Friday, July 27, 2012

Still Romney, Here Or Abroad

Mitt Romney has apologized, or at least acknowledged having "made a few" in London, acknowledging

When the games themselves begin and the athletes take over, all of the mistakes that the organizing committee -- and I made a few -- all of those are overwhelmed by the many things that the athletes carry out that capture the spirit of the games.   What I've seen shows imagination and forethought and a lot of organization and expect the games to be highly successful...

This was a fine gesture, though a bit surprising for the man whose book is entitled "No Apology."    But then, summoning a vivid imagination, he has accused President Obama of wandering the world apologizing for America.     So maybe we shouldn't be surprised.  Nevertheless, No Apology is indicative of the perspective of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee (and certain nominee, unless he makes the tactical mistake of releasing several years of his tax returns).     Romney wrote

England [sic] is just a small island. Its roads and houses are small. With few exceptions, it doesn't make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy. And if it hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions. Yet only two lifetimes ago, Britain ruled the largest and wealthiest empire in the history of humankind. Britain controlled a quarter of the earth's land and a quarter of the earth's population.

It's a little odd for a guy who has said he wants to put a bust of Winston Churchill in the Oval Office to claim if Britain "hadn't been separated from the continent by water, it almost certainly would have been lost to Hitler's ambitions.    He might instead have given a little credit to that hero of his, W. Churchill, who played more than a bit role in saving the world from Hitler.
But Mitt Romney is either confused or deceptive having declared last September in New Hampshire "In the private sector, if you don't change your view when the facts change, well you'll get fired for being stubborn and stupid. Winston Chuchill said, 'When the facts change, I change too, Madam.'"     That would be an impressive statement from a conservative like Churchill, less surprising given that it came from John Maynard Keynes- the original Keynesian (safe bet), thus someone Romney would be loathe to credit (publicly) with wisdom.

More disturbing, though, inasmuch as this guy could become the 45th President, is that he would whack England for "its roads and houses (being) small."     Small roads aside, there are tens of millions of Americans who own- let alone inhabit- small houses.   No doubt if pressed (hardly likely), Romney would acknowledge that these voters are people, too.    Just not his kind of people, nor Ann Dressage Romney's kind of people.
Joan Walsh, assuming minimal burden, has noted a few incidents reflecting Mitt's sense of privilege, though the media (including those on the left) generously refer to them as mere "gaffes."    No one is perfect, but only some people have earned the right to consider themselves superior to his fellow Americans.    More significant, however, is what Romney has done, the behavior he has exhibited which offer insight into a facet of his character which might affect his presidency. 

Walsh concludes

What accounts for Romney’s capacity to consistently insult even those he’s trying to court? I’d argue it’s his fantastic sense of entitlement, with its accompanying inability to feel empathy for the less fortunate. It may or may not be connected to his pranking/bullying impulse which showed itself in his school days when he forcefully cut the hair of a gay classmate, led a sight-impaired teacher into a closed door, or intimidated friends by impersonating a state trooper. Romney clearly lacks the ability to put himself in the shoes of others (except other wealthy business owners). That’s a bad trait on the campaign trail, but when it extends to the leaders of other sovereign nations, it’s a terrible trait in a president.

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