Mitt Romney Got Away With It. Probably A Lot.

Jason Horowitz’s WaPo piece revealing young Mitt Romney as a “prankster” whose version of pranking involved on one occasion, walking a visually-impaired teacher into a door and on another, involved physically assaulting another student with scissors in the company of a mob, actually turned the screw for me. My original perception of Romney was “clueless”—I thought he suffered from just a bad case of privileged boobery combined with a mild empathy-impairment. I upgraded my estimate to: “and a gutless coward, too” as the only explanation for his squishy weaseling on the issues not long ago. But that article just made me see a sociopath. That wasn’t the behavior of a dumb kid making mistakes. That was a pattern of preying on the weak and thinking their weakness was amusing. It was intolerance of differences. And I don’t think he learned thing one from his experiences because no one bothered to teach him that it was cruel, or wrong.

From the article:

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.

(Snip)

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.

It’s noted later in the article that Lauber was expelled for smoking.  They are very different things, after all. Administering a beating and a haircut at the head of a mob is a very different thing when you are the son of someone very important from smoking while being a victimized kid of someone….probably not quite as important. I think the lesson young Mitt would have really learned is all too clear—

Whether he acknowledges how and what he learned is, of course, not quite a task Mr. Romney is up to.

See, Mitt Romney claims he doesn’t actually remember what took place. But I can’t help but ask, as one of the eyewitnesses to the episode asks, how can that be?

For months, the Romney campaign has been trying to turn away from questions about the candidate’s character and focus on his proposals to improve the economy. On Thursday, his aides struggled to deal with the account, first telling The Washington Post that Mr. Romney had no recollection of it. Mr. Maxwell, however, said he was skeptical that Mr. Romney did not remember something that had haunted all of the other men involved, even years later.

“I would think this would be seared in his memory,” said Mr. Maxwell, who identified himself as an independent who tends to vote Democratic. “Certainly for the other people that were involved, nobody has forgotten.”

I’m not so sure how many times Mitt Romney has ever administered non-consensual tonsorial adjustments or beat-downs to fellow students, but I, too, am pretty sure it would be a thing I’d think about. 

Now, I’m just saying, even if it wasn’t sincere, the guy could at least try to fake contrition, a little. But this is Mitt-freaking-Romney. He never learned that he should.  His life lessons were kiss-up, punch-down all the way (scathingly brilliant take on this by Pierce, as usual) and in his life, he hardly ever had to take a punch.

Which is why this pure example of weaksauce must be noted: his whining about the story being part of an Obama plot.

Romney was asked by Fox News host Neil Cavuto if the he thought the Obama campaign planted the bullying story, and he answered, “Well, I think you’re going to find, throughout this campaign season, that the president’s team will be doing everything in their power to try and hold up very shiny objects many of them will be with regards to me…”

Every shiny object? The bleached hairs of that lonely, trapped boy falling to the floor, the light glinting off of the scissors and the tears in his eyes at the helpless shame he was suffering from a bully who just didn’t like the looks of him? Shiny like that?

And what does all this tell us about how he thinks of the rest of us poncho-wearing cookie-eaters?

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 05/10/12 at 11:01 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsElection '12Mittens

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The WaPo article was very interesting.  I always thought Willard just plain had a mean streak (the Seamus thing, pretending that the waitress had grabbed his butt after the photo op, dissing the cookies prepared for him by a popular local bakery, *joking* to unemployed people that he was “unemployed” too (heh, heh, heh)).

Unfortunately that harassment stuff happens a lot at that age at schools but interesting that our boy was leading the pack.  The thing with walking the blind teacher into the door was just cruel.

There’s a big difference between joking around and using your jokes to embarrass people who are less powerful than you are and can’t fight back.

Haha, you gotta love the reactions of the fRightwingers to this.  Shorter every one of them:

“OK so it appears there’s evidence that Romney did this so it’s probably true but WHO CARES?  IT’S SO TOTALLY NOT IMPORTANT! WHAT’S IMPORTANT IS OBLAH’S COLLEGE TRANSCRIPTS AND HE HUGGED A RADICAL COMMIE NEGRO PROFESSOR!!11!

No links, not sending any traffic their way, but if you want a few laughs just check out Memeorandum.

I’ll bet he had to grow up fast once his lottery number came up. They don’t tolerate that kind of shit in boot camp. You’ve got to depend on your fellow soldiers when your waist deep in big muddy and…what’s that? A missionary deferment? You’re joking, right? Is that some kind of sex position?

If someone came to me with a story of something horrible that they claim I had done 30 years ago, my reaction would be “Oh my god, I hope you’re wrong, because I honestly don’t remember and I find that incredibly disturbing. But if I really did do that, wow, I’m sorry. I sure hope I didn’t.”

A missionary deferment? You’re joking, right?

