Much has been made of Mitt Romney’s unfortunate tendency to shit out of his mouth where people can hear it. From insulting the British during the Olympics — when he became “Mitt the Twit” — to the 47% of Americans he kissed off and sent to victimhood hell, he’s managed to tee off damn near everybody.
There is historical irony here, because it was the fate of his dear old dad, Gov. George W. Romney, to utter one sentence that effectively sabotaged his own presidential ambitions back in 1968. What he said was, “When I came back from Vietnam I just had the greatest brainwashing anybody can get.”
What he meant was, on his trip to see the war firsthand, the military gave him the cook’s tour of highlights in favor of escalation. We can win this war, he was told, If only you get behind the president and the military and stop giving comfort to American liberal dirty hippie peace commies on college campuses beating their bongos in the dirt. So George W. (Romney) had a bit of explaining to do when he finally came out as a Republican candidate against the war after supporting it.
Telling the world he’d been “brainwashed” wasn’t the best answer.
Young Mittney took this point to heart. He understood the power of words, the need to stay scripted, on-message. His early political career was built on statements as carefully crafted and orderly as his coiffed hairstyle. Then he ran for president and made the fatal mistake of forsaking his vow of silence.
One final thought on this, as long as we’re blowing off the dusty books of history. The original Democratic peace candidate at the time was Senator Eugene McCarthy, who took on LBJ and the entire Democratic machine. Told what George W. (Romney) said about brainwashing, he famously replied,” A light rinse would have been sufficient.”
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