Favorite

Mitt at arms 

When President Obama suggested that Mitt Romney as president mightn't have ordered the removal of Osama bin Laden, Romney replied testily that he would too. Why, even Jimmy Carter would have given that order, he sneered.

Some thought it odd that Mitt Romney would mock Jimmy Carter's courage and patriotism. Romney purposefully dodged service in his country's armed forces, focusing instead on his college studies, missionary work, and probably the occasional fraternity party. Carter attended the United States Naval Academy, accepted an officer's commission on graduation, went down to the sea in submarines, and served six years on active duty. Who is entitled to patronize whom?

But now we learned that Romney has his own tale of valor — leaked to the press by Republican agents, no doubt — though his occurred not at sea but on the campus of one of those chichi prep schools that rich kids attend.

Witnesses have confirmed that Romney in 1965 led a prep-school posse in pursuit of one of their classmates, who was known to wear bleached-blond hair draped over one eye, and was suspected of homosexuality. The vigilantes tackled the offender and held him to the ground while a wrathful Romney cut off his hair with scissors. One of the gang encountered the victim years later, and apologized for his part in the assault. The victim said the incident was "horrible," that he'd been unable to put it out of his mind.

The Republican Party used to offer war heroes as candidates — Grant, Eisenhower et al — and now it makes fun of them, as the Benton County divine and political operative Ronnie Floyd did with John Kerry, when that decorated Vietnam veteran was running for president. The ideal for today's Republicans is the chicken hawk, the politician who talks a bold game, but carefully avoids combat. Here are the Dick Cheneys, the Newt Gingriches, the Rush Limbaughs. Long committed to the view that only little people pay taxes, today's Republican leaders now believe that only little people wear their country's uniform too. "I will not apologize for being successful," Romney has said, and he's been highly successful in avoiding war zones.

To his credit, he's no longer so quick to use scissors on offending haircuts. When an openly gay campaign staff member resigned because of attacks from anti-gay critics, Romney did not join in the attacks, nor did he disassociate himself from kind remarks about the departing staffer that were made by other campaigners. A newish Romney, perhaps, though not new enough.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Most Shared

  • Executionpalooza

    Appearances count. I was struck by a single sentence over the weekend in a full page of coverage in The New York Times devoted to the killing spree in Arkansas, beginning with a front-page account of the recent flurry of legal filings on pending executions and continuing inside with an interview with Damien Echols, the former death row inmate.
  • Art bull

    "God, I hate art," my late friend The Doctor used to say.
  • Not justice

    The strongest, most enduring calls for the death penalty come from those who feel deeply the moral righteousness of "eye-for-an-eye" justice, or retribution. From the depths of pain and the heights of moral offense comes the cry, "The suffering you cause is the suffering you shall receive!" From the true moral insight that punishment should fit the crime, cool logic concludes, "Killers should be killed." Yet I say: retribution yes; death penalty no.
  • Judge Griffen writes about morality, Christian values and executions

    Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who blogs at Justice is a verb!, sends along a new post this morning.
  • The Ledell Lee execution thread

    Arkansas Times contributor Jacob Rosenberg is at the Cummins Unit in Grady filing dispatches tonight in advance of the expected execution of Ledell Lee, who was sentenced to death for the Feb. 9, 1993, murder of Debra Reese, 26, who was beaten to death in the bedroom of her home in Jacksonville.

Latest in Editorials

  • The end of an era

    We're sad to report that Doug Smith has decided to retire. Though he's been listed as an associate editor on our masthead for the last 22 years, he has in fact been the conscience of the Arkansas Times. He has written all but a handful of our unsigned editorials since we introduced an opinion page in 1992.
    • May 8, 2014
  • A stand for equality

    Last week, Attorney General Dustin McDaniel became the first elected statewide official to express support for same-sex marriage. His announcement came days before Circuit Judge Chris Piazza is expected to rule on a challenge to the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Soon after, a federal challenge of the law is expected to move forward. McDaniel has pledged to "zealously" defend the Arkansas Constitution but said he wanted the public to know where he stood.
    • May 8, 2014
  • Same old, same old

    Remarking as we were on the dreariness of this year's election campaigns, we failed to pay sufficient tribute to the NRA, one of the most unsavory and, in its predictability, dullest of the biennial participants in the passing political parade.
    • May 1, 2014
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Event Calendar

« »

April

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Art bull

    • Well, when the Bull was first put up there, it meant one thing, and that…

    • on April 24, 2017
  • Re: Art bull

    • the nice thing about art is that it is what it is, but what it…

    • on April 22, 2017
  • Re: Executionpalooza

    • Fantastic work-from-home opportunity for everyone... Work for three to five hrs a day and start…

    • on April 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation