In Brief: Context, Like Booing, Sucks for Mitt Romney:
Today, Mitt Romney, in his boo-licious speech to the NAACP today, which may have well have been titled, "See, Sheldon? Told You What They're Like," quoted Martin Luther King because, well, hell, that's what you do when you're talking to the NAACP and you've got shit to say. In this case, he quoted King quoting a white man, so it was a wash: "'Without dependence on God,' as Dr. King said, 'our efforts turn to ashes and our sunrises into darkest night. Unless his spirit pervades our lives, we find only what G. K. Chesterton called "cures that don't cure, blessings that don’t bless, and solutions that don’t solve."'"
That's from a sermon by King called "The Man Who Was a Fool." It involves a story that King would use several times, about a rich man who Jesus called a "fool." As King preached, "The rich man was a fool because he permitted the ends for which he lived to become confused with the means by which he lived. The economic structure of his life absorbed his destiny."
The whole piece is full of delicious irony. Like "The rich man was a fool because he failed to realize his dependence on others. His soliloquy contains approximately sixty words, yet 'I' and 'my' occur twelve times. He has said 'I' and 'my' so often that he had lost the capacity to say 'we' and 'our.' A victim of the cancerous disease of egotism, he failed to realize that wealth always comes as a result of the commonwealth. He talked as though he could plough the fields and build the barns alone. He failed to realize that he was an heir of a vast treasury of ideas and labor to which both the living and the dead had contributed. When an individual or a nation overlooks this interdependence, we find a tragic foolishness." Amen.
Right after the quote of a quote that Romney used to thrust and parry with the hooting hottentots, King actually said, "Unfortunately, the rich man did not realize this. He, like many men of the twentieth century, became so involved in big affairs and small trivialities that he forgot God."
The rich man is spiritually dead, King said, for he forgot that "Rich in goods and material resources, our standards of success are almost inextricably bound to the lust for acquisition." Yeah, Romney, King of Bain Capital, would have made MLK vomit without stopping.
Of course Romney ignored the real meaning of King, who is just another useful black tool for Romney to break out when needed.