Conservatives this week were quick to mock the Obama campaign's "The Life of Julia," an online slideshow highlighting how government investments in education, health care, small business and retirement security help enable the children of working families to climb the ladder of social mobility. Republican critics dismissed that common path to the middle class as the "condescension" of "cradle-to-grave, government-supported existence" supposedly championed by Democrats.
It is only fitting, then, that the Romney campaign offers its alternative vision. So here is "The Life of Mitt," a tale of a winner-take-all America in which government exists to ensure a privileged few stay that way.
Age Minus 9 Months: The son of American Motors magnate and Michigan Governor George Romney, Mitt fondly recalls being with his father for Detroit's Golden Jubilee. That celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the American automobile occurred on June 1, 1946, "fully nine months before Romney was born." Years later, Mitt would similarly "remember" seeing his dad march with Martin Luther King, Jr.
Age 8: Young Mitt Romney is living his American Dream; that is, being born to a father who achieved his own. "Only in America could a man like my dad become governor of the state in which he once sold paint from the trunk of his car." In Michigan, Mitt learned to love cars and trees which were the right height. He also begins to soak up valuable life lessons from his dad, like "Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win election to pay a mortgage." As for the millions of Americans unable to pay theirs, Mitt later concluded:
"Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom, allow investors to buy homes, put renters in them, fix the homes up and let it turn around and come back up."
Despite his filial devotion, Mitt forgets his father's warning that "rugged individualism" is "nothing but a political banner to cover up greed."
Age 12: After attending a public elementary school, young Mitt is sent to the prestigious Cranbrook School in elegant Bloomfield Hills. This experience leads him to declare he's just "a guy from Detroit," one who happens to support school vouchers and tax breaks for home schooling, while slashing funds for public schools.
While Mitt Romney would certainly never had to worry about "getting a pink slip," he stills gets a chuckle thinking about those who did when his father moved AMC jobs from Michigan to Wisconsin. It's no wonder he chides his former home town in 2008, declaring, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt."
Age 16: In 1963, Mitt confronts personal tragedy, as "dear, close family relative" Ann Keenan dies as a result of an illegal abortion. As he later explained during a 1994 Senate debate with Ted Kennedy, it was that searing experience which made him a pro-choice Mormon:
"It is since that time that my mother and my family have been committed to the belief that we can believe as we want, but we will not force our beliefs on others on that matter. And you will not see me wavering on that."
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