With his gracious concession speech Tuesday, Mitt Romney ended his decades-long quest for the presidency. But that moment of dignity and decency can't obscure a campaign in which Romney showed utter disrespect for the president, obvious contempt for the voters and a cynical disregard for the truth. Now that his quest has failed, he doesn't merely need to leave the national stage. Mitt Romney must take his brand of "post-truth" politics with him. As a much better man once put it:
Please proceed, Governor.
That is, please proceed, Governor, back to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, California or wherever it is you (if not your secret tax returns) now call home. There, you can reminisce with your clandestine bundlers, spend some quality time alone with the scrubbed computer files from your days as governor of the Bay State, or nostalgically reread the 23 years of tax returns you shared with John McCain, but not the "small-minded" American people.
Please proceed, Governor, to read Steve Benen's 40 volume compilation "Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity." Since you say you "love data," you'll find the 971 lies documented there a lovely experience, indeed.
Please proceed, Governor, to read about the success of the Earned Income Tax Credit, a measure Ronald Reagan called "the best anti-poverty, the best pro-family, the best job creation measure to come out of Congress." After all, the same American people you called "demagogues" for simply wanting to know which of the $1 trillion in tax breaks you said you'd eliminate are still waiting for answer.
Please proceed, Governor, to spend some time with the working Americans, senior citizens and military families you said see themselves as "victims" and dependent on government. Some of the 47 percent who pay no federal income taxes actually voted for you; the many who didn't are doubtless glad today about their choice.
Please proceed, Governor, to visit the grave of your "dear, close family relative" Ann Keenan, the woman whose death in 1963 from an illegal abortion you said in 1994 inspired your "unwavering" support for Roe v. Wade. Perhaps you can explain your change of heart, and why you and your Republican Party would condemn thousands of other American women to her fate.
Please proceed, Governor, to travel to the Cayman Islands to visit your money. The business deduction you take for your Olympic dressage horse Rafalca should more than cover your expenses.
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Please proceed, Governor, to visit the workers who make the Chevy Volt and Chrysler Jeeps and apologize. After all, you didn't merely risk the loss of the entire American auto industry when you declared, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt." Last December, you joked, "The Chevrolet Volt? Let's see. An idea whose time has not come." And in northwest Ohio, you can tell the Jeep employees there why you lied about their jobs being shipped to China.
Please proceed, too, Governor to meet some of the former employees of companies like KB Toys and Dade Behring. After all, these and many other firms acquired in private equity deals by your Bain Capital went bankrupt after you and your colleagues extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in fees and dividends. You said in 2007 that taking a big payment from a company that later failed "would make me sick, sick at heart." Now would be a good time to get treatment for your unique cardiac condition.
And while you're on the road, please proceed, Governor, to Arlington National Cemetery. There, you can ask silent forgiveness for explaining your five sons' absence from the military by claiming, "One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president." And tell your son Tagg that until he enlists to fight for our country, he should keep his mouth shut about wanting to fight the president of the United States.
Please proceed, governor, to the visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial in Washington, D.C. There, you can contemplate why you, your son and your high-profile supporters like Donald Trump casually trafficked in the race-baiting that is birtherism. Your friend John Sununu doesn't get to tell the president of the United States that he needs to learn how to be an American, and you don't get to call him "extraordinarily foreign," either.
And while you're in our nation's capital, please proceed, Governor, to Georgetown University to seek penance from Sandra Fluke. Perhaps you can help her—and all of us—understand why you would only say "that's not the language I would have used" when your supporters like Rush Limbaugh called the activist a "slut."
Please proceed, Governor, to remind your wife Ann not to tell women to "wake up." After all, in 2002, she helped you dupe Massachusetts voters into believing you were pro-choice. And while you now describe Ann as "reporting to me regularly" about the concerns of American women, back in 2007 you said her positions are not "terribly relevant for my campaign."
Please proceed, Governor, to suggest to your wife that she not tell Hispanic Americans to "get past their biases." You may believe "self-deportation" is good public policy or that because you're no longer running for office, you can have illegals again, for Pete's sake. It would seem that the 70 percent of Hispanics who voted for Barack Obama were motivated not by bias, but common sense.
Please proceed, Governor, to stop using the word "resolute" to describe yourself. Your alternating positions on reproductive rights, immigration, the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, a health insurance mandate, the effectiveness of economic stimulus and the threat from climate change—just to name a few—were an insult to voters.
Which is just one more reason why you should please proceed, Governor, to just go away.