The big news.

I’m still reading the blowback on Obama’s gay-marriage proclamation, an activity not made any easier by the consumption of three beers. I guess this is a watershed moment, one of those where some people step forward and others don’t, but we trust they’ll catch up. What I don’t understand are the people who keep crowing that the North Carolina vote was SO lopsided, so this means it’s totally wrong. As though, if we’d put interracial marriage on the ballot in the same state in 1963, it would have passed by a similar margin.

What do we all think? I’ll have more in the morning? Right now, I just want to read.

Although Roy has his usual pithy, amusing roundup of the freaks, which you are encouraged to enjoy.

Posted at 12:19 am in Current events |

53 responses to “The big news.”

  1. Dexter said on May 10, 2012 at 12:37 am

    I listened to discussion today; a caller from The Tar Heel State said that even though the vote was 61% as reported, voter turnout was about 30%. I guess this means there are a whole lot of Tar Heels who just don’t care one way or t’other.

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  2. Suzanne said on May 10, 2012 at 7:11 am

    And now we discover that Michele Bachmann is a dual US/Switzerland citizen. Hmmmm. I guess all that Swiss guv-mint funded healthcare and acceptance of gays doesn’t bother her so much after all.

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  3. coozledad said on May 10, 2012 at 7:34 am

    Banging round in the knife drawer
    flecked with drool
    Ain’t the sharp one you axed for.

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  4. alex said on May 10, 2012 at 7:35 am

    It takes courage to express conviction. Romney obviously has neither, but rest assured he’ll be taking credit for gay liberation as soon as it’s politically expedient to do so. Perhaps even by the next time he attempts a run for public office in a year or two.

    Obama staked out this position at great risk, but it’s the right thing to do. And I’m glad he’s reminding people that the golden rule is central to Christianity. The religious right deserves to be treated exactly the way it wishes others to be treated—marginalized and muzzled.

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  5. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Yep, it was about time. I doubt that Obama lost many votes. He may have strengthened the opposition, but I’m glad he strengthened his spine.

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  6. beb said on May 10, 2012 at 8:56 am

    Rachel Maddow did a piece last night about putting controversial proposals to public ballots. They tend not to pass. She also had on a mayor from New Jersey who gave a speech refuting Gov. Christie suggestion that civil rights for gays should be put on a referendum. He long, rambling point was that for some things, specifically civil rights and equality of all citizens should not depend on popular opinions. Equality (of race, gender or sexual orientation) is a founding principle of our country and should be supported by law, not popular votes.

    Pres. Obama has long be in danger of losing the gay vote because of his waffling on things like The Defense of Marriage Act, the long time it took to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and his failure to come out for civil unions for gays before this. He largely avoided the NC referendum, which looked like a tipping point for gays, so he had to come out for gay rights. He gains more gay votes doing this then losing straight votes. The people most upset by this were people who weren’t going to vote for him anyway. The real question is: how hard till Obama push for national civil union legislation?

    Currently Romney is as opposed to gay marriage as he was to the Auto makers bailout. So I’m waiting for the day when Romney suddenly declares that gay marriage was he idea just as the auto bailout was his idea that Obama stole.

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  7. heydave said on May 10, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Romney is now officially standing there with his pants down and history moving along. Spin is all that’s left to him. History will not be kind, but at least Mitt will remain too rich to really be concerned.

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  8. Randy said on May 10, 2012 at 9:31 am

    So, was Biden throwing out a test balloon last Sunday? Or was Biden just being Biden?

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  9. Deborah said on May 10, 2012 at 9:43 am

    A gay young woman in my studio at work said after I told her about Obama’s statement that she thinks it will help Obama regain some of the youth vote that was waning. I think that has the ring of truth.

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  10. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2012 at 9:56 am

    What a great image, heydave, though not one I want to linger on.

