Mitt Romney’s Palestinian Pander

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As we all know, Mitt Romney said this yesterday:

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney angered Palestinian leaders on Monday when he suggested here that the Israeli economy has outpaced that of the Palestinian territories in part because of advantages of “culture.”

….Romney said he had studied a book called “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations,” searching for a reason why two neighboring places could have such disparate prosperity.

“Culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference,” Romney said, repeating the conclusion he drew from the book, by David Landes. “And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.”

Can I just point out the obvious here? This wasn’t a gaffe. This was a deliberate pander to the conservative base in the U.S., which pretty strongly believes that Palestinian culture is indeed corrupt, indolent, and sullen. Romney knows this perfectly well. He was demonstrating once again, in a very concrete way, that he’s no RINO. He really, truly feels tea-party style conservatism in his bones. It wasn’t just an offhand mistake.

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