Dec 2, 2011

Anger Manage-Mitt


Original (non-hulkified) image via

If you’ve read my post about the time Mitt Romney strapped his dog to the roof of his car during a family road trip, you already know I have an axe to grind with the GOP frontrunner and his pathological control issues. And as we all know, control issues and poor anger management skills go hand-in-hand, as Alec MacGillis’ illustrates in his recent New Republic piece, Temperamental Journey: The Peculiar Anger of Mitt Romney. Specifically, the article recounts several events that illustrate how Romney’s legacy of so-called “emotion-free crisis management” may prove true only to those who do not consider anger an emotion.

For example, there’s the tiff he had with Rick Perry during October's GOP debate in Nevada. Admittedly, it was only a moderate scuffle (and to be fair, Perry wouldn’t STFU during Romney’s talk time), but I personally find troublesome the fact that Romney felt compelled to put his hand on Perry in an effort to silence him, especially given a physical altercation he had a few years back on an Air Canda flight with rapper Sky Blu. Blu, who was seated in front of Romney, failed to return his seat back to its upright position in preparation for landing. This evidently perturbed Romney, who proceeded to inform Blu of airline landing procedures and instructed him to adjust his seat immediately (um, who does that?). When Blu refused to comply, Romney reportedly placed his hand on the rapper in what Blu described as a “Vulcan grip”. The situation escalated and an enraged Sky Blu took a swing at Romney.

No doubt Sky Blu has a few anger issues himself (as well as being guilty of producing some of the worst music known to Jersey Shore fans), but golly, Mitt—bossy much? In my opinion, even the most benign physical “correction” can signify something far more ominous in a person’s character. That's because people who feel the need to touch others to resume control of a situation rarely do so because they are in control of their own emotions. Not that I’m a fan of Herman Cain, but sheesh—in the end, I’m more concerned about where an elected official puts hands than I am about where he puts his penis. Realistically, poor anger-management skills indicate irrational thinking in times of crisis--catastrophic when a person is in a position of tremendous power. Poor penis-management? Catastrophic to a marriage, maybe, but to a nation? Only if scheming fucks like Ken Starr get their way. In any event, I predict that next we’ll be hearing about Romney following folks into the airplaine lavatory to make sure they wipe out the wash basin as a courtesy to the next passenger.

But TSA agent isn’t the only title to which Romney has appointed himself. In 2002 he took it upon himself to play traffic officer, when he got held up in a road jam on his way into the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Infuriated by what he saw as mismanaged direction, Romney got out of his car and, ignoring requests from law enforcement and grounds security, took charge of the situation. The New Republic:

He started directing traffic, over the objections of a sheriff’s deputy, Kodi Taggart; she later filed a report on Romney’s interference. And he lit into an 18-year-old volunteering as a security officer, Shaun Knopp. Knopp told reporters that Romney had asked “who the fuck” he was and “what the fuck” he was doing and had then told him, “We got the Olympics going on, and we don’t need this shit going on.”

Because nothing’s more gangsta than a big Ken doll talking smack to a kid in the parking lot of a ski resort. Well, nothing except maybe a Ken doll getting arrested in his bathing suit for copping an attitude at the yacht club:

In 1981, Romney and his family were about to launch their motorboat on Lake Cochituate, west of Boston, when a state park ranger alerted Romney, who was 34 at the time, that he risked a $50 fine because the boat’s registration number was painted over. According to news reports that emerged during his 1994 run for Senate, Romney believed that the number was partly visible, and, against his wife Ann’s advice, proceeded to launch anyway. “I figured I was at the state park with my kids,” Romney told The Boston Globe in 1994. “My five kids were in the car wondering why we weren’t going out in the boat, so I said I’d launch and pay the fine.” The ranger ordered him to shore, put him in handcuffs, and drove him, still in his wet bathing suit, to the Natick police station, where he was booked for disorderly conduct. The charges were dropped a few days later, the case was formally dismissed in February 1982 by Natick District Court, and the court file was sealed at Romney’s request.

Since the release of MacGillis’ article, a number of journalists, including Jason Linkins of The Huffington Post, have claimed that his characterization of Romney has been grossly exaggerated. This blogger, however, disagrees. Again, I cannot help but hearken back to that fateful Romney family road trip and the image of his dog, poor Seamus Romney, incontinent with fear on the roof of the speeding car. I keep envisioning the picture of Romney’s three young children, all denied bathroom breaks except at scheduled refuelings during the trip. Even if Linkins is right and MacGillis is overstating his argument, all signs point to a guy who at the very least, is missing a few synapses when it comes to managing his ego, who is willing to cast away conscience and principal if it means garnering supreme control and authority (*cough* campaign flip-flops *cough*).

Speaking of dogs, I’ll end things on a lighter note and leave you with this Romney gem, from an MLK Day celebration in Jacksonville, Florida. No anger here…just pure, unadulterated fail. And because I don’t claim to practice “emotion-free” blogging, I have no problem admitting, I’m embarrassed for him.

Yeah. I’m empathetic like that.

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