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Sat May 12, 2012, 09:11 AM

Paul Begala on Romney: Once a Bully, Always a Bully

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/11/paul-begala-on-romney-once-a-bully-always-a-bully.html

Paul Begala on Romney: Once a Bully, Always a Bully
May 11, 2012 12:33 PM EDT
Romney would be able to dismiss the bullying story as ancient history if it didn’t confirm what we already suspected about him—that he’s a serial abuser of power.


snip//

First, abuse of power. Romney was tall, handsome, and rich. But he was not athletic, at a time and a place when athleticism among young men was the coin of the realm. So he became a cheerleader. Like fellow cheerleaders George W. Bush and Rick Perry, he adopted a macho swagger, perhaps overcompensating for his lack of ability on the field. Maybe that's why he didn’t confront his nonconformist classmate alone but rather took the coward's path: assembling a posse in an episode one classmate described as like "Lord of the Flies."

A less-commented upon part of the Post's story on Romney's teenage years is nearly as cruel as the bullying of his classmate. Cranbrook, Romney's elite private academy, had a teacher who was so visually impaired the kids called him "The Bat." Romney and a pal walked The Bat up to a door. Romney beckoned The Bat to walk through first, making a sweeping motion toward the door as if it were open, but it wasn't. The Bat walked into the closed door as Mitt collapsed in fits of sadistic laughter.

One can draw a straight line from the young man who pinned down a terrified teenager and walked a blind man into a closed door, to the adult who put the family dog in a kennel and strapped it to the roof of the car, to the businessman who laid off hundreds of people, cancelled their health benefits, and paid himself millions while their company went bankrupt. And the line continues: the governor who slashed education and raised fees on the middle class, and the possible president who would use his power to cut taxes on his fellow millionaires while pushing for the gradual demise of traditional Medicare.

Then there is the aura of someone who acts as if the rules don't apply to him
. The Post reported that the abused boy was ultimately expelled from Cranbrook—for smoking a cigarette. Really. The victim got expelled for smoking a cigarette, but Mitt faced no sanctions for maliciously victimizing a vulnerable student and a teacher. It's good to be a prince. Maybe that's why Romney felt entitled to take a $10 million bailout for Bain, but opposed President Obama's bailout of the auto industry. He thinks there's one set of rules for the privileged, and another for the rest of us.

This is why Romney's ancient misconduct at Cranbrook haunts him today: it helps illuminate the man who seeks to become the most powerful person in the world.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 09:25 AM

1. "it helps illuminate the man who seeks to become the most powerful person in the world"

Yep...

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 09:55 AM

2. BINGO!!

You hit the nail on the head. And the fact that he lies first then laughs second shows that he has no remorse and isn't willing to take responsibility for his actions. Of course, one would expect that from someone who hasn't had to be held accountable for anything.


http://borderlessnewsandviews.com/2012/05/whats-so-funny-mitt/

http://borderlessnewsandviews.com/2012/05/the-most-boring-and-phony-man-in-the-world/

http://borderlessnewsandviews.com/2012/05/mitt-romney-staying-true-to-the-wimp-within/

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 10:19 AM

3. "Romney's teenage bullying hurts him because it is consonant with his adult record."

Spot on.

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Response to pacalo (Reply #3)

Sat May 12, 2012, 05:01 PM

12. Yes. He has the same mentality that the Enron folks like Ken Lay had.

Beat up on someone then take what they have. Hoodwink your customers. As long as you make a bundle of money, it's fine.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:19 AM

4. Not at all. Although Im not surprised by the first few replies

makes it easy to demonize Romney. It's what the right does to us all the time. But it's still bullshit if someone on the left does it.

I used to bully the shit out of people when I was young. What Romney did is assault, so lets call it that. A bully is that kid from A Christmas story. I bullied people so I could feel in control, because when I was bullied, I felt just about helpless and scared.

Thankfully I was raised well enough to eventually realize that behavior is not appropriate and not the person I want to be.

It's basically called growing up. Ive seen quotes on Maddow from people who were there, and they seem to have grown up. Romeny is giving every indication that he still has the mentality he did when he was 18. I sure dont.

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Response to pasto76 (Reply #4)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:49 AM

6. You provide the perfect counterpoint to Romney.

Yep, kids do seriously stupid things without being irretrievably awful. As Bagala pointed out, it's what he's doing NOW that solidifies the sense that he is still the insecure bully, narcissistic and entitled and liable to collapse into a rage when it doesn't go his way.

The more I see the more uneasy, genuinely uneasy, he makes me. And if those of us in positions of power keep consistent in pointing these things out, I think the general unease among his more intelligent (and they do exist) supporters will increase.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:49 AM

5. This idea because it was 50 yrs ago doesn't wash with me. It really does go to his character.

 

I don't think he has any empthy for people unless it is his fellow rich people. If he just once or twice went to poor areas where people live and really listened maybe I could believe him. After all the Kennedys were a rich family and they went there and at least showed they cared.

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Response to southernyankeebelle (Reply #5)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:53 AM

8. I don't think he has empathy for his fellow rich either. He seems to want them

to reassure them that he's one of them, that he's special among them, that he will be their hero and their leader. Frankly, the rich in this political circus (there are fine rich people, so I refer to the political rich he's pandering to) will drop him like a pauper once he loses the election. He's got a typical delusion that he's special among people who are only special to themselves.

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Response to nolabear (Reply #8)

Sat May 12, 2012, 12:44 PM

10. I guess I should say he relates better to the rich like him. Not necessarily of his donors.

 

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 11:50 AM

7. Begala has summed it up powerfully. Thanks, babylonsister.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 12:37 PM

9. It's classic narcissism (bullying is secondary to that)

A recent study titled "Leader Emergence: The Case of the Narcissistic Leader" describes how narcissists have skills and qualities—confidence, extraversion, a desire for power—that propel them into leadership roles but that when true narcissists are in charge, other aspects of their makeup—a feeling the rules don't apply to them, a need for constant stroking—can have "disastrous consequences."


MORE...

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2009/03/but_enough_about_you_.single.html

And Begala is right: once a bully - always a bully (narcissist). From the same article:

If they do seek treatment—usually under duress—a primary outcome is that they drive their therapists bonkers. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatryfound that "clinicians reported feeling anger, resentment, and dread in working with narcissistic personality disorder patients; feeling devalued and criticized by the patient; and finding themselves distracted, avoidant, and wishing to terminate the treatment."

In a paper in Comprehensive Psychiatry, researchers explored whether NPD should even be considered a disorder since the people who have it, by definition, think so highly of themselves. The authors conclude it is a pathological condition but one that uniquely causes "pain and duress" not to the sufferers but to those closest to them. Psychologist Allan N. Schore, an associate clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA says NPD can be summed up as, "Contempt of other people and their emotions." People with NPD are convinced there is nothing wrong with them; it's everyone around them who is impossible or crazy. There's some truth to their perception because often the spouse and children of the narcissist have been driven mad by their cruelty, disparagement, rages, and vindictiveness.


I've dated these types. Bullies. YES. That is caused by their extreme narcissism.

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Sat May 12, 2012, 03:07 PM

11. An excellent analysis by Paul Begala.

Thanks for the thread, babylsonsister.

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