Another article about Mitt: Who in God's name is he?

by Stray Mutt Feb 2012

The article starts this way, and it reminds me of so many Mormon men I've known:

I asked a captain of American finance what he had made of Mitt Romney when they were young colleagues at Bain & Company. “Mitt was a nice guy, a smart businessman, and an excellent team player,” he ­responded without missing a beat. Then came the CEO’s one footnote, delivered with bemusement, not pique: “Still, whenever the rest of us would go out at the end of the day, we’d always find ourselves having the same conversation: None of us had any idea who this guy was.”

Then there was this nugget, reminding me of my own father:

Romney reminded him of the “dad who’s never home.”<

A few other tidbits:

And yet Romney is in some ways more exotic and more removed from “real America” than Obama ever was, his gleaming white camouflage notwithstanding. Romney is white, all right, but he’s a white shadow.

“A wall. A shell. A mask,” they write at the outset, listing the terms used by many who “have known or worked with Romney” and view him as “a man who sometimes seems to be looking not into your eyes but past them.”

During his one term as governor of Massachusetts, Romney was inaccessible to legislators, with ropes and elevator settings often restricting access to his suite of offices. He was notorious, one lawmaker explained, for having “no idea what our names were—none.”

Mitt’s “main cause appeared to be himself.”

But Romney is even less forthcoming about his religion than he is about his tax returns.

In the current campaign, Romney makes frequent reference to faith, God, and his fierce loyalty to “the same church.” But whether in debates, or in the acres of official material on his campaign website, or in a flyer pitched at religious voters in South Carolina, he never names what that faith or church is. In Romneyland, Mormonism is the religion that dare not speak its name. Which leaves him unable to talk about the very subject he seems to care about most, a lifelong source of spiritual, familial, and intellectual sustenance. We’re used to politicians who camouflage their real views about issues, or who practice fraud in their backroom financial and political deal-making, but this is something else. Romney’s very public persona feels like a hoax because it has been so elaborately contrived to keep his core identity under wraps.

The answers to questions about Romney’s career as a lay church official may tell us more about who he is than his record at Bain, his sparse tenure as governor, or his tax returns.

The questions are not theological. Nor are they about polygamy, the scandalous credo that earlier Romneys practiced even after the church banned it in 1890. Rather, the questions are about the Mormon church’s political actions during Mitt Romney’s lifetime—and about what role Romney, as both a leader and major donor, might have played or is still playing in those actions. To ask these questions is not to be a religious bigot but to vet a candidate for the nation’s highest job. Given how often Romney himself cites his faith as a defining force in his life, voters have a right to know what role he played when his faith intersected with the secular lives of his fellow citizens.

...we know that Romney’s faith has contributed to his self-segregation from the actual “real streets of America.” His closest circle comes from within his faith, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, the fact remains that today the American Mormon population is still only 1 percent black. (Those recent television promo spots marketing LDS as a fount of diversity are a smoke screen.)

When he’s forced to interact with the America beyond his hermetically sealed Mormon orbit, we get instant YouTube classics like his attempt to get down and rap with black voters on Martin Luther King Day four years ago by quoting “Who Let the Dogs Out?”

Re: Another article about Mitt: Who in God's name is he?
My local paper lust had an article saying that Romney is not talking about his "faith" because he clearly knows there's resistance to a Mormon candidate.

Stray Mutt
So much for standing boldly for the One True Church, regardless of the consequences.
One standard for 19-year-old missionaries, another for high-profile, high-level Mormons.

Detailed, insightful article about Mitt's reluctance and indifference about and towards others. "Dad who's never home." Wow.

Families are forever away from his mind.

Re: Another article about Mitt: Who in God's name is he?
Great article. This writer has really got his facts straight and the conclusions are scary.

Thanks for the link!

He's learned to be a chameleon and a lap dog to gain favor and acceptance
I think he has had to be that way to be successful and accepted.

He has to be a chameleon, changing from situation to situation, to be accepted and admired by the rich around him who he seeks to maintain relationships.

He has to be a lap dog to the ultra rich and powerful, again to gain acceptance. It's just another male club and he has to play by the rules of the group.

Re: Another article about Mitt: Who in God's name is he?
Excellent, EXCELLENT article. Saving this one to repost on FB. Thanks for sharing Stray Mutt. The articles on Mitt & Mormonism are definitely picking up, and in more and more of them, the gloves are coming off. It's about time.

This is a beautiful article
I had no end of fun reading it. Thanks for the tip.

He has a correlated personality.
I've known plenty of Mormon leaders just like him. They are Mormon Ken Dolls, Stepford husbands. There's no room for idiosyncracies to develop.

Tal Bachman
I thought it was just me, because when I look in Romney's eyes, I see absolutely nothing.

SL Cabbie
A Free Cab Ride to the Top Because Lawrence O'Donnell Interviewed The Author...
There's no link I can put up to the video because there's no blog discussion, but one can view the video by going to MSNBC's site and clicking on the "Last Word."

Frank Rich is interviewed, and mention is made that the Romney camp has "decided" that anyone questioning the candidate's beliefs will be attacked and labeled with a "Scarlet RB for 'relgious bigot." O'Donnell was particularly delicate in bringing up two subjects, the 1978 change giving blacks the priesthood, and the exclusion of non-LDS relatives from Temple Weddings.

He was more pointed in a segment last week (available in the show's archives), but he also made a number of the understandable factual errors that someone not wholly familiar with the subject would be prone to.

We shall see what develops...

RB in the making?

Re: Another article about Mitt: Who in God's name is he?
"The questions are not theological. Nor are they about polygamy, the scandalous credo that earlier Romneys practiced even after the church banned it in 1890."

Clever way to "not" mention polygamy.

Obama's FATHER was a polygamist.

Fascinating Article - but Frank Rich misses the mark
Frank Rich is one of my favorite political commentators, but, although the article is fascinating, I think the premise is wrong. Rich seems to think that if Romney would open up about his religion (the most important thing in his life), he would seem less shallow and vapid.

What Rich doesn't realize is that if one probes the LDS church today, one will find nothing but a corporate shell as empty and devoid of emotion or meaning as Mitt is himself. Far from failing to divulge what his religion is about, he is the perfect embodiment of the Mormon faith today -- an empty shell that is opaque, bland, lifeless and utterly devoid of emotion or meaning.

"Recovery from Mormonism -"