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Thread: What's to be made of Romney's attack on student thought to be gay?

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    Stephen Best barts's Avatar
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    What's to be made of Romney's attack on student thought to be gay?

    The Washington Post is reporting in Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents, that

    BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Mich. — Mitt Romney returned from a three-week spring break in 1965 to resume his studies as a high school senior at the prestigious Cranbrook School. Back on the handsome campus, studded with Tudor brick buildings and manicured fields, he spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.

    “He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.

    A few days later, 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.

    The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.

    “It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said Buford, the school’s wrestling champion, who said he joined Romney in restraining Lauber. Buford subsequently apologized to Lauber, who was “terrified,” he said. “What a senseless, stupid, idiotic thing to do.”

    “It was a hack job,” recalled Maxwell, a childhood friend of Romney who was in the dorm room when the incident occurred. “It was vicious.”

    “He was just easy pickins,” said Friedemann, then the student prefect, or student authority leader of Stevens Hall, expressing remorse about his failure to stop it.

    The incident transpired in a flash, and Friedemann said Romney then led his cheering schoolmates back to his bay-windowed room in Stevens Hall.

    Friedemann, guilt ridden, made a point of not talking about it with his friend and waited to see what form of discipline would befall Romney at the famously strict institution. Nothing happened.
    What does this troubling and brutal homophobic assault by Romney say about his character? Should he be held accountable for it today as he presumes to the Office of President of the United States? Even now Romney's stand on gay marriage suggests a troubling predilection towards harming those who are "different" when it serves his personal interests.

    I suggest that this incident and his views now towards gays is evidence of a man of lax principles and the courage of the bully. It's easy to attack a single gay man with a gang of your friends, is it not?
    Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd - Voltaire

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    Igneous Magma
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    Quote Quote by: barts View Post
    What does this troubling and brutal homophobic assault by Romney say about his character? Should he be held accountable for it today as he presumes to the Office of President of the United States? Even now Romney's stand on gay marriage suggests a troubling predilection towards harming those who are "different" when it serves his personal interests.

    I suggest that this incident and his views now towards gays is evidence of a man of lax principles and the courage of the bully. It's easy to attack a single gay man with a gang of your friends, is it not?
    Most politicians have some sort of skeleton in their closet that strongly incriminates their character, whether people are aware of it or not. And I'd wager most of us did things in our adolescence we are not proud of for one reason or another. Not as bad as this, but shameful all the same.

    It's a brutal attack, and completely unwarranted, but I don't think that it needs special attention because it may have been motivated by the victim's sexuality. Attacking someone because you don't like them in general and attacking someone because you don't like their sexuality should have no distinction in the eye of the law, in my view.

    We already know that Romney doesn't like homosexuality. Whether he hates homosexuals as well is another matter. Quite possibly. But it's not particularly new info. Maybe I'm just cynical, and expect this sort of behaviour from humanity.

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    An Analyst& A Gadfly Yarn's Avatar
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    Obama has nothing violent in his past. He tends to be criticised for his associations. He also used to do cocaine. Neither of these are as bad as physical assault.

    That Romney would attack someone because he was a bigot is certainly worse than if he had attacked someone for money or something. If he was just pissed off for some nonbigotted reason then it still wouldn't be as bad. Hate crimes are worse than normal crimes because they, like terrorism, they aim to effect social change, to strip others of liberty, and encourage further crime.

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    Volcanic Erupter
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    This doesn't surprise me at all.

    I find it quite hilarious actually that Republicans have fallen so far. Romney seems to have sped up the GOP's fall to rock bottom.

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    Waiting on Change Trojan_Ripper's Avatar
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    School kids….watcha gonna do?

    At least Romney didn’t go around bullying and shoving “little girls” like Obama. It’s horrible picking on little girls and if Obama is going to bully someone he should have had the walnuts to pick on someone of his own gender. Poor litle girl probably stole his stash. Phiffittt.

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    Volcanic Erupter
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    Quote Quote by: Trojan_Ripper View Post
    School kids….watcha gonna do?

    At least Romney didn’t go around bullying and shoving “little girls” like Obama. It’s horrible picking on little girls and if Obama is going to bully someone he should have had the walnuts to pick on someone of his own gender. Poor litle girl probably stole his stash. Phiffittt.

    A conservative taking feminist positions? By golly.

    Pushing a girl, as bad as it is, isn't nearly as bad as bullying someone for their homosexuality. That's just downright discrimination.

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    Igneous Magma
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    Um they're both wrong, however this article isn't about Obama. Whatcha gonna do? Expel or arrest the little shit would have been appropriate

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    Amused Maryjane's Avatar
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    Quote Quote by: Trojan_Ripper View Post
    School kids….watcha gonna do?

    At least Romney didn’t go around bullying and shoving “little girls” like Obama. It’s horrible picking on little girls and if Obama is going to bully someone he should have had the walnuts to pick on someone of his own gender. Poor litle girl probably stole his stash. Phiffittt.

    For a moment there I thought I was reading the Onion.

    Yes, the true sign of a "man with walnuts" is a high school student that bands together with his buddies to taunt and torment a fellow student then assaults him because?.... kids will be kids.

    Obama's brutality...in his own words: (pages 59-62)


    http://books.google.com/books?id=HRC...20pain&f=false
    Last edited by Maryjane; 10th May 2012 at 11:54 PM.
    http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/



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    I'm not by any means a Romney supporter in any way, however something that happened when you are a young shouldn't be held against you. Everyone did stupid shit when they were kids.

    Instead we should be holding him accountable for all the terrible things hes done in the past 10 years.

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    Volcanic Erupter
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    Quote Quote by: Pieous View Post
    I'm not by any means a Romney supporter in any way, however something that happened when you are a young shouldn't be held against you. Everyone did stupid shit when they were kids.

    Instead we should be holding him accountable for all the terrible things hes done in the past 10 years.
    Fair point.

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    Volcanic Erupter finder's Avatar
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    Obama has nothing violent in his past. He tends to be criticised for his associations. He also used to do cocaine. Neither of these are as bad as physical assault.
    Associations like with this guy....? http://my.firedoglake.com/independen...the-big-story/

    Me thinks Obama has done much worse then pull a childhood prank on someone. He's hurt millions and I just wonder how many of his mob buddies have ordered hits?
    "The trouble with people is not so much with their ignorance as it is with their knowing so many things that are not so." ~ William Alanson White

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    Hot Lava iolo's Avatar
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    The right wing know that President Obama is the Devil, as is demonstrated by the colour of his skin, though (sh!) we must never say that, because calling racists racist is 'playing the racist card', whereas pretending they are not racists is okay. All right-wing politicians are bullies, or they wouldn't be right-wing politicians, surely?

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