Mitt Romney’s Reality Check

Increasingly, the US Republican Party, once a fairly normal political party, has granted itself a license to live in an alternate reality – one in which Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim and global warming is a hoax concocted by a cabal of socialist scientists. And then, at the last moment, reality had its say.

NEW YORK – There is a kind of war underway in the United States nowadays between fact and fantasy. President Barack Obama’s re-election marked a victory, limited but unmistakable, for the cause of fact.

Events in the days leading up to America’s presidential election provided a stark illustration of the struggle. Among senior aides to Republican challenger Mitt Romney, a belief developed that he was on the cusp of victory. Their conviction had no basis in poll results. Nevertheless, the feeling grew so strong that aides began to address Romney as “Mr. President.”

But wanting that to be true was not enough for them to make it true. It would be as close to becoming President as Romney would get, and he apparently wanted to enjoy it while he could, however prematurely. Then, on election night, when the television networks projected Romney’s defeat in Ohio and therefore Barack Obama’s re-election, the Romney campaign, in a further denial of fact, refused to accept the result. A very awkward hour passed before he accepted reality and made a gracious concession speech.

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