PERRY: Romney wants you to pin one for The Clipper

If you support this guy for president, you’ve got to figure out where you stand among those he doesn’t have contempt for

I’m with Mitt Romney. I would never want to be judged by the stupid stuff I did as a teenager. But if I were Romney, I wouldn’t want to be judged by any of the things he says or does these days.

My embarrassing juvenile past was highlighted by horrifying episodes of debauchery, depravity and peril. It was the 1970s. It was all about beer, hormones and cars. I was stupendously adolescent right down to the Rooney-Ranch-Southern-Comfort-bonfire-and-body painting-episode. Don’t ask.

But as I  shudder and think back to all the fabulously stupid and dangerous stunts I pulled as a kid — and which are indelibly chiseled into my ever-dwindling store of synapse — I can’t ever remember being cruel or bullying.

That doesn’t included numerous incidents of exquisite cruelty I inflicted on my brother during our “spirited” life at home together, which included, but were not limited to, BB gun wars, more than one kicked-in door, falsified graffiti in the basement, and a long list of ghastly things released into his bed at night.

Anyway, of all the horrible things I did to myself and with other self-abusing pals, there were no episodes like the hair-chopping one that only mildly haunts Mitt Romney.

It’s the story of how as a 16-year-old private-school student he plotted an assault against another student with long hair. This was the 1960s, when mad men were gearing up for Barry Goldwater. Romney, as retold through the Washington Post, essentially stalked a kid who was suspected of being gay, and with the help of friends who tackled and held him down, hacked off his offending hair with scissors. The incident was so bizarre and so unnerving, that his accomplices said it has bothered them ever since.

Romney told reporters he didn’t recall it, and that it was probably just teenage high jinx.

He assaulted a kid, someone he probably referred to as a sissy. He assaulted him because he was different, and he didn’t like that. And then he forgot about it. Or so he said.

Even if I’d been roaring drunk, I doubt I could ever forget holding someone down and cutting off their hair.

The hair-cutting episode came and went with other political news about Romney. But I couldn’t get past it. It begged the question: Was Romney so cold, so mean and such a bully that he could do such a thing and then forget about it? Or was he a liar?

Like much of the rest of the country, I moved past it, and figured that even if he was such a thug, he grew up. He changed and is no longer such an callous menace as an adult.

This week’s news made it clear that I and much of the rest of the country were wrong.

With the release of the Mother Jones video Monday, Romney made it clear he was still that intolerant and contemptuous teenager. While pandering to fellow millionaires for donations a few months ago, Romney shared his feelings about the 47 percent of Americans he thinks have no interest in him because they’re lazy, hopeless, dole-sucking socialists who “believe they’re victims.”

What’s creepier than the videotaped remarks is his impromptu explanation late Monday night.

“Those who are reliant on government are not as attracted to my message of slimming down the size of government,” Romney said in Costa Mesa, Calif.

Man, that’s just sick. He honestly believes that the working poor and struggling middle class are “reliant” on the government. He said he could never persuade hundreds of millions of Americans to become “responsible” for themselves. Like vets? Like seniors? Like families with kids in college?

He said that as a candidate for president, “my job is not to worry about those people.”

I can’t imagine anything that better defines the contempt a bully feels for another human. Just like the contempt that Romney felt for a long-haired, gay kid in a private school filled with privileged, intolerant adolescents.

So here’s the deal. If you support this guy for president, you’ve got to figure out where you stand among those he doesn’t have contempt for. If you have a lot of money, are overtly religious, want to end abortion rights, and don’t act gay or associate with gays, you just might do OK by a Romney presidency.

But you might not. If you’re planning on getting that Social Security check some day. If you really need that college and mortgage deduction to keep it together. If you don’t understand why your gay friends and family members can’t have rights like you do, if you encourage the government to force the health-care industry to increase services and lower rates, you could easily be Romney’s next hair-cut.

  • Frank25

    Democrats just cannot read. The story of chopping hair was discounted and stated as false by sister of the youth, who is now dead. Family said it never happened. So we have a story made up from “whole cloth” and you continue to judge, based on your own escapades as recounted here. Give it up. Romney has lived a moral, thoughtful life, and supported family, church, did his Mormon mission in France where a drunk ran into car he was driving. And even that has been twisted, claiming he requested draft deferment. Mormon church does that for their youth on church mission. And he did not take a salary as Governor of Mass. , or while directing Olympics. Also gave his inheritance from father to church and charity. I am not Mormon, but have known many while in military service and moving over 26 years. Please list your service to church, family, neighborhood, or country before continuing the ranting against those who have served honorably. Romney has more ability and exhibited it, then those who smear him. And he would not send our military into danger, then go play basketball, golf or take vacations. And Romney spends his own money, not the tax-payers. But I would trust him to treat both with frugality, and citizens needs in mind.

