Mitt and Donald

An odd couple's journey through fact and fiction.

Much has been made recently of Mitt Romney’s refusal to explicitly condemn Donald Trump’s renewed “birther” claims against President Obama. Personally, I think Romney has done his part to distance himself from Trump’s nonsense, if not in a quiet manner. The man simply needs Trump’s money, and he can’t be personally responsible for every donor’s belief system.

Still, the media continues to hound him; and therein lie the perils of being a politician in the Media Age — especially the Republican nominee for President. 

Can you even imagine what it must be like to be the relatively sane-minded Mitt Romney and have to keep all the various bizarre splinter groups of the GOP happy enough to vote for you? God, what a tightrope that must be to walk. You’ve got your normal, intelligent, business-minded Republicans; but you’ve also got your evangelical, “I live my life by every literal word of the Bible” conservative-values Republicans, and your redneck/Ted Nugent, “Guns don’t kill people, I do” Republicans — just to name a few groups. 

And then there’s the different combinations those people might be as individuals. Can you picture yourself in an enclosed room having a conversation with someone who says, “Obama’s a Muslim-Communist who wants to put his government hands on my Medicare and destroy my religion” while dressed up like a reject from the Revolutionary War AND carrying a concealed handgun? Where do you start trying to untangle the idiocy and nonsense in that situation? 

Well, I guess if you’re a decent and sane person, you smile and you try to walk away without insulting them. 

And that’s what Mitt Romney does. He smiles (if you can call that a smile), and he walks away. And I’m okay with that. Because if it were me in that cuckoo’s nest of crazy people, I’d give up, and look for a means of escape by throwing the bathroom sink out the window and running for the hills. 

But still there is the matter of Trump. He’s the one I’d like to focus on here, because he’s the one that is most indicative of a growing and major problem on that side of the aisle: a rejection of fact. And not only that, but an unwillingness to accept anything but opinion AS fact. And Donald Trump is the poster-boy for that currently.

Imagine the futility of this argument: You believe X is true. X can be disproved flatly by evidence Y. Evidence Y appears in a very public fashion. But you ignore evidence Y and go right on ahead with your belief in X.

I’m not talking about a “Pro-Choice/Pro-Life” gray-area type of issue/argument. I mean numbers, and dates, and solvable, flat questions where the research has been done, and these things are known as true or false. Republicans like Trump (and those who identify with him) are getting really, really gifted at that sort of denial lately; and, worse yet, the GOP is aligning policy and talking points to cater to the delusional and paranoid. 

Consider the following:

They believe (or, at least, say) climate change is a hoax. A mountain of science disproves that belief. They ignore it and go on ahead believing it’s not happening-- and in growing numbers.

They deny evolution. There’s a staggering amount of geological, biological, and antropological evidence that proves humans weren’t riding around on dinosaurs. Yet the best you can hope from these people is some sort of hybrid creationism/evolution combination so they don’t have to admit that the Bible is full of wonderful stories and moral teachings, but is sometimes factually fallible.

And, of course, they believe President Obama was born in Kenya, despite the long-form birth certificate’s release which disproves that claim.

(Oh, and then there’s the matter of the birth announcements in two Hawaii papers in 1961. Factcheck.org has a great quote on that: “Of course, it’s distantly possible that Obama’s grandparents may have planted the announcement just in case their grandson needed to prove his U.S. citizenship in order to run for president someday.”)

Given a wider scope, this line of thinking sort of threatens the fabric of American reality. Stop for a minute and imagine if the rest of our society worked this way:

ME: Your Honor, I know it looks like I assaulted the cashier at the Walgreens by beating her up with a pool noodle, but that’s just not true.

JUDGE: But, Patrick, there’s six camera angles of video that show you doing it. We’re going to have to go to trial here.

ME: Yeah, but those were faked by the liberal media.

JUDGE: And the customer who took the video of the incident that was immediately uploaded to YouTube?

ME: Fake. 

JUDGE: And the fact that there’s DNA from both you and the cashier on the pool noodle?

ME: False. Liberal scientists have you brainwashed.

JUDGE: And the fact that you actually purchased the pool noodle before beating the cashier, with your credit card, and signed the receipt?

ME: Fake.

JUDGE: Sounds good. You’re free to go.

ME: Excellent. There’s a pool party at my place tomorrow. You should come by.

