More on Mitt “Scissorhands” Romney

From Charles M. Blow, “Mean Boys,” NYT:

“There was a malicious streak at the core of the high-school boy in these accounts.  Romney’s muddled and confusing explanation and half-apologies only reinforce concerns that there is also something missing from the core of the man:  sincerity and sensitivity.

“People understand regret.  Romney may have been applauded if he had chosen to express some to redeem himself, but he didn’t.  He chose obfuscation and obliviousness.  Romney has an uncanny ability to turn a bad thing into a worse thing by failing to be forthright.”

Quote of the Day

“Presidential elections are sometimes described as high school popularity contests on a national level, and the Romney campaign clearly was worried that the nearly 50-year-old episode could define Mr. Romney as a familiar yearbook character:  the rich kid with a mean streak.”

Ashley Parker and Jodi Kantor, “50 Years Later, A Bullying Case Snares Romney,” NYT

“Reptilian” Mitt

Wow, just wow:

“Romney’s reaction not only seems almost certainly dishonest, it also, together with the anecdote itself, adds to his solid reputation as almost reptilian in his lack of warmth and sympathy for anyone unlike himself or in a situation unlike his own.  He has fought that problem throughout his candidacy, but he keeps on only making it worse.”

Frederick E. Allen, Forbes

More on Mitt the Bully

The story of Mitt’s bullying his gay classmate has been troubling me all day.  It wouldn’t be excusable under any circumstances, but when I put it in the context of who Mitt Romney was at the time of the attack, it’s especially unforgivable.

It was after spring break of Mitt’s senior year.  He had been accepted to Stanford University.  He was dating the young woman who would become his wife.  His father, who had amassed great wealth and given Mitt the upbringing of a prince, was now governor of Michigan. Mitt was handsome and healthy.  He had everything going for him, he had lived a charmed life so far, and had every reason to believe his future would be golden.

Under those circumstances, why would Mitt go after someone whose life was already miserable (John Lauber was being constantly teased for his assumed homosexuality).  If Mitt didn’t have the strength of character to try to protect Lauber and discourage other boys from hurting him, why couldn’t he at least leave him alone?

I keep thinking about Lauber struggling while he was held down by other boys as Mitt cut his hair.  What if the scissors had slipped, and Lauber had ended up losing an eye or had a brain injury?  What kind of embarrassment would that have been for his father, whom he supposedly loved and admired so much?  Aside from his cruelty toward Lauber, Mitt was being ungrateful and cruel to his parents.

For me it comes down to the Gospel of Luke:  “For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be required.”  Mitt only understood the first half.  Listening to him laugh as he was interviewed about the incident on Fox News, I’m not sure he understands the rest even today.

 

Mitt’s “Lord of the Flies” Past

From ABC News*:

“One former classmate…said there are ‘a lot of guys’ who went to Cranbrook who have ‘really negative memories’ of Romney’s behavior in the dorms, behavior this classmate describes as ‘evil’ and ‘like Lord of the Flies.’

“The classmate believes Romney is lying when he claims to not remember [the hair-cutting incident].”

 

* “Romney Friend Stu White Says Campaign Wants Him to Counter Prank Accusations,” Emily Friedman, Emily Stanitz, and Steven Portnoy.

Matthew Shepard’s Mom Weighs in on Mitt

Matthew Shepard was killed in 1998 for being gay.  Today, his mother Judy said this about Mitt’s attack on a gay student when he was a senior in high school:

“While this may seem like an innocent prank to some, it was an act of torment against a child for being different.  We expect the people we elect to be leaders in the charge against bullying so that all students are afforded the right to learn and grow in an environment free of fear.  This incident calls into question whether Mitt Romney can be an advocate for the nation’s most vulnerable children.”