lost her home after a flood, telling her to "go home and call 211." To cite another parallel with George W. Bush, it, too, was eerily similar to two crying women in Biloxi that Bush had draped under either arm five days after Katrina made landfall, and they cried to him they needed clothes for their sister and her children. Bush, instead, tried to divert them to food and water tables that were then, according to a German film crew, immediately broken down the minute Bush was out of camera range. Both seemingly deaf non-reactions to all three women were part and parcel to the thinly-veiled Republican mantra of, "Unless you're a member of the 1%, don't look to the government to bail you out, you worthless moochers."
I'm an Unemployed Moocher Just Like You!During the mercifully rare occasions that Romney attempts to feign empathy with the common man, it comes off looking awkward and pathetically comical, like a poodle trying to walk on its hind legs. Romney had such a moment in Tampa last June, when he told a group of unemployed Floridians, “I should tell my story. I’m also unemployed.”
This kind of false equivalence is also part and parcel to the Romney mind. There's an enormous difference between being unemployed through no fault of your own and struggling to meet even your basic bills and retiring from a vulture capital firm with a quarter of a billion dollars offshored in tax havens. This theme of "We all have it rough" was echoed earlier this year by Mitt's equally sociopathic wife, Ann, who whined about how when she and Mitt were just married, they were "living on the edge" by having to sell the occasional stock option despite the fact that as a teenager in Paris, he still lived better than most middle class people ever do, with servants waiting on him in a palace. But try telling that to the Romneys.
If You Vote For Obama, You're a Lazy MoocherThanks to Mother Jones' David Corn, by now we all know that last May at a $50,000 a plate fundraiser at the palatial mansion of another crook named Marc Leder, Mitt Romney said this:
There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it.It wasn't enough for Romney to blithely write off nearly half the nation (most of whom being unable to pay income taxes because they're too poor thanks largely to Republican initiatives). Romney, thinking he was speaking off the record, felt free to say what he really thinks of not just the 47% but to express his viciously capitalist worldview. It's one in which basic necessities for the survival of any living creature are considered entitlements, including health care, food and shelter. To sociopaths such as Romney, if you're not a fellow sociopath willing to fuck over innocent people to get ahead then you don't deserve to keep body and soul together.
When confronted with this the day after Corn's nuclear bomb of an article came out, Romney didn't make much of an effort to walk back his statements and never came close to repudiating them before the campaign, and his sociopath wife, announced that Mitt was for 100% of America. Sure he is: 1% at a time.
Silly Poors, Entitlements Are For the Rich
Recently, Greg Palast revealed how the auto bailout that Mitt Romney was so against when he said, "Let Detroit fail" netted him and Queen Ann at least $4.5 million and perhaps a good deal more than that. And this wasn't the first time Romney and Bain benefited from a bailout. Most people may forget that Romney himself had negotiated a $10 million bailout courtesy of Congress and the first Bush administration back in 1990. It ought to be added that this bailout was made necessary because of Romney's incompetent attempt to restructure Bain Capital. So, according to Romney and others of his ilk, corporate welfare at the expense of the taxpayer is perfectly fine as long as those same taxpayers don't expect Social Security and Medicare after working their asses off for decades. Oh, and food and housing? Those are luxuries and privileges, as well.
You Can't Have a Family. You're teh Gay!
When he was still the Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt essentially hid under his desk and used any and every dodge at his disposal to avoid meeting the two LGBT activists who'd spearheaded the landmark Goodridge Vs the Board of Health ruling that introduced gay marriage to Massachusetts and America. Once they embarrassed Romney into opening his door, they met with him for 20 minutes and, according to those who were there, Romney sat there "stone-faced" and finally ended the perfunctory meeting with a dismissive, "Is there anything else?" When they were leaving his office, Julie Goodridge asked Romney, "(W)hat would you suggest I say to my 8 year-old daughter about why her mommy and her ma can’t get married because you, the governor of her state, are going to block our marriage?" His reaction was, "I don’t really care what you tell your adopted daughter. Why don’t you just tell her the same thing you’ve been telling her the last eight years." He also expressed surprise that gay couples had families, completely oblivious to the fact that Goodridge Vs the Board of Health was largely about married same sex couples being able to adopt. Later, while addressing business leaders, he'd stated that if they could come up with some data proving that same sex marriage could increase their profits, he'd endorse it, which he'd conveniently do on the campaign trail a few years later.
I could go on and on about the complete black hole that understudies for Mitt Romney's alleged soul but I trust you get the idea. At this point, anyone who votes for Romney would have to be, A) a fellow 1% sociopath whose fortunes under Obama have boomed but still not nearly enough or B) a racist who just can't reconcile oneself to the fact that a black man is running the nation and that the Caucasian model of governance is giving way to an already long-established multiculturalism that's been a defining characteristic of America since the 18th century.
And it's been made abundantly clear time and again that between A and B, the only people Mitt cares about is A, fellow Wall Street types who "earned" their palatial shelters, their Cadillac health care plans and their 5 star food by firing honest, hard-working Americans and sending their jobs to China to bloat their profit margins and virtually imploding the global financial infrastructure in their Gordon Gecko-on-steroids pursuit of more money.
The primary difference between Mitt Romney and Thomas Newton is that Newton is concerned for everyone on his home planet. His pursuit of money is a means to a noble end, to save his people. Romney cares only about a small coterie made of fellow Mormons, relatives and vulture capitalists. Romney simply wouldn't be able to relate to someone who didn't have the sociopathic enterprise to become a "success" in her own right by also fucking over her common man. Thomas Newton's story may have ended in dissolution and drink but that's because Newton had a sincere interest in interacting with humans and find out for himself what humanity was all about. I don't see Mitt Romney trying that experiment any time soon.