    Now, can someone with more time and intelligence explain this Michelle Bachmann Swiss citizenship issue to me? Do we assume it was to protect their income from taxes, or at least from disclosure, on her deluded Presidential quest?

    Some great comments down at the end yesterday from Jeff and Brian; worth going back and reading.

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  11. coozledad said on May 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Julie: Orson Welles explains it for you:

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  12. Bitter Scribe said on May 10, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Amazing how some people are so respectful of the public will as expressed through referendums when it comes to gay marriage, but they blow that off when it comes to abortion bans, which also consistently lose at the ballot box.

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  13. Deborah said on May 10, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Here’s an interesting chart from the Guardian

    I have heard that in the UK conservatives support gay rights.

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  14. Icarus said on May 10, 2012 at 10:52 am

    While I know it’s done all the time, doesn’t the US technically not recognize dual citizenship? And wouldn’t a former presidential candidate, one who presumably might want to try again some day, not want to do something so “un-american” as have a dual citizenship?

    I think the not recognizing dual citizenship is antiquated (sp?) at best.

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  15. Kirk said on May 10, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Many of the people who run the Republican Party here in Franklin County, Ohio, are gay. I wonder whether Obama’s announcement has any effect on them, or whether they are too self-loathing to notice.

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  16. garmoore2 said on May 10, 2012 at 11:21 am


    Dual Citizenship is recognized in the US, but not encouraged:

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  17. Kim said on May 10, 2012 at 11:23 am

    I’m often glad nobody is checking my past for a long story in the Washington Post. But I am just as glad somebody did about the now officially presumptive GOP presidential candidate. Definitely worth the time to read it, from the opening and troubling anecdote on.

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  18. Jeff Borden said on May 10, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I think the move is basically a wash for Obama. Those who were going to vote against him have another reason to do so, and those who support Obama will not change their vote because of this decision.

    The gay rights issue is over. The Neanderthals simply don’t know it yet. In a few years, states like North Carolina will be redrafting its laws because the growing acceptance of gay people and their desires to live a normal life will be a workplace issue for a lot of the companies N.C. wants to attract.

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  19. LAMary said on May 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    I doubt there were many gays who had been Romney supporters who will now switch to Obama because of this. I’m glad he did it. It was the right thing to do. It’s not anti-Christian as much as the Christian right would like people to believe it is. How allowing a same sex couple to marry somehow diminishes heterosexual marriage baffles me. There are plenty of marriages that insult the sanctity of marriage, but the gender of the partners is not the reason.

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  20. Prospero said on May 10, 2012 at 11:53 am

    All of those people touting the NC bigot vote as the “will of the people” are on board with the trouncing of “personhood” at the polls too, right? And what’s the big deal, Barry Goldwater would have supported Gay Marriage. And that WV vote, how are Teabangers claiming WV is a blue state? They’d obviously vote for an oxy-eater over a ni…ni…ni.

    Kirk, as John Leguizamo said about Latino GOPers, that’s like Roaches for Raid.

    Borden, I think you’re wrong. All those HuffPost “progressives” (gutdom I hate that term) that turned on Obama when the “public option” bit the dust are catching up now. Medicare for Everyone. And I don’t think it’s a “move”, I think it’s what he actually believes. How it goes over? God knows:

    Bart: Mornin’, ma’am. And isn’t it a lovely mornin’?
    Elderly Woman: Up yours, nigger.

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  21. Connie said on May 10, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Those states that are putting no gay marriage in their constitutions – many of those constitutions once banned interracial marriage. Will there come s time – for some of us now- when we will be embarrassed for enshrining our bigotry into our constitutions?

    The Methodist church voted last week to continue its statement of doctrine that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. It’s also incompatible with the Methodist church’s statement on its web page: Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors, the people of the United Methodist Church.

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  22. Prospero said on May 10, 2012 at 12:14 pm

    no gay marriage in their constitutions

    No Jewish barbers. No Christian insurance salesmen. People spouting obscure biblical shit invariably rely on arcane and out of context OT bullshit, Why are they so reluctant to rely on their Lord and personal savior in the NT?

