We Are Rapidly Running Out Of Padded Basement Cells For Crazy Uncles

Ed Raymond

In a previous column I tried to make the case that Mitt Romney might be an alien cyborg raised on Pluto, so far the only ex-planet in the universe. I’m still trying to discover what Mitt is. He has no pimples, no cavities, perfect political hair with no dandruff, and wears wrinkle-proof suits, $400 sharp-crease jeans, and “business” shirts. Every time I see the robot explorer Curiosity moving across the Martian landscape, I expect to see big and little Mormons running alongside that amazing machine. If I have the Mormon religion right, leaders who ascend to the very pinnacles of the church are awarded their own planet. Father George Romney must be up in the universe someplace. I still have no clue what makes Mitt tick or miss one. Mitt has been running for office for the last two decades, the presidency for six. He doesn’t seem to have a single bone in his body. He can gyrate, twist, turn himself inside out, have rubber lips, and yoga himself into indescribable positions on every major issue.

Is Mitt A Yam Not?

   I ran across the perfect cartoon in the New Yorker the other day that summarizes Mitt’s flexibility. Popeye is on a shrink’s couch being psychoanalyzed by a character that looks like a Freudian Frankenstein. The psychiatrist is trying to pin Popeye down, but he is a slippery character. Popeye responds to the big question: “...So I yam what I yam, and that’s all that I yam. But what if I yam NOT what I yam? What if I yam what I yam NOT? How do we know what we yam? If we yam...” Well, you get the picture.
   Mitt seems impenetrable. His brain is in constant flux. It’s as if his three pounds of gray matter has been in a blender that never stops spinning those 100 trillion neurons into useless clumps. Is he on some weird stuff?  When the Mormons crossed Utah in the 19th century, forbidden to use tea or coffee, they discovered Mormon Tea, a mixture of ephedrine and other pharmacology related to amphetamines, growing along the paths. Mitt acts as if he is a daily user. Example: Mitt claims he graduated from Stanford with a major in English literature. If true, he has been exposed to the finest fiction and non-fiction literature in the world. Mitt’s favorite novel? L. Ron Hubbard’s “Battlefield Earth,” a rather weird science fiction book with a lot of non-scientific “Scientology” wrapped up in it.
   He still doesn’t understand what a metaphor is—and he lies without any sense of guilt or remorse. Mitt said, “We have a president who I think is a nice guy, but he spent too much time at Harvard, perhaps.” The problem is, Mitt actually spent twice as much time as Obama did at Harvard. He came up with this weirdism: “I have some great friends who are NASCAR team owners.” How about “This feels good, being back in Michigan. You know, the trees are the right height.” Or “My wife drives a couple of Cadillacs.” Or “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” Here’s the one that tops them all: “Corporations are people... Of course they are. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes?”

The Jellyfish—The Perfect Vulture Capitalist

   I recently discovered the perfect metaphor to help in understanding what Mitt is about. Mitt, pay attention. The comb jelly is an invisible jellyfish that is slow, blind, and brainless but can eat ten times its body weight per day. It scarfs up everything at the bottom of the food chain by ingesting water containing tiny residents. This type of jellyfish reminds me of hedge fund managers and vulture capitalists who prey on the little people, like Mitt did for 25 years at Bain Capital. Short-term profits are the only goal. Wall Street is no longer interested in long-term growth. In a recent poll, 24 percent of Wall Street executives say unethical or illegal conduct is a necessary part of doing business in “Street” finance. So Gordon Gekko’s theme “Greed is Good” is the Golden Rule. Is there any evidence that our leading MBA business programs even bother teaching integrity, honesty, ethics, and morality?
    In George Erickson’s latest book, “Eyes Wide Open,” he has a one-page comment called “Blind to a World of Wonder” that perfectly describes Republicans who assembled the Republican Party platform from Tea Party drivel, Libertarian excess, and religious nonsense. None of these creatures lives even close to Lake Wobegon, where everyone is good-looking and academically way above average. Republicans such as Minnesota representative Michele Bachmann, Oklahoma senator Jim Inhofe, and South Carolina senator Jim DeMint have evidently studied in Swamp Stupidacious and were left behind as children. It’s getting to be a Republican tradition to ignore science, history, and logic.
                                                                                                                              “Living In A World In
Which Things Makes
Sense, But Never
Learning Why”

   Erickson in his section “Blind to a World of Wonder” describes how dull life can be if you never wonder “why”: “What a shame it is that so many people plod through life with a muted sense of wonder, never asking why ice always floats, why biscuits rise, and how an east wind brings rain with a storm from the west. Some ask the questions, but never root out the answers, living in a world in which things make sense, but never learning why.”  
   George W. Bush is one of those muted “plodders” who never asks why. A college roommate said George was the most incurious man he had ever met. In fact, George never plodded after anything in his formative years unless it was a drink. He sat on his butt for 40 years, did nothing to learn anything, and then decided to run for Congress. Using even today’s Texas standards, he was a good match. I’ve always said George was not dumb. He just didn’t know anything. He always said he governed by his guts. The lost decade of his gut rumblings shows that. Even a small brain could have overruled guts that only produced “Decider” gas. He has now been “disappeared” by the Republican Party in this election year. Maybe he’s driving NASA’s Curiosity on Mars.

