Romney’s Possible Anti-Gay Bullying and Obama’s Ideological Evolution: Rethinking it

My first guess about President Obama’s recent statement that his views on Gay Marriage was this: Both Biden and Obama, along with virtually all Democrats, are for Marriage Freedom and against the absurd anti-gay restriction we see being implemented around the nation, most recently in North Carolina. However, Obama has this thing about being strategically centered, and tried to walk this line between civil unions and marriage. But then, Vice President Joe Biden, as does some times, spoke more openly than a controlled message like that allows, and indicated a pro-gay marriage stance over the weekend. This forced Obama’s hand on the issue, and most likely they were already considering doing that. The timing was just to be a bit different than planned.

Then, today’s news came out. Holy crap. Apparently Romney, while in Prep School, was one of those bullies that today are known to be responsible for driving young gay kids to suicide. Check this out.

A fellow student remembers Romney saying that a kid didn’t look right with his blond-died long hair draped over one eye. “[He] can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” Romney did not let this stand, and hatched a plot that is rather alarming.

A few days later, [Romney's friend] 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.

“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.

Romney today says he does not remember the incident, which was recalled with vivid detail by a large number of eye witnesses. Now the Romney campaign is digging in and refusing to talk about what might well have been a gay-bashing event. The event haunted Lauber, the victim, for his entire life, which ended in 2004.

Now, there are open questions here. Was Lauber gay? Does it matter? Is an event that happens at this time in one’s life, so long ago, important now?

My purpose here is not to address any of those issues, but rather to make one simple suggestion: Maybe the Biden-Obama issue-evolution timing is not as random as I first thought. Maybe there was a tip-off that this story was coming out (such tip-offs are routine) and this was seen as a chance to make a much more clear distinction, without having to say much out loud about it, between a pro-diversity evolving Democratic administration and a radical gay-hating and, perhaps even gay-bashing Republican challenger.

The source of the above quotes is this piece in the Washington Post.

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14 Responses to Romney’s Possible Anti-Gay Bullying and Obama’s Ideological Evolution: Rethinking it

  1. John D says:

    I would say that this “announcement” was entirely planned by Obama and his strategists.

    Biden was likely told to go on “Meet the Press” and make a personal claim that he “personally” supported gay marriage. This was a test of the plausibility of this as a political position. Biden tested the waters.

    Gay marriage is at a tipping point. Many churches are now coming out in support. Obama and his political strategists have decide to embrace the gay marriage idea and hope to use it as an effective way to show that Reps are old fashioned and bigoted.

    As a strategy this has some risk as reported in the Wall Street Journal and on NPR today. I agree it is risky, but it may pay off big. It is all about timing. At some point everyone who does not support gay marriage will look like a prude and a bigot. Obama is betting this will happen sooner rather than later.

  2. Nemo says:

    Wow. I thought I hated Romney before.

  3. dano says:

    I disagree unless you can show me proof. I believe this was just another example of the Pres & VP not communicating well together. I believe his statements will only cause Xians to rise up and rally for voting come election and November’s Same Sex Marriage Vote at least here in MN.

  4. Kevin says:

    Again, you’re assuming that Republican voters will be put off by a charge of gay-bashing.

    Mitt’s approval ratings will probably increase, not decrease, among party “faithful” as a result of this disclosure.

  5. greg1466 says:

    Granted, he was just a kid at the time, but it still speaks to character. While I’m sure it’s possible for a bully to change, it’s probably not very common. I’d guess that the targets of his hostile take-overs, excuse me, leveraged buy-outs, would say he’s still a bully.

  6. Greg Laden says:

    I disagree unless you can show me proof.

    I don’t have time to prove my conjectures. Busy sorting out USB cables.

    Again, you’re assuming that Republican voters will be put off by a charge of gay-bashing.

    I was not assuming that. This is not a fight for Republican votes and never was. I’m sure you’re correct that these revelations will help Romney among some of those who were already going to vote for him. (more of a “get out the vote” strategy)

    Granted, he was just a kid at the time, but it still speaks to character. While I’m sure it’s possible for a bully to change, it’s probably not very common

    Yeah, if five people remember it clearly and he has no recollection, then this is probably not something that he learned from. Or he’s a liar. Or something.

    I’m not sure how much I care about bad behavior in someone decades ago.

  7. rikitiki says:

    Sure, might have been a tip-off…OR…I’m thinking the whole Vice-Pres -then- Pres pro-gay-equality thing was planned. Especially Obama’s “It’s a States’ Rights Issue.” statement. I think they expect (and I do also) that Tea-Party Republicans and other-anti-gay-Republican’s at the state level will start foaming at the mouth even more between now and November, maybe trying to rush through state anti-gay laws and, in the process, show voters just how bigoted they are and get Republican losses both at the federal and state levels. Brilliant!

  8. Aratina Cage says:

    Remember that Fox video clip that the Fox News mole leaked where Romney seemed to be making fun of gay men by asking for a pink tie in an effeminate voice in front of Sean Hannity? Maybe that was a much bigger window into his true character than most people realized. Maybe he still targets effeminate men for bullying even today when he thinks no one is recording him.

  9. Drivebyposter says:

    Romney’s lying. He remembers it. I’d be willing to bet he got off on the power he felt.

  10. Trebuchet says:

    Romney’s lying. He remembers it. I’d be willing to bet he got off on the power he felt.

    Mitt’s been saying whatever he thought the current audience needed to hear for so long, he has no idea whether he’s lying or not. It’s just automatic.

  11. Lori says:

    Romney reminds me of a man I worked for briefly (escape plans were in the works within a few months of his hiring!) He lied continually and was even confronted with it on more than one occasion. It seemed like it was such a long-held habit that he had no idea he was doing it. And he had a very hard time relating to people as individuals. He made us all take Myers-Briggs and that was his primary tool for working with us. It was very frustrating and insulting. Romney does the same crap — serial liar and addresses everyone as if they were some kind of cliched type rather than as individuals. His sociopathic tendencies would bring nothing good to this country.

  12. justsomeguy says:

    I’m really not interested in the monstrous things Mittens did when he was a child. Most children will at one point or another do something pointlessly malicious, and usually to another child. Some make a hobby of it, others don’t. Some grow out of it, others don’t.

    The point is, there’s all sorts of stuff that Mittens has done as an *adult* that really ought to receive more attention than this one.