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Last night Paul Ryan said:

Let me tell you about the Mitt Romney I know. This is a guy who I was talking to a family in Northborough, Massachusetts the other day, Sheryl and Mark Nixon. Their kids were hit in a car crash, four of them. Two of them, Rob and Reed, were paralyzed. The Romneys didn't know them. They went to the same church; they never met before ... Later on, he said, "I know you're struggling, Mark. Don't worry about their college. I'll pay for it."
This quotation is NOT about Ryan trying to rattle Biden by bringing up car crashes, although that surely occurred to the more Machiavellian among the debate preppers. It's much more important than that, and I haven't seen this in the media or on KOS.

This is the Republican healthcare and education plan - try and run into a compassionate millionaire or billionaire.

It explains so much, really. I believe, as a historian, that most people find ways to justify their actions and beliefs, however self-serving, as part of the greater good. Cut off foodstamps? It's about giving people self-esteem. Let all the foreclosures burn through America? It's about not creating a moral hazard or being unfair to the people who make their payments.

Democrats, liberals, progressives - sometimes to their detriment - respond to stories like Sheryl and Mark Nixon's - by trying to create programs so that ALL CHILDREN with disabilities can afford college, whatever their financial status. Romney pulls out the checkbook. It's a lordship model, in which the serfs may appeal to their masters for boons or gifts, but a systemic remedy would be unthinkable.

So I am sure that Romney did want to help these fellow, if not super-rich, Mormons. Great! What about the people who don't have a millionaire in their church?

I don't want my healthcare, my education, my housing, or my future to depend on either a government hand out or the unpredictable acts of millionaires. I want to see reliable, fair, universally accessible, programs to help people through the tough times and to give a little boost to those who need it on their way to stability, or even prosperity.

That's why I'm voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

As for empathetic Mitt? He can go spend his time doing charitable work to send disabled Mormons to college. I'm for it.

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Comment Preferences

  •  That was the cover story (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandracarolina, luckylizard

    This was the real reason for Ryan's bizarre, irrelevant car crash comment.

  •  I wondered just how old this story is. (4+ / 0-)

    It seems all the stories of Mittens helping someone are ancient history.

    Oh for crying out loud!

    by 4mygirls on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:48:58 AM PDT

  •  that is a great point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and what point in the debate did it serve to prove? that Romney is such a wonderful person?

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:49:42 AM PDT

  •  This diary cuts right to the bone (8+ / 0-)

    of the conservative myth and the lotto mentality.

    Buy your lottery tickets! You can't win if you don't play! Ryan's telling of this story is just another version of "Undercover Millionaire", with one exception. Instead of trying to sell cars and extra-cushiony toilet paper, he was trying to sell the lie that the wealthy care about their fellow man.

    If they really cared, they would work to achieve a society that did not require the dispensation of favors such as this. It's far cheaper to award the big prize to one unfortunate soul - and reap the PR benefit.

    One issue. Mitt might, at one time or another, feel some sympathy or generosity toward an another individual, but empathy is totally beyond his experience and capacity.

    Trickle-down theory; the less than elegant metaphor that if one feeds the horse enough oats, some will pass through to the road for the sparrows. - J.K. Galbraith

    by Eric Twocents on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 05:52:19 AM PDT

  •  2,000 Years of Christian Charity and 10,000 of (7+ / 0-)

    philanthropy brought us to 1930 and a tiny few rich elite with almost everyone else poor.

    1 generation of 20th century liberalism here and abroad gave us the only large middle class humanity ever knew.

    The data's in.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 06:07:12 AM PDT

  •  Mormon to Mormon (3+ / 0-)

    as they are required to be of any assistance possible, why would not a Bishop of the Mormons (Romney) assist a fellow Mormon that is in his flock.  This is not compassion, this is nonsense.  Romney is no more of a compassionate man than I am Brad Pitt.

    •  Yep! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Mittens "human interest anecdotes" have a common thread-people who are helped are LDS or co-workers at Bain. Color me unimpressed. And I am positive Ryan threw in the "car crash" anecdote to rattle the VP. Joe Biden wears his heart on his sleeve. The Mittens campaign was hoping he'd brake down. Beyond vile and desppicable.

      "Well Clarice, have the lambs stopped screaming?"

      by buffie on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 06:28:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And yet... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        buffie, Tinfoil Hat

        Biden not only deflected it, but smoothly advanced his debate agenda with his response:
        "When I was a little younger than the congressman..."

        Biden was 30 at the time, a complete novice and soon to be a newcomer to Washington.  Even though Ryan is 42 and has been in Congress for 14 years, he looks so young, particularly when appearing next to Romney or to Biden, that you can draw a close parallel.  Biden may as well have said "when I was little younger..." without the "a."  It subtly painted Ryan as inexperienced, especially compared to Biden.

        It won't get talked about in the MSM, but that was an absolutely f'ing brilliant moment from Biden.

        I also love how Biden called Ryan "Congressman" over and over and over again, notwithstanding RomneyRyan's request to call him "Mr.", thereby pinning the American people's loathing of Congress squarely on him.  This was all deliberate, of course, and that's why it was such a masterful performance.

      •  As usual they miscalculated. BFD Biden hardly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        touched the mf'in "brakes", he was 'pedal to the metal' all the way, heh.

        was hoping he'd brake down

        "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

        by Bluefin on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:12:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And how many jobs did Mitt destroy to be able (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob B, bear83, luckylizard

    to have such "largess?"

    Oh, but it doesn't matter because they were all gentiles (non-mormon), right?

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 06:18:57 AM PDT

  •  You people just don't get it (2+ / 0-)

    All we need to do is become Mormons. Then Mitt would give a flying fuck about us.

    Otherwise, no.

    Recommended by:
    Tinfoil Hat

    ...just phone a friend if you need a lifeline!

    •  Or borrow $20K from your parents!! also... (0+ / 0-)

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

      by Bluefin on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:14:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I had exactly the same thought as you, (0+ / 0-)

    Lollardfish, when I heard the little pissant say that, and also the very low attempt to hook Vice President Biden (I luvs that 'no BUllSHit malarkey' guy!)  with the crash bait.
    Todays Rescumlicans are lower than tubeworm shit, IMO.

    "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen auf das Vierte Reich! Sie Angelegenheit nicht mehr.

    by Bluefin on Fri Oct 12, 2012 at 11:05:32 AM PDT

  •  Mitt didn't know the Nixons? (0+ / 0-)

    Ryan revealed that the Romneys and the Nixons attended the same church. Mitt Romney was probably the church's most prominent member, having run for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, and no doubt the richest. The Nixons' tragedy was well-publicized in 1995 (see here:, so there is little doubt that their plight was well-known to the members of their church. Ryan makes it seem as though the Nixons were complete strangers and that Romney came out of the blue to offer his help*.

    Churches of all religions tend to coalesce around tragedies such as these. And, as the richest and most prominent member of the Mormon church in Boston, Mitt Romney would have been seen as derelict in his obligations to the church if he did not reach out and offer help to the Nixons.

    Also, Ryan is misleading on Romney's quantitative generosity. Romney donated 30% to charity only in 2011. He donated 15% in 2010 and, according to a summary released with his 2011 returns, averaged around 13.45% over the last twenty years (at least 10% of that amount must have been tithes to the Mormon Church). Without the 30% in contributions in 2011, Romney's effective tax rate would likely have been in the single figures. Is there any doubt that avoiding a single-figure effective tax rate was the guiding principle behind his being more than doubly generous in 2011? (As others have pointed out here, Romney's generosity also doesn't extend much beyond the Mormon Church).

    Finally, yes, Romney doesn't personally boast about his generosity. Instead, he has surrogates do it for him, including his wife. It's strange, now that he's running for president, how all of these people have suddenly appeared  to attest to his generosity. I am sure modest Mitt had nothing to do with reaching out to them and reminding them how he helped them out and asking whether they would mind telling the world how generous he is.

    * I hate to get nitpicky about a person's donations to people in need, whoever they are. But, how much did Rob and Reed's college tuition end up costing Mitt Romney? Rob and Reed both attended the university where their father was and has been Chair of the Accountancy Department. Both graduated with degrees in Accounting. Rob went on to receive an MS at Brigham Young. As a Mormon with a severe disabilities, I imagine Rob would have been eligible for countless scholarships. Surely, tuition assistance was extended to both Rob and Reed at Bentley University, given the prominence of their ordeals (a book was written about them) and given their father's position at the University. In other words, Mitt Romney probably didn't have to shell out very much. If he had offered, in 1995, to cover Rob and Reed's medical expenses and expenses related to their disabilities, that would have been a far more impressive offer.

    I pick on Mitt Romney because, given all that we know of him, he is rarely ever motivated by anything other than profit, political expediency, or personal ambition.

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