Mitt’s dad George Romney, a dishonest bully and a-hole
I happened to come across this book about Mitt’s father George Romney online. “The Romney Riddle” by Gerald O. Plas. I was looking for some context about the sort of household that Mitt grew up in to see if there would be something that pointed toward or away from the bullying behavior that Mitt the high school senior allegedly exhibited at his elite high school.
What I found was that Mitt’s father George was an absolute political animal who would say anything to anyone as long as it advanced his own political career. I should be the first to point out that sons don’t always embrace the politics of their father, but this is about more than just politics. It is about integrity, manipulating others, demonizing political opponents and doing anything at all to get your way. This is the man who served as the role model for young Mitt Romney.
It paints a very disturbing picture of a politician who can best be described as a dishonest bully hell-bent for political glory. here are some snips..
Romney launched a political career on shoals of evasion which he tried to represent as rocks of Gibraltar. He dodged questions on national policy or refused outright to comment on them. This disturbed his admirers, but they then became dismayed when he began to answer the questions. He seemed to change his opinion of Viet Nam from day to day or even hour from hour and then confessed he hadn’t made up his own mind but had been brainwashed by the Johnson administration.
Faced with a decision to run for Governor in 1962, Romney called a news conference and announced he was going into seclusion on Friday night (February 9) to pray and to seek guidance beyond that of man. It was never revealed what advice he received during his seclusion, but he did announce himself as a candidate for governor on Saturday morning. This made good reading on the front pages of the country’s newspapers, but another version of the story barely made print. Romney’s son. Mitt, then 14, told reporters that his father had informed the family around the supper table on Friday night that he had made up his mind to run for Governor at 3:30 Friday morning.
One of the manifestations of Romney’s religious zeal is an absolute sense of morality. Former Romney associate Charles A. Ferry describes this trait: “He has an oversimplified, horse opera sense of morality, which neatly divides the world into good guys and bad guys.” “There’s something in the man’s makeup that gives him the knowledge that he is doing right and that those who oppose him are the apostles of the devil,” says a Michigan Democrat who knows him well. Romney himself states that after making a decision, one must “believe that the decision you have made is a right one and put everything you’ve got into it” “Since he so readily identifies his purposes with those of God, he regards most opposition as unreasonable,” says William Shannon.
“Let me be very specific on this point. I want legislation that will make it possible for any unit of either the Republican Party or the Democratic Party in Michigan to remove from office any so-called leader [i.e., state, county, district, precinct or otherwise] whose actions clearly labeled him unworthy, or unfit to hold his office.” Note that the Romney injunction included office holders who had been legally elected by the citizens, Who was to decide whether a party officeholder was “unfit”? What standards were used to classify a party member as “unworthy”? Apparently Romney himself was going to decide, running the party as though it were his personal enterprise. The implications were frightening. His proposed laws would enable him to purge any Romney opposition..
Then, “forecasting” his own role in the 1964 presidential election the Governor added, “When Republicans holding responsible leadership positions put their self-interest first and conspire with the opposition against their party’s position, then this weakens our Republican effort from within our own ranks, and as Emerson says, there is no weakness except from within.” Romney called upon his Romneyite Republicans to purge the “Quisling betrayers and know-nothings, saying ‘political suicide’ is threatening the Republican Party unless it deals with its Quislings and wipes them out.” Yet not two months later George said righteously, “I have never tried to purge anyone from. the Republican Party in Michigan.”
Governor Romney’s statements on economics have carried him to all parts of the political spectrum: ultra left, far right and down the middle. Wading through the many vague, often conflicting economic views he has expressed through the years will leave one utterly confused. There is one pattern which emerges on detailed analysis, however: Romney’s economics are always directly related to the views of those who are paying his salary at the time.
It was an interesting read. For someone who grew up in Metro Detroit, I never read much about George Romney. Now I know more than I want to know. It does answer some questions about Mitt’s rudderless ambition.