The internet has been abuzz as of late because of an unearthed decades-old Boston Globe article about Mitt Romney’s arrest in 1981 for disorderly conduct. While the state dropped the charges, the fact remains that Romney was put into handcuffs and taken in.
While on a family summer vacation in 1981 Mitt Romney at was Lake Cochituate, an hour or so outside of Boston. He was just about to launch his boat when a park officer told him not to. The reason? His license looked painted over. The officer told Mr Romney that if he launched the boat, he’d receive a fifty dollar fine.
Romney waited until the officer left and launched the boat anyway. The officer returned just as Mitt Romney was launching the boat, and was visibly angry and placed Mitt–still in a bathing suit–in cuffs and took him in to be booked. The charges were dropped several days later because of Romney’s argument that it wasn’t a valid arrest because he “wasn’t being disorderly.” Directly disobeying the law is orderly as long as you’re entitled to be above the law, I suppose.
In 1994, he told the Boston Globe that “I figured I was at the state park with my kids. 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.” That’s a pretty amazing attitude–“hey, it’s against the law! I’ll just throw money at it and make it go away.”
The seriousness of this isn’t in the offense, because, let’s face it, that’s a very minor charge (and was dropped) for a minor offense. The issue here is the entitlement attitude; the justification. Breaking a small law because you have the money to pay for it is, in principle, the same as justifying breaking a larger law for the same reason. It shows a dangerous disrespect for our legal system that we simply can’t afford in a leader of our country.
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