So, either Donald Trump is a bona-fide crazy person, or he’s playing a lunatic on television because he knows there’s an audience who believes what he says (whether or not he actually does himself). The real question is whether or not this method of operation will eventually cease within the Republican Party, or if they will continue to publicly align their candidates with persons, beliefs, and media events that extol an air of delusion, paranoia, and denial of fact.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, someone who keeps calling herself my “wife” wants me to do the dishes. I don’t think I’m gonna, though. I think that signed marriage license she keeps waving around is a fake.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

James Thomas June 04, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Kudos Patrick, This is the first article I've seen from you that even hints that a Republican can be anything other than an evil, mean, wicked, bad, nasty and cruel person. Did you realize that you did it TWICE in this piece?
Geoffery Baratheon June 04, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Patrick - you're right - that Donald Trump is an evil, mean, wicked, bad, nasty and cruel person. Mitt isn't cruel! P.s - My wife keeps trying to get me the dishes too - I told her I am from the future and then beat her with a pool noodle.
Phyllis Stager June 06, 2012 at 05:26 PM
When Obama distances himself from Bill Maher and his $, conservatives will have a precedent to follow. I don't know which is worse, Trump or Maher.
Steve Rosen June 06, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Phyllis, Can you cite an instance of President Obama appearing onstage with Bill Maher? You can attempt to create an equivalence, but it is not there.
Patrick Giusto June 07, 2012 at 09:43 AM
Phyllis: I'm not sure you've got much of a leg to stand on comparing Bill Maher with Donald Trump. He has nowhere near the money or name recognition, nor does he have the political aspirations Trump had (nor has he done anything as demonstrably insane as this birther claim, but that's another story). I guess if you wanted to argue that Bill Maher is the Rush Limbaugh of the GOP, I'd be willing to listen-- but this is a bit of a stretch. Plus, Bill Maher gave $1 Million to a SuperPAC. If you want to talk financial precedent, you're going to have to tell me how that stacks up against the Koch Brothers, or Harold Simmons, or Sheldon Adelson, or a host of others who mainly support Republican SuperPACs to the tune of much more money. I can appreciate your desire to attack Maher, but he's not really anywhere near the equivalence of any of these people either financially or politically speaking.
Troy McClure June 07, 2012 at 12:55 PM
What in the world are you talking about, Phyllis? Oh, you don't know what you're talking about. Just like the other similarly-uneducated partisan punch drinkers like you. Typical, but not surprised.
Tim Torrence June 07, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I have never been a Trump fan. I have never been a birther. And frankly you almost had me agreeing with you until you couldn't hold back and went off message to attack someone else's religion. You can list fringe right leaning groups. That is fair because the left has just as many. But frankly attacking someone's religion would be equivalent to the right attacking someone's sexual orientation. To the left someone's sexual orientation is not a choice it is in that person's nature. To a religious person it is not a choice either it is a leap of faith. I am not a religious person so I also do not have the understanding of that total belief. But as the son of a woman who has made that leap of faith and the father of a lesbian daughter I can attest that the beliefs are very similar and you cannot budge either one. The difference between us is that I would not use someone's leap of faith to paint them as ignorant.
Patrick Giusto June 08, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Tim: I'm not really sure how to respond to this. Pointing out that evolution is a scientifically proven fact is neither an attack on (the whole of) religion, nor an attack on faith. Faith is a concept involving trust in something that cannot be known. Since evolution is known, it's no longer a matter of faith. My intention was simply to point out that someone who believes in the portion of a religion that involves creationism is therefore wrong (to a pretty outstanding degree of certainty at this point). You can have faith that the Indians will win the World Series this year, but if it gets to be mid-October and it turns out they didn't even make the playoffs-- and despite this you continue to have faith that they'll win the World Series-- people are going to think you're a little strange. Anyways, it's neither my opinion, nor my intent, to attack anyone's religion on the whole. If you (or anyone else) want to take a leap of faith and say Jesus Christ existed as the one, true God and he committed certain miracles and wants us to live under a code which you interpret a certain way-- that's fine for you. I can neither prove, nor disprove, that leap of faith, and I have no interest in doing either. Provided, of course, you have no intention in using that leap of faith as a means to change my (or anyone else's) personal lifestyle, government and/or belief system, in which case the gloves are off.
Patrick Giusto June 08, 2012 at 12:15 AM
Troy McClure! I remember you from such educational films as "Two Minus Three Equals Negative Fun" and "Firecrackers: The Silent Killer"!
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 12:49 PM
I am pointing out that Romney accepts support from Trump as does Obama accept support from Maher. Obama is willing to confess to being disturbed at Rush's slut comment but was silent on Maher's c---t/Palin comment. Both Maher and Trump are celebrities with TV shows and many 'followers'. There is definitely a 'gain' for both guys whether money or otherwise in accepting such support. Neither Romney nor Obama will say 'no thanks' to these guys...in that acquiescence they (Obama and Romney) are equivalent. I am not comparing Maher to Trump, I am pointing out that political figures (eg. Romney and Obama) of either party will accept support (financial and otherwise) from sources that may conflict with their personal values.
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 12:56 PM
@Troy McClure: your response to my comment does truly display intellectual depths and brilliant insights that impress the hell out of me. You must have at least two PhD's, and are no doubt a member of Mensa. Kudos!
Troy McClure June 08, 2012 at 02:46 PM
