I'm not surprised that a teenage Mitt Romney was a bully. He was a kid of privilege and he wanted to be seen as the "man in charge." So nearly a half-century ago, he led at least one attack -- that's my word; his would be "prank" -- on a defenseless, effeminate kid, holding the screaming boy down and using scissors to cut the victim's bleached blond hair.
When I read about the incident Thursday on the Washington Post online site, I wanted to give Romney the benefit of the doubt. I also wanted to give him credit for improving as a person since his teen years, which he now admits were full of "dumb things" and "hijinks."
Sadly, bullying was very common way back when. I witnessed many incidents, some incredibly cruel and violent, during my years as a mediocre high school athlete. (I honestly can say I never was a perpetrator; indeed, I was scared to death that I would be a victim. I wasn't strong enough ever to report the bullying, though, and I feel badly about that even today.) Unfortunately, bullying is extremely common now, too.
Romney lost any benefit of the doubt, however, with his reaction when confronted with the information the Post detailed about the incident.
The incident was corroborated by several men who were Romney's friends back then, men who also took part in the act.
Romney didn't dare try to deny the incident took place. He merely denied remembering it ever took place. Seriously. That's his defense.
He wants us to elect him President of the United States, and his defense is: Sorry, I can't recall holding the kid down and cutting off his hair while the kid wailed in agony, begging him to stop.
Really? That slipped Mitt Romney's mind?
Funny, the other bullies who took part in the "hijinks" didn't forget. They told the Post they were haunted by their participation. They gave incredibly detailed accounts of their involvement -- and the involvement of Romney, whom they called the ringleader.
Romney, whose autobiography is titled "No Apology," did take a swipe at contrition: