Mitt ’16

Trigger warning: what follows is a post on a series with lots of profanity and — get this — lots of prayer. If you want to contemplate the disparity between profaning and praising God’s name, see what Curmudgeon has to say.

Like Curmudgeon, I agree that Last Chance U. is a terrific series. It even evokes aspects of — watch out — The Wire since it explores the way college sports functions in African-American boys’ lives and possibly offers a way out of the hood.

The series is so good that the missus did a little research on the director, Greg Whiteley, which took us to his 2014 documentary about Mitt Romney, with the title (of all things) Mitt.

Some think that if this movie had come out during the campaign, Romney might have won. Since the movie ends with the 2012 election returns and Romney’s concession, it’s hard to imagine how the movie might have come out during the campaign. But the movie does humanize Romney in ways that once again raise questions about media coverage of the contest and the mileage anti-GOP folks obtained from Mitt’s 47% remark.

The movie also makes you wish Romney were running now. He seems so much more impressive than either Trump or Clinton. No one has any trouble reminding you what a buffoon the Republican candidate is. Just listen to a ward leader in Philadelphia:

I am writing this letter primarily to the Republicans and Independents of the Ninth Ward (Chestnut Hill and a little bit of Mount Airy). Normally I write to Democratic voters to motivate them to get out and vote in the election. But in this unusual election cycle I think it is important that we talk.

The issue, of course, is Donald Trump. He is a candidate unlike any other that we have seen and, frankly, someone who deeply concerns me and I suspect also concerns many of you. In brief, he is not fit to be President. I say this after a few months of appalling behavior that reveals much about his character.

It is not a question of slips of the tongue or being politically correct. Rather his behavior reveals much about him. These statements show he is not fit and should not be President / Commander in Chief. From the sexist insults of Megan Kelly and many other women, to ridiculing a disabled New York Times reporter, to calling out the Mexican American federal judge as unfit to judge him, to attacking the gold star parents of Captain Kahn, he has revealed his character.

So you vote for Hillary and look the other way when someone asks about character? Where on the spectrum of bad character does a candidate become acceptable, even fit for office? Hillary’s at the good spot on the bad character spectrum? And was this Democratic official standing by Hillary’s man when the president seemed to reveal a few flaws of his own? Now some people know what it feels like to be Jerry Falwell.

Of course, Mitt may overdo Romney’s character. Maybe he’s not that wholesome and easy going. Maybe his family is not so pleasant when the camera is off. Maybe the candidate praying with his family on their knees — in Christ’s name, no less — was phony.

But if Trump could be this year’s candidate, why not Romney? At one point Romney says he is everything the Republican Party is not — he’s northern, rich, and Mormon while the party is southern, populist, and evangelical. Well, what is Donald Trump? Southern? Populist? Christian?

What he is is anti-elite and anti-PC. J.D. Vance explained it to Terry Gross (via Rod Dreher):

… so my dad is a Trump supporter, and I love my dad, and I always say, Dad, you know, Trump is not going to actually make any of these problems better. And he says, well, that’s probably true, but at least he’s talking about them and nobody else is and at least he’s not Mitt Romney. At least he’s not George W. Bush. He’s at least trying to talk about these problems.

Romney was far more regular than the press or his campaign made him seem. But he was too much part of the establishment — though not enough to get the blessing of the mainstream media — (Harvard, governor of Massachusetts) to attract “poor white trash.”

That’s too bad.

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21 thoughts on “Mitt ’16

  1. Mitt did about as well in my part of the world, where Vance’s dad would be entirely comfortable, as any other GOP nominee for President. In a more competitive nearby state, Virginia, Mitt had off the charts turnout in rural areas including counties that are riddled with white poverty, but Obama carried the state due to equally high turnout in Northern Virginia. Mitt looks great up against HRC, but I don’t think the 47% problem has gotten any better in the last 4 years. Demographics in Presidential years are extremely tough for the GOP. Matched against HRC at even money, I would only wager a small sum on Mitt.

    Re: the Curmudgeon piece, Ding!

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  2. didn’t read the article, though can a person boasting being ‘curmudgeonly’ be a very reliable champion of the fruit of the Spirit?

