We are informed today that Mitt is campaigning for the Southern vote in next week's primaries by saying that he's finding himself liking grits, and that similar 'strange things are happening' to him.
There is nothing more implausible to me, a lifelong North Easterner, than that a Southerner would listen to this with anything other than a derisive snort. First, it's caricature. Second, the notion of Mitt actually eating grits is hilarious.
And, third, and most important, it's obviously a politician's pandering rather than a human being's attempt, however flawed, to sympathise, much less empathise, with other human beings. Recall his reaching into his pocket for fifty dollars to give a woman who told him of her bad times, a gesture so thoroughly repulsive and politically stupid as to be beyond belief. Recall his wife's kinship with millions of unemployed auto workers in the devastated Rust Belt as evidenced by her two Cadillacs. Over and over again. He doesn't understand politics, he doesn't understand other people, and, most important, I think, there's increasing evidence that he doesn't understand himself.
It would be a shame were his ideas so devoid of substance and consistency, his personality so vapid, his political skills so absent, that the coming campaign for the Presidency turns on his defects rather than on an actual, necessary debate on the future of the country. It'll be uglier than it needs to be, and divide the nation, and the Republican Party, even more. But that's what's coming, I think.
So I bought an industrial umbrella and a pair of chest waders from Amazon today.