PIZZAQ -- they're all wearing civvies, but can you match Mitt Romney's 5 sons with their nicknames?
Okay, for 1 Whole Pizza, your choice square or round, your choice of 3 toppings -- match the nickname with the correct Son Of Mitt Romney.
(For newcomers to Vleeptron, transportation & shipping not included. You got to get to my town on your own, or I'll buy you the pizza if I wind up in your town.)
By a logical process of elimination, I'm assuming that the five young adult males standing in the back row are the Sons of Mitt Romney (older guy sitting in lawn chair).
It would be a LOT EASIER to win the Pizza if JUST ONE or TWO of these young healthy-looking American men was wearing a US military uniform. Or if just one or two couldn't be home for the Christmas photo because he was serving in Iraq or Afghanistan.
But the Romneys just aren't making this PizzaQ easy for us.
What would this family photo look like if it was taken in 1942 or 1943? Bet it would be a lot easier to win the pizza then. You could tell the Jarhead from the Grunt from the Squid from the Flyboy.
And any young man still wearing civvies would stick out as if he were wearing a Ringling Brothers clown suit with a huge red nose.
But America has matured and evolved. Our national emergency wars are All-Volunteer now. If you have more important things to do, if you don't want to participate, you don't have to.
This Romney thing is so entertaining, I hope Vleeptron's readers overseas and overtrees aren't skipping it as a local or parochial matter of no interest to them.
Agence-Vleeptron Presse's original treatment, a political blog/column in The New York Times, treated Romney and his remarks about his five not-serving sons very politely, gently and respectfully -- in the finest, most boring tradition of The Grey Lady.
Romney's springboard to becoming a leading candidate for the Republican nomination for president was his recent stint as governor of Massachusetts -- of which Boston is both the state capital, and one of the largest cities in the USA. Boston's other daily newspaper, The Globe, a broadsheet, was bought by The New York Times a couple of years ago. Doubtless The Globe, its news staff and its columnists, has had a healthy appetite for this juicy story, but in a more tasteful repectful broadsheet way.
But The Herald -- a sensationalist tabloid -- has a well-earned reputation for blunt, working-class, barroom-brawl populist political manners. Nothing polite or gentle about the columnists in The Herald. It's now owned by Illinois-based GateHouse Media, but it evolved into its current persona under an era of Murdoch ownership.
And where former Governor Romney is concerned, nothing in the least respectful. This newspaper throws pies in politicians' faces for fun, this newspaper loves to give the middle finger to every Great Man and every Great Woman who steps out of a stretch limousine.
Still, I recommend this Romney controversy and the opinions it's boiling up to non-Americans. For reasons I find largely inexplicable, irrational and thoroughly mysterious -- all typical of American politics -- Mitt Romney could very possibly wind up as the Republican Party's nominee, and then could end up as the next president of the United States for four or eight years. Romney could be the next Bush. And everybody in the Solar System pays attention to Bush.
So maybe you've never heard of Mitt Romney, and what little you've heard doesn't make you eager to hear more. But Romney could be the next American guy to decide to drop JDAM smart bombs on your head. You should at least know his name -- and that none of his five sons will be in the Shock and Awe that rocks your world.
What Agence-Vleeptron Presse cannot say with any certainty is whether this controversy regarding his sons and the family attitude to wartime military service will get "traction."
Mike is right in that his anti-draft sentiments represent most American public opinion at this moment, so most Americans may not pay close attention to the My Five Civilian Sons controversy, even in the midst of a ghastly and highly unpopular war (which the hawkish President Romney would inherit as Commander-in-Chief).
But political controversies have a life of their own. Some just don't catch fire no matter how much kerosene you pour on them, and do no harm whatsoever to a candidate. Others come completely out of nowhere and burst into flame all by themselves, with no artificial stimulation from the media or a candidate's enemies.
One famous example is a single word that hopped out of the mouth of the leading candidate for US senator from Virginia, the Republican George Allen. During a rally, he saw a young Indian-American kid filming the rally for the other candidate, and called the guy a "macaca" to an almost all-white southern Virginia crowd. After election day, Allen wasn't the new US Senator; his opponent, the underdog Jim Webb, is now Virginia's new Senator. (As he tried to keep from drowning in a national spotlight accusing him of racism, Allen claimed he didn't even know what he meant by "macaca." Too late.)
