Mitt Romney Just Doesn’t Get It

Bob Garon and Mitt Romney

This morning on Twitter, I clicked on a link to a video posted by Mansur Gidfar. It’s a recording of a spontaneous conversation between Mitt Romney and a Vietnam veteran named Bob Garon that took place in a Manchester, New Hampshire restaurant on a December morning in 2011.

To me the episode depicted in the video is emblematic of who Mitt Romney is–a stodgy, selfish, self-centered man who sadly is unable to empathize with anyone who doesn’t share his own experiences as a privileged, wealthy, straight white male Mormon.

Romney sat down with Mr. Garon uninvited and began talking to him about Vietnam. He had no idea that Garon was a gay man who was having breakfast with his husband.

On January 1, 2010, New Hampshire legalized same sex marriage and ordered that all civil unions in the state would automatically become legal marriages. There was an effort to repeal the statute that legalized same sex marriage that Mitt Romney supported. That effort failed in March 2012. In New Hampshire’s Democratic governor John Lynch would have vetoed the repeal even if it had passed.

I discovered that this meeting between Romney and Garon was pretty well covered at the time, but somehow I missed it. The NYT Caucus blog covered the interaction on December 12, 2011. After the exchange, Garon summed up his reaction to Romney:

Afterward, Mr. Garon, who legally married another man in June, said Mr. Romney was not getting his vote.

“He told me that I’m not entitled to Constitutional rights,” he said. “I think a man and a woman and a man and a man should be treated equal.”

Adding that while he had been undecided until he chatted with Mr. Romney, Mr. Garon said, “I’m totally convinced today that he’s not going to be my president — at least in my book.”

“This man is ‘No way, Jose,’” he said. “Well, take that ‘No way, Jose’ back to Massachusetts.”

Though Mr. Garon conceded that Mr. Romney had handled his question fairly, giving him the yes or no answer he’d requested, he nonetheless offered an unfavorable prediction for the Republican primary outcome.

“He is not going to make it,” he said. “Because you can’t trust him. I just saw it in his eyes. I judge a man by his eyes.”

Times change. People change.

Romney doesn’t understand that times have changed since he was a prep school bully judging his classmate’s “manliness” back in the 1960s. He and his Gen-X running mate are still living in the past, when straight white males ruled the roost and the rest of us were also-rans. But no more. America is changing, and I don’t think reactionaries like Romney and Ryan are going to be able to stop it.

Just comparing the crowds of delegates at the two parties’ conventions shows how time has flowed onward despite the Republican Party’s reactionary efforts to stop it.

At the Republican Convention, we saw a sea of mostly older white faces, with a few token people of color on the stage and fewer in the audience. We heard mostly negative, messages that excluded those of us who don’t fit the Republican view of what a “real American” should be–including our President.  Even though there was a parade of people on stage talking about Romney’s kindness and generosity, we never heard of his helping people who weren’t like him–those he helped were mostly fellow Mormons as far as I could tell.  We never heard episodes in which he reached out to those outside his own circle.

At the Democratic Convention, we have been seeing a rainbow of faces–people wearing different kinds of clothing, belonging to many cultures, but united in wanting this to be a country in which people care about and for each other–because we’re all in this together. We’ve heard an inclusive, forward-looking message of hope for the future rather than a futile wishes to go back in time to a pristine America that never really existed.

I know which group I want to be part of, and I hope we send Romney and Ryan packing in November. Let them live in their fantasy world if they want to, but we must stop them from forcing their reactionary values on the rest of us.

This is an open thread. I’ll post a live blog later this evening for the third and last night of the Democratic National Convention.

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57 Comments on “Mitt Romney Just Doesn’t Get It”

  1. pdgrey says:

    I do this all the time, when a new thread is started and I comment below.
    This is the rude pundit, H/T Suzie.
    http://rudepundit.blogspot.com/2012/09/dnc-day-2-bill-clinton-in-full-bloom-at.html

    I linked to this because it goes with comment I left on the last post. The Rude hated Hillary, I just am having a hard time understanding the thinking. If this really is an important election (and i think it is) I don’t get the argument.

