Archive for May 11th, 2012
• The Facebook post in question wasn’t written by Bristol Palin; it was written by her ghostwriter, Nancy French, who doesn’t even bother to sound like Bristol any longer.
• Bristol Palin’s – and Nancy French’s – knowledge of the institution of marriage apparently excludes non-Anglo cultures, excludes most of history and excludes the Bible. “Thousands of years about thinking about marriage.” Bah.
• Bristol, honey, folks who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The proverb has been traced back to Geoffrey Chaucer’s ‘Troilus and Criseyde‘. Eh. Never mind.
Why in the world is anyone listening to this partially educated, seriously confused, unwed mother and single parent? Or the scumbags who use her?
It’s nearly certain that The Mitt will be the Republican’s candidate for president. His party is less than unanimously enthusiastic about the idea. The Neocons aren’t buying the arch-conservative credentials The Mitt is peddling; moderate Republicans are aghast at The Mitt’s transformation into a Teabagger wannabe. But however ugly the Republican beauty pageant, The Mitt’s the apparent winner. So he deserves a bit more scrutiny.
The Washington Post has dug up an ugly event from The Mitt’s prep school days, where The Mitt led what appears from the present to look like a homophobic attack on a classmate who had dyed his long hair blonde. Romney and four classmates pinned the kid down, and The Mitt cut off the kid’s hair, despite the kid’s screams for help. As the Post tells the story,
A few days later, [Romney classmate] Friedemann entered Stevens Hall off the school’s collegiate quad to find Romney marching out of his own room ahead of a prep school posse shouting about their plan to cut Lauber’s hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, tackled him and pinned him to the ground. As Lauber, his eyes filling with tears, screamed for help, Romney repeatedly clipped his hair with a pair of scissors.
Five of The Mitt’s classmates remember the event in consistent detail. The Mitt claims not to remember it. WC thinks that’s unlikely. Either The Mitt attacked potentially gay men so often that the incidents were not memorable, or he is lying. Take your choice.
The Mitt’s campaign committee has downplayed the incident, pointing out it was a long time ago, that it was just a prep school prank and that “the stories of fifty years ago seem exaggerated and off base and Governor Romney has no memory of participating in these incidents.” That’s not responsive. And it fails to answer the questions the incident raises.
Is The Mitt a homophobe? Is The Mitt a bully? The Mitt’s campaign wouldn’t let the Post interview The Mitt himself, so at this point the uncontroverted evidence is “Possibly” to the first question and “Certainly” to the second. And likely a liar as well.
The whole thing occurred at Cranbook, a snobby prep school in Michigan, where the spoiled rich kids are sent to be taught class distinction and snobbery. WC had law school classmates who graduated from Cranbook. Their attitude was so bad that WC’s contract law professor, Bobby Jo Childres, told one of them at one point, “Please try not be be a young Cranbook snot, Mr. X, and make an effort to answer my question.” So maybe WC’s attitude to the incident is colored by experience.
And perhaps The Mitt has taken too literally the lines from the Cranbook song, “Forty Years On”
Forty years on, when afar and asunder
Parted are those who are singing today,
When you look back, and forgetfully wonder
What you were like in your work and your play
(Emphasis added). Oh, and The Mitt has apologized, even if he doesn’t remember it, so it must be that everything is all right now.
UPDATE: Joe Klein summarizes it nicely:
I’m still waiting for the moment when Romney actually tells the truth about something difficult. He could have said, “You know, I’ve been troubled by the Cranbrook episode for most of my life, and I feel relieved, in a way, that it’s come out now. I did a really stupid and terrible thing. Teenage boys sometimes do such things and deserve to be punished for them. What I most regret is that I never apologized to John and won’t be able to now that he’s gone, but let me apologize to his family and friends. Bullying is unacceptable under any circumstances. It is especially unacceptable when prejudice — against one’s race, ethnicity or sexual orientation — is involved. If elected President, I will try to atone for my teenage behavior by campaigning against bullying all across this country. What I did back then should be an example of how not to behave. I hope we can all learn from this. I know I have.”
Instead, Romney has a near perfect record of cowardice, obfuscation and downright lies. It shows enormous disrespect for the intelligence of the public.