All over the internet howls and yowls of protest are streaming in about the evil MSM digging up fifty-year-old dirt on Mitt Romney. (That’s Main Stream Media, folks. I always thought mainstream was one word. And anyway, what do you want? Fringe Media?) Let’s cut to the chase. What is relevant here is not what happened in the 1960s. What matters is the response of Mitt Romney to the story now.
Mitt Romney seriously stands before you and I and all the world and says he does not remember whether or not as a teenager he led a roaring mob to track down another student, pin him to the floor, and cut off his hair with scissors. It may have happened. It may not have happened. Mitt just doesn’t remember. But – if it happened – he apologizes.
Now we have entered the realm of relevance.
If you are going to say to me that you don’t remember taking a certain math quiz in your junior year of high school, fine. If you are telling me that you don’t remember whether or not such an emotionally-charged incident as this one happened, I am calling you a bald-faced liar. And that’s not about fifty years ago. That is about today.
Mitt Romney’s response to this story almost could not be any more weaselly, duplicitous, two-faced, and repellant. The story itself was bad enough. The response is the issue going forward. It goes to character and honesty, or lack thereof. And it fits perfectly into the pattern of the flip-flopping, etch-a-sketch personality of Mitt Romney, a pattern that is about as well-established as any in American politics. He apologizes – if it happened.
A right wing writer has a column out saying this story has “imploded” because the family of the alleged victim claims to be unaware of the incident. (The victim is deceased.) Maybe they are unaware of it. They weren’t there. Five people who were there said it happened. Again, the relevance is not so much in the incident itself, it’s in the Romney response to it. He “doesn’t remember” whether he presided over such an incident, but if he did, he apologizes. An honest man would have said it this way –
“I don’t remember any such incident, so it never happened. Period.”