Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bad week for Mitt

Mitt Romney is having a very bad week. A secret tape that surfaced, him talking at a private fundraising event in Florida in May, is damning. Everything said on that tape, all that comes out of his mouth, everything that comes out of the mouths of the rich people in the room asking questions, is bad. Conspiracy theorists, take note! You have proof from Mitt Romney himself that he doesn’t care about 47% of the American people; that he thinks the economy will turn around just by him being elected, without having to do anything…and on, and on. It’s quite a stunning event in a campaign with one stunningly bad event after another. In fact, all the noise from that tape is drowning out another story about Romney.

The Daily Kos published a post telling of an investigation into what they believe is a Mitt Romney lie. Romney claimed he had survived a car crash in France in 1968, one that killed a passenger, and which had left him in a coma for two days. He said he had to be pried out of the car, and that a French policeman had written on his passport “il est mort” (he is dead)..

But the photographer who took pictures of the accident and notified the media of the death of the passenger, Mrs. Leola S. Anderson, 57, reported Mitt had sustained minor head injuries and some torn ligaments in his arm, and was expected “to leave the hospital in two days.” Mitt was a Mormon missionary in France then, Mrs. Anderson was the wife of the president of the mission where he was serving. Since Mitt was a son of the governor of Michigan, who in 1968 was running for the presidential bid on the Republican ticket, it was news back home. The site has a scan of a 1968 newspaper clipping about the accident. The clipping came from the family of Mrs. Anderson. (The clipping is real, but I wish it had a notation of what newspaper it came from, and on what date.)

There's also a picture of Mitt in the hospital. He appears to be reacting to the photographer, not hooked up to any monitors or life-support equipment, as you'd expect of someone in a coma.

Mitt not looking at all comatose, from the Daily Kos.

You can read the whole story here, but be warned, the writer of the piece accuses Romney of having a form of mental illness, that he is a narcissist, or delusional  If he is a narcissist, lots of other people are, also. I think narcissism may even be helpful for people who do what he does. If we put every narcissist in a mental hospital there would have to be a whole lot more hospitals. Delusional, I don't think so. I lived with my mother's delusions for years, and know what delusional behavior is.

When Romney's running mate, Paul Ryan, juiced up a tale and was called on his veracity — he claimed to have run a marathon in less than three hours when it was really more than four —  Ryan tried to mitigate the damage. He had also been called on several lies during his RNC convention speech, so for the marathon story he offered a sort of half-assed admission that it “. . . was 22 years ago. You forget sorta these things.”

These guys are telling tales in an era of fact-checking, and if they are going to tell a story from their lives they'd better make sure no one can go back and check to see if they’re telling the truth.

I think we can chalk up both stories and the attendant exaggerations as bullshit lies. People tell such lies for various reasons. Mostly to make themselves look good. I have my doubts about Romney's version of the 1968 car crash. If he was in a coma then evidence provided by the photographer seems to indicate otherwise. I have a strong suspicion it's a lie.

A few months ago we heard that while in prep school Romney and his friends held down a gay classmate, then cut the boy's bangs. Romney apologized, but said he didn't remember the incident. I believe he did remember it, and decided to lie and say he didn't. Mitt has trouble owning up to his own bad self, especially when he's made errors in judgment. If he apologizes he usually gives an excuse. There could also be an attention-getting side to Romney (the narcissism), where he thinks that embellishing a car crash from 45 years ago involving a death, makes the event even more dramatic. Instead of Mrs. Anderson being the tragic figure, it's him. That sounds like the Mitt Romney we are more and more getting to know.

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