That's the image that emerged of a high-school-aged Mitt Romney from a Washington Post article this week that recounted allegations of his mean and even violent behavior as a prep school student in Michigan.
And that's the lead paragraph of Mean Boys, Blow's New York Times column on the Washington Post blockbuster story on Romney's time at Cranbrook School, and of even greater importance, Mitt's response to the story's assertions.
Blow recounts the facts of Romney's behavior as listed in the story - the"atta girl" shouted out when a closeted gay student spoke, the walking of the seeing impaired teacher into a door, and of course the assault on John Lauber. He quotes Romney's response to the story, and then writes:
The Blue Wall of Silence
We must protect the church
We clean up our own messes
You will weaken the Presidency/administration in a time of war/crisis/national emergency
An outsider cannot understand
You will take away the motivation to take risks
... and you can offer your own version . . .
It is the excuse not to public identify wrongdoers or to be subject to outside oversight or to allow criminal investigation and prosecution
The claim is that to do so will weaken the Police Force / Church / Military / Business / Organization
The claim is wrong. And failure to fully investigate and expose weakens the institution, because it inevitably leads to an arrogance and the same or similar behavior continues, or happens again. . . and again . . . and again. . .