Forget the sacred underoos

Mitt Romney gives every literate American a much better reason to avoid voting for him:

When asked his favorite novel in an interview shown yesterday on the Fox News Channel, Mitt Romney pointed to “Battlefield Earth,” a novel by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. That book was turned into a film by John Travolta, a Scientologist.

A spokesman said later it was one of Mr. Romney’s favorite novels.

“I’m not in favor of his religion by any means,” Mr. Romney, a Mormon, said. “But he wrote a book called ‘Battlefield Earth’ that was a very fun science-fiction book.

Being an avid reader of science fiction, I picked up a copy of Battlefield Earth at the library in junior high. I was pretty excited, since it was an absolutely massive tome which meant that it might take me more than two or three days to devour it.

It was not fun, it was bad. It was beyond bad. It was so horrifically awful that it remains to this day one of the very few novels that I have never finished reading. When sitting on various Nebula juries, one finds oneself in the position of having to read some impressively bad stuff, but in all my years, I have only once read a science fiction novel that was worse than Battlefield Earth.

This little glimpse into what passes for the mind of Mitt romney demonstrates, like few other things could, that Romney is the lightest of the various lightweights in the running for the Republican nomination. On the other hand, he does have Executive Hair, so at least he’d look good delivering his lines.

One is forced to conclude that there is no substantial difference between the requirements for a news anchor and a president. This bodes well for Fred Thompson, his resemblance to an amphibian notwithstanding, although my view is that we should cut to the chase and elect Christopher Walken.

At least the presidential press conferences and State of the Union addresses would be worth watching.

UPDATE – Mr. Regression to the Mean doesn’t seem to realize what this statement says about his own fitness to write opinion columns:

These questions to politicians about their favorite books are ridiculous. It takes time to read books, and time is something politicians don’t have. It’s more revealing to ask them what movies they like.

Well, at least we’ve put to rest the old, pernicious Platonic idea of the Philosopher-King.