No joke! You’re referring, of course, to Mit t’Wit’s soul-saving mission to Gay Paree, the happy hunting grounds of all seriously conservative Mormon recruiters . . .

It wasn’t all toujours gai, though, young Willard hit a wall turning frogs into Mormons and

became demoralized, and later recalled it as the only time when “most of what I was trying to do was rejected.”

Despite all of that our intrepid crusader soldiered on . . .

He was promoted to zone leader in Bordeaux in early 1968, then in the spring of that year became assistant to the mission president in Paris, the highest position for a missionary. In the Mission Home in Paris he enjoyed palace-like accommodations.

He also “enjoyed” a “missionary deferment” for his pains, no small matter in 1968.  As a matter of fact, despite his strong, vocal support for the Vietnam War Mit t’Wit never got a chance to experience it first-hand like so many of his “lesser peers:”

Romney had initially received a student deferment, then, like most Mormon missionaries, a ministerial deferment while in France, and then a student deferment. When those ran out, his high number in the December 1969 draft lottery (300) ensured he would not be selected.

This guy represents everything that was/is loathesome about a select minority of my generation . . . .

I’m glad you posted this, Vixen, as I couldn’t face running yet another Mittens post of my own, but as Mar observes, some of the RW responses have been too comically desperate to ignore.

In between multiple posts wailing about the media’s decision to ignore the Bartlets and refuse to join them in envettening Obama by branding him an inveterate drug-dealing terrorist-humping Black nationalist, at Breitbart.com’s Big Government, John Nolte insists the WaPo has shamed itself, and posits that Romney was only following orders:

WAS ROMNEY ENFORCING CRANBROOK’S DRESS CODE?

Mitt Romney’s so-called “gay-bashing” incident at high school may have been no more than an officially-sanctioned attempt to enforce the school’s dress code, and not any kind of bullying, according to a former Cranbrook student who spoke exclusively to Breitbart News.

Once I’d composed myself after ROFLing at all that, he hit me with this capper:

The fact that Romney was not disciplined by the administration in the aftermath of the incident is further evidence that Romney was enforcing the dress code overzealously, rather than targeting Lauber for any perceived homosexuality.

I’m sure the fact that Mitt Romney was the State Governor’s son had no bearing on the lack of any disciplinary consequences. Anyway, for a craven fascist hack like Nolte, if it’s sanctioned by the authorities, then bullying, assault, and battery to enforce conformity are just fine and dandy.

Oh, and did you know that Obama once gave a slight shove to a little girl at school, as the monster revealed in one of his autobiographies? And he ate a dog. Did I mention he ate a dog? Well, he did. He ate a dog.

Probably the funniest aspect is that they’re all too dimwitted to grasp that whenever they send up a ginormous squid cloud of bullshit like this, it just attracts more attention to allegations that might otherwise have faded all too soon—and as they’d be only too quick to opine if the boot were on the other foot, many may conclude that there’s no smoke without fire.

Oh yeah, and another “defense” the squid-clouders have thrown up is that Lauber’s sister allegedly doesn’t recall the incident. As Booman notes, Lauber did:

Sometime in the mid-1990s, David Seed noticed a familiar face at the end of a bar at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

“Hey, you’re John Lauber,” Seed recalled saying at the start of a brief conversation. Seed, also among those who witnessed the Romney-led incident, had gone on to a career as a teacher and principal. Now he had something to get off his chest.

“I’m sorry that I didn’t do more to help in the situation,” he said.

Lauber paused, then responded, “It was horrible.” He went on to explain how frightened he was during the incident, and acknowledged to Seed, “It’s something I have thought about a lot since then.”

... [Lauber’s] hair thinned as he aged, and in the winter of 2004 he returned to Seattle, the closest thing he had to a base. He died there of liver cancer that December. He kept his hair blond until he died, said his sister Chris. “He never stopped bleaching it.”

Best defense of Mitt ever, from a commenter at what’s left of Hillbuzz:

…the splashy article attempting to decimate the character of MR from high school in 1965 (news flash, in 1965 homosexuality and bullying weren’t issues folks)…

See, in 1965 you were allowed to bully gays.  So that’s all right then.

Wow, this Mitt guy really is Dubya Plus, isn’t he.

Wow, this Mitt guy really is Dubya Plus, isn’t he.

I know.  Here we thought he was a Cyborg programmed to be the perfect GOP candidate, and all along he was a smirking frat boy.

Entitled, coddled, with a famous dad whose genuine accomplishments he’s never lived up to ... he’s Dubya without having to pretend that he’s a good ol’ Texas boy.  He doesn’t just call you Turdblossom, he makes you cry. 

Wanna bet we’re going to hear that he got drunk and challenged George Romney to a fist-fight? Did Mom love his brother best?

Wow, this Mitt guy really is Dubya Plus, isn’t he.

