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Old 05-11-2012, 03:23 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Mharvey View Post
Bottom line: if Mittens just owned the damn thing, I wouldn't care. It's this "I can't remember" crap that he seems to get afflicted with every time someone calls him on something that drives me nuts. You do something horrible to someone else, it stays with you, unless you're just a horrible person.
EXACTLY!

Is what he did deplorable? Absolutely. But why not just admit that he did wrong and apologize and move on? What kind of advisers does this man have? Or did he decide all on his own that denying that he even remembered the incident was the best move? How can this be good for him?

And I find it interesting that he says he knows he never thought the kid was gay...but no, he doesn't remember beating him up. But he KNOWS he didn't think he was gay.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:23 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Yorkist View Post
Oh, good.



I don't disagree with any of your pure opinion, but... I wonder how much of homosexuality = feminine is particular to our time and place in history. The ancients didn't associate homosexuality (or: homosexual acts) with femininity.

Anyway, this is what I'm thinking:

(1) Gender identity, like national identity, is in a state of collapse.

(2) Men, as the "ruling" class, tend to feel this more keenly than women, who while perhaps are ambivalent about it, at least see the freedom in it.

(3) This compounds with an ongoing loss of male privilege, which is often seen as male discrimination due to a lack of aknowledgment of privilege. You see it in *coughchoke* "men's rights" movements, who are quite upset about things like how fewer men graduate from college than women.

(4) The response is the celebration of an outside-from-within view of masculinity, which abhors the "feminine" (human) characteristics in favor of an exaggerated mythic masculinity, i.e.: asshole.

I think that's because the younger the kiddos, the less sex is ascribed to their identities; they don't have as many issues with it as the older folks who may feel their gender has been robbed from them over the course of their lifetimes. Perhaps.
I hadn't meant to imply that the list of "feminine" characteristics was anything but a present day thing with variations from culture to culture. But it is this list that modern macho is measuring itself.

I'm not sure if identities are in collapse so much as in flux. A whole lot of assumptions and attitudes have been breaking down for a long time (check out late 19th and early 20th century novels complaining about women not acting feminine and trying to be all modern and stuff.)

Here's a bit from Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra:
Quote:
FTATATEETA. It is not meet that the Queen remain alone with--

CLEOPATRA (interrupting her). Ftatateeta: must I sacrifice you to
your father's gods to teach you that I am Queen of Egypt, and not
you?

FTATATEETA (indignantly). You are like the rest of them. You want
to be what these Romans call a New Woman. (She goes out, banging
the door.)
At each stage of this process, some men and some women have been reactionary. To me one of the best literary depictions of this is in Dorothy Sayer's mystery novel Gaudy Night which is all about the changing roles of women at the time.

I think the flux of identity is a change from a culture-defined identity culture to an individual-defined identity culture. In the former other people told us who and what we are. In the latter people work to create their own lives and identities within the society.

There are two critical distinctions between these two social forms.
1. How one thinks about oneself.
2. What is socially expected of others.

It is in 2 that people can either be helpful (by expecting people to be who they are and do they best they can) or be jerks (by expecting people to fit some pre-formed structure and do as they're told).

The cultural backlash going on right now seems to me to be people demanding the right to tell other people who and what they are and what they get to do.
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Old 05-11-2012, 05:29 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Yorkist View Post
I guess what I'm trying to ask is - when did empathy become a dirty word?
When Glenn Beck godwined it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #54
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The sister of the alleged victim has no knowledge of the event, and says her brother never mentioned it (she also says he was the kind of guy who probably wouldn't, though).
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...ying-incident/

One of the alleged witnesses to the event was never there, and never heard of it until this week.
http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/10/cr...pranks-emerge/



How much do you hate Romney to believe every hit piece you read? Is the counterpoint to "Birther" "Haircutter?"
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:50 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dclary View Post
The sister of the alleged victim has no knowledge of the event, and says her brother never mentioned it (she also says he was the kind of guy who probably wouldn't, though).
http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics...ying-incident/

One of the alleged witnesses to the event was never there, and never heard of it until this week.
http://dailycaller.com/2012/05/10/cr...pranks-emerge/



How much do you hate Romney to believe every hit piece you read? Is the counterpoint to "Birther" "Haircutter?"
The sister said this:

Quote:
“Even if it did happen, John probably wouldn’t have said anything,” Christine Lauber said.
which means that her not knowing about it is not evidence.
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Old 05-11-2012, 07:59 PM   #56
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To be honest, I went to a public school we would have beaten the crap out of Romney, his friends, AND their victim just on principle. Stupid preppies.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #57
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Originally Posted by RichardGarfinkle View Post
The sister said this:



which means that her not knowing about it is not evidence.
Agreed. I mentioned that in my OP.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:04 PM   #58
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How much do you hate Romney to believe every hit piece you read? Is the counterpoint to "Birther" "Haircutter?"
One might as easily as how much do you hate Obama to dismiss it out of hand?

