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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Guest Contributor, Law, Politics, Society | 9 comments

Thurston Howell IV* on How To Beat A Rap

[* Thurston Howell III’s kid.]

Seems that Mitt Romney tired of abusing dogs and turned his attentions to boating. Buzz Feed reports [emphasis added]:

Mitt Romney Was Arrested For Disorderly Conduct In 1981

According to what Romney told the Boston Globe in 1994, he had taken his family off to Wayland, Mass.’s Lake Cochituate, about an hour outside Boston, for a summer excursion. As Romney prepared to put his family boat into the water, a park officer told Romney not to launch because his license appeared to have been painted over. The officer told Romney if he put his boat into the water he would face a $50 fine.

Romney felt that his license was still visible and decided to ignore the order from the officer and pay the fine.

Because, you know, it’s only about what you’re willing to pay. Laws? LAWS? We don’t have to pay attention to no steenking laws. Listen to Thurston opine on the fundamental pestiness of these stupid laws. Mitt “felt” that he was in compliance with the law. So, rather than change his plans, he ignored the officer’s instruction.

Hey, what’s fifty bucks? A mere Grant. Here, buddy. Buy yourself a new nightstick.

After Romney put the family boat into the water, the officer reappeared visibly angry and arrested Romney for disorderly conduct. Romney was handcuffed on the scene, taken to the local police station, and booked.

“There I was, dripping wet in a bathing suit,” Romney told the Globe. A magistrate let him go without bail.

Several days later, Romney appeared in Natick District Court and threatened to sue the arresting office for a false arrest. The charges were dropped and sealed at Romney’s request.

a turn of the century gag photo, in the public domain

Aw. Jeepies. Turn the tables and bring in your legal eagles to personally attack and harass the officer and drain the resources of the local court? Why, anyone to the Manor Born would do as much.

Hell, Thurston Howell IV would utterly appreciate how “sporting” Mitt had been. He graciously felt (according to his self-serving recounting) that if the fine was only $50, then the law is actually a sort of vending machine. You plonk in your fifty bucks and do as you please.

GET THAT: your money entitles you to break most any law you please, and if you get arrested, use your immense wealth to intimidate the police and the courts. And, in return for charges being dropped, the PERSONALLY EMBARRASSED zillionaire (‘There I was, dripping wet in a bathing suit,’ Romney told the Globe. A magistrate let him go without bail. – from the story) had the records sealed — so that none could ever talk about what had happened.

Except Mitt, when it came up.

Thus, the only version that we hear is Mitt’s self-serving version. (I guess that’s the inner madman Ann Romney in her thousand dollar tee-shirt told us about?)

But it is a disturbing character trait. When he returned from taking credit for rescuing the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, in 2002, he was not eligible to run as a Massachusetts resident for Governor. RETROACTIVELY, he paid Massachusetts resident taxes for the years in question — when you have homes in several states, as Thurston Howell IV would understand, your “residency” is merely a matter of some tax laws. Hey. He’d pay the $50 fine.

And a grateful Utah refunded Mitt’s Utah taxes, his lawyers took charge, and,presto, chango! Mitt was a Massachusetts resident despite very publicly living in Utah for two years.


Who you gonna believe? as Richard Pryor said, ME or your lyin’ eyes?

Then, on camera, Mitt and Paul “Eddie Munster” Ryan handed out what Wisconsin election law calls political bribes, and adjudges a low-class felony.

But I guess they threatened to sue the non-arresting officers and the court, because not a damned thing has even been heard about “Oh, I’d just go ahead and pay the fine” Mitt’s little FELONY IN PURSUIT OF THE HIGHEST OFFICE IN THE LAND.

Hey! After Watergate, what’s a few felonies among friends? You know. Give him a mulligan felony. Country Club rules. Gentleman’s agreement.

That is his APPROACH to law. That is his understanding of it. If you’re willing to pay the fine, fine. If you get in trouble, you know that in America, enough money turns the tables on the courts, when the Defendant has far more resources available than the harried local police, prosecutor’s office and court.

Just imagine those hands on the levers of power, and then think of the audacious immorality (if not to say treason) of Iran-Contra, and then get back to me on what the multiplicand would be. Tenfold? Fiftyfold?

People tell you who they are.

Even when they lie to you with a straight face, a clear eye, an untroubled brow and all the time.

Right, Thurston?



A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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