There's no Pit thread on the Romney bullying story yet, so . . .

This might be even worse than it looked at first.

Now, I admit I’m approaching this from the perspective of one who feels in his gut that schoolyard bullies should not be allowed to get any older. Still, I think this goes beyond youthful indiscretion, this is more in the nature of a lifetime-personality-indicator. And nothing in Romney’s post-HS life or career suggests otherwise. May he not only lose this election, but be brutally and painfully and permanently humiliated to the point where we never hear from him again until he dies.

I’m no Romney supporter, but I have a hard time getting riled up by something he did as a 17 year old.

He assaulted a gay kid. He committed a violent crime to punish a fellow student for being gay.

At this point, the real question is did it actually happen, or did his people make it up in order to appeal to the base?

What I read said he was 18 – that is, legally an adult.

And I wish it were more surprising to me that so many people think it was a-okay for him to engage in a minor youthful gaybashing.

Shorter CS Monitor article: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/DC-Decoder/Decoder-Wire/2012/0510/Does-it-matter-if-Mitt-Romney-was-a-bully-in-high-school-video

Longer WAPO article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/mitt-romneys-prep-school-classmates-recall-pranks-but-also-troubling-incidents/2012/05/10/gIQA3WOKFU_print.html

Election thread on the subject: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=651384

My summary in the election thread: 1) Romney corralled a posse to knock an underclassman to the ground and hold him down, while Romney cut his hair with scissors. 2) Romney opened the door for a near-blind teacher, then feigned opening another door for him so that he would bump into it. 3) Romney dressed as a police officer, flashed a siren and approached some friends on a date on a blind country road. Har har. Except there was a strict 11PM curfew and the vics were panicked and thought they faced expulsion.

I also stated that this isn’t especially pathological or unusual behavior. We’ve all known guys like this. There’s one in every crowd. I’m withholding final judgment at least for a couple of days, but so far I’m just seeing garden variety high school sadism. Familiar to us all. What I’m not seeing is a prankster or a class clown. That’s a different personality type.

Nyx gives a misleading characterization. There was an underclassman who died his hair blond and wore it long over one eye. Romney took it upon himself to gather some boys around him, hold him down, and cut his hair badly, forcibly and traumatically. Gayness was the subtext, but there’s no evidence so far that it was explicit. Some of Romney’s cohorts later apologized to the victim, many years later. Today, Romney said that he doesn’t remember the incident.

Romney was a Senior at the time. He was born in March. Whether he was 17 or 18 on the day of the assault is unclear. Regardless, I strongly support a statute of limitations for certain things, at least for those who are contrite.

Given the violent initiative and gang-leader mentality displayed, if Nyx is at all misleading it is in the direction of excessive forebearance.

This is either:

  1. A lie,
  2. An indication of some serious mental problem, or
  3. An indication that this behavior was so routine that individual instances blur together like normal people’s lunch menus.

Organizing a violent gang for the purpose of mayhem is not the sort of thing to which such indulgence should be extended.

There was a kid who seemed, as it were, swishy, or, to put in in other words, gay, and Romney decided to physically assault him in order to correct him.

I don’t see how my characterization is misleading.

ETA: And let’s be clear, he’s shown no discernible contrition for his crime.

Anyone who cares about this is mind-numbingly stupid. He’s 65+ years old, this happened in the 1960s which is so far removed from today where society actually cares about bullying as to be ridiculous. In his era bullying was widely encouraged, not at all discouraged.

This was longer ago than a good portion of this message board’s posters have been alive, and it was while he was in High School. I’m just not ready to give a shit about what Presidential candidates did in High School (I’ve never much cared about college stories, either)–and I think people who do genuinely care are absolutely stupid.

I understand, and hope, that most of the SDMB liberal lunatics on this forum who care about this are just doing it to bitch about Romney, not because they are stupid enough to actually think this sort of High School behavior should have anything to do with Presidential elections.

This is politics and everything is of course fair game, so I expect the Democrats to make hay out of it, but I at least hope no one really cares about this but is instead just using it for its PR value.

In the 1960s he would not have been punished for it, no jurisdiction in the country would have arrested him for it, and in most schools he would probably have received no in-school punishment. This didn’t happen in the year 2012, the societal (and legal / school) response to bullying was immeasurably different back then.

LOL. Yes, anyone who cares that he, as an adult, committed a violent crime, is mind-numbingly stupid. Your argument is extremely convincing.

No, of course not. I don’t think anyone here is dumb enough to imagine that a violent crime as minor as gaybashing some kid would have earned the governor’s son criminal sanctions back in 1965. The thing is that he shouldn’t have taken advantage of his position and the other kid being gay in order to get an opportunity to commit a violent assault. The fact that he did says something about him. And you’re mind-numbingly stupid if you write it off.

And running for president.

It was meaningless in its time, and additionally it isn’t even definitive that it was when he was 18. Further, at that time 18 year olds were still considered minors in many places and for many purposes.

How can you say that?

Romney has been quite clear that if it happened (which he doesn’t remember) and if it hurt or offended anyone (which it may not have) then he would have to apologize.

Right, which makes it news. But if you genuinely care about this you’re an idiot.

If you’re just looking to make hay with it, that’s totally legit. But if people actually think this has anything to do with whether or not someone should be President they are quite simply stupid, period.

Hahaha.

But let’s be serious: Romney totally does not remember this incident, but he totally remembers that he had never even thought of whether the guy was gay.

So you must care… a lot?

Didn’t we consider, and reject, this argument on the “Should Charles Manson ever get parole?” thread?

I’m no idiot to say this, about which everybody with any sense should genuinely care:

So to paraphrase:

20 or more years ago I was socially inept and children said and did mean things to me. Now as an adult, I want retroactive vicarious punishment for these types of people because they still “sit at the cool table” in life and I’m still “stuffed head first in a trash can” in life.

Just like every other thread with “bully” in the title. :rolleyes:

Or, better still, this. (Thanx, Happy Lendervedder!)

Wow. You’re internet-badass.