Friday, May 11, 2012

Romney: A Personality Study

Hey, both Mandi and I are sort of not in the mood to expound.  So we thought about discussing whether it matters at all that Elizabeth Warren (Democrat, consumer protection advocate, running for Senate in Massachusetts) says she's part Native American/Indian (some tribes like one term, some the other, I don't know which the Cherokee are) because she is 1/32 Cherokee - which is exactly the same amount of Cherokee as the principal chief of the Cherokee (so maybe you can tell I at least think the whole kerfuffle is silly).  But Mandi is tired of talking about that (and I can't blame her).

So instead we turn to the new story about Mitt Romney's personality, featured this morning in the Washington Post.

We've heard a lot about Romney's personality.  As far as I can tell the main things the press has deduced about Romney are that:

He's Rich.

He's Mormon.

He had a dog named Seamus that he apparently thought loved riding strapped in an "airtight" kennel to the top of his family car for long car trips.  I put the "airtight" in quotes because if it really was a long car trip in an airtight kennel, I'm thinking it would have ended even worse than it did.  There's a Dogs Against Romney site.

- He likes to fire people (see "He's Rich," above).

- He thinks it's a funny story that his dad laid off a bunch of Michiganders, then ran for governor of Michigan (see "He's Rich," above).

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He loves his wife, but is otherwise pretty antisocial, maybe even cold.

The most interesting thing, to me, in the lengthy piece Vanity Fair did on Romney was this nugget:

Romney described himself as driven by a core economic credo, that capitalism is a form of “creative destruction.” This theory, espoused in the 1940s by the economist Joseph Schumpeter and later touted by former Federal Reserve Board chairman Alan Greenspan, holds that business must exist in a state of ceaseless revolution. A thriving economy changes from within, Schumpeter wrote in his landmark book, Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy, “incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” But as even the theory’s proponents acknowledged, such destruction could bankrupt companies, upending lives and communities, and raise questions about society’s role in softening some of the harsher consequences.

That totally explains why he thought the way he did about Detroit.  He was wrong, but that theory explains why he was wrong.  I'll think of it as the "can't make an omelet without breaking eggs" theory of economics.

- So into this mess of information about the candidate, now comes a story that while a friend of Romney's held down a classmate that Romney either thought was gay or weird, Romney forcibly cut the kid's hair.  It's a pretty disturbing image, particularly in the wake of recent anti-gay bullying and subsequent suicides - as well as in the wake of Romney's seeming right turn on gay rights between his time running for governor of Massachusetts and now.

Now, I know politics causes people to say all kinds of things, all over the spectrum, and that's considered par for the course - though it should always be questioned and explained, honestly.  I also know that everybody has done something they regret, particularly as a teenager.  But: A) this was a particularly egregious attack (if true - and Romney's not denying it), and B) Romney's response to this story makes me think he's not owning up to what he did.

What do you think?

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