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  23. alex said on May 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The Methodists can kiss my faggot ass and shove their faux inclusiveness up their own.

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  24. DellaDash said on May 10, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    It makes sense that the First Daughters were a primary influence on what has to have been a soul-searching reversal of a deep-seated attitude steeped in cultural taboo. (In Jamaica, any and all ‘bahty bois’ better feather their nest in a tightly shut closet, or their life is on the line…and as popular albino mysogynist Yellowman* used to chant, “Two ‘omen wit’out one mahn, mus be a lez-bee-yahn”.)

    Doubt if an attempt to preempt state’s rights on this issue will be made. Too much juice is needed for affordable health care and other federal legislation.

    *albinos like Yellowman are called ‘doondoos’, and are considered to be an abomination because it’s believed they were conceived by parents having no-no intercourse while the female was flying the red flag

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  25. Kim said on May 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I failed to mention that link I included starts with how Romney responded to a “different” kid at his boarding school, whose style was effeminate and offended him. It’s appropriate to the gay conversation, not trying to jack the thread.

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  26. nancy said on May 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Kim, thanks for posting that. I just made my way through it, and had mixed feelings. I’m going to take a bike ride and see if blood circulation solidifies my thoughts at all. Will probably discuss tomorrow.

    Not a threadjack by a long shot.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on May 10, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    Gay Methodists, you’re welcome in the ELCA, come on over!

    As I was doing errands I ran into a woman whose husband, near the top of his field, lost his job two years ago because his entire department was eliminated. His best offer has been 30 hours a week at $10 per. She and I agreed that whipping people into a frenzy over faux social issues is distracting them from our intractable economic problems. And to the whippers, I say, for shame.

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  28. iceblue2 said on May 10, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Not for nothing, but if you put interracial marriage on the ballot in the same state today, I’m thinking it might not pass.

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  29. coozledad said on May 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Kim: The contrast with Obama, who endured a lot of hazing with apparent indifference while growing up in Indonesia, is instructive. This stuff definitely won’t hurt Romney with his base. They’re always somewhere between imagining themselves tied up and beaten by their perceived betters, or conversely, giving someone a boot in the ass. It kept them solidly in Bush’s column, even when it was apparent they’d fallen for a sociopath.

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  30. Jeff Borden said on May 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Willard the Windsock got a little testy with a TV reporter yesterday, who was banging him with questions on gay marriage, immigration rights, etc. Why, Mittens moaned, didn’t the reporter want to talk about “substantive” issues like the economy, which he will transform into a wondrous capitalist machine where unemployment never rises above 4%?

    My fears that Mittens would keep his cool and suggest the steely focus of a tough corporate CEO may be misplaced during this long election season. Mittens doesn’t seem to like answering questions he doesn’t get to choose –namely, those asked by anyone not in the employ of evil elf Rupert Murdoch– and if we’re lucky he’ll have a meltdown.

    All this goofy shit over the past few days has me half-wishing for a red U.S. and a blue U.S. Let the Bible beaters, the homophobes, the racists and the sexists, the gun nuts, the prudes, the climate deniers and the flat earthers all live together in one happy little region, where they can pass their own laws and leave the rest of us the fuck alone.

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  31. coozledad said on May 10, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Pareene dismantles the Doughy Pantload, featuring this:

    “I just opened “The Tyranny of Cliches” to a random page. It is the start of Chapter 9, “Slippery Slope,” and it begins with quotations from Hume, Lincoln and T.S. Eliot. Then we’re treated to the prose of Mr. Jonah Goldberg, who is here to share his presentation on “slippery slopes.” It reads very much like a high school student’s essay assignment:

    Ultimately slippery slope arguments are a mixed bag. They are useful as a way to reinforce good dogma, but they are also used to reinforce bad dogma. Similarly they can scare us away from bad policies and good policies alike. There are good slippery slope arguments and bad ones for good ends and bad ends.

    …Let’s try one of our own: Airplanes can be used for good things and bad things. Some airplanes carry medicine or ice cream, but other airplanes carry bombs or bad people. But an airplane with bombs might be good because the bombs are for using on bad guys, and on the other airplane maybe the ice cream has melted.”

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  32. Jakash said on May 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    It seems pretty clear to me that Obama “evolved” into this position a long time before yesterday. 1996 comes to mind. So, the way he has proceeded with regard to gay rights since he’s hit the national spotlight has been, I think, largely political. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with that. I don’t know how many conservative Christians would have been likely to vote for him, anyway, though I continue to be mystified as to why his clearly communicating the fact that he’s a thoughtful, sincere Christian doesn’t register more profoundly with certain elements of the Christian electorate. I’m equally mystified as to why the Golden Rule seems to hold no sway in their thinking as Christians.

    Anyway, though I certainly applaud his finally getting on board this train before there are not even any seats left, my concern is how this announcement yesterday will affect his standing among the more “severe” Christians in the African-American and Hispanic communities. He certainly needs to roll up big numbers there in November and I just hope this doesn’t have much impact in lowering the enthusiasm of those constituencies. While I certainly believe it’s misguided, the sentiment expressed by this NY Times commenter worries me:

    MMS California “Mr. President you sold out. While it may be politically popular, you have simply sold out. While I am die-hard Democrat and a Christian, you put your party before your God. Sorry, I am not voting for you again. I think many more Democratic Christians will also back out of supporting you.”

    Edit: Whether my comment itself has any merit, or not, I don’t imagine writing “certainly” three times in three consecutive sentences will score many points with all you writers and editors out there in nnc-land… D’oh!

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  33. Mark P said on May 10, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    I read about Romney’s experience with bullying, which I’m sure leads to excellent leadership qualities in his chosen field (gobbling up companies and cutting them into pieces to sell off). I have to wonder about his high school, though. I went to a boys’ school in the deep South (graduated in 1968) and I witnessed maybe one incident of bullying in six years, but it did not involve gays. We had a number of gay students and at least one gay teacher, but it never occurred to me, or anyone I knew, to make anything of it. Were we naive, or did we just not give a s**t about that kind of thing? Why did some people become so obsessed with it in the intervening years? Did they need an outlet to replace racism or what?

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  34. Prospero said on May 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm


    Health care is the issue. Always was, always will be. Mark P. RMoney went to Cranbrook, where bullying was parbly verbal and pranks hijinks. I learned how bras unsnapped there, at summer camp. I bet Willard didn’t. Jesus didn’t have a word to say about His gay children. This is a matter of social justice, and Jesus had a lot to say on that subject. I am disgusted with bigots misrepresenting what Jesus said.

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  35. Connie said on May 10, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Jakash, I always get that bad writer feeling when I post here. You just have to learn to live with it.

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  36. Judybusy said on May 10, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Bristol Palin blames Glee for Obama’s decision. I commented on FB yesterday that reading the responses of the haters was gonna be fun. It is!

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  37. MaryRC said on May 10, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Bringing the First Daughters into the argument is one thing I wish the President wouldn’t do. It never sits well with me, no matter how persuasive the argument. They just should not be brought into public discourse, period. I’m not saying he should pretend that they don’t exist … just don’t quote them or make them targets, ever.

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  38. brian stouder said on May 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Connie, I think your writing is as clear and concise as the best here.

    Laura Lippman has a saying about “killing your darlings”* – self-editing/reducing/economizing…which I (for one) am quite happy to leave to the professionals!

    The way I look at it, if I want to over-use parenthesis (a great favorite!) or exclamation points (I love those things!), or overly long sentences, or yet another shoe-horned in reference to President Lincoln (discussing “modern” politics, that guy fits in pretty much everywhere, I think) – then it’s all fair.

