As I watched Mitt Romney in the first debate, it occurred to me that here is a man unable to accept even the slightest constraints on his behavior.
Constantly interrupting, shouting down the moderator, listening with a perpetual sneer on his face, Romney was the adult version of a spoiled brat.
I kept having the oddest feeling, that I know this guy. And then it occurred to me.
Here is the very icon of the rich entitled bully. He thinks he is entitled to deference for his every whim. Of course he is going to interrupt when he feels like it; this is how his life has been. He has been rich and powerful since birth, and sees no reason he should be denied any toy, including the presidency.
As the son of a rich man, we know that he once led a group of followers to bully a boy who was different. They ganged up on the kid, holding him down on the asphalt so Mitt could laughingly use scissors to chop off the person's hair, humiliating him for fun.
And he did not get in trouble for it.
Can you imagine what would happen if one of our kids did that? There would be police investigation, allegations of gang behavior, suspension or expulsion from the school. But not for Willard Mitt Romney, who is above such things. No trip to the office for him. The principal would be afraid, Mitt's daddy being the governor.
With the accidental gift of being born to wealth, Romney seldom has to face consequences; he hires others to do that for him. If trouble does comes, just bring on the team of $300 an hour lawyers.
How can we expect him to understand the problems of the poor and middle class? He lives in a movable palace, surrounded by beauty, ease and servants. He is sheltered to the highest degree possible. Whatever happens, he can just write a check. If he gets a cold, he can hire a hospital, to wait on his every wheeze.
Romney reminds me of a man who would summon the manager if a waitress messed up his order, even when it was he who made the mistake, (perhaps even more so, lest anyone know he could be in error) and the manager would make her apologize for disturbing his Majesty's peace.
Why is Mitt Romney running poorly in Michigan where he was born and Massachusetts where he governed? Perhaps because these are the people who know him best -- and they do not want him back in power.
For an hour I watched the arrogant aristocrat violate the rules of established behavior. He could not even be polite to Jim Lehrer of public television, laughingly announcing his intention of eliminating that program's funding. Romney thought it was funny, joking about how he still liked Big Bird: "Oh, and you too, Jim, haha!"
If Romney is that clueless, rude and uncaring while the nation watches, what will he do when the cameras are turned off, and he is alone with the power of the presidency?