Saturday, July 16, 2011

Desensitizing the US about the Mormons to prepare for Romney's Run

The Mormon drumbeats have started. In GQ on July 11, a gentleman named Tom Carson has given his spin on Mormons, namely that they are cool, cute, “too goofy to be menacing” and “the last true American innocents,” a kind of mid-century modern artifact  like an Eames Chair. He admits that it might look different if you are gay or black, but if you are not, the Mormons are supposed to be harmless. Really? Nobody else cares about gays and blacks but gays and blacks?  Or does Mr. Carson think nobody should care about gays and blacks? The Mormons spent millions opposing gay marriage in virtually every state where it had a chance to succeed.  They hid their contributions behind dummy companies and front groups, and broke nearly every election law in the land because winning is all that Mormons care about. Just before the election in 2008, "parties unknown" launched a massed cyber attack on gay groups in both California and Florida.  Meanwhile, the votes on gay marriage were close in both states and the results did not match exit polls. Is that really “goofy” and “harmless” and of interest only to gays, that there is a large wealthy group in America dedicated to winning at any cost and to deceiving the public about their actions and intentions?  Who are the Mormons?

They are a gang.  Salt Lake City has long been famous for having highest rate of business fraud in the nation. Even in official statistics,  Multi-level marketing is second only to tourism as the dominant industry.  LDS members discriminate against other faiths in credit, housing, employment, and even charity. The church's disdain for individuals and individualism is not only notorious, but violently different from the mainstream of American culture, as one can see by the attacks they launched on Sonia Johnson, a previous Mormon who ran for president.

Carson says his view of the Mormons as “cute” is not supposed to refer to Romney, but the epithet used for him, “Cyborg,” is actually one which has been carefully selected for its lack of sting.  Romney is a spoiled rich kid, like Bush, with no experience of risk, whose “genius” business adventure, Bain Capital, was set up to clean dirty Latin American money by putting it to work in American business, and whose political act in Massachusetts was one lengthy record of vetoes overrode by the legislature. This practice of referring to Romney as a cyborg seems to be summoning Romney's speaking style, not his ideas or his record. It has been repeated so many times by so many different people it has the smell of an officially sanctioned meme, one which deprives Romney of evil, the same way Ann Richards and Molly Ivins deprived Bush of the menace that he really represented through their thoughtless condescension. We all paid for their error.

Carson attributes the Mormon chic to the intervention of Parker and Stone and their “Book of Mormon” play, without any recognition that these are two right wingers who have not only a record of crass homophobia but have tried consistently to desensitize the public to Mormons. Their play, about very young Mormons, emphasizes the innocent. And Carson dismisses the joke LDS theology by saying “Anyone whose objection to Mormonism is that it's all made up is not only barking up the wrong crucifix but peeing on a flagpole. Made-up, really? What, ya think the NFL, Superman, Mickey Mouse, and the Declaration of Independence weren't?”

An odd collection, to be sure. Mickey Mouse was created by a man, Walt Disney, who had a Mormon wife, so it is not really a symptom of American society apart from Mormons. Superman never pretended to be non-fiction, as the Mormon story does. The NFL is a machine for converting the tax dollars of working people into the pockets of a few business owners and a few hardly more numerous players through a theatrical pretense of competition. If Romney had his way, the whole economy would be run like the NFL and we would all be victims.  In the sense that the NFL pretends to be about competition just as the Mormons pretend to be about religion, there may be some analogy, but hardly in creative imagination.    The Declaration of Independence is not, as far as I can tell, a fantasy novel, and Carson's trivialization of it as an American fiction is precisely why Mormonism should be resisted in politics.  It is just an insult to America to compare the Declaration of Independence to Mickey Mouse and the Mormons.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

