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Mitt Romney and John Huntsman Shoot A Dog In Utah

Unbeknownst to Mitt Romney, his presidential bid is doomed to failure. His fate is sealed. The White House just ain't in the cards. How do I know this? Simple, really. I hitchhiked through Utah in the early 1970's.

As Joe Walsh once stated in an album title, "You Can't Argue With A Sick Mind". So please allow me to make my case.

I was young and footloose in those days. Not like Kevin Bacon, mind you. This was before Mr. Bacon was related by six degrees to everything in the universe. It predates the movie Footloose by years and years... although bacon does enter the story at a point.

I was hitchhiking from Eugene, Oregon to Denver, Colorado. Two towns with solid counter-cultural roots. Unlike, say, the entire state of Utah.

Utah is one of the most stunningly beautiful states in America. It is populated by two distinct types of people... Mormons, and alcoholics.

In Utah, if you ain't Mormon, you quickly become alcoholic.

I didn't learn this scientific fact from a textbook. I gleaned it from actual observation.

Lest you think I have some inherent prejudice against Mormons,  I don't. If I were to generalize about Mormons, it would be that they are tall, strapping, industrious white people who have no known vices except marrying thirteen year old girls. Imagine an incredibly beautiful state full of Mitt Romneys, John Huntsmans and Orrin Hatches... all banging thirteen year old girls. Then liberally pepper this with large communities of alcoholics. They broke the mold when they made Utah.

I can say this because I grew up in the neighboring states of New Mexico and Colorado. You couldn't say it if you, say, grew up in New Jersey. You could maybe make a disparaging remark about Delaware, but not Utah. If you did, I'd have to leap to Utah's defense, being a native Southwesterner and all.   

So anyway, I was hitchhiking from Eugene to Denver. The ride I got out of Oregon took me all the way to Salt Lake City. Where, in the warm desert night, all rides ceased.

In those days, hitchhiking was considered kind of a sport. Only in certain states (say... Utah) people didn't play.

Outside of Salt Lake City, hitchhikers were piled up on the side of the interstate, desperately waiting for a ride. Out of food, out of water, out of luck. And still nobody would stop.

There were probably a dozen people there. Some had been at that one spot for three days.

I got so fed up with waiting that I walked up the Interstate to a little state highway, where I figured to try my luck.

Lo and behold, within fifteen minutes, I got a ride. From an alcoholic.

We drove down this little winding road, through a narrow canyon, as he weaved and yapped incoherently. Finally I could take no more, and said stop. Let me out. He did.

So there I was, on a little side road in the middle of Utah. It was a beautiful spot. Did I mention Utah is beautiful?  Evening was coming, and I figured my best bet was to waiting for a car to come by, heading back to the interstate.

Across the road appeared a little sheep dog. I said here pup, coaxing him over. He happily trotted across the road, and as he did a huge pickup truck came lumbering around the corner, smashing into the dog head on.

The truck pulled over. The dog was writhing in pain from a broken back. I instinctively reached my hand out to try to comfort the dog, and of course the dog instinctively latched onto my hand in a death grip, which I eventually pried loose.


Out of the truck climbed two young Mormon men, who looked for all the world like a young Mitt Romney and a young John Huntsman. Strapping, good looking, very clean cut tanned white fellows, one with a pistol in his hand. The dog was now on the shoulder of the road, still writing in pain but off of my hand. "John Huntsman" shot him, which was the only humane thing to do. Then the two of them began to walk back to their truck.

"Wait a minute!" I said, my hand bleeding pretty profusely. "Do you think you could give me a ride back to the Interstate?"

Now the reason I thought of all this was because of Andrea Mitchell asking Mitt Romney about his tax returns. Because Mitt Romney had the identical look that his namesake had back in Utah, after "John Huntsman" had shot the dog. He smiled smugly, as if to say I don't have to if I don't want to. And, like Andrea, I looked at him as if to say yeah, but it would be the decent thing to do.

But "Mitt Romney" said no.

He got back in the truck with "John Huntsman", all strapping and clean cut and white and tan no doubt full of righteousness, having just shot a dog and left some scrawny, scraggly hippy kid bleeding by the side of the road.

The Chosen Few, or the Chosen Two as it were, drove off. Leaving me miles from nowhere by the side of the road with a dead dog and the sun sinking low.

