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It’s been a while since I’ve unequivocally applauded President Obama, but I am thrilled to do so today.
I doubted on the show yesterday that he’d come out of the closet in support of marriage equality, especially by way of a televised interview. But I was wrong, and I’m really glad to admit it.
And to those of my brethren on the left, give the man some fucking credit where credit is due. Watch it for yourself, then thank him for doing the right thing!
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This is a giant leap forward for civil rights, especially poignant coming from our first African America president, who certainly knows of civil rights battles.
And, to draw an even greater contrast between President Obama and wannabe president Mitt Romney, the Washington Post this morning published a piece centering on a horrific, homophobic episode led by the then-high school bully, “Mitt Romney’s prep school classmates recall pranks, but also troubling incidents.”
” John Lauber, a soft-spoken new student one year behind Romney, was perpetually teased for his nonconformity and presumed homosexuality. Now he was walking around the all-boys school with bleached-blond hair that draped over one eye, and Romney wasn’t having it.
“He can’t look like that. That’s wrong. Just look at him!” an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend in the Stevens Hall dorm, according to Friedemann’s recollection. Mitt, the teenaged son of Michigan Gov. George Romney, kept complaining about Lauber’s look, Friedemann recalled.
A few days later, Friedemann 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 hairFriedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came uponLauber, 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. The incident was recalled similarly by five students, who gave their accounts independently of one another. Four of them — Friedemann, now a dentist; Phillip Maxwell, a lawyer; Thomas Buford, a retired prosecutor; and David Seed, a retired principal — spoke on the record. Another former student who witnessed the incident asked not to be named. The men have differing political affiliations, although they mostly lean Democratic. Buford volunteered for Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008. Seed, a registered independent, has served as a Republican county chairman in Michigan. All of them said that politics in no way colored their recollections.
“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. “
I know… this happened in 1965. Let me respond with two things.
First, a tweet from Jeremy Scahill on the subject which nailed it:
Everybody does dumb shit in high school. Not everyone targets a gay student because he is gay & assaults him.
And second, Romney’s own reaction this morning when interviewed on Fox’s Brian Kilmeade’s radio show. Note the nervous laughter from Mittens, his denial that Lauber was gay, and his “apology” – if anyone was offended…. Blecch.
Today on the show, I talked about President Obama’s historic statement yesterday with a new twitter friend – screenwriter (Wedding Crashers) Steve Faber, who also happens to be a bit of a political junkie and writes about his obsession for Huffington Post.
And, though he was away for a few weeks, John Fugelsang joined me once again to close out the week with a mix of laughter and conversation. John is in Madison, WI for Guilt: A Love Story tomorrow night at the Barrymore Theater, and next Saturday (5/19) here in Ft. Lauderdale at the Parker Playhouse!