Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Romney SNARK: A Question Of Personal AND National Character

YOU READ IT HERE FIRST. But I won't take credit for what is self-evident and obvious to the core. We've always been able to identify and anticipate the dark soul emanations of wingnuts before they take flight and engulf us all. Quite honestly, it's always puzzled me that other people, less political or not at all, can't see it. It's the What's The Matter With Kansas syndrome, writ large.

The Washington Post story of an 18-year-old bully, Mitt Romney, leading an assault on a gay teen and cutting his hair while others pinned him down isn't just akin to everyperson's ordinary teen experience. It's a experience that is particular to bullies and bullying. Those of us who know, have been on the receiving end. Bullies are a negative and destructive force in our lives far, far greater than their numbers. They are the quintessential coward. For without their little "posse" of sycophants and acolytes, they wilt like the wicked witch to anyone who will stand up to them. Mitt Romney is one such coward, as Time's Joe Klein wrote:
"It comes during the same week that he [Romney] claims credit for saving the auto industry, even though he opposed the bailout that made possible the structured bankruptcy he favored. It comes the same week that he expresses his opposition to gay marriage, even though he promised to be a more aggressive proponent of gay rights than Ted Kennedy when he ran for the Senate in 1994 — of course, it’s possible that Romney has evolved in the opposite direction as President Obama, and most Americans, on this issue, but I doubt it. It seems a day can’t go by without some Romney embarrassment or bald-faced reversal of a former position.

I’m still waiting for the moment when Romney actually tells the truth about something difficult. He could have said, “You know, I’ve been troubled by the Cranbrook episode for most of my life, and I feel relieved, in a way, that it’s come out now. I did a really stupid and terrible thing. Teenage boys sometimes do such things and deserve to be punished for them. What I most regret is that I never apologized to John and won’t be able to now that he’s gone, but let me apologize to his family and friends. Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. It is especially unacceptable when prejudice — against one’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation — is involved. If elected President, I will try to atone for my teenage behavior by campaigning against bullying all across this country. What I did back then should be an example of how not to behave. I hope we can all learn from this. I know I have.”

Instead, Romney has a near perfect record of cowardice, obfuscation and downright lies. It shows enormous disrespect for the intelligence of the public."
Those coming to Romney's defense, Dana Milbank (another mole plying his libertarian garbage at MSNBC) and hand-wringers like David Brooks, try to pooh-pooh this incident as some sort of generic youthful indiscretion. The wingnut consensus is it's a WaPo "hit piece" which is a hoot from a crowd of idiots with no sense of irony whatsoever. Bottom line is, only a comparative handful of us throughout this great land can honestly say we did something as disturbing and heinous as this in our youth. And when you're running for president, it enters the realm of biographical coverup:
"Romney, the eighteen-year-old son of a governor, spotting the student, John Lauber, with, as a classmate remembered, “bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye,” and saying, “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” Or Romney, a few days later, “marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair.” Or the Post’s description of the attack itself:

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. [....]

A fourth boy who was there that day, David Seed, still had it on his mind when he stopped for a drink at a bar in O’Hare Airport thirty years later, and “noticed a familiar face”:

“Hey, you’re John Lauber,” Seed recalled saying at the start of a brief conversation. Seed, also among those who witnessed the Romney-led incident, had gone on to a career as a teacher and principal. Now he had something to get off his chest.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help in the situation,” he said.

Lauber paused, then responded, “It was horrible.” He went on to explain how frightened he was during the incident, and acknowledged to Seed, “It’s something I have thought about a lot since then.”

The one person who says he has not thought about it a lot is Mitt Romney."
To recapitulate what I wrote here before this incident came to light:
Mitt Romney's Snark. — Mitt Romney is an odious individual. After telling so many lies, a politician literally crosses a threshold into visible snark. Visible in their facial features. For Nixon it was the shifty eyes and upper lip sweat. For George W. Bush it was the Beavis 'n Butthead smirk. Mitt Romney's snark is that upper lip curl, denoting the arrogant and cruel entitlement of someone accustomed to using, and abusing, people below his station in life. He really doesn't care about the 99% of us, as we are merely an encumbrance to his personal ambition. The despicable Romney snark is clearly visible here:

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