Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Flunking the orals

Mitt's Grand Tour of Fail just received its most devastating pan -- not from lightweights like Dowd, who drool over trivia, but on the deep merits, by one of his chosen scholarly sources, Jared Diamond. 

Money quotes to start...
"Mitt Romney's latest controversial remark, about the role of culture in explaining why some countries are rich and powerful while others are poor and weak, has attracted much comment. I was especially interested in his remark because he misrepresented my views and, in contrasting them with another scholar’s arguments, oversimplified the issue."
 ... and to finish:
"Mitt Romney may become our next president. Will he continue to espouse one-factor explanations for multicausal problems, and fail to understand history and the modern world? If so, he will preside over a declining nation squandering its advantages of location and history." 
Yes, I know what you'll say: Voters don't know or care what scholars say. But I have a feeling this one will matter, whether or not people remember who said what. I mean, this is the political equivalent of Woody Allen as Alvy Singer in Annie Hall pulling Marshal McLuhan out from behind the poster: "You know nothing of my work!... How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing."

Alvy, you have your wish. Life sometimes is like this.

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