Remember how Mitt attributed the different per capita incomes of Israel and Palestine on culture? Remember how after he was criticized for those comments, he denied that he'd made them, insisting that
“I did not speak about the Palestinian culture or the decisions made in their economy”and
“I certainly don’t intend to address that during my campaign.”You remember that, right?
So surely you also remember how, despite his denials, other right-wingers applauded the culture comments that he denied that he'd made? No? Well, let me refresh your memory:
In one awkward example, Washington Post blogger Jennifer Rubin praised the candidate’s speech as proof that Romney was not the “calculating” politician his critics alleged, and in fact “blunt and thoughtful,” giving the Palestinians a dose of hard truth about the importance of capitalism.
“If this is the Romney we’re going to see during the balance of the campaign Obama is in deep trouble,” Rubin wrote. “This Romney is unapologetic.”
Even after Romney’s clarification, which was glaringly at odds with the actual transcript of his Jerusalem speech, some supporters didn’t get the memo. Former rival Rick Santorum, appearing on CNN, defended Romney’s remarks by saying the candidate was in fact trying to directly compare the two countries’ values and economy.I guess Rubin and Santorum's support for the comments he had just denied that he'd made confused Mitt, making him forget that he'd denied that he'd made the comments they had praised, because he's just posted this article on the National Review's Corner: "Culture Does Matter."
“I think the Israelis have copied — not copied, but used the example of the United States as a basis for their country,” Santorum said. “And I think what you’ve seen in the Palestinian Authority is not that. You see a society that is based on a very different set of values and structures and is not as successful. I think that’s the point he was trying to make.”
During my recent trip to Israel, I had suggested that the choices a society makes about its culture play a role in creating prosperity, and that the significant disparity between Israeli and Palestinian living standards was powerfully influenced by it. In some quarters, that comment became the subject of controversy.But, but, but...Mitt said he didn't talk about culture! But then right wingers said it was okay, so he remembered that he did.
But what exactly accounts for prosperity if not culture?
And all this in less than two days.