Mitt, Named after the Roman God of Mutual Funds

Today, The New York Times's David Brooks offers up his semi-annual column that is supposed to clinch his reputation as a "reasonable" conservative—the one who can see both sides. It's a laugh-out-loud doozy, a putative biographical sketch of Mitt Romney that made him sound temporarily as if he were inhabited by Gail Collins, complete with the snort-your-coffee where's-Waldo reference to Seamus on the roof. Some excerpts:

Mitt grew up in a modest family. His father had an auto body shop called the American Motors Corporation, and his mother owned a small piece of land, Brazil. He had several boyhood friends, many of whom owned Nascar franchises, and excelled at school, where his fourth-grade project, “Inspiring Actuaries I Have Known,” was widely admired.

The Romneys had a special family tradition. The most cherished member got to spend road trips on the roof of the car. Mitt spent many happy hours up there, applying face lotion to combat windburn. ...

He had a pet rock, which ran away from home because it was starved of affection. He bought a mood ring, but it remained permanently transparent. His ability to turn wine into water detracted from his popularity at parties. ...

Some have said that Romney’s lifestyle is overly privileged, pointing to the fact that he has an elevator for his cars in the garage of his San Diego home. This is not entirely fair. Romney owns many homes without garage elevators and the cars have to take the stairs.

But the piece ends on a truly odd note: 

If elected, he promises to bring all Americans together and make them feel inferior.

Is that how Brooks sees Romney? As someone superior to the rest of us? Okay, that's better than the truly weird gay-porn essay about Romney's "manliness" that Kevin Williamson wrote in National Review last week, which Amanda Marcotte eviscerated so neatly here. I hope Brooks is mocking that attitude, given the rest of his emphasis on Romney's resemblance to a Ken doll who was, as Jim Hightower might have said, born on third base and grew up thinking he hit a triple. But if Brooks thinks even in the slightest that such a figure is superior to the rest of us, that might explain the weird conservative twist in his thinking. 

For him, I have a prescription, a site that someone recently pointed me to: Yiddish curses for Republican Jews. It's for those of us who watch the highly shaved and exceptionally well-groomed faces at Republican convention, happen to spot a profile that looks like Uncle Milton's, and can't keep from yelling: I know your mother taught you better! If the cooler air has you thinking about dipping apples in honey, you might enjoy it too.

Comments

This is a great work of social satire reminiscent of Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal".

You ask, "Is that how Brooks sees Romney? As someone superior to the rest of us?"

Yes, it is.

Your hope to the contrary is in vain. Brooks believes that people like Mitt Romney are immeasurably superior (to people like you and me), and implies that the real problem our society faces is that we peons are unwilling to acknowledge that fact.

Then there is our fervent devotion to equality, to the notion that all people are equal and deserve equal recognition and respect. It’s hard in this frame of mind to define and celebrate greatness, to hold up others who are immeasurably superior to ourselves.
So quit finding fault in our godlike Republican leaders and join in the celebration of Romney's greatness, already.

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