Mitt Romney recently said in Israel that Palestinians don't have as high a GDP per capita as Israelis do because their culture is not as good as Jewish culture. That is both deeply racist and deeply stupid.
According to that logic, Jewish culture must not be as good as Arab culture because the GDP per capita of Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait crush Israel's.
Mitt Romney also talked about divine hand of providence as a possible explanation of why Israelis are richer than Palestinians. Did God, or should I say Allah, change his mind and decide that he likes Arabs in the Gulf States more than even the Jews?
Here's another explanation for the Palestinians plight: They have been under occupation for over 60 years now. They don't even control their own borders or trade. There have been crushing embargoes on their territories. It's a little hard to get trade going when you're literally not allowed to trade.
Our military has aided and abetted this occupation and, in many ways, we have paid for it. Now we have a candidate for president of one of our major political parties go there and rub their face in it. It wasn't our military that did this to you; it was your own inferior culture. That's literally adding insult to injury.
Despite all of this, the most relevant part of this exchange might be the perspective it gives us into Mitt Romney's world view. Rich makes right. If Israel is richer, by definition, it must be superior. If Mitt Romney is richer than everyone else, he must be superior to everyone else. Elect me for president, I'm richer than the other guy.
What he leaves unsaid is what is obvious in his mind, "The richer guy is obviously the better guy."
The fact is that Mitt might have had some advantages being the son of a multi-millionaire governor, and Israel might have had some advantages in getting $3 billion a year from the US and having a sovereign country is irrelevant to Romney. Richer equals better. Period. Who cares what the circumstances are? Mitt's always about the bottom line.
Romney's deeply offensive comments about the Palestinians probably won't hurt him in the election at all. There is no group in America you can insult with more impunity than Palestinians and Arabs. That doesn't hurt your electoral chances, it might even help. But what does hurt is the overwhelming sense you get from Romney that he is looking down his nose at you. This son of a b*tch actually thinks he's better than the rest of us because he was born to a mega-rich dad, figured out how to cheat the system at Bain and hid away so much of his money abroad (tax avoidance was an enormous contributor to his fortune -- do you have any idea how much more you save up if you pay 10% in taxes a year rather than 35%?). Now, that doesn't sit so well.
Who wants to have a beer with a guy who thinks he'd rather be having a Chardonnay with one of his equals? To Mitt, we're all Palestinians.