That Sinking Feeling

In 2000 I had a sinking feeling reading Molly Ivins' investigative work on George W. Bush, entitled "Shrub."  She detailed criminal behavior but tended to excuse him as a well-meaning slightly ridiculous buffoon.  I had a bad feeling because her description of Bush reminded me of a college roommate.  Like Bush, this roommate had a lot of personal charm, self-deprecating humor, and a bumbling folksy manner.  Like Bush, this roommate came from a rich family, name-dropped incessantly about his connections to the "Eastern Establishment" and yet resented them from southern regional prejudice.   Like Bush, he had never been held responsible for any bad behavior, and he had no concept of risk as a result.  Like Bush, he seemed to resent the system which celebrated his parents, as well as the myths of special American virtue surrounding democracy and capitalism.  By the end of the year, this roommate of mine had engaged in theft, vandalism, drugs, and had hatched a scheme to sell narcotics to high school children that only failed because the hashish he bought turned out to be wax.  He was never reprimanded, arrested, or disciplined for any of it.  He arrived the next year full of apologies for his bad behavior the previous year, and immediately began further crimes. 

In short, I had a sinking feeling that in Bush Molly Ivins had mistaken a bold criminal for the spoiled incompetent he wished her to see.  For example, Harkness Energy had decided to defraud the investing public by an accounting misrepresentation. To boost earnings, Harkness formed a new company consisting of Harken insiders, and sold it Harken's problem assets and liabilities at a highly favorable price.   They recognized a big profit on the sale, which saved their profit results for the year and prevented their stock price from collapsing.  The next year they bought the dogs back, closed the new company, and recognized  losses but only after insider Bush had disposed of his shares.  Molly Ivins duly reported that Bush was on the audit committee, but she did not suggest that he knew what was going on.  She seemed to find it plausible that a company employing a Harvard business graduate (Bush), but no other businessmen of significance, had entered into a significant fraud that would have embarrassed the sitting President of the United States (George H.W. Bush)  if discovered, while George W. Bush was on the Audit Committee, without his knowledge.  Nonsense!  Not only was it implausible he wasn't in on it, it had to be his idea because the same fraud was used repeatedly by Enron in later years and that company had nothing in common with Harkness except Bush.  From then on, "insider trading" became the Democrat theme.  It could be proved that an email was sent to Bush telling him not to sell his shares, but they couldn't prove that he ever read it. The larger story, the original accounting fraud, got lost in the shuffle even though the Bush Administration would compile an amazing record of altering statistics to serve political ends.

Bush, I told my friends, was the most corrupt man ever to seek the presidency.  They scoffed and smiled indulgently and felt I was playing the fool for partisan muckrakers, although not a single muckraker I had ever read had understood the magnitude of Bush's threat to America.

In 2008, people knew Bush was bad news.  They realized he had corrupted the Supreme Court and the electoral process, he had wrecked the economy, eliminated America's moral authority in the world by conducting a seamy unprincipled protection racket in both his foreign and domestic policies, and had destroyed America's freedoms one by one as though it were a personal mission.  Nonetheless, they were prepared to vote for Willard Mitt Romney, one of the few men even more spoiled and unprincipled than Bush, but with a greater intelligence, energy, organization, and capacity for harm.

Fortunately, Mitt Romney was stymied in 2008.  He was not torpedoed by the voters.  Indeed, he told workers in Michigan that they were in a "one state recession" because high gasoline prices had caused a crash in car sales.  He promised he would use his business acumen to help them be better at business, while his personal wealth soared, being partly invested in foreign oil companies that made money from the crisis that was costing Michigan jobs.  The foolish Michigan Republicans voted for him anyway, so blinded were they by the Romney ties to their state.    Romney was instead defeated because the many candidates collapsed too early, leaving only a few choices to compare against him and no chance of his winning.

In 2011 Romney has benefited from the sheer number of candidates in the field, and with his personal wealth, he can encourage more entrants in order to split the opposition and carry the day.  I don't know if he has or will do this, but  it is clear that Mitt Romney must be prevented from gaining the presidency and engaging in an even worse orgy of destruction of American values and the American economy than the lazy Bush was able to accomplish.  This blog will be dedicated to examining Mitt Romney, his non-record, his bold deceptions, and his plans to impoverish and crush America.