Mitt Romney, identifying and targeting a victim no one in his prep school would defend, 1960s:
Mitt Romney ... spotted something he thought did not belong at a school where the boys wore ties and carried briefcases. 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.Mitt Romney, identifying and targeting a victim hardly anyone in America will defend, last night:
"He can't look like that. That's wrong. Just look at him!" an incensed Romney told Matthew Friedemann, his close friend....
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 hair. Friedemann followed them to a nearby room where they came upon Lauber, 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....
In a salute to Israel's economic growth, Romney compared the GDP of his hosts to that of the Palestinian territories as though they were just any old neighboring countries. "As you come here and you see the GDP per capita, for instance, in Israel which is about $21,000 dollars, and compare that with the GDP per capita just across the areas managed by the Palestinian Authority, which is more like $10,000 per capita, you notice such a dramatically stark difference in economic vitality," he said.Romney went on to say:
Romney (who actually grossly overestimated Palestinian GDP) made no mention of the Israeli occupation, and its restrictions over Palestinian life as being perhaps somewhat determinative in the economic disparity he lauded as a sign of Israel's success.
... if you can learn anything from the economic history of the world, it's this: culture makes all the difference. Culture makes all the difference. And as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things.Romney, of course, really, really wants the few people who'll stick up for the Palestinians -- fellow Muslims and us pointy-headed liberal elitists -- to call him racist. On Twitter, The Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin squeals with delight, and sums up the Romney strategy succinctly:
"Palestinians complain about Romney"- throw him into tat briar patch- puleeeez— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) July 30, 2012
Romney knows that, in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, Americans' sympathies are overwhelmingly with Israel. This is a freebie. You want to talk about the last acceptable prejudice? This is a serious contender.
His policies notwithstanding, George W. Bush personally shied away from overt racism toward blacks, Hispanics, and Muslims. Romney, by contrast, will eagerly exploit bigotry when he thinks he can get away with it. In this case, he knows he can not only get away with it but benefit from it, because so many Americans will cheer the dog whistle and so few will be outraged. He showed in prep school that he won't refrain from hate if hatred has no negative consequences.