    This is the benefit of being an occupier of the cheap seats, here in NN.c-land, I say.

    *See …which is marvelous

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  39. Jolene said on May 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    What I got from the Horowitz piece in the Post was not so much about Romney’s youthful meanness, although there was definitely some of that, but the incredible sense of privilege. Just the description of the school–the buildings and grounds–spoke of luxury that few of us ever experience.

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  40. Minnie said on May 10, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    Jackash, repetition is a literary device, no?

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  41. Deborah said on May 10, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    Jolene, I’ve been to Cranbrook, on an architectural tour with my husband and his students. It is quite hard to imagine what it must be like for a youngster to go to school there. Some of the touring students I was with were from Southeast Asia and were agog. I agree with you, the thing that got me wasn’t the meaness but the privilege. And Romney’s wife claimed that they struggled in their early married years. Give me a break. As Nancy said a few weeks back when you come from that kind of privilege you always know there will be a safety net. We know that Ann went to Cranbrook too.

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  42. Connie said on May 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    I visited Cranbrook as a child, just once, to accompany my Birmingham cousins and our mothers to a rose show. Flower show? I only remember the flowers.

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  43. Kirk said on May 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    The Lions used to train at Cranbrook. It is the setting for most of “Paper Lion.”

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  44. Prospero said on May 10, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    That’s not a schoolboy prank, that is assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and it sounds like the action of somebody with serious doubts about his own sexual identity.

    Kirk, you’re right. I met the last great Lions D Line there. Karras, Dallas McCord, Sam Williams and Roger Brown, the most gigantic man I ever met, and a really nice guy, the Fearsome Foursome. And Paper Lion is one of the best movies ever made. I attended the Summer Theater, and still have photos:

    I still remember how to do theatrical makeup. The Cranbrook campus rivals Harvard and UGA North Campus that is more beautiful than any part of Harvard. In the summertime back then, I could have been Willard’s victim, but my hair was green mostly, not blonde. Chlorine.

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  45. Bitter Scribe said on May 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    Sounds like Romney was an arrogant little preppy twit. I know something about those–went to the same prep school as George W. Assface.

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  46. brian stouder said on May 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    Kim’s linked article is long, and very interesting.

    Two excerpts that struck me:

    Cranbrook had all the trappings of an elite school where kids walked around like junior executives and, as Tom Elliott, Class of 1966, recalled, learned mantras such as, “Remember who you are, and what you represent.”

    Interesting that “what you represent” apparently could not include being gay, and apparently excused mob violence against anyone who was gay, or who didn’t sufficiently “Remember who you are, and what you represent.”

    and then there’s this:

    Lou Vierling, a scholarship student who boarded at Cranbrook for the 1960 and 1961 academic years, was struck by a question Romney asked them when they first met. “He wanted to know what my father did for a living,” Vierling recalled. “He wanted to know if my mother worked. He wanted to know what town I lived in.” As Vierling explained that his father taught school, that he commuted from east Detroit, he noticed a souring of Romney’s demeanor.

    Honestly, Mitt Romney doesn’t scare me; I don’t think his election would be a ruinous event for the nation (certainly not on the scale of what the election of a lunatic beard like Michelle Bachmann of Switzerland would entail).
    But I do know, beyond any doubt, that the America that Mitt Romney wants to preside over is a gated place that I’ve never seen, and never will see.

    Even granting that Willard was a teenager when he lead the attack on his non-conforming fellow student, the heartlessness of the act, and the cold-hearted refusal to specifically face what he did to the present day, indicate (to me) a stunted adult; an idiot savant who may well be very good at some things, but who is nonetheless badly impaired.

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  47. Deborah said on May 10, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Brian, once again you have hit the nail on the head exactly “is a gated place, I’ve never seen” is so on it’s amazing. You could tell the Dems a thing or two about how to package this. Seriously. Brilliant.

