Mitt Romney, All American

The other night, the impossible happened: We learned something new about Mitt Romney.

It was near the end of Iowa Night, and Lawrence O’Donnell, discussing Rick Santorum’s Italian-grandfather anecdote, observed that in politics, you don’t say things like that by chance. In Santorum’s case, you say that to draw implicit contrast with somebody else’s grandfather. Or, in this case, great-grandfather.

The story, briefly, goes like this: Mitt’s great-grandfather Miles Romney was an old-school Mormon. A Big Love Mormon. A Mormon who bequeaths you not just a great-grandfather and great-grandmother, but a lot of step-great-grandmothers, whatever you call them.

(And what do you call them? Love Grannies?)

When Congress passed a law defending Singular Opposite Marriage in 1882, Great-Grandpa Romney saw this as a violation of God’s Will — and promptly skipped the country with his three wives. Landed in Mexico. Where George Romney, Mitt’s dad and the Romney some of us grew up with, was born in 1907.

That’s right: 1968 Presidential candidate George Romney was Mexican. So to speak. The technicality offered at the time was that the family of potential felons on the lam had kept their U.S. citizenship. Not that anybody cared. George’s campaign was a bust.

By all rights, Mitt should have been Mexican, too: The family didn’t intend to return to America. But a certain revolution got in the way, and they hopped a train north to safety in 1912. Happy centennial, Romney clan!

Which is all well and good, and more than a little amusing. But what do we do with this information?

Well, if it was anybody else, in any other context, here’s what we would do: We’d celebrate it.

Those of us who aren’t of the land, came here from somewhere else. Adventurers, misfits, pilgrims, slaves — we all have our family stories. And here we are, survivors of other people’s lives. If that doesn’t always unite us, it certainly characterizes us. America, Land of the Mutts.

So your great-grandpa was a polygamist who fled America for Mexico, then fled Mexico for America? That’s awesome, dude! Next round’s on us!

Only Mitt Romney can’t tell us that. He can’t tell us that because he’s running for President. He can’t tell us that because he’s too wrapped up in his faith to see the humanity that underlies it. He can’t tell us that because he’s ashamed for something that happened before his time, which he fears will reflect upon him today. Mitt Romney, who incessantly panders to American nationalism, can’t tell us about the one thing that makes him as American as the rest of us.

What do we do with this information? The only thing we can do: Advise Mitt to quit this silly business of running for President and discover his true calling as a stand-up comedian.

Romney Family Files: Fled to Mexico Due to a Polygamy Ban Making Them ‘The First Displaced Persons of the 20th Century’ [Crooks and Liars, via jwmcsame]

Did George Romney have papers when he came to el Norte for a better life? No? So that makes Mittens an anchor baby, si?

@Dodgerblue: Guess we need to start calling him Mitones.

To my mind, the most fascinating bit of that article is that Romney’s ancestors converted to Mormonism in England. Who knew?

how long before neutered, frothy, and ropaul start running commercials asking romney: who’s your momma?

Okay, so apparently the Miles Romney who fled Mexico was Miles Archibald Romney (George’s uncle), not Miles Park Romney (George’s grandfather), as the latter died in 1904. The more you know.

@mellbell: They used to have a pipeline from the north of England to Deseret.

@mellbell: On further consideration, the passage in question is referring to Anna Pratt’s brood, so it was George’s brother Miles Pratt Romney. (I hate these people.)

He can’t tell us that because he’s too wrapped up in his faith to see the humanity that underlies it

Spot on, Brother, Amen.

BREAKING: Lights are moving from amber to green for a long trip to the land of U Thant, aka the former Pagan Kingdom. The climate will be mostly agreeable, but I hear that connectivity options blow.

@Nabisco: Didn’t he used to rock the rez?

As for going on line, have you ever tied one of those SPOT satcomm devices? I understand you can send text messages, tweet and post to FB with one.

Does this mean that Mittens is Boxy?*

*The original Battlestar Galactica was based on Mormoni trek to Utah as the producer (Glen Larson) was a Mormon.

@ManchuCandidate: This shit gets weirder as it goes on, and when the shit gets weird, the weird turn pro.

So gentiles who don’t vote for Mittens/Boxy are Cylons?

So the Mexican gardeners he had, and then fired, may have been friends of his family’s?

Also, can you believe he actually said he likes firing people who provide services? I know it’s out of context, but someone as practiced as he is at running for President should know better than to let a stand-alone sentence like that escape their mouth.

@RomeGirl: Those gardeners could have been family.I noticed a Pedro Romney born in Mexico in 1887 living in Utah in the 1930 US Census.

El Quinto Censo General de Población y Vivienda 1930, México is available on line via that genealogical website head quartered in Mormonville.
It is very interesting to view the Chihuahuan side of the Romney family who remained in Mexico after the revolucion.

ooh, and A US Passport app for Miles with a photo and “Affadavit to Explain Protracted Foriegn Residence and to Overcome Presumption of Expatriation. Nothing earth shaking here, but interesting. Only mentions one American born wife on the form.

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