WITH MITT ROMNEY, WHAT YOU SEE, IS WHAT YOU GET -- FOR NOW
Mitt-Faced: What lies behind the crooked smile? Or is it a smirk? Or, both?
Photo: KUER University of Utah
"Mitt Romney isn't pro-choice, he's not anti-choice, he's multiple choice" -- Ted Kennedy, 1994
Perhaps among the more self-indulgent of the appallingly well-stocked well-spring of rancid fisherman's tales Mitt Romney's campaign hope voters will swallow hook, line and sinker this fall, is the tale of Mitt heroically swooping into Utah -- like a Salt Lake City Superman -- to "save" the 2002 Winter Olympics. In the licentious arena of malformed professional embellishments by politicians, the Romney-as-Olympics-savior assertion joins another such falsehood -- popularized by way of right-wing media distortion over a decade ago -- that of Al Gore claiming to have "invented" the Internet .
It is also in precise tune with many other of the revisionist jingles produced by Romney including his claim that "Obamacare" is so far-removed from its antecedent, "Romneycare" -- Mitt's signature legislative accomplishment as a " severely conservative " Massachusetts governor -- that as president he'd repeal the Obama version.
Then, of course, there's the attack ad released late last year in which he attributes to President Obama, a comment that Romney knew was made by Arizona Senator John McCain during the 2008 presidential campaign.
And what about the king-sized whopper he told about having actually witnessed his father " march with Dr. Martin Luther King " in support of the civil rights movement?
So, what will be heard next? Given the ease with which they accept specious and delusional hyperbole and even outright lying from their candidate, should we now expect Romney's supporters to float a claim that years ago there existed a "severely conservative" planet called Krypton where -- just like the "real" Superman -- Mitt once owned a home?
The Human Waffle House
In addition to the obvious role in helping build a highly fictitious narrative for himself, the distortions, embellishments, and oftentimes lies put forth by Mitt Romney function as the supply chain that's fed a decades-long strategy of flip-flopping his way to his ultimate goal: the Oval Office. And, similar to his approach to backtracking on the issue of Ohio's Question 2 in October, his seamlessly swift 180 on the Blunt amendment in late February typify just how fluently Romney's lying and flip-flopping co-exist. Here, as in the case of Question 2, a union-busting initiative, Mitt was either lying when he initially denied supporting the Blunt amendment, or, lying when he subsequently claimed to have misunderstood the question. But the facts remain that within hours after an interview during which Romney announced: "I'm not for the bill," he pulled the about face during another interview: "Of course I support the Blunt amendment," Romney declared.
Indeed, through the course of his present campaign, and certainly those that have preceded this one, Romney has proven to be more than just another hackneyed competitor in the sleazy game of political and philosophical opportunism; indeed, in many ways, he's the quintessential characteristic of it. His fervent political and rhetorical half-heartedness dwell comfortably within the fluid philosophical parameters necessary to the development of what might be described as Mitt Romney 3.0. It's the upgrade from earlier versions starting with 1.0, aka "Progressive/Liberal Mitt," released in 1994 for his challenge of Ted Kennedy. Its modified version, 2.0, otherwise known as "Moderate Mitt," was unveiled for use in his successful run for Governor of Massachusetts.
This latest version, 3.0, "Severely Conservative/Economic Recovery Expert Mitt," has been formatted to enhance his ability to falsely convey to his targeted-voter-base du jour -- America's severely conservative Republicans -- that Willard Mitt Romney is not just a master of the corporate universe but more importantly, a full out "scorched-earth-in-starched-shirts" arch-conservative.
In other words, that he's a Brooks Brothers version of Rick Santorum. That is, at least until after Mitt achieves the GOP nomination. It's anyone's guess as to who version 4.0 -- "General Election Mitt" -- will turn out to be should Romney in fact become the GOP nominee.