I finally made it back to the interstate. And I finally got a ride toward Colorado... in a Volkswagen Beetle with California plates.  And he took me to where his parents lived. They were maybe the only Jewish family in Utah. They made me bacon and eggs. And bandaged up my hand, and let me rest awhile, and then took me back to the Interstate.

I suppose the point is I know what it's like to be the stranger by the side of the road. Most of us do. To have good intentions quickly turn into a nightmare of writhing pain and ultimately merciful death. We know what it's like to be rejected by the chosen few, who mete out mercy only when and if they see fit. Those who would pull over to shoot a dog, but not give you a ride in the back of their truck to the Interstate.

I'm not bitter. I'm blessed. But I  remembered where I'd seen that look before when Andrea Mitchell asked Mitt Romney about his taxes.  And I realized that in order for him to be elected president, all these people who were left by the side of the road with a dead dog and a bleeding hand were gonna have to vote for him.

And that just ain't gonna happen. No way, no how. Sorry, Mitt. There's some things your money can't buy.

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Comment by David Vidal on January 7, 2012 at 3:27am

Please feel free to add pictures. I like your choices so far.

I would suppose the Mormons in Utah are a little different than Mormons other places, in that Utah is their home turf. Literally their Holy Land. They've been there a long time. And they kinda let you know they don't want you around. Unless you're spending money skiing in Park City or something.

Obviously, it's always dangerous to generalize... but fun, nonetheless! Especially when it's about stupid rich, supposedly vice-less,  consistently intolerant, blatantly sanctimonious, extremely white men who tend to live long and productive lives until they eventually drop dead from the sheer predictability of it all, I suppose.

It's not like the Amish, who exemplify humility. "Humble" and "Mormon" are two words seldom seen next to each other. Funny thing is, all those guys had to do was let me ride in the back of their pickup, and I might have a whole different take on it. But it's not just me. I have a friend who swears a motorcycle mechanic in Utah replaced his wheel in a fashion that made him crash so that he almost died. There are stories that abound. Out here in the Wild West, the Mormons have a reputation, deserved or otherwise, for being total a-holes.

I remember when Orrin Hatch was trying to write songs. Dude... you don't drink, you don't smoke, you've never had a drug habit, you don't even touch coffee, and you don't gravitate toward the places where loose women congregate. You have nothing to write about that anyone wants to hear. Trust me. 

I think Romney could carry Utah and maybe Idaho in the West. Arizona and Wyoming. Probably Montana. That's about it. He'll get zip on the coast, which is where all the big numbers are. He'll lose in Nevada because of the Las Vegas area. He'll lose in New Mexico because of the huge Hispanic vote and the white liberal swath from Santa Fe to Taos. He'll come close in Colorado... but I think the urban areas on the East Slope will give it to Obama. Oh yeah... Romney will win Alaska. But that will be offset by Hawaii.

The only Republican candidate who could actually threaten Obama in the West is Ron Paul, and that ain't gonna happen. The real spoiler could very well be Gary Johnson, who could get a lot of disgruntled Republican votes as the Libertarian candidate. Independents could split mostly between Johnson and Obama. I don't think a lot of independents are gonna vote for Romney. Democrats will have a demonized Romney (I actually don't think Romney is a bad guy... just bo-ring) who they will feel duty bound to defeat. They will fall in love with Obama again and fall in line at the voting booth.

All in all, it could be kind a classic election. One thing about Romney... I do think he is qualified to be president. I think he could handle the job. People will sense that. The election won't be a blow out. But unless something drastically changes, President Obama is gonna win it.

Comment by wiffledust on January 7, 2012 at 1:19am

amen, ma brotha! of course, i'm not from anywhere near there. so i can't comment on the mormon part....which is most of your blog. but there are some things mitt's money can't buy. and i saw that look on andrea's face too. i had the same look on my own when i saw myself in the mirror. and what i saw was a really ugly thing in mitt that emits through the hair and the smile. the thing you just described so well int his blog. now, i'm not saying this is a mormon thing. i'm just saying it's a mitt thing. but it's a thing. it's an "i'm not gonna do anything for you at all" thing. ....but politics aside, this was so well written. the description perfect. i have never been to or through anything like this and felt like i was there. oh that poor doggie. and poor you. and WHAT were THEY??? ....feel free to add a pic, david. but knowing you and computers are sometimes less than friendly, i'm doing it till you replace one or start doing it. hope that's ok with you! easier to share on fb with a pic. thanks so much for writing here. we love it!

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