Republican Convention
Concentrates On Women

   I thought there was a certain sense of irony that hundreds of Republican women trudged up to microphones in the Tampa Hall spouting the minute-by-minute “Talking Points” produced by the employees of people who continue to squeeze through the eyes of needles. Not a female in the hall would be eligible for an abortion, according to the sacred sections of their political platform. Incest? No, raise the child and take her to visit her father in prison!! Save the mother from a life-threatening condition caused by the fetus? No, let “Mom” die! A “personhood” brought on by a “legitimate” rape? No abortion, folks. Let “Mom” raise the rapist’s baby as part of the family!
   Republicans seem to believe in religious and biological fantasies that have been around for eons instead of modern scientific research conducted under rigid protocols. Witness representative “Legitimate Rape” Todd Akin of Missouri. Woman have some kind of mysterious antidote, a hate hormone that kills sperm as it “plods” by the millions toward eggs, or some kind of DDT mixture that automatically sprays the uterus with death-dealing cells that prevent rape impregnation.
  It really wasn’t until the 20th century that intelligent human beings finally dumped Greek philosopher Plato’s 2500-year-old diagnosis that the female uterus was a little brainy animal (like a rabbit?) that traveled throughout the wonders of the female body “blocking passages, obstructing breathing, and causing disease.” Plato immortalized the “traveling uterus” in his dialogue “Timaeus.” It’s commonly called “the myth of the wandering womb.”
   I wonder if all of the Tampa strip clubs that catered to “family values” Republican delegates  warned clients about the folk legend of the toothed vagina. Woman were monsters centuries ago—that’s why so many females were burned at the stake or hanged as witches for “seducing” poor, helpless males. Stories about vagina-eating penises have been around for a long time. The rumor was that a sharp-toothed orifice was hidden in a woman’s nether regions, causing serious injuries, including castration, if you are making love to a devil-dominated woman. Whew! This is heady stuff that evangelicals should put on stone tablets. Evangelicals might even practice female genital mutilation if they are taught that a woman’s clitoris will grow into a penis if not cut off. Did you know that babies die if they touch the clitoris while being born? Please, don’t let that genius Rep. Akin get his hands on these “facts.” As it is, we probably have enough stupid penises in the world.

Menstruating Women
Cause Crops To
Wither And Die

   Men have been coming up with diabolical fear factors in limiting human relationships for centuries. Two thousand years ago, Pliny the Elder wrote that menstruation was a direct punishment from God for the sins of Eve. A single glance from a menstruating woman would “dim the brightness of mirrors and take away the polish from ivory.” In the Middle Ages, some people believed that sex with a menstruating woman would kill all male babies or produce deformed offspring. Some actually believed that menstruating women walking in cultivated fields would cause crops to wither and die. My, isn’t the Bible a fountainhead of scientific knowledge?
   We also have had more than our share of Taliban members in this country, particularly the Catholic hierarchy and the evangelical kooks and nuts in the Christian Coalition. As late as the 19th century, one of our premier educators, Edward Clarke, wrote that energy expended by females to study various subjects “would deprive a young girl’s reproductive organs of the necessary ‘flow to power.’ [Whatever that is.] Higher education will produce women with monstrous brains and puny bodies, and abnormally weak digestion.”

Romney And
The Female Vote

   Did you know that real men like Mitt Romney produce nothing but sons—and that he should get 100 percent of the female vote because he exhibits “evolutionary superiority”? That genetic nonsense is the work of Kevin D. Williamson, deputy managing editor of the National Review. Needless to say, it is not a scientific publication. It is basically a Republican “white power” rag that isn’t even conservative anymore.
   Where does that evolutionarily superior real man Mitt stand on the issues of this campaign? Since his introduction to politics over 20 years ago, he has slithered, slobbered, skidded, and simply lied about every major issue of our times. He not only wears an empty suit, it is constantly being retailored as he bounces from one campaign platform and one crowd to another, providing only prattle and drivel where substance and specifics are necessary for understanding complex problems. Where does he really stand on abortion? Would he have been willing to sacrifice Ann to keep one of his five boys alive? Is he in favor of gay rights and same-sex marriage? Is he one of these “hate the sin” but “love the sinner” kind of guys? Does he favor stem cell research that might resolve Ann’s health problems? His views on climate change have been wilder than temperatures swings around the world. Do humans burning fossil fuels cause changes in climate? The temperature of the Gulf of Mexico was 87 degrees when Category One Isaac crossed to hit the parishes around New Orleans, causing tremendous damage in some quarters. What if Isaac had been a Category Five?
    Mitt says he wants a “muscular” foreign policy. What does that mean? Attack Iran? Stay in Afghanistan for the next fifty years? Reinforce our forces left in Iraq? Break diplomatic relations with Russia to keep the Republican neocon nuts like Dick Cheney, John Bolton, and Paul Wolfowitz happy? There are lots of crazy uncles in the Republican Party who must be kept in their padded basement cells. It seems funny that after six years of presidential campaigns, we still have no idea who Mitt is—or what he is capable of becoming. Only he knows what he “yam.”