So will this controversy get traction? Will it sink Mitt Romney? Will it infuriate most voters?
Or will the American people be totally bored by it, and wait for Hillary or Edwards or Rudy Giuliani or Obama to slip on the next banana peel?
Agence-Vleeptron Presse will keep you all posted. On A-VP, we promise ALWAYS to confuse politics with entertainment.
God knows, these creeps never DO anything fine or noble or ethical or brilliant or worthwhile. The least they can do is to put on a funny show for us.
As a reward for Mike's long-suffering patience, I promise to research a really tawdry, smarmy, sleazy archived story ("the kind old newspaper editors like") about how Seven Of Nine created Barack Obama. If he ends up as the next President, he BETTER invite Jeri Ryan to the inaugural ball. I don't think the Secret Service can object to having ex-Borgs at the ball.
(If they dance at the ball, I want to see that!)
The Boston Herald
(daily tabloid, Boston Massachusetts USA)
Friday 10 August 2007
by Peter Gelzinis
Boston Herald Columnist
Perhaps if Mitt Romney wasn’t such a rubber stamp for every blunder George Bush has made in Iraq, then the question he was hit with in Iowa the other day could be viewed as out of bounds.
But when your presidential campaign strategy of meticulous pandering has you beating the war drums, talking about "surges of support," and God has blessed you with five strapping sons -- none of whom has chosen to wear the uniform of this country -- it’s only reasonable to expect that someone would ask: Why not?
In Bettendorf, Iowa, that someone was Rachel Griffiths. She is an antiwar activist whose brother, an Army major, is also an Iraq veteran. When this 41-year-old woman asked our prettiest former governor why none of his picturesque sons have opted for the front lines, Mitt flashed that 10,000-watt smile and proceeded to blow her off.
"The good news," Mitt said, "is that we have a volunteer army. My sons are all adults and they’ve made their decisions about their careers, and they’ve chosen not serve in the military."
If he had left it at that, Mitt might not have made it to the top of Jon Stewart’s hypocrisy hit parade on "The Daily Show" Wednesday night. But Mitt couldn’t resist the invitation to get cute.
Mitt eventually told Rachel Griffiths that Tag, Biff, Zip, Bud and Lex were serving America by canvassing the cornfields of Iowa in a Winnebago, "showing support for our country (by) helping me get elected because they think I’d be a great president."
He should have just kept his mouth shut. Getting smarmy about such a question only confirms what many of us already know, and the rest of the country is bound to find out: Mitt is one very attractive and empty vessel.
Was Rachel Griffiths’ question fair? "Absolutely, it was fair," said Eddie Contilli, who sent his only two sons off to war in Iraq, the youngest when he was barely 17.
"What Romney should have said is, ‘Hey, that’s an individual question. Go ask them.’ I mean, his kids are out there on the stump, campaigning for their Dad, right? So, why can’t we put the question to each one of them?"
Better yet, why couldn’t Mitt Romney - whose money and TV time has placed him on top in Iowa - chosen to scrape up a bit of humanity? The answer is obvious: There is none.
Like Mitt Romney said, the "good news" of an all-volunteer military has spared the five Romney boys any soul-searching about wearing a uniform. But we still don’t know if Mitt and his progeny ever even discussed the prospect of military service.
I have watched that fascinatingly ridiculous Christmas card/ campaign video Mitt and his family prepared from inside their mountaintop palace in Utah. To watch Mitt’s sons in that 13-minute video - still making its rounds through cyberspace - is to know that military service was never part of the Romney boys’ career options. Other people could do it.
As for Tag, Biff, Zip, Bud and Lex, they just thought it would be really neat to see Dad and Mom in the White House.
There’s nothing wrong with Mitt’s sons working to help their father realize his dream. But both father and sons should understand that if the candidate wants to keep calling for "surges of support," if he chooses to continue parroting the Bush administration at every turn, and applauding the blood spilled and sacrifice made by the sons and daughters of other fathers, there are bound to be more questions fired at Mitt Romney by people like Rachel Griffiths.
Pandering on Iraq is a little bit different than pandering on abortion, or gun control, especially when you have five sons. Other candidates have watched their sons volunteer to fight a war they now oppose. Unlike Mitt Romney, they have a flesh-and-blood stake in the issue. Instead of Winnebagos, their sons have canvassed Iraq in under-armored Humvees.
© Copyright by the Boston Herald and Herald Media.