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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

"Professor" Mitt Romney

Oh we got trouble, right here in Mason City, that "historic" location where another traveling salesman tried to fleece the good folks of Iowa. And Mitt Romney's equation of fantasy with history accurately sums up this year's GOP presidential field.

Our Man Myth was in the Iowa river town, enthralled by a stop at Music Man Square, described by the Globe as "a faux 1912 streetscape inspired by the musical, with gaslights and a candy shop." He jumped upon a metal chair (he must have RomneyCare) and declared:
“What a thrill this is, at this historic spot today,’’ he gushed. “I feel like breaking into ‘Seventy-six Trombones.’ ’’
Only in today's GOP does Mason City, Iowa join Concord, NH as an historic site.

But Romney may have inadvertently stumbled on a scenario that mimics his own story of a salesman who will say and do anything to close a deal. Let's recall the plot of the Music Man, shall we:
Set in July 1912, a traveling salesman, "Professor" Harold Hill arrives in River City, Iowa, intrigued by the challenge of swindling the famously stubborn natives of Iowa. Masquerading as a traveling band instructor, Professor Hill plans to con the citizens of River City into paying him to create a boys' marching band, including instruments, uniforms, and music instruction. Once he has collected the money and the instruments and uniforms have arrived, he will hop the next train out of town leaving them without their money or a band.
Scary, ain't it?

Of course Hill ultimately failed because of Marian the Librarian, a scenario less likely to happen in modern-day Iowa which has undoubtedly closed a number of libraries because of struggling local budgets. And closed or cutback libraries lead to less access to history books, which leads to the equation of fiction to history. And that leads voters to make electoral choices based on personality and not policy.

Oh yes, we got trouble.

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