And, once again Phyllis, your cluelessness is being put on display with another false equivalence, and further spitting out what you hear from right-wingbats. Where's your proof that Obama "accepts support from Maher". Oh, because Bill gave to a Super-PAC. Which, to anyone who pays attention, knows that a candidate, BY LAW, can not have any association with a Super-PAC. And the fact that you dig up a Maher comment is further proof you haven't a clue. Maher made the comment during a COMEDY ROUTINE -- ON A STAGE! He called a public figure an (offensive) name. This is where the right-wing whiners show how stupid they are because of this false equivalence-drum they continue to pound. Calling someone like Palin (public figure) a (offensive) name during a comedy act and someone slandering (key word) a private citizen (more key words) over the air is nowhere near the same. Maher has never contributed DIRECTLY to BHO's campaign. Trump has contributed directly to Romney.
Troy McClure June 08, 2012 at 02:48 PM
YOU (along with a few others) are in NO position to question anyone's "intellectual depth". But, the response you give is very much typical when people like me come along and spanks your stupidity all across the spectrum. Now, get off the computer -- I believe Glenn Beck's commercial break is over.
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 03:06 PM
Typed by you, Mr. Mclure: "Oh, you don't know what you're talking about. Just like the other similarly-uneducated partisan punch drinkers like you. Typical, but not surprised." This comment of yours was not challenging my level of education? Accusing me of having imbibed mind altering beverage? Thus, it stands, my friend, you are entitled to spank my 'stupidity', but you get frenzied when someone points out how 'brilliant' your 'spanking' was? LOL! Still lacking in any clarification, leaving the reader of your comment without information enlightening us as to why your are in disagreement with my 'stupid' opinions. I would again say your attacks (cloaked as a response) on my analysis... magnificently expose your sheer genius.
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Oh...now I see it...LOL, just read your dissection of 'contributions'. Donating to a superPAC which supports Obama does not count. Got it! And...a comedian does not influence political opinion, because he is a comedian. Got it!! You gotta be kidding me!! Right?
Tim Torrence June 08, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Tell you what... Why not for the rest of the year, just 2012, if you wish to reference religion you reference Islam. They have a creation "myth" too. It should drive home the same point right?
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 03:48 PM
Mr. Torrence...well said. I believe in live and let live as long as you are not hurting anyone else or their property. You don't have to understand or share religious beliefs or alternative life styles to render respect. Every individual possesses many more qualities that a 'label', by its very nature, manages to dismiss.
Steve Rosen June 08, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Phyllis, thank you for proving me right and showing you were wrong. It's apples to oranges. Your attempt to paint both candidates with the same brush turned out to be more of a finger painting. I appreciate your courage in responding, but when you know you are wrong, it's best just to admit it and move on.
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 04:46 PM
@Mr. Rosen: Whether on stage or off, my point is that for financial or political gain both and probably all political candidates will accept support from persons with whom they do not necessarily share values or beliefs. That is my point. That is the issue. If you feel that proves you correct then you may construe my opinion any way you wish. I am sure Obama does not find Maher's vulgarisms palatable...but he is not going to decry the man. Politicians are politicians, whether left or right. To ridicule only one candidate for 'pandering' is nothing more than ideology, which I assume is the root cause of your 'opinion'. I happen to be more libertarian than anything...you are definitely a devout liberal.
James Thomas June 08, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Yeah, Donald Trump actually has some Socially Redeeming Qualities like Job Creation.
Steve Rosen June 08, 2012 at 05:50 PM
Phyllis, as a self avowed libertarian, do you want the President of the United States telling a comedian what he or she can or cannot say? Your original post was clearly trying to create an equivalence where there is none. Mr. Maher says what he says on a stage and is known as an entertainer, Mr. Trump makes his comments on a stage where he is known as a potential candidate for the Republican party as well as in front of the actual candidate for the party, and his endorsement is sought by the candidates of the Republican party. Mr. Trump plays the role of a kingmaker, Mr. Maher plays the role of the court jester. And yes, I am a proud member of the Democratic party. Come to a few ward meetings, you'll discover you have much in common with us.
James Thomas June 08, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Yes She Is, Phyllis shows far more "intellectual depth" than you could hope to lay claim to Troy.
James Thomas June 08, 2012 at 06:04 PM
Mr. Rosen, He tells Al Franken what to say.
Phyllis Stager June 08, 2012 at 07:42 PM
@Mr. Rosen Politicians simply will accept $ and advocacy from people with whom they do not share social, philosophical or religious commonality. Politicians from BOTH parties do this and always have. This, both Obama and Romney have shown. If you opt to focus only on the party you 'dislike' to 'harangue' and vilify then the source of your focus is strictly ideologically based. There are democrats who have earned my affection and respect. But todays democrats are not my father's democratic party. The GOP has also evolved into something that up to now has disappointed me. What I will be voting for in the next election will be the 'least' disappointing candidate. That candidate will convince me that he will balance the budget and rein in massive waste, spending and regulation. The less government, the better. Not everything is a 'right'. Blanket entitlement is killing the spirit of what we once were. We need to stand for responsibility, integrity, individuality and equality of opportunity not equality of outcome. And we need to be there for those in need, but need does not entitle everyone to an HD TV and a cell phone at my expense. How did my grandmother raise 5 kids without welfare checks when my grandfather went into the TB san until his death? She did it. And 2 of the kids went to college. That spirit is dead in today's America. Ideology, left or right seems to require blinders.


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