    • Dave Perry

      You’re quite wrong. The family said their brother never mentioned it to them before he died. Five people corroborated the story, four of whom helped the boy down. It was they who recalled being so shaken by the incident for years after. Romney himself never disputed the story, he just said he didn’t remember it. He passed it off as boy-school antics. He did the same thing when trying to justify having tied his caged dog to the top of the family car, saying the dog liked it up there. Happy dogs don’t crap in their kennels and down the back window of the car. Nobody likes to be attacked, held down and have their hair hacked off. Now, Gov. Romney is saying that his remarks about half the country being poor, grubbing victims only shows how much he cares about them. It’s hard not to see a pattern here. I also give much time to others in need, and I have many friends involved with a host of churches and organizations doing the same thing. It’s a common liberal pastime. I don’t know any who act like Mitt Romney, nor say the things he says, nor does the things he does. I have many complaints about the way Obama has handled his first four years in the White House, but Romney gives me no pause to think about who’s better fit to run the country. It’s certainly not Mitt Romney.

      • Frank25

        I think you need to go back to Washington Post and read the followup by critics to Richard Cohen’s story 5/11/12. Story undocumented, and don’t you really think Christine Lauber and John Lauber (named victim) would have created a fuss in family if he came home from school with hair cut oddly. Point is that story broke the day Obama came out in support of gay rights. Odd? Don’t you think, or is thinking not allowed in liberal press. And if you follow-up the Washington Post softened that story. Also the dog on roof was in animal carrier, with wind protections, with station-wagon filled with suitcases and boys. At that time, almost every farm pickup or truck had one or two dogs on the back, same as we had on our farms in Ohio in the 40s, 50s, 60s. And today you will see cars driving with windows rolled down, and dog heads sticking out. Believe eastern states (couple ) of them require the dogs be restrained. Anyone mention ” Nanny States”? This is sleazy reporting, extracted from sleazy media, and reason 60% (?) plus or minus eligible voters do not register or vote. Or is that your goal?

  • reader

    Frank — do you honestly believe Romney “would not send our military into
    danger.” He bad mouthed Russia in his acceptance speech, did not want our
    troops brought home from Iraq, bad mouths China, etc. Why does he want
    100,000 more soliders. He said himself that he wants to be able to fight
    Doesn’t sound like a man who would not send our military into danger to me.

  • Frank25

    Reader- You have to be a democrat, since I wrote a connected sentence. ” He would not send them into danger, then go play basketball, golf, or take vacations”. And he would not go on a fund raising drive in Las Vegas, come back to Golden to feel up the college girls. I noted his hugs of 50 years and up were much more restrained, then the 18 to 25 year old girls. Guess that gets their vote, but am sure Michelle would object. Also it did not take Romney 9 days to realize our embassies being attacked was not just ordinary “occupiers” out for a lark. Serving 26 years in military, I resent this administration harping on my retirement pension, healthcare, and social security pension as being excessive, as DoD and Simpson-Bowles suggested. They are part of my “continued service with pay, subject to being recalled until age 65. But this administration managed to tax that , while not paying COLA for 3 years. Receiving small increase in both this year, but tax will take that, especially if “Sequestration” takes place. If you served the country “reader” you would know what it is like to be in my shoes at age 83, wife 77, living on much reduced levels, since economy shot up more than 4 times since 2009. I was middle class in 2008, but not now.

  • Frank25

    One more comment for all: We have a choice between a Promiser who cannot produce, and has not. And the other one has produced all his life, lived up to his standards, cared for others including family, church, and society. When he made money, his investors collected on their funds, and a lot of folks in this country got jobs, became supervisors as company prospered, and the retired folks collected on their stocks. I know what the one has not done in last 4 years, and before that. And I know what the other one has done his entire life. Race, Religion, color of skin, are not important to the vote. Which one will put the country back on the road to being better for all? You make your choice and I will make mine.

  • reader

    hey Frank — i didn’t call you a mooch — Romney did.

    • Frank25

      Romney didn’t call me a mooch. Sec. Panetta and DoD have been harping last four years of how we “military retired” were costing them too much, keeping them from buying weapons and upgrading equipment. When I retired in 1976, my pension was based on 2 1/2% times years served, of my base pay (not the stated extras like food, clothing housing, etc). But COLA was supposed to keep my purchasing power at same level as retirement day. Later the bean counters changed that to base COLA on increased inflation. So now military retiring with same paygrade, service years, receives more than $5,500 a year in pensions than I do (or my peer group). Economy shot up astronomically, and my pension (for continued service) did not keep up. Romney understands that Federal Government primary responsibility is to Defend the Constitution, Protect the Country, and fund the Military. All the other stuff they have taken over was supposed to be State’s area, with the people being the employers. Instead we send our money to Washington, and they use it to control us. So we are in bondage controlled by SO-CALLED ELITE POLITICANS. I vote to change the level where I can. What about you?