Post report on Mitt Romney orchestrating a bullying assault on a younger student in high school, and the subsequent ABC report, reveal a character flaw that is shocking but frankly not surprising. It showed the callousness one could sense behind his apparent cluelessness, and is further evidence of his assumed rich boy/rich guy entitlement.
His leadership in a cruel and (in the word of one of the others involved) "vicious" attack when he was 18 is bad enough. But his response to it when it was revealed on Thursday was even more telling. He didn't repudiate it, expressed no shame, expressed no sense of having learned anything, and (as Jonathan Capehart pointed out on Lawrence O'Donnell) didn't use it to condemn bullying now--which is a much-discussed epidemic, particularly victimizing gay and lesbian teens. It is no wonder that the incident and his response sickened Matthew Shepard's mother.
Romney led a group of bullies, including a wrestler who helped hold down the crying boy--who remembered his fear for years--while Romney himself cut the boy's offending hair with scissors.
That Romney claimed not to remember the incident, and that he classifies it as possibly a prank that went too far, is in itself enough evidence. It was an assault that everyone else involved remembers clearly. It apparently was a memory that the victim took to the end of his troubled life.
Romney tried to defend himself Thursday by saying he did not think at the time that the boy involved was gay, partly because in the 60s, there was little such awareness. Talk about missing the point. I was in high school then, and I had no concept at all of what homosexuality was, or who might or might not be one. But I knew about a gang of stronger preying on a single weaker victim. Every boy knows this, and has had multiple opportunities to sort out a response by the age of 18. In my high school I saw it happen when a group of football players were "teasing" a terrified classmate, who was what would today be described as a geek. And I intervened. But if I hadn't, I would know today that I should have.
Perhaps Romney is so comfortable in today's GOP because it has become a party of bullies, whose House representatives spent their Thursday voting to cut food stamps, Medicaid and other programs essential for survival of those not smart or hardworking enough to be born a Romney. Because the United States is too poor a country to share with the most vulnerable those resources that are needed to give tax breaks to the richest corporations and the richest people in the history of the world.
Taken together, Thursday's revelations are to my mind disqualifying. Mitt Romney is not simply the lesser choice between two presidential candidates, or even a castastrophic political choice. Mitt Romney is not fit to be President of the United States. And the GOP is a gang of thugs, supervised by gangsters in suits, and funded by criminal billionaires.
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