May 14, 2012

On Mitt Romney and Greg Marmalard

Posted in Social Commentary tagged , , at 2:07 pm by Doug Brockway

The attack of the posse on John Lauber did happen so long ago, one hopes this isn’t the most telling thing we learn about Mitt Romney this year. It did happen, for good or ill towards Romney’s prospects, when he was 17. AND, it was “only a prank.”

That said, think of the prank in terms of the two models of the movie Animal House. A prank the Delta’s would pull would be self-destructive, if at all, a deliberate and likely riotous thumbing of their noses at those in power (is “power elite” a term that’s too loaded to use?). Romney’s prank is not of this type. His is the type of prank the members of Omega would pull. They ARE the power elite and their pranks reinforce that, creating failing grades for the Delta’s (however deserved) and demeaning the kid who cleaned out the horse’s stable.

Romney’s character may not have been as vicious as Neidermeyer, the ROTC bully destined to be shot by his own troops in Vietnam. No, his “prank” is more the style of Gregory Marmalard, Omega house president, student body president, rich kid, without an actual moral compass. He ended up in jail as a result of his future role as a part of Watergate.

Like all of the movie Animal House, Marmalard’s character is an exaggeration. Still, when I think of the prank and I think of Romney I think I know the type.