One factor in Mitt Romney's underwhelming performance in Tuesday night's Deep South primaries could be his habit of blurting out pandering whoppers like this one, (in front of a crowd at Pascagoula, Mississippi): "If the federal government were run more like here in Mississippi, the whole country would be a lot better off."
Insert spit take here. Donna Ladd, editor in chief of the Jackson Free Press (and proud Mississippian) makes a devastating case for why the federal government would most assuredly not be better off if it ran like her home state:
"We have a Legislature spending much of our time trying to figure out unconstitutional legislation to limit the right to an abortion, despite the resounding message Mississippi voters sent last fall on the personhood fiasco. They are scheming to force underpaid police officers to pull over people who look like they might be undocumented immigrants (meaning: Latinos). They ignore the nonpartisan data that show that immigrants, even undocumented ones, actually help our economy."
"Meantime, we are one of the poorest states in the nation with the resulting crime, and our education system is almost entirely divided between decent schools for the wealthy and continually weakening education for the poor and people of color (especially thanks to No Child Left Behind)."
"Meantime, they introduce bills to require drug testing of Medicaid recipients (and prohibit them to have vanity license plates). They also do everything possible to enact expensive voter ID even without evidence of voter fraud it would stop. Oh, and the chairwoman of the Senate Tourism Committee was the keynote speaker for the white-supremacist Council of Conservative Citizens here in Jackson in 2009--not raising an eyebrow at the capitol."
Tell us Mr. Romney, was this the Mississippi touch you feel the federal government so sorely lacks?
"Last year, Mayor Johnson nearly came to blows with then Gov. Haley Barbour and now-Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves to get them to honor bonds to help this city's severe water infrastructure problems. It was mortifying to watch the state leadership play a power game with the city where lawmakers make laws (and let's be honest, party) over something as basic as aging, crumbling water pipes. The victims of this power-dance were the local business and restaurant owners with empty cash registers and refrigerators full of food rotting when we couldn't flush our toilets for several days."
So, two conclusions: either Mitt Romney will say absolutely anything to get a cheer from the locals on the campaign trail or he really believes the federal government would be better off if it ran more like Mississippi.
Insert spit take here.