Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mitt Romney Gets a Partial Pass on His Cruel Pranks of 50 Years Ago – But Not on His Cruel Polices of 50 Minutes Ago

The Problem with Mitt is Not What He Did in High School – It What He Supports Now When He Should Be a Better Person

Despite being the son of a wealthy corporate executive and having accumulated hundreds of millions from his own questionable business activities, Mitt Romney wants to be known as just a regular guy.  So when the story of his so-called pranks while at an exclusive Detroit prep school came out, Mitt was certainly hoping they would just portray him as a fun loving guy.  Alas, it did not turn out that way.  Here is one example

Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.  .   .   .

“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

While it is tempting to pile on Mitt about this, it is something that happened a long time ago, while Mr. Romney was just a teenager and he has apologized, sort of,   which is a pretty good admission for a man whose mantra is no apologies.  Of course Mr. Romney's apology was not specific and he never admitted that he did anything highly objectionable.  But in no way should Mr. Romney get a free pass on what he did then and what he says now.

The Romney apologists, a strong united professional group of  hacks of course are outraged, not at the reprehensible acts of Mr. Romney but at the action on the part of the Washington Post, which in a rare act of journalism published the story.  This immediately brought the well established practice of criticism of the news media for reporting news.  Kathleen Parker, for example, said this

Romney was being roasted for a high school bullying “prank”nearly 50 years ago. A prank that made the top half of The Washington Post’s front page Friday — and the details of which are in much dispute, especially from the family of the alleged victim, who, alas, isn’t alive to defend his version of events.

And went on to lament the fact that the story moved attention away from the economy, as though the two stories could not co-exist. 

As for the accuracy of the report, it is been strongly verified

Four of the five witnesses to the forcible haircut cited by the Post are on the record, by name, and remember it well. Their accounts remain unchallenged. 

and were there even the possibility that it was not true then Mr. Romney and his team would have been in full force denial.  Here's is what is really a problem with the disgusting thing that Mr. Romney did, he doesn't seem to care.

Mr. Romney says he does not remember the incident, which is almost certainly not the truth.  That fact, as much as the bullying he did in high school is a condemnation of Mr. Romney.  What Mr. Romney should have done was admit that what he did was wrong, state how badly he feels about it to this day and explain how he has learned from the event. This actually would have helped his candidacy.  But while Mr. Romney has given the "generic apology" at no time does he seem to think this was a big deal or something that bothered him later or something he really regretted.

The problem today with Mitt is not what he did in prep school, it is the cruelty of his policies which he would implement if he were elected President.  For example, Mr. Romney would treat young people who were brought to this country illegally and are now young adults as criminals.  He would deny them jobs and housing and force them to “self deport” themselves back to a country they have never known.  That is cruel.

Mr. Romney favors making Medicaid block grants to the states, which would mean substantial cuts in health care services for the very poor and the disabled.  That is cruel.  He embraces the Ryan Plan to end Medicare, substitute a private health care insurance system subsidized by the government and shift huge amounts of costs on to seniors.  That is cruel. He would cut federal aid for education, meaning children who could not attend elite prep schools like Mr. Romney did would get even worse educations than they do today.  That is cruel.

The list can go on and on.  And even if Mr. Romney should not be condemned for cruelty he did while a teenager, but he should be condemned for cruelty he would do as President.

1 comment:

  1. There does not seem to be a dividing line in Willards life where he became an adult with the empathy to govern...anything. He has already shown how problematic his commitment is to any consistent philosophy. Just a Bobble Head doll with a mean streak. ($19.95 ea. at Odash. Returns Accepted.)