The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mitt lets his freak flag fly. Again.

When Mormon Mitt Romney explained that his all-time favorite book was by Scientology Brother Number One, it got a fair amount of press. Not only for that strange provenance, but because it's an awful, awful book that was turned into a notoriously awful movie a few years ago.

Now he's talked about his admiration for the political philosophy of a former professor of his, and the National Review(!) finds the whole thing a bit troubling:

[W. Cleon] Skousen had written a book entitled The Naked Communist?, which even for 1958 is so irrational in its paranoia that it would have made Whittaker Chambers blush. According to Skousen, The Manchurian Candidate was a documentary -- he earnestly believed Communists sought to create "a regimented breed of Pavlovian men whose minds could be triggered into immediate action by signals from their masters."

Skousen was active with the John Birch Society throughout the 1960s, even going so far as to write another book titled The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society, accusing those that criticized Birchers as promoting Communism. Lest anyone forget, notable critics of the John Birch Society in the 1960s included one William F. Buckley Jr. Skousen even managed to record this gem -- a spoken word album about the dangers of LSD for the John Birch Society's record label. (Forget acid -- simply knowing that the John Birch Society had a record label is pretty mind-blowing in and of itself.)

I doubt Romney is a real John Birch kinda guy, but aside from the sheer wackiness of his personal preferences-- and these are the things he openly discusses in public-- he seems to have an inordinate fondness for egomaniacal extremists. Egomaniacal 'visionaries' if you're feeling charitable.

Honestly, I can't remember another presidential election where every Republican hopeful was not just unappealing, but outright scary.

BONUS QUOTE: Mitt is also sounding strangely like the much-reviled former Senator from the Cackle Factory Rick "Spreading" Santorum.

Way back in January 2006, Santorum was pleading with his fellow Americans to serve their country-- by volunteering to put a Santorum bumper sticker on their Freedom Mobiles.

For his part, pro-war Romney states that his sons are by no means shirking their duty as patriots:

"The good news is, we have a volunteer Army and that's the way we're going to keep it. My sons are adults. They've chosen not to serve in the military in active duty and I respect their decision in that regard. ... And one of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."