A portrait of Mitt Romney has emerged during the Presidential campaign which depicts him as out of touch with common Americans and, even more egregiously, not understanding nor caring about their welfare and concerns.

Countering that, Republican supporters have mounted the equivalent of a football prevent defense which, more often than not, merely slows the inevitable victory of an opponent but does not…in fact…prevent it.

Let us examine some examples of Romney’s words or actions intended to defer criticism of the plutocratic candidate.

Romneycare, the slick, quick nickname for the health care reform passed by Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts, does mandate that all state residents carry health insurance. I believe the latest figures show that at least 97% of them are now covered. That is very commendable.

The Mittster and his backers would have you believe that the law resulted from Romney’s concern for the poor. Well, maybe not. After all, when signing the law

…Romney vetoed eight sections of the health care legislation, including the controversial employer assessment. Romney also vetoed provisions providing dental benefits to poor residents on the Medicaid program, and providing health coverage to senior and disabled legal immigrants not eligible for federal Medicaid.

Too, this reform was passed and implemented and funded only due to the federal government providing extra money through Medicaid. And do not ignore the fact that he was dealing with an 85% Democratic legislature much more inclined to favor large parts of this reform.

Romney’s interrupting his college to serve as a Mormon missionary is also cited as proof of his selflessness and caring.

Why would these young men and women choose to put on their dress clothes and traipse around strange parts of the world for two years? The Lord’s Church has always been a missionary church. Just as Jesus Christ and His disciples preached the gospel, more than 50,000 missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are spreading His word today. They are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in all parts of the world. Most missionaries are about 20 years old, though many older married couples also choose to serve. Missionaries voluntarily put aside school, work and dating for about two years in order to serve the Lord at their own expense.

Communication with family is even limited to letters or email and very occasional phone calls so that they can focus wholeheartedly on serving the Lord and the people where they serve. During their two years of full time service they devote themselves to studying, meeting people and teaching about Jesus Christ and His restored Church. Their work is a labor of love, and most missionaries end up feeling they gained more than they gave by serving.

So Romney, the same as other Mormon missionaries, spent that time proseletyzing for his faith. I do not  criticize this purpose, but to conflate it with the idea that he was serving the poor or unfortunate is simply wrong.

The following is an excerpt from the vice-presidential debate;

RYAN: He talks about Detroit. Mitt Romney’s a car guy. They keep misquoting him, but 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.

Mitt asked if he could come over on Christmas. He brought his boys, his wife, and gifts. Later on, he said, “I know you’re struggling, Mark. Don’t worry about their college. I’ll pay for it.”

When Mark told me this story, because, you know what, Mitt Romney doesn’t tell these stories. The Nixons told this story. When he told me this story, he said it wasn’t the help, the cash help. It’s that he gave his time, and he has consistently.

This is a man who gave 30 percent of his income to charity, more than the two of us combined. Mitt Romney’s a good man. He cares about 100 percent of Americans in this country. And with respect to that quote…

The tale Ryan told shows that Romney can be generous to the unfortunate. However, these were people he personally met. Ryan’s reference to “the quote’ is of course about Romney’s speech last spring at a fundraiser where he clearly denigrated the 47% of Americans he said do not pay income tax, alleging they feel themselves to be victims.

Not knowing the precise circumstances of the family he offered to pay college expenses for one cannot say with certainty they fell within that 47%. Regardless, Romney’s concern with their tragic predicament came only after he met them. There are millions of the 47% who have similar backgrounds or at least live with limited income such as Social Security, Disability,or  military retirement who are not victims and do not deem themselves as such who, in essence, Mitt Romney has utter contempt for.Say what you will about Barack Obama’s experience as a community organizer, but at least that job meant he was trying to promote the collective good, particularly for people whose individual voices might not get heard.

Bain Capital was a vehicle for the Mittster to make money for his investors, again not evil in itself. But he operated without concern for job creation or job destruction, always focused on the bottom line of profits for Bain and its partners. He had no qualms about eliminating jobs or shutting down entire companies if it put money in his pocket.

So Mitt Romney fails to recognize nor have respect for the people who struggle in life or even those who do not actively struggle but do not have the independent wealth which allows Romney to be so callous to those he stereotypes.

When I set out to become a lawyer…my life’s dream…I did so with the intention of being in a position to help my clients whatever their concerns. That it might bring some financial success was also attractive. In many instances I was able to do that; resolving disputes, pursuing injury claims, helping homebuyers, doing the legal work to start businesses. That was immensely satisfying.

Mitt Romney? His idea of happiness was to become rich and famous. You can hear him tell you that in his own words here.

Kind of sad…eh?

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