The story was well sourced, and Romney didn't deny that the incident occurred - all he claimed was that he didn't realize the individual being attacked was gay. (er, to be more accurate, he claimed that he was sure he wasn't thinking that the individual he didn't remember ordering five other people to attack was gay. )

If there's some sort of D-side Swift Boat organization that's arisen to deal with Romney, part of me would find it amusing, but I think there's more than enough modern evidence that Romney is unfit to govern without it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #59
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I am not as affected by bullies or bullying as others, perhaps. I don't know.

In the past I have both been the bullied and the bully. I honestly do not think that punching a kid in the mouth in 9th grade 30 years ago would or should affect my candidacy for a political job today. Nor do I think Romney's college actions should matter today.

Clinton dodged the draft, ran to England, and smoked pot in college. He received a minor amount of shit for that, and still became president. Bush Jr. had DUIs and missed some mandatory sessions in the Air Guard when he was in college. He received a good deal of shit for that, and still became president.

At the end of the day, people don't vote "What did that guy do when I was 12?" They vote "What is that guy going to do for me tomorrow?"

That answer may still preclude you from voting for one candidate or another. It ought to. It would be a damn sight better reason than because of alleged offenses that occurred before more than half of the electorate was even born.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:44 PM   #60
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:blink: Leaving aside the fabrications and distortions of Kerry's military service record, which I note you left out of your laundry list, AND had a major effect on him not becoming president, how are the things above equivalent to inciting a gang of your friends to physically assault a weaker student?

Fine, the guy was 18. If he'd led a blameless life everymore, I'd say it was one thing. But if you watch some of those interviews of him yesterday, he was laughing. There's no remorse. He's still the same.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:21 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by raburrell View Post

The story was well sourced, and Romney didn't deny that the incident occurred - all he claimed was that he didn't realize the individual being attacked was gay. (er, to be more accurate, he claimed that he was sure he wasn't thinking that the individual he didn't remember ordering five other people to attack was gay. )
How would they know he was gay? No one talked about it then, no one admitted it then, especially not high school. If anything, we just thought of them as not very tough, effeminate might have been the term. Maybe they did know he was gay. I don't know. But at that time, I hate to say it, the same outrage over such an act just didn't exist.

And really, I got into a lot of fights, many by bullies because I was the proverbial 98 pound weakling. But I don't remember any of their names. It was high school nearly 40 years ago. Who has that kind of memory?
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:25 PM   #62
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No, I believe him that he wasn't really aware that the individual was gay, and that it was more rooted in the concept of that person being different in a way that bothered him. I find it difficult to believe that he could remember that and not the incident in question.

FWIW, I could tell you the first, last, and middle name of the kid I saw get beat up outside my homeroom in ninth grade because he was gay. (And it wasn't until probably college that I realized that was why) I remember what he was wearing that day. I remember what the kid who beat him up was wearing too. Romney's denial is at once too specific and too vague to ring true to me.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:26 PM   #63
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I am not as affected by bullies or bullying as others, perhaps. I don't know.

In the past I have both been the bullied and the bully. I honestly do not think that punching a kid in the mouth in 9th grade 30 years ago would or should affect my candidacy for a political job today.
In what universe is getting into a fistfight the same thing as rounding up four of your buddies, holding someone down and doing whatever you please to him because you don't like his looks?
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #64
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In what universe is getting into a fistfight the same thing as rounding up four of your buddies, holding someone down and doing whatever you please to him because you don't like his looks?
It wasn't a fight. I punched him because he annoyed me. He sat down and bled. The next summer he went out into the woods with a few friends and never came back out. Official verdict was suicide via hunting rifle, but who knows? He was the kind of guy (like the person in Romney's story) who invited the aggression of people accustomed to providing it.

So, I don't know what universe that is. But I live in it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:34 PM   #65
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In what universe is getting into a fistfight the same thing as rounding up four of your buddies, holding someone down and doing whatever you please to him because you don't like his looks?
Exactly. Smoking pot or ditching school are not the same as actively brutalizing another person.

Kids will be kids. Most of us did things we're not proud of. But I see this incident as going beyond most "kid stuff." It shows what kind of character the man has. And I want a better man/person to be president. The whole laughing it off attitude? F that.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:41 PM   #66
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:blink: Leaving aside the fabrications and distortions of Kerry's military service record, which I note you left out of your laundry list, AND had a major effect on him not becoming president, how are the things above equivalent to inciting a gang of your friends to physically assault a weaker student?

Fine, the guy was 18. If he'd led a blameless life everymore, I'd say it was one thing. But if you watch some of those interviews of him yesterday, he was laughing. There's no remorse. He's still the same.
Kerry lost the election because his entire campaign was "I'm not Bush." He never (*never*) made a campaign stump that didn't make Bush's non-reelection his primary platform point. His past didn't come into it, or if it did, not enough to influence the people who will vote for the devil they know rather than the devil they don't.


And as far as equivalency of the other things? It works like this: when you're in college, especially if you're in college in the 60s, you're thinking this: "How do I score with that babe? How do I score some weed? How do I score well on this test without working too hard at it."