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  3. Ali, William Smith is pretty well known and respected on the Internet. You and I, not at all. So, maybe his article is worth reading before commenting and questioning his spiritual fruit? You might even benefit.

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  4. mrbfree says: Ali, William Smith is pretty well known and respected on the Internet. You and I, not at all. So, maybe his article is worth reading before commenting and questioning his spiritual fruit? You might even benefit.

    Did I question his spiritual fruit, mrbfree? I did wonder about giving oneself a name ‘curmudgeon. Don’t you? Well, anyway, then I guess if he is ‘pretty well known and respected on the internet’ no need to speculate what God thinks of that name.

    anyway some comments for you 1) All Christians hate blasphemy 2) Don’t think the Spirit likely appreciates the title “I’m with the Atheists And Against the Lord’s Prayer” as catchy as it may seem to man 2) don’t have much to say about the rest of it 3) Can’t comment much about whether Romney is “far more regular that the press made him seem”- don’t know him- do know he is a Mormon which means, I believe, that he does have irregular beliefs/practices. One item I remember is a reporter asking him if he believes that the garden of Eden was in Missouri and he declined to comment on that as well as other faith details.

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  5. Ali “Did I question his spiritual fruit, mrbfree”

    Well, it did seem that way when you questioned whether he could “be a very reliable champion of the fruit of the Spirit.” I’m sure it was my misunderstanding and will just go back to reading. Lots of good material in this post to consider.

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  6. sdb says: You might find his description of his blog interesting in light of the other w-w thread:

    Interesting sdb. No wonder mrbfree wasn’t so- free to be keen on letting me have a different opinion than his own being pea-in-a-pod with Mr. JAC (just a curmudgeon).

    At least DG is honest. He knows he is one and the same person always and so he blogs as that one same united person on his blogs. Who does Mr JAC think he’s kidding. You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can never fool the Lord, so I think JAC must only fooling himself. His whole explanation attempt sounds as ridiculous as this (below) to me (my own opinion, of course) –

    Man Not A ‘Christian Pastor’—He’s A Pastor Who Happens To Be Christian
    MESA, AZ—If you meet Philip Torres, you might be tempted to think of him as a “Christian pastor.” But as Torres told reporters Friday, he is actually not a Christian pastor at all—he is a pastor who happens to be Christian.

    “People like to stick labels on me. They like to think of me as a ‘Christian pastor’ because it helps them fit me nicely inside a box of preconceived notions,” he declared. “I’m a Christian, yes. I’m a pastor, yes. But don’t box me in by calling me a ‘Christian pastor.’”

    Stressing that he hates having to deal with all the baggage that comes from being branded a “Christian pastor,” Torres expressed confusion at why so many people want to hem him in and limit his identity. “Why don’t people call Stephen Curry a ‘Christian basketball player?’” he asked. “Or Bubba Watson—is he a ‘Christian golfer?’”
    When pressed to consider that maybe the source of confusion is that fact that he leads a Christian church, he scoffed and corrected the reporter. “No no, we’re not a Christian church—we’re a church that happens to be Christian.” http://babylonbee.com/news/man-not-christian-pastor-hes-pastor-happens-christian/

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  7. ” At least DG is honest.”
    Suggesting Jac isn’t?

    ” He knows he is one and the same person always and so he blogs as that one same united person on his blogs. Who does Mr JAC think he’s kidding. You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you can never fool the Lord, so I think JAC must only fooling himself. His whole explanation attempt sounds as ridiculous as this (below) to me (my own opinion, of course) ”

    Certainly not very charitable. Do you have different roles in your life? I do. The way I interact with a student in my class is very different than how I interact with that same student when he shows up at my church. Opinions about politics I have no problem sharing with my friends, I would never bring up in class. The familiarity I express to my daughter (good morning princess), I would never express to a young lady at church. As Jac notes, I am always a believer but my behavior is predicated on my roles, relationships, and context. In certain public roles where your stance may reasonably be inferred to represent the views of your employer, it is a good idea to distinguish your official position from your private opinion. My pastor may believe that supporting Clinton is wiser than supporting Trump. As a citizen he has the right to say so. As a pastor expounding the Word of God, he does not have the authority to speak where God’s word as silent. As the representative of a tax-exempt nonprofit organization, he is restricted from certain kinds of advocacy. Never not a Christian, but not always speaking on behalf of Christians.

