Just in case you've opened a file--or a vault--for keeping archival track of Mitt Romney's thermonuclear meltdown of a presidential campaign, the Guardian has an agreeably efficient summary of his "blunders [and] clangers" in London alone. Merely one stopover--easiest thing in the world, right?--just flash some nice smiles and say nice things and be nice to one's host and then get one's ass the hell on the aircraft and be gone.
A child could do it. A child could do it. Mitt Romney can't. He's been rude, awkward, embarrassingly ill-prepared for meetings and inexplicably logorrheic in interviews.
When one's host country, Mitt, using you as a yardstick, begins to fondly remember Sarah Palin as the Grace Kelly of conservative American politics, then you know you've set an unbeatable record in the Olympic competition of Dumb.
How could this happen? How could this be? Mitt was once a cosmopolitan man, a man of the world, a French-speaking high financier of global complexities and delicate international relations. Now? He's dumber than Palin. I ask again: What happened?
I have theory.
I recall watching a movie years ago in which the handsome, debonair Stuart Whitman played a journalist who decides to investigate the dark mysteries of a spooky insane asylum by getting himself committed as a patient. He would, from the inside, ferret out the internal workings of this wickedly incomprehensible hellhole ... well, you can guess from that intro the outcome. It ended with Whitman going as genuinely mad as the other inmates.
And from that, you have of course guessed the analogy.
At some precise point Mitt Romney decided to enter the wacky, unbalanced, bug-eyed thunderdome of far-right fanaticism so that he could schmooze with the inmates; go native; become One with the Lunacy; be accepted. And that, alas, was his last quasi-rational act of free will. He has been assimilated; his brain, his personality, his very Mittness have been pulverized into the right's primitive state of nature of the savagely inept and clinically creepy.
And now he's beyond help. We tried. We extended a hand, we threw him a rope, we warned him of the dangers of brains on pseudoconservatism. He didn't listen. And now? Well, there he is--not in London, no, not really--he's with Leonardo DiCaprio and Sarah Palin, on Shutter Island.