“It seems that Europe leads Americans in this way of thinking,” Romney told the crowd of more than 5,000. “In France, for instance, I’m told that marriage is now frequently contracted in seven-year terms where either party may move on when their term is up. How shallow and how different from the Europe of the past.”

I’m pretty sure it’s different from the Europe of the present, too. I’ve got family in France, and I’ve never heard of such a thing.

Eugene Volokh points to a post by Ana Marie Cox suggesting that Romney got this from an Orson Scott Card science fiction novel set in the future, in outer space.

Now look, I like science fiction, and I wouldn’t mind a President who read science fiction — though I’m not sure the Battlefield Earth thing helps him here — but I also want a President with a firm grip on the difference between fiction and, you know, reality. This is just weird.


A truly outrageous move on France’s part to so undermine the very foundation of civilizational organization.

One problem: It’s not true. . . . Coming Next: Romney explains his flip-flop to the pro-life view as caused by the new respect for life gained after witnessing the destruction of planet Alderaan, where “a million voices cried out… and then were silenced.”

Of course, Ace also notes some other alternate-reality enthusiasms that are getting less press attention. Edwards should be ashamed, and needs some book-learning of his own.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader David Fleeger writes about Romney and Edwards (well, mostly Edwards’ “trutherism”) and observes: “I don’t know about you, but for the first time I have begun to feel a little fear for the next year’s elections. The nation can (probably) survive incompetence. Reality-denying psychosis is something else.”

As I’ve said before, our political class was obviously dysfunctional in the 1990s. Times have gotten worse, but they haven’t gotten better. Further thoughts from Rob Port.

MORE: A suggestion that there’s less to Edwards’ gaffe than meets the eye. Jeez, I hope so.