Monday, July 30, 2012

Mitt Offends Jews AND Arabs In One Swell Foop!

So far Mitt Romney hasn't thrown up on a national leader's shoes at a state dinner abroad as George Bush Sr. did on his way to losing an election. But let's wait. The barf may be coming up sometime soon. (Note the play on words?) Maybe he'll upchuck in Poland? "Hold the pierogi, Thaddeus!"

Since criticizing the English regarding their Olympics  -  which have turned out swell so far  -  Romney has gone on to Israel where he has just managed to double down on offensiveness. In Israel he has made a comment which is offensive to BOTH Jews and Arabs! It's a two-for-one! It's equally racist to BOTH groups!

What is this twofer? He says that "cultural differences" account for Israel having twice the income per person that Palestine has. (Note: Businessman Romney got his data wrong; the difference is a factor of ten.)

Immediately the assistant to the president of Palestine cried "racist". And well he should.

But it is also stunningly racist toward Jews. No prominent Jews have said so yet, so this old Jew will make the point. One of the most prevalent and ugly caricatures used by anti-Semites has been that of the money-hugging, money-bags Jew who  -  per the hate-mongers of yore  -  causes wars for profit, runs Hollywood, and makes money out of everything that is vile. According to the anti-Jew, we Jews ALL know how to make money. And having attributed this to us, they hate us for it. And make it one of the reasons to send us to gas chambers.

So when Romney refers to "cultural differences" that have made Jews in Israel richer than the Arabian Palestinians, guess what ugly image pops up? "Hey, hiya, Shylock! Any pounds of flesh today?"

Maybe he didn't mean it that way. He's just so stupid that it's tempting to write off his insults to his stupidity. But I won't. He went to all those posh private schools and country clubs. I know how they excluded us Jews and how they talked about us. I remember "the quotas" at the colleges, the med schools, the law schools. Oh, boy, do I! Until I learned better, it really hurt: "Mustn't let those Jews in. They'll run right over us! And they'll make all the money!"  So Mitt Romney knows what the anti-Jewish mantras are. He grew up on that crap. He's just so insensitive, so arrogant that he thinks he can scoot right by the implications of what he says.

And he hasn't got the political moxie to KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT. Nor does he have a political team hip enough to stuff a sock in his mouth. Well, as Steve Martin would say, "Gooood for them!" We all deserve to hear what a jerk Romney is. It's just embarrassing that the rest of the world has to hear it as well.

As for Arab/Palestinian v. Jewish "culture",  Romney got that dead wrong too. For one thing, you can't compare cultures.You're always judging another culture from within your own culture. Cultures aren't better or worse. Cultures also aren't governments and they aren't economics. Cultures are a whole other kettle of fish. The Arab culture? Consider their art and architecture and their adaptation to their environment. And let us remember that when Europeans were still thrashing their way through the Dark Ages and a good bit of the Middle Ages, it was the Arabs who preserved the writings and knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome that the European "barbarians" of the early Dark Ages had been so intent on burning. And what about algebra? Do you see, please, that the word "algebra" is Arabian? Etc. Etc. Just ask Eleanor of Acquitane, wife and mother of kings of England and France. When she bumped into Arab culture in the 12th-13th centuries  -  silks, poetry, courtly ways, jongleurs, perfumes, spices, heated rooms!  -  she went crazy with delight and changed everything forever in Europe. It was about the first time the folks in the castle took baths!

We are the product of Arab culture and Jewish culture and African culture and English culture and Chinese culture and so on. All the folks of all the world have come here and pitched in something. And it was from the Native Americans that we got the idea of federated states. Ask Ben Franklin. The lamest thing any American can do is talk comparative cultures.

Mitt did it to pander. As a Jew, I'm insulted that he was actually trying to pander to the Jews of Israel and America. Pandering means you think the other guy is dumb enough to be suckered in. It's condescending.

Is it surprising that Mitt Romney is condescending to us Jews? To the English? To the Arabs? Gosh, how did he ever lower himself to run for president of "you people", as Ann Romney calls us? Golly willikers, Squire, we forgot to tug our forelocks in gratitude for your stooping to conquer our political system.

And, by the way, where the hell are those tax returns?

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