    • pdgrey says:

      I wanted to add, I loved Suzie’s response to a commenter.

      imhotep 6 September 2012 at 2:10 pm Permalink

      Agreed paul j. The video is a great tool for learning how to become a great snake oil salesman. Clinton could sell ice to an eskimo. That doesn’t mean that Clinton is all that smart. It just means that eskimos are not all that bright. At least the ones who would buy anything that Clinton was trying to sell.

      susie 6 September 2012 at 2:15 pm Permalink

      Since he was trying to sell Obama, you’re the not-bright Eskimo in this equation?

    • Seriously says:

      It wasn’t unusual at all for people to love Bill and hate Hillary, up until demonizng Bill for the crime of defending his wicked witch wife became more politically expedient. He was given credit for his successes, she was blamed for his failures, even when he was on record opposing them. After she failed, as a freshman Senator from New York who struggled to be accepted inside her own caucus, to oppose a large cross section of her constituents and singlehandedly bring Bush to his knees, she became the scapegoat and that was that. I don’t know if the Rude was one of those people who loved Bill and hated Hillary, but the argument would be that everything is forgiveable (including the AUMF vote, for everybody else), with one exception.

      • RalphB says:

        You know I’ve never understood any of that either. People can be so logically inconsistent.

      • bostonboomer says:

        All true, Seriously. I’ve never read the Rude Pundit, so don’t know what he did back then. I avoid rude people when possible.

  2. Anyone notice that Romney constantly has an expression of disgust as he talks to the “little people.” Great post BB.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    Ugly Romney troll John Sununu says the Obama campaign is lying about the price of Michelle’s dress ($350).

    I guess since Ann Romney wears $1,000 T-shirts these people can’t imagine someone buying something lower priced. To me, $350 is still pretty expensive.

    • RalphB says:

      Being the fashion plate he is, I’m sure Sununu is an expert on the pricing of all women’s clothing 🙂

  4. HT says:

    Yes, the rainbow of faces contrasted with the whitebread crowd is particularly apt (and I’m one of those who are whiter than most – northern european genetics). Loved Bill Clinton before, but after last night, he’s untouchable. The party of ME running against the party of WE. Nice touch. It should resonate, however there are days that I just do not get how so man Americans can actively support a party that espouses so many policies that will ultimately negatively affect them. How can they possibly rationalize voting for R&R?
    But then again, when you see polls like this well, you can only shake your head and hope you’re dreaming.
    http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/2012.09.05_CreEvo.pdf

  5. Beata says:

    Mitt Shady continues his charm offensive in song! Won me over. 😉

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Judge orders Ohio Secretary of State to appear in federal court to explain why he is ignoring the order to reinstate early voting hours.

  7. pdgrey says:

    BB, could you delete my first two comments on this thread. I didn’t mean to start the comments off on your good post with something I was writing about below.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That’s no big deal PDGrey. Your comments are fine. This is an open thread after all. Besides, I can’t delete comments with replies without messing up the nesting.

      BTW, I left a reply to you on the previous thread.

  8. pdgrey says:

    I went and read them, BB, thanks I don’t think people here have to agree with me. I had just talked to 4 people today who are liberals that watched MSNBC last night and felt the same way. I am so tried today and I don’t have time to look up the other things Sharpton said. But honestly, what I was saying to begin with is, I don’t want to fight that war again and I was concerned it was going to divide the party again after a gracious, helping speech by Bill Clinton.

    • HT says:

      pd, I’m exhausted too, yet I enjoyed your comments. Don’t worry, we all know you.

    • pdgrey says:

      BB, you know I was thinking, if I really wanted people to disagree with me, I could have written about Chris Hayes last night. He’s very smart, sometimes can see a bigger picture in the discussion. But last night Rachel had to stop him and inform him Bill Clinton had just made the argument for a Democratic ticket all the way down. And just to be hateful and we are hateful people, ha. He talks to fast.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I like Chris Hayes too. Nobody’s perfect. I don’t expect people to agree with me either. I respect your opinion. I was just pointing out the context of the “back from hell” remark. But you don’t have to believe me on that either. I still like you.

    • northwestrain says:

      So these creepy religious fanatics are trying to force their religious mythology on everyone?

      The message seems to be — do as they say or they will eliminate anyone who disagrees.

