The Mitt Romney candidacy is in its own surreal way like a re-enactment of the O.J. trial. Most of the major talk radio hosts are like O.J.'s legal team, led by Mitt's John the Baptist, Hugh Hewitt. Hugh declared in his commentary on the speech that anyone who doesn't agree with him that Mitt is the Republican Savior is "not to be trusted." Trusted?
It's like the O.J. trial in one simple way: Mitt's "lawyers" are turning reality upside down in the court of public opinion. Republican primary voters are the O.J. jury and they will decide whom to believe: (1) Romniacs who believe Mitt is the conservative messiah or (2) Mitt's political record, which is the most liberal of any presidential candidate on stage – Republican or Democrat.
The biggest question after Romney's religion speech is: How long can right wing talk radio deceive Americans that Mitt is the victim of a vast right wing conspiracy of bigots attacking him for his religion? The next biggest question is: how long can Americans accept the irrational idea that Mitt is the alpha and omega of the political spectrum – John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan?
And finally, how long can this enormous political hoax that Romney is The Conservative Dragon-Lady Slayer be sustained when his Hillary-like governor's record is right out there for all to see?
When former Reagan education secretary Bill Bennett asks on radio: "Isn't Romney running on his record of being anti-gay and pro-life," he showcases talk radio's astonishing ignorance. How come radio's self-described philosopher king doesn't know Romney installed gay marriage and abortion as a health care "benefit" in America's Cradle of Liberty?
The Romney campaign is functioning like an X-ray machine, revealing the extent of corruption in the ambiguous world of 21 st century conservatism. If Romney is a Reagan conservative, why has the media glorified him, unlike Reagan who they couldn't stand?
In addition to being a political X-ray machine, Mitt's campaign has also administered a much-needed national I.Q. test.
How many believe all that is standing between Mitt and a Republican primary victory is "ugly evangelical bigotry?" Okay. How many think the problem is his used-car-salesman demeanor, alienating evangelicals and Hillary-like governor's record? The results are now in: the envelope please. They show Romney is fooling 99 percent of talk radio hosts but only 9 percent of Americans, according to political polls. He's fooling America's wise men but not the "dumb evangelicals."
Let's see how long it will take America's radio prophets to grasp the obvious: Doesn't it smell a little funny when a candidate pretends to be a man for all voters: liberal icon JFK – and – conservative hero "The Gipper?" The location of his speech, in Texas where JFK gave his "religion speech," was an obvious mind control ploy to make him look like the Catholic JFK.
Hewitt ended his commentary on Mitt's speech by calling Mitt "the great communicator," Reagan's nickname. For the love of Mitt, who is he – JFK, Reagan or a Mormon being persecuted by Bible-thumpers for his faith that he is the savior? Even Rush didn't find it odd that an authentic conservative would give a big speech impersonating Ted Kennedy's brother.
For us, Romney's "religion speech" invoked the spirit, not of JFK, but of Jon Lovitz's Saturday Night Live portrayal of the Great Actor – "Acting!! GENIUS!!!" Mitt gave his best 1950s-sitcom-dad imitation trying to convince us he's just another traditional, patriotic Christian-American who believes exactly the same things we all believe. Except, of course, for his beliefs that he is the reincarnation of JFK and Ronald Reagan, and the evil churchgoer conspiracy is out to get him.
The religion speech may be Romney's Last Stand to keep Americans distracted from his governor's record and focused on the evangelical Pharisees who can't see he's the Republican savior. The truth is that Romney and his P.R. agents (a.k.a. the media) have focused America on his religion. How many talk radio sermons does it take to convince us "ugly bigotry" is why Romney's poll numbers can't get above the number of his toes?
The weird truth is: evangelical leaders are among the most public Romniacs beating the drum for him. A coalition of evangelical leaders, including Gary Bauer, prominent Southern Baptists, theologians and numerous big name pastors, like John Hagee, have sung the Romney Kool Aid song. Fortunately, the sheep have ignored their staggering shepherds.
When you've drunk Romney's kool aid reality becomes inverted: 1. He's a conservative. He is? How did he get elected to the most liberal state in the U.S.? 2. He's the only one who can beat Hillary. He is? Polls show any of the Republican candidates could but that Romney is the least likely . 3. He's a smart money man. He is? How come experts are calling his health care plan a fiscal Frankenstein at birth? How come almost every Massachusetts' city and town has rejected it as unaffordable?
Romney declared we should not be focused on his religion in his religion speech. So why has he focused us on his religion? And if he truly believes "religion shouldn't be used as a litmus test" in politics, then why is he using religion as a litmus test in politics? According to Mitt, any evangelical not interested in him flunks his religion litmus test and is guilty of "ugly bigotry." Like Hewitt says, "they are not to be trusted."
Not only is his governor's record more liberal than Hillary's Senate record but he has her husband's creepy habit of looking straight into the camera and delivering bold fibs. "I'm pro-life...I'm for family values...I've been a lifelong hunter."
He vowed to uphold the U.S. Constitution and mentioned John Adams twice in his speech. Unfortunately, he violated the Adam's-authored Massachusetts Constitution when he legitimized gay marriage in the Cradle of Liberty. Would Adams agree with Hugh about Mitt if he saw Romney flouted his constitution in a governor's command to town clerks and justices of the peace to sign gay marriage certificates or resign?
Romney's speech declaration, "I live by my Mormon faith," is rudely contradicted by the health care plan he gave Massachusetts. Romneycare has made abortion a health care benefit and has given Planned Parenthood a permanent spot on the plan's board. Mormon doctrine is pro-life. And Mitt says: "I am firmly pro-life." Guess it depends on what you mean by the word "am."
As we've shown in numerous exposes that the media continue to ignore, Mitt achieved what Hillary couldn't. Hillary couldn't get a government health care plan established. Mitt did. She could never get abortion as a health care benefit. Mitt did. Hillary couldn't get gay marriage instituted. Mitt did.
Romney is the Elephant in the Living Room that the best and brightest can't see.
Co-author Paul Dinger is a 30 Year Veteran Boston Journalist who is writing "The Secret Meaning of America."