Friday, May 11, 2012

Why Don't We Give Romney a Break for High School Pranks

(From Wikipedia)
Reading the Washington Post piece on Mitt Romney and his days at Cranbrook, I felt like I was reading the past mistakes of a high school kid. Yes, it's a cruel, cruel thing what Romney did to John Lauber and it should make Romney feel embarrassed, as it made everyone else involved feel according to WaPo. There was also the "Atta girl" comments Romney shouted when Gary Hummel, a closeted gay student, would speak up in class at Cranbrook. Both unsavory things to do, for sure, but in the context of an all-boys private high school in 1960s, unfortunately not all that surprising.

Romney certainly made mistakes in high school - as we all did. But the upside of mistakes is that it is sometimes the best way to learn. Look at Barack Obama. He did cocaine in his younger days and came out to say that it was one of the greatest moral failures in his life. It was a mistake that he made, has been able to recognize and move on from.

So it is with Romney. He made a mistake and he owned up to it—wait, what? He claimed to not remember it and offered a conditional apology? So he didn't actually apologize for the incident, but for all of his "hijinks" and only if he "hurt anyone by virtue of that"? That doesn't really sound like an apology.

That's okay though, because even if Romney picked on people he thought might be gay, at least he fights for equal rights for all Americans - gay or straight - today. What? He doesn't? He wants gay couples to not enjoy the same rights to marriage as straight couples? And tries to justify it by using history, claiming that his homophobic religion has nothing to do with his decision? That doesn't sound very believable.

So even from all of the talk of how prestigious Cranbrook is and how hard he studied, it seems as if Mitt Romney learned little from his time there.

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