    I’m really surprised you take this to be a sign of dishonesty.

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  8. Ali, “can a person boasting being ‘curmudgeonly’ be a very reliable champion of the fruit of the Spirit?”

    Look in the mirror. Why do you read OL if you’re so concerned about a sanctimonious view of spiritual fruit?

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  9. Mitt stood no chance in the 2016 primaries. After all, the republican populous vote was an anti-establishment protest and Mitt, while attempting to address that protest, never conceded any failures of the establishment. Perhaps he didn’t see any. But if he had been nominated by a third party, he would have far more preferable to Trump or Hillary–note I am saying this as someone who would never vote for him.

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  10. I did not vote for Mitt (or O) in ’12, and not voting for a major party in ’16 is going to be much easier.

    Listen to Mike Murphy’s Radio Free GOP and his two parter with Mitt. If this Mitt had been allowed through in ’12 then he would have walked away with it.

    Pt I: http://radiofreegop.com/mitt-romneys-campaign-memories-donald-trumps-hell-week-and-the-crazy-countdown-to-the-gop-convention/

    Pt II: http://radiofreegop.com/trumpzilla-vs-cleveland-mitt-romney-pt-ii/

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  11. sdb says: @Ali So no place for ironic self depracation in the Christian’s liguistic quiver?
    -Yes there is a place- a narrow, tricky, challenging one, because Christians are “living the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for the lusts of men but for the will of God, the time already past was sufficient to have carried out the desire of the Gentiles”

    sdb says: ” At least DG is honest.”Suggesting Jac isn’t? I’m really surprised you take this to be a sign of dishonesty.
    -sdb –see some of what he says below**
    Christian worldview:
    -Christ is not divided
    -Believers are members of Christ (continuously)
    -The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (continuously)
    -There is no sacred, secular distinction

    D. G. Hart says: Ali, “can a person boasting being ‘curmudgeonly’ be a very reliable champion of the fruit of the Spirit?” Look in the mirror. Why do you read OL if you’re so concerned about a sanctimonious view of spiritual fruit?

    Christian worldview:
    -interest in spiritual fruit is not ‘sanctimonious’ but God’s work
    -Jesus is the vine, we the branches, apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5);it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; (John 6:63)

    **JAC:
    -One hope I have is to express opinions without people saying, “How can you as supposed ‘man of God’ think that?”
    -I have changed my identity from “The Christian Curmudgeon” to “Just a Curmudgeon.”
    -Why drop “Christian” the title? Has The Curmudgeon apostatised? Not self-consciously.
    -What then? I do not hold, as once I did, the “world-and-life-view” outlook that there is a distinctly Christian view of and/or approach to everything. I do not believe that there is a view of, or approach to, everything, that is grounded in the Christ, the Redeemer-King, and the Bible as redemptive revelation.
    -I am affirming the existence of the distinction between the sacred and the profane, the religious and the secular, the church and the world, or, as our Lord put it in a concrete case, what is God’s and what is Caesar’s.

    ….therefore, developing his rational, he can legitimately be a ‘curmudgeon’, with a clear conscience, because while he is in the ‘sacred’ and God is his King, he will operate by the Spirit, but when he is in the ‘secluar’ and his king is Caesar, he is free to operate in the flesh? Right sdb?

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  12. Christian worldview:
    -Christ is not divided
    -Believers are members of Christ (continuously)
    -The one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him (continuously)
    -There is no sacred, secular distinction

    1. Glad to hear you aren’t a Nestorian.
    2. There is a distinction between what is sacred (holy, set apart) and what is secular (part of this age). If everything is set apart, then nothing is.
    3. Those do not comprise a worldview.

    Christian worldview:
    -interest in spiritual fruit is not ‘sanctimonious’ but God’s work
    -Jesus is the vine, we the branches, apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5);it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; (John 6:63)

    As true as those statements may be, they do not comprise a worldview.

    ….therefore, developing his rational, he can legitimately be a ‘curmudgeon’, with a clear conscience, because while he is in the ‘sacred’ and God is his King, he will operate by the Spirit, but when he is in the ‘secluar’ and his king is Caesar, he is free to operate in the flesh? Right sdb?

    I don’t see how you got that from anything he said.

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