The poster child for disingenuous, Mitt Romney, doesn't have much going for him except a lot of gall.
On July 24th, he spoke to a Reno gathering of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and accused President Obama's administration of dastardly leaking classified intelligence details involving Osama bin Laden's demise. "Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed and punished. The time for stonewalling is over," Romney charged.
The time for stonewalling is over? Really? If you look up the derivation of the phrase "the pot calling the kettle black," you will see a picture of the presumptive 2012 GOP candidate for U.S. president. Even though he would have been undecided about which side would best suit his needs, Mitt Romney would have been nicknamed "Stonewall" during the Civil War had the name not been co-opted by General Thomas Jackson.
Romney so far has not told us much about himself. He is obsessed with secrecy. He won't reveal most of his income tax filings. He won't explain where he keeps the bulk of his money, if in fact any of it is in this country. He won't explain how much he has received in income from Bain Capital, since he allegedly stepped away. Conveniently, all the records covering his four years as Governor of Massachusetts have been destroyed. Conveniently, all records covering his supervision of the Salt Lake City Olympics have been destroyed. Even his underwear is a secret. Where's Julian Assange when you need him?
Even his political development is a secret. On his way to the governorship in Massachusetts he was pro-choice, pro-gay, pro-healthcare and anti-gun. Then SHAZAM! Mitt Romney the Secret Conservative emerged.
The other night I was gnashing my teeth on how this Mormon Church Elder became a political chameleon when I decided to take my mind off it by reading that classic James Thurber short story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, all about the man who retreats into himself after being henpecked by his wife or scolded by authority or humiliated by someone more capable. His way of coping is to go off into flights of fantasy in which he assumes heroic status in the face of crisis. And every deed is accompanied by a ship or plane or surgical machinery that goes pocketa-ta-pocketa-pocketa.
I drifted off and so began The Secret Life of Elder Mitty. There he was -- the nerdy plastic Mitty himself being henpecked by those to the far right of him, pushing him to grow a backbone and start creating jobs.
Mitty's entrepreneurial spirit came to his rescue. Assuming the role of commander-in-chief, a job he won in an amazing landslide, he ordered the establishment of a temporary employment agency. Its first job was to send out a fleet of engineers and laborers to construct a multi-car garage elevator in the Romney homestead in La Jolla, Calif. Thousands applied for the job. After everyone with a foreign name was weeded out, hundreds convened on his property and started working. Soon, members of his cabinet, Congress and super-PACS followed suit, and unemployment figures shrank as engineers and laborers began building multi-car garage elevators in homes across the US. And the machinery of progress cranked pocketa-ta-pocketa-pocketa.
Soon, garage-elevator-related injuries dotted the landscape, but by then all healthcare compensation had vanished, having been banished in an executive fiat, which many in the country mistook as the promise of a special edition of an Italian car.
Next, President Mitty was pressured by sheriffs, marshals and state officials to do something about all those illegal immigrants along with the unemployed with the foreign names. The idea came to him like the whoosh of a jet plane. Under the umbrella of the temporary employment agency, he had them all building -- jet planes. His ingenuity was applauded throughout the land. But the applause grew louder when the planes were completed and ready for their actual mission. The pilots started the engines, pocketa-ta-pocketa-pocketa. Then all those who had a hand in constructing the planes - the previously unemployed, the illegals, those with foreign names - were invited to climb on board. Once the doors were closed and the passengers strapped in their seats, they were each handed a one-way ticket to a country of their choice, any land with a foreign name.
"What's next?" the country asked. "How will you get the economy back on a track that's not temporary? How will you assure us that Wall Street will stop its greed? How will you protect us from the evils of Europe? How will you prevent China from buying the US and making us into dogfood? When will you replace Obamacare with Romneycare?"
"Ah," said the beaming President Mitty, "that, of course, is a secret. But I promise you it will all work out, just like my election, which by Labor Day I had all sewn up and locked in my pocket-ta-pocketa-pocketa..."
I woke up with a start. Or was it a finish?