Thursday, October 20, 2011

Corporations are People, for Pete's Sake

Here's the quote of the day, from the Republican debate of two nights ago:
"So we went to the company and we said: Look, you can't have any illegals working on our property. I'm running for office, for Pete's sake, I can't have illegals. It turns out that once again they hired someone who had falsified their documents, had documents, and therefore we fired them." -- Mitt Romney
Meaning of course that if (for Pete's sake) you happen to be a mere private citizen working for a group that buys and breaks up companies, and you find yourself with a few hundred acres of shaggy bluegrass, then illegal aliens are a very cost effective means for keeping that lawn as impeccably groomed as your classic 1962 Brylcreem hairdo. The video here is important, because it shows how Romney can be pushed into saying what he really means.

Without Rick Perry badgering him, Mitt never would have come out with the admission that he is only forced into following the letter of the immigration laws because he has political ambitions.
This isn't the first time that we've seen Mitt say something revealingly unscripted in the heat of the moment. I've commented on the "Corporations Are People, My Friend," video from the Iowa State Fair before, but note how the hecklers get him to reveal his deep love for abstract legal entities...

My favorite bit of absurdity in this clip now is the sentence, "Of course they are [people]. Everything corporations earn ultimately goes to people." Following that logic, crime syndicates making money for criminal people are people, savings accounts earning 0.001% interest for duped people are people, churches collecting money for priests are people, marijuana plants growing in your basement that can be converted to cash that ultimately goes to people are people, everything is, ultimately, people, for Pete's sake. But that doesn't mean everything should be allowed to vote or influence our electoral process based on its monetary power.
So what's the next question that will knock Mitt off script? I'd suggest a customized version of Clinton's famous 1994 MTV Question. In Mitt's case it would be: "Boxers? Briefs? Or Magic Underwear?"

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