The Private Intellectual
Ecclesiastes-Based Real Estate Advice

Monday, August 01, 2011  

Mitt Romney: The Queequeg of 2012

Like everybody else, I've been spending the last few weeks sweating the debt ceiling madness. But unlike everybody else, I've also been writing about Mitt Romney:

In a celebrated early chapter of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick,” the narrator, Ishmael, takes the side of a pagan companion as they go about getting hired for an expedition. “He’s a member of the First Congregational Church,” Ishmael tells the ship owners when they express skepticism about his strange-looking friend’s faith. Pressed for details, he explains: “I mean, sir, the same ancient Catholic Church … the great everlasting First Congregation of this whole worshiping world … We all belong to that; only some of us cherish some queer crotchets noways touching the grand belief; in that we all join hands.”

It’s a classic American scene: Ishmael, a Presbyterian, arguing with the ship owners, both Quakers, about whether the true religion forbids or requires them to welcome the outsider. It’s also a scene that is playing itself out on the stage of Mitt Romney’s long-running bid to become the nation’s first Mormon president.

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posted by Benjamin Dueholm | 11:54 PM
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