Presumptive (do we still need to say that?) Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney was dealt a sucker punch to the gut today by the Washington Post’s Jason Horowitz. The devastating 5600+ word article chronicles Mitt’s years at Michigan’s Cranbrook School, a boarding school that sounds stodgy and WASP-y as its name; the only thing that would make it worse is if it were the Cranbrook Academy.
So what did Mitt and the rest of the villains from Caddyshack do while in high school in the raucous 1960s. Oh, you know, the usual kind of pranks: leading a nearly blind teacher into a closed door, impersonating a police officer to scare the pants off girl from another school and having has pals hold down a closeted homosexual classmate as he snipped off his bangs. Yeah, that’s the headliner:
“It happened very quickly, and to this day it troubles me,” said [classmate Thomas] 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.”
In case you’re keeping score, the incumbent candidate just came out for same sex marriage less than 24 hours before this article hit the Web. While that’s certainly going to be the most talked about aspect of the article (Romney’s camp is already trying to find classmates to act as character witnesses in the court of public opinion) Horowitz and researcher Julie Tate paint an exhaustive picture of the young Romney, including this bit about Cranbrook’s religious makeup:
There was a significant Jewish contingent, and several of those students said they never sensed any obvious prejudice. During Romney’s tenure, there were also Middle Eastern exchange students, usually from Kuwait.
Phwew! For a second there I was worried that this bratty incubator of the rich and famous might also have fostered a bit of anti-Semitism. Hell, they even had a church on campus that sounds straight out of the final episode of Lost:
The campus’s elegant Christ Church had a Star of David, an Islamic crescent, and Yin and Yang sign above its wooden door. The Mormon Romney joined Jews and Protestants on Cranbrook’s Church Cabinet, which focused on community service.
So you see, Romney was just fine with the Jews. As long as you weren’t gay or had a weird haircut. One more?
Faisel F. al-Abduljadir, a Kuwaiti student spending his senior year at Cranbrook in part to improve his English, said the teachers and students went out of their way to treat him with respect, showing consideration for his celebration of Ramadan and bathing requirements. But he acknowledged being “angry” about a caption under his picture in the senior yearbook that read, “Take a left at the next Synagogue.”
How droll… Now, I’m guessing it was one of those jerks from Cranbrook’s “significant Jewish contingent” that added that caption (insert controlling the media joke here), so I don’t know if we can hang it on Romney’s neck per se. The entire Washington Post article tries to show you the world that gave us Mitt Romney, so now we know.
Look, none of us wants to be subjected to this kind of scrutiny for the dumbest, most pointless years of our lives. Then again, none of us attacked our classmates with scissors and then ran for president forty years later.