Author’s note: More than a century ago Mark Twain wrote “King Leopold’s Soliloquy,” which satirized the Belgian king angered at all the criticism he was receiving for his scandalous and inhumane rule over the Congo. In it, Leopold laments, “In these twenty years I have spent millions to keep the press of the two hemispheres quiet, and still these leaks keep on occurring. I have spent other millions on religion and art, and what do I get for it? Nothing. Not a compliment. These generosities are studiedly ignored, in print. In print I get nothing but slanders — and slanders again — and still slanders, and slanders on top of slanders! Grant them true, what of it?”
Although by no means suggesting that Mitt Romney is as evil as the Belgian king, I offer in a similar spirit of mischievous fun this poem of imagined Romney words. Since he has solemnly assured us that he likes “silly stuff,” I can only hope others will follow this fun-loving man’s example and extend their appreciation to my silly soliloquy.
Why don’t people like me more?
Maybe it’s those quotes that make them sore,
Taken out of context, I do insist,
Here’s just a partial list:
“Corporations are people, my friend”; “I’m not concerned about the very poor”;
And “Let it run its course and hit the bottom”—that’s my foreclosure cure.
“I like being able to fire people” is another they make too abrupt,
As is “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
But an uncaring fellow I’m not,
We Mormons tithe, we give a lot.
I also don’t drink, smoke, or curse,
Out alone do anything worse.
But we Republicans have the belief
That private charity is the best relief,
Not some big-government plan
That doesn’t much help the average man.
Still many doubt my veracity,
Like that darn web site Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity.
Others say I flip and flop, but don’t they get it,
Don’t they understand who is Mitt?
Why won’t they be fair?
My backbone is no chocolate éclair.
Gay rights, gay wrongs, pro-choice, pro-life,
About such things why all the strife?
Immigrants illegal, or gun-owners’ rights,
Let others have these fights.
Climate change—is it a hoax
Or a fit subject for poor jokes?
Does Obamacare impose a tax?
About it all, just relax.
Who cares what you’ve selected
As long as you help me get elected.
When it comes to all those abroad,
“My friend Bibi Netanyahu” is one I applaud.
In seventy-six, a Boston corporate adviser was he, and I the same,
Long before Israeli prime minister he became.
Now that Iran wants a nuclear weapon,
We both agree it shouldn’t happen.
Unlike that weak Barack Obama, Bibi and I
Will Iranian nukes unquestionably deny.
Now about Russia I’ve caught some flack
For Cold-War memories bringing back.
Even Colin Powell said “Whoa”
When I declared Russia our No. 1 foe.
As for the rest I don’t know a lot, except for France,
Where as a Mormon missionary I was sent by chance.
But this I know about my right-wing base,
It’s best to display a hawkish face.
Yet the charges against me continue to fly,
Though I keep trying to be a regular guy.
To go hunting for elk and for pheasant
In Montana, I’ve said, has been pleasant.
“I drive a Mustang and a Chevy pickup truck,”
While my poor wife Ann is with Cadillacs stuck.
You like NASCAR you say,
“I have some great NASCAR team owner friends,” by the way.
That liberal columnist Krugman about my past keeps on raving:
About my Swiss Bank account or Cayman Islands tax haven.
And my years as Bain Capital’s CEO, when I earned all that cash?
Well, he just keeps harping on all the jobs we did slash.
Then there’s my taxes about which he just won’t let go,
But keeps insisting they’ve been way, way too low.
And yet he complains there’s much he doesn’t know
Cause most of my returns, I simply won’t show.
When I stress all the jobs that Obama has lost, Krugman always resorts to this familiar retort:
In early 2009, it was still Bush’s fault that they came up short.
And after that the Republicans were to blame
For their obstructionist policies that should cause them shame.
No more deficits cried Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, and their ilk,
But it was just a sham so us all they could bilk.
And then there were those governors in Republican states
Who fired teachers and state workers at such very high rates.
But Krugman simply doesn’t understand in government there’s too much fat
(and if you’re a teacher or state worker, probably a Democrat).
And how could we keep them all and pay good compensation
Unless we increase taxes throughout this great nation.
And we can’t do that, certainly not on the rich,
For if we do so, here’s the hitch:
They won’t have much money new positions to create.
And more job losses would simply be our fate.
And there’s still another who gives me chills,
He’s a former conservative named Garry Wills.
About the “job creators” he continually insists,
They find jobs only “for their own lawyers and lobbyists.”
And he rails against my increased military-spending plan;
Does he not see the danger of Russia, China, and Iran?
And he repeats ad nauseam that if you vote for me
(or anyone but Obama) it’s a victory for plutocracy.
Of course, there are others who take their humor too far,
Like Gail Collins, who keeps mentioning our dog on the top of the car,
There’s even a book now (Dog on the Roof!),
And Stephen Colbert, having his own little spoof,
Pictured us travelling with Ann’s horse Rafalca tied
To the top of our wagon. Ann’s coach, Jan, will ride,
At the London Olympics, the mare in dressage, or “horse ballet”
If you wish, to explain it in Colbert’s always snide way.
And it isn’t just the Leftists who like to carp,
Even Murdoch and his Fox gang often do harp
like Calvin Trillin, who once rhymed I was “lacking genitalia”
for shedding my “moderate regalia.”
But at Fox they goad me to show I’m no mama,
By more fiercely attacking Barack Obama.
Oh, what’s a good man to do
But slog and slog and see it through?
And yet there is still very great hope,
I’m reaching out, I’m no dope.
I spoke to the folks at the NAACP Convention
And to the Hispanics I’m giving more attention.
Still, it’s tough trumpeting the truth
When others see you as aloof.
No matter how hard I try,
My advice to non-whites just doesn’t seem to fly.
I told rich donors in Montana about my NAACP speech
And why those attending there I sometimes couldn’t reach.
But you can tell them for me nothing’s really free,
If you want “more stuff from government,” don’t vote for me.
But many rich, white guys throughout our nation
Are each coughing up a big donation.
In the months to come they’ll pay for many an ad,
And true or not they’ll make Obama look bad.
I think we’ll win in November and out he’ll be,
And don’t you worry about any plutocracy.
To special interests I won’t be beholden,
You all know my word has always been golden.
And when I name any new Supreme Court justices
You can be sure they’ll come from among the best-of-us.
If all of this sounds a bit naïve,
Remember my friends, you’ve got to believe.