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  48. Kim said on May 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    The WaPo article makes me feel bad, aghast, disappointed, unsurprised and a not very hopeful.

    Presume the incident is true. Seems like the intervening years gave the privileged ones who helped or at least enabled that prank/attack time for introspection that led to saying aloud they were appalled and sorry for the incident. If it is to be believed, one guy even got the chance to apologize in person years later. That seems a little too perfect, but sometimes life tips that way.

    But Mitt doesn’t even recall it. He doesn’t remember differently; he doesn’t remember. That reads to me like the privilege allowed the behavior, so having the behavior register a feeling would be an extreme event. This was business as usual – you want it, you take it, you pay the price ($0!).

    Those of you who have kids still at home know the schools are preaching anti-bullying (evidence to the contrary in that documentary, I know) or at least saying they are. I wonder what Mitt’s supporters would say if their kid was on the hurting end of a “prank” like that.

    Maybe they’d be like the dad of a kid on the fringe of my youngest’s circle, an 8th grader who left his bong and other materials at a sleepover recently. Dad is an educated man working in the federal gov’t and refuses to believe his kid would ever do something like that, even though the kid has all the makings of a DSM-IV psychopath: tortured small animals, set fires and is basically working his way through the list of symptoms.

    “Remember who you are and what you represent” – indeed, those effin’ effers.

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  49. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on May 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I’ll bet you $10,000 he does remember it.

    Hey, Bitter Scribe, did they still have the painting of Warren Moorehead in the Peabody Archaeology Museum when you were there?

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  50. Bitter Scribe said on May 10, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    JTMMO, I meant Andover, not Harvard.

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  51. Catherine said on May 11, 2012 at 12:05 am

    The HS picture of Mitt in the WaPo article kind of tells the whole story: His expression, haircut and skin color are the same as every other privileged, oblivious, throwback, SAE frat boy, b-school asshat I’ve ever met. The older I get, the more I’m comfortable assuming the worst about people like that, and being pleasantly surprised if they prove me wrong. I just never thought there was a lot to appreciate about him in the first place, so my aghast-meter is not moving much. But, Kim, thank you for linking.

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  52. Rana said on May 11, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Something I’ve never understood about the “one man, one woman” marriage thing is how they square it with the prohibition on establishing a state religion. Some religions countenance the marriage of multiple partners, and others, like the UUs, consider marriage of gays and lesbians to be the exact same sacrament as heterosexual marriage. So if you’re going to grant a set of civil and legal rights to married couples (or polygamous groups), how do you justify granting them to couples married according to one church but not another? (And that’s not even getting into the issue of atheists, for whom marriage would perforce be an entirely civil act.)

    It seems that if you’re being fair about it, you either have to grant those rights across the board to any and all groupings deemed legitimate by some recognized religious body, or grant them to no one, or state plainly that civil marriage and religious marriage are two different beasts and allow civil marriage rights for any grouping of consenting adults who want to declare themselves a domestic unit, regardless of their religious affiliation. Claiming that only marriages recognized as legitimate by a few bigoted churches are worthy of civil support seems unConstitutional to me.

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  53. Prospero said on May 12, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    Bullying was not countenanced in by HS. I know Bsssett boesn’t belive that. We did not stand for that sort of shit. We thought everybody had something to be stood dor, and there was no bullying. I wish Bassett had gone to my school and never been bullied. He would have liked it and been happier these days. We fucked each other over bigtime. You would have been on the money acceptable. I was a jock and an asshole, and I would have been a friend, if you’d have believed it. Both a coupla dumbaasses, eh? Bassett, it is important to me you realize,. I always meant to be friends. ns you xN SUMP ON MW IF YOU’S LIKE. I ALWAYS MEANT TO NOT BE AN AHOLE. I WAS ALWAYS TRYING TO BE A NICE GUY. WHETHER YOU KNEW IT OR NOT.

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