There are, of course, some exceptions to that rule.

The point can be made, though, that Clinton's carousing, Bush's truancies, and Romney's hazings are all part and parcel to one common feature inherent in early-adulthood-age males: immaturity. Were any of them thinking about running for President in 30-40 years? I'd guess no. So it's hard to blame them for not taking that into consideration when they committed their transgressions.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:41 PM   #67
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It wasn't a fight. I punched him because he annoyed me. He sat down and bled. The next summer he went out into the woods with a few friends and never came back out. Official verdict was suicide via hunting rifle, but who knows? He was the kind of guy (like the person in Romney's story) who invited the aggression of people accustomed to providing it.

So, I don't know what universe that is. But I live in it.
Can you explain what you mean about the kind of guy who invited the aggression of people?
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #68
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Dclary, I think at this point we'll have to agree to disagree as to what's remorse and acceptable behavior then, sorry.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:46 PM   #69
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Can you explain what you mean about the kind of guy who invited the aggression of people?
I have a friend named Scott Colvin. He's gay. I didn't know it in high school. I think he didn't know it then, either. I bullied him, although never physically. He had an effeminate way about him, and was just awful in the choir, having trouble keeping his notes from falling flat.

We've reconnected via facebook, and when we did, I saw he had a husband, and they look amazingly happy. Since life has dealt me the hand it has, I was, of course, overjoyed to find he'd found love, and I told him so, and apologized for the way I'd treated him in the 80s. It's water under the bridge.

Surely you know this type, though? People who wear their hearts on their sleeves. People who become too impassioned or overreact to teasing and roughhousing. In the hierarchy of schoolyard antics, these people draw the attention of bullies, because their reactions are more exaggerated, and thus more entertaining to the person or group doing the hazing.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:48 PM   #70
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Dclary, I think at this point we'll have to agree to disagree as to what's remorse and acceptable behavior then, sorry.
No need to apologize. I'd never ask you to have the same opinion as me. I appreciate you allowing me the same courtesy. We're just here to discuss it, not to agree on it.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:03 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by dclary View Post
I have a friend named Scott Colvin. He's gay. I didn't know it in high school. I think he didn't know it then, either. I bullied him, although never physically. He had an effeminate way about him, and was just awful in the choir, having trouble keeping his notes from falling flat.

We've reconnected via facebook, and when we did, I saw he had a husband, and they look amazingly happy. Since life has dealt me the hand it has, I was, of course, overjoyed to find he'd found love, and I told him so, and apologized for the way I'd treated him in the 80s. It's water under the bridge.

Surely you know this type, though? People who wear their hearts on their sleeves. People who become too impassioned or overreact to teasing and roughhousing. In the hierarchy of schoolyard antics, these people draw the attention of bullies, because their reactions are more exaggerated, and thus more entertaining to the person or group doing the hazing.
I understand the point you're making, and to some extent I was that kind of person (very strongly geeky and easy to get a rise out of), but you were describing things only from the POV of the bully. That implies a level of sympathy for the victimizer.

Giving in to a temptation of any kind, including temptation to violence, is not the fault of the object of temptation.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by dclary View Post

Surely you know this type, though? People who wear their hearts on their sleeves. People who become too impassioned or overreact to teasing and roughhousing. In the hierarchy of schoolyard antics, these people draw the attention of bullies, because their reactions are more exaggerated, and thus more entertaining to the person or group doing the hazing.
I can see how the traits you ascribed to the bully victim might be true for a subset of the victims.

However, based on my own experience of being bullied and bullying others, I'd say that is not the typical victim profile (at least when I was growing up in 70s/80s).

My recollection is that most people who got bullied really acted not that different from others. They were mostly quiet types who were simply different, often times based on the way they looked.

In Lauber's case, the Post's article indicates that Mitt seemed to have gotten especially irritated at Lauber because Lauber had bleached blonde hair.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:05 PM   #73
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FWIW, I could tell you the first, last, and middle name of the kid I saw get beat up outside my homeroom in ninth grade because he was gay. (And it wasn't until probably college that I realized that was why) I remember what he was wearing that day. I remember what the kid who beat him up was wearing too. Romney's denial is at once too specific and too vague to ring true to me.
Maybe as a woman you're more inclined to be effected by such behavior? I don't know. Plus, he's got 30 years on you in which to have those memories fade.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:14 PM   #74
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Giving in to a temptation of any kind, including temptation to violence, is not the fault of the object of temptation.
No, nor do I mean to imply that it is. It's not this alleged victim's fault that he got targeted, nor the people in my life that I bullied. They were targets of opportunity: in the wrong place, at the wrong time, broadcasting the wrong message.
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Old 05-11-2012, 11:31 PM   #75
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They were targets of opportunity: in the wrong place, at the wrong time, broadcasting the wrong message.
That sounds like the same type of "blame the victim" nonsense some people use when talking about rape. The girl was in the wrong bar, at the wrong time, wearing the wrong skirt (i.e. "did you see what she was wearing / how she was looking? She was asking for it.")
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