by Michael Bryan
OK. This is disturbingly weird. National Memo reports that Mitt Romney used to enjoy impersonating a police officer, with a full uniform provided by his daddy the Governor, to pull folks over and prank people. [hat tip to Donna at Democratic Diva]
See the video segment from MSNBC's Lawrence O’Donnell, which Donna refers to.
"So, what?" you might ask. Well, just consider for a moment how this story would play out if it were Barack Obama who enjoyed this particular brand of entertainment. As Donna pointed out in her post, the GOP would have a field day portraying Obama as some sort of dangerous, freakish menace to society. Obama would be indicted by now - statutes of limitation be damned.
What Romney was doing was a crime, and a serious one. One which is done to enable other serious crimes like robery, home invasion, rape, and even terrorism (Anders Breivik got himself and his weapons to the crime scene by impersonating an officer).
Now, there's no evidence that Romney was out victimizing people criminally with his little stunts, but we know he did pull off a really mean prank using his fake cop routine. And that's just what has come to light so far. How much longer before people in Wisconsin start remembering those bizzare incidents back in the mid-60s when they were pulled over by a handsome, oddly young-looking, officer in a white Rambler?
What really interests me about this behavior, however, is what it reveals of Romney's psychology. Dr. Naftali Berrill, a psychologist who runs the New York Center for Neuropsychology and Forensic Behavioral Science, says of police impersonators, "They feel a certain sense of powerlessness. They fantasize they'd have power and be respected if they were a cop, or they have the fantasy of being a hero."
Could Romney's fantasy role-playing be an eloborate power fantasy? What power fantasy could be more compelling for a young man who feels his own powerlessness acutely in the shadow of a very powerful father?
Romney is not the first Presidential wanna-be that struggled with the legacy of a powerful and accomplished father. George W. Bush comes to mind. Romney's father was a CEO of AMC, Governor of Wisconsin, and, before his odd comments about being "brain-washed" by the command staff in Vietnam, the leading contender for the GOP nomination for President in 1968 (coincidentally[?] around the time of Romney's police fantasies).
Was Romney's desire to feel the esteem and respect accorded an officer of the law so extreme he was willing to commit the crime of impersonating an officer to experience it? Is Romney so driven by the need to bolster his self-esteem that it has led him to out-do his father's accomplishments by succeeding wildly in business, become a Governor himself, actually capture the GOP nomination for President, and possibly the Presidency itself?
Could we avoid all of this just by getting Romney a uniform with a POTUS seal on the sleeves, giving him some sort of ginned up POTUS badge, and letting him go around impersonating a President?