Exactly.  Another draft-dodging, smug son-of-privilege with a sociopath’s ability to lie 23 hours a day, and spend the last hour lying to cover it up.

Speaking of Dubya, here’s this from the WaPo piece:

(Romney) was not a natural athlete but found his place among the jocks by managing the hockey team and leading megaphone cheers for the football team.

Wanna bet we’re going to hear that he got drunk and challenged George Romney to a fist-fight?

I’m going to guess that he took the Mormon lifestyle seriously enough that he didn’t drink. But then, I’m also going to guess that he was and is mean enough that he never needed to.

(Romney) was not a natural athlete but found his place among the jocks by managing the hockey team and leading megaphone cheers for the football team.

Willard is still head cheerleader . . . OMG, what a narcissistic doofus, he is.

I have absolutely no trouble believing Willard forgot all about the incident. Because to the soulless, vicious, privileged arseholes who do this kind of thing, the people they victimize aren’t really people. They just. Don’t. Matter.

If that doesn’t leave you terrified of this man as president, turn in your thumbs and get out of the gene pool.

See, in 1965 you were allowed to bully gays.  So that’s all right then.

You mean like this?

In an English class, Gary Hummel, who was a closeted gay student at the time, recalled that his efforts to speak out in class were punctuated with Romney shouting, “Atta girl!” In the culture of that time and place, that was not entirely out of the norm. Hummel recalled some teachers using similar language.

I think he’s replaced Santorum as the colossal dick of the Republican party.

The “Barack Obama does stuff, too!” defense tickles me—are they really scoops if one is getting hot tips from the index of the guy’s best-selling autobiography?  Also, some sad fellow at Newsbusters wanted to know where the media attention over Obama’s cocaine use was. Gee. Are things big stories if everyone already knows them?  Did Mitt Romney mention assaulting a kid in his book No Apologies?

Interesting fact: Mitt Romney wrote a book called No Apologies. And yet eventually, everyone apologizes for something, don’t they?

No apologies, Mitt?  Not for anyone?  My old girlfriend looked me up after 40 years and the first words out of my mouth were telling her how sorry I was for being such a dick to her back in the day.  Luckily, unlike poor Mr. Lauber, my lady had forgotten my dickishness though, thank God, not me.  Now I no longer have to harbor any guilt feelings over the past; now I’m just pissed because she’s done so much better in life than I have.  Karma:  It’s a bitch.

I haven’t read Willard’s book, but I assume that “no apologies” refers to his stump message that Obama is always “apologizing for America,” which is something Willard says he will never do.  Given that America has a lot to apologize for, I would challenge that assertion and offer Mitt this advice:  Apology is good for the soul, if you have one.

are they really scoops if one is getting hot tips from the index of the guy’s best-selling autobiography?

That made me LOL.

Here’s a charming story Mitt tells (in Newsmax, that liberal rag; please have your barf bag deployed before venturing into the gosh-Mitt’s-great treacle pond) about his first encounter with his future wife:

 

Mitt first met the beautiful daughter of the mayor of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., at a party given by classmate Cindy White. It was March 21, 1965, just before Ann’s 16th birthday. She was a sophomore at the Kingswood, a private school for girls. He was a senior at Cranbrook, its affiliated all-boy school.

  The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were playing on 45 rpm records. Mitt saw her across the room. He remembered that when he was a Cub Scout in elementary school, he and some other scouts saw Ann riding a horse bareback across a railroad track.

  “What do Cub Scouts do when they see a little girl on a horse?” Mitt says now. “We picked up stones and threw them [at her].”

Aw, isn’t that sweet?

Here’s the thing: It may or may not be obvious (well, hell, it damn well ought to be obvious!) to the average person that throwing rocks at a horse being ridden across railroad tracks, with or without a saddle, is a dumb and dangerous thing to do. Mitt himself rides, so even he would/should be aware of that by this point in his privileged life. At Cub Scout age? It’s jerk behavior (and somehow I doubt that any and every Cub Scout would choose that as their default reaction) but I’ll reluctantly give him a pass on that; lots of little boys do jerkish things.

But he’s telling the story as an adult, without a whisker of remorse or recognition that it was dumb and dangerous; no, it’s just a charming funny story.  Ya gotta wonder:  which among that pack of boys picked up and hurled the first stone? And what kind of soulless sociopath would think it was a wonderfully funny story to tell the world?

Romney doesn’t remember because Lauber was insignificant to him. As Romney has continued to demonstrate with his business practices, those who may suffer by his actions are not important. The businesses they took over and squeezed all the life out of and the employees who depended on those jobs were not important to Romney. Their losing their jobs, pensions and livelihood was not important. If they had been, Romney wouldn’t have only been interested in bleeding the business dry and bankrupting them. Romney has not changed- he is as much of a bully now as he was then.

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