I am sure that everyone by now has heard of Mitt Romney’s hair assault on a fellow student and his other anti-gay bullying behavior when he attended his exclusive private and single-sex (until 1984) high school.
I will have a more personal reflection on the Mitt Romney high school story later but I want to highlight James Wolcott’s perceptive take on it.
The incident of hair assault revealed this week that led colleague Bruce Handy to dub Romney “the Demon Barber of Cranbrook” shows the mark of a bully, part of a pattern that goes from strapping his dog to a car roof to “I like to fire people.” But I think that Romney as bully misses something larger about the political, public man: He’s a coward. He’s never gone against the grain, stood up for an underdog or advanced an unpopular cause before it became popular, risked a single gleaming hair off his head, shone any backbone apart from the determination to win, tapped into anything larger than himself, risen to the moment. His selfishness is such that you think conservatives would appreciate him more, since that’s their driving ethos. He may have to show some of that old nasty Cranbrook spirit if he truly wants to win their love.
Ted Rall also weighs in:
First, this story probably has legs. It frames an unpleasant narrative about Mitt Romney’s personality: Not only do his politics suck, he’s an asshole. Personally. The kind of asshole who abuses his pets. Who takes over profitable companies and bleeds them dry, leaving people jobless for no good reason. Who mutilates someone because he’s different.
It doesn’t matter whether the story is even true: the image fits. It works. That’s the problem.
I don’t think stories like these will persuade the die-hards one way or the other. But it will leave a very bad taste in everyone’s mouths.