      I know that is their unsaid threat because I’ve heard some of the rightwing nutjobs say exactly that. There is no way to compromise with this crowd. It is either their way — or they will create death squads. They don’t want democracy — they want mythology and extreme obedience to their god and the patriarchy that they worship. The power of the penis.

      Take women right back to the mythical garden of Eden.

      Why isn’t that nutbag in a metal Hospital? He if off his meds and his mind is somewhere else.

      • HT says:

        Hope you’re feeling better today northwest. I know I was abrupt last night when I told you to sign off, but it was with the best intentions. Forgive me my brevity – you have to because today’s my birthday and I’m allowed

      • bostonboomer says:

        Happy Birthday, HT!!

      • northwestrain says:

        My computer kept crashing — I guess even my computer is a lie detector. I read a good book and did some spinning — should have pounded copper as well.

        The Black Agenda report calls 0bama the “more effective evil”.

        http://blackagendareport.com/content/what-obama-has-wrought

        Do not make Mrs. 0bama into a saint — she is part of the Chicago Political Machine. What Glen Ford says at the link.

        We aren’t left with much choice — but with the GOPigs there is no choice. For me Jill Stein will send a message that I know the game that 0bama and the corporate enablers are playing. No jail time for the Wall Street Gamblers and organized homeland security bullying of the Occupy folks. Double standards and lying. So my computer crashed.

      • HT says:

        Thanks BB. I wish I could say that getting older means getting wiser. Doesn’t necessarily happen as I found out today. However I plan on being the best read, most educated curmudgeon ever.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      Sorry pdgrey, I missed that you’d already posted this. Can we just chalk it up to great minds?

  9. ANonOMouse says:

    The GOP/TP doesn’t want to take women back to the 50’s, they want to go back to the garden of eden! Oh no, not that Adam & Eve crapola again.

  10. ANonOMouse says:

    BB, I really enjoyed the video you posted. Somehow I missed it too.

  11. RalphB says:

    WTF? The Romney campaign and SuperPACs have also pulled all advertising in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Usually this means you’re giving up on a state to put money into better targets but, with their cash advantage, this just seems odd and too early.

    Romney cedes Ohio TV airwaves to Obama (at least for now)

  12. dakinikat says:

    ORIGINAL POST: Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.) suggested Wednesday federally-issued student loans were unconstitutional. He also said that disregarding the Constitution could lead down a “slippery slope” and cited the Holocaust as an example of what could happen when a country heads down a wrong path

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/maryland-politics/post/bartlett-calls-federal-student-loans-unconstitutional-invokes-holocaust/2012/09/06/70dd2974-f842-11e1-8253-3f495ae70650_blog.html#pagebreak

    Yes, folks, murdering millions of Jews, Gypsies, Homosexuals and others is equivalent to offering our children student loans to go to university …

    • pdgrey says:

      Dak,Well, Fucking perfect. what’s left to say.

    • HT says:

      Good gravy, they really are totally divorced from reality aren’t they. The only other explanation is insanity running rampant.

    • northwestrain says:

      The logic of the GOPigs is amazing. One guy wants to put women back in the Garden of Eden (and on their backs) and now this other jerks wants to eliminate student loans — but I’ll bet this same creep is pushing Bank of America Students loans at what 25 or 50% interest???

      Raygun hated colleges and college students — the evil Professors. So the dimwitted GOPigs are trying something to make themselves into another Raygun. Goddess help us all. Let Raygun stay dead.

      Funny thing is — Raygun and Ike would never recognize this GOPig abomination.

    • RalphB says:

      Who knew those loans could be so vicious? Another whackadoodle.

      This is the same dude from Maryland with the earlier rape/abortion junk isn’t it?

  13. northwestrain says:

    Oh new thread up — I’ll skip watching 0bama wearing that Toga again and trying to sound like a Tent revival evangelical preachers.

  14. northwestrain says:

    THis bit on memorandum:

    Ed Kilgore / Washington Monthly:
    Entitlement Trouble — Digby noticed it. I noticed. Maybe you noticed it, too: the one time Bill Clinton didn’t get rousing applause from the Democratic Convention audience last night was when he made a favorable reference to the Simpson-Bowles Commission.
    Discussion: Hullabaloo, Library Grape and NationalJournal.com

    ————–

    0bama is not to be trusted either on this subject.