Green Room

Other bullies, other victims

posted at 1:25 pm on May 12, 2012 by

“The Romney-bully story, perhaps predictably, got you all a little more worked up than my searing post about public-sector job loss (this says something depressing about your priorities, people).” This bit of self-indulgent holier-than-thou finger wagging is the opening salvo in a 700-word post byThe Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky that wades back into—what else?—the Romney-bully story.

Tomasky proceeds to ask and then answer, at least to his own satisfaction, two questions: (1) Has the story been debunked? (2) Does it matter? The first question is a non-starter. Tomasky admits that the Washington Post, which ran the 5,000-word hit piece, revised the copy online and in later print editions, but this Tomasky writes off as correcting “a factual error” that has no “direct bearing at all on whether the Lauber incident happened as the paper described.” Otherbloggers view the Post’s emendations differently, but that’s just the nature of left-vs.-right blogging. For as long as the story continues to have legs, the left will insist on one reading of the facts, the right on another.

On the question of whether the story matters, Tomasky writes:

Yes, we all did things in high school. But that’s a lazy cop-out. We all didn’t pounce on a misfit kid with a pair of scissors in our hands and violently lop off his hair while our friends held him down and jeered (and remember, Romney himself isn’t denying this; just saying he has no memory of it—wingers, ask yourselves how you reacted when Bill Clinton or Barack Obama said they ‘had no memory’ of being alone with Ms. Lewinsky or hearing Rev. Wright say X, and just admit that it’s a standard dodge). Comparatively few people did things like that. It’s unusual and it’s worth examination.

I will leave it to others to take Tomasky to task for the fatuousnesss of his comparisons. Instead, let’s suppose that Romney actually did “pounce on a misfit kid with a pair of scissors” in his hands “and violently lop off his hair” while others held him down and jeered. How does this cruel prank compare with the one described below?

[He] always had an idea.… If their notion of a summer evening’s prank was to put a bag of dogsh*t on old man Schutz’s doorstep, [he] would say, ‘No, here’s what we’ll do. You know behind my house, where they got all those little trees? Get a shovel …’ And they did: they went out with shovels and planted a forest of saplings on Mr. Schutz’s lawn. It was so much more elaborate—all thought out, the way [he] had it figured.

The perpetrator of this hilarious prank was also handy with his dukes:

Once [he] set his mind, it was like he didn’t think at all—he just did. That’s why you didn’t want to fight him. Most guys who got into a fight, they’d square off, there’d be a minute or so of circling around, while they jockeyed for position. [He] didn’t do that. He decided to fight … BANGO—he’d punch the guy in the face. [He]was kind of skinny, and he stuttered, and the kids called him Bye-Bye, for the way he sounded when he tried to say his name. But [he]would never back down, and he knew how to box, when no one else did.…

Even after he left, after [his father] … moved the family away, Charlie Roth would still (in moments of duress) tell guys that his friend … would come back and beat them up, if they didn’t watch out. (When [he] did come back, Charlie always had a list.)

Were you able to figure out from the “Bye-Bye” stuttering reference that the pugilist in this tale was young “Joey” Biden? The quote is from the book What It Takes: The Way to the White House, a story of the 1988 presidential election by reporter Richard Ben Cramer. Commentary’s Alana Goodman quotes this passage in a post titled “Tip for WaPo: Look Into Young Joe Biden.”

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I write a lot of pieces that are way more important than the Romney “bullying” story, but to get clicks, I’ll use the Romney “bullying” story as a hook for everything I write from now on.

J.E. Dyer on May 12, 2012 at 2:09 PM


How about using the “Bye-Bye” story of a young pugilist + Biden’s multiple brain aneuryism surgeries and lack of ability to control his mouth, to discuss whether we have a brain-damaged vice-president?


cane_loader on May 12, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Wow. I’m guessing the Dems will say that Joey the thug was just a poor, struggling Irish kid who didn’t have the privileged background of the silver-spooned Mitt Romney-the-Governor’s-son, that he had to be tough or he wouldn’t have survived those mean streets.

Oh, and speaking of other bullies

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 identified. [snip]

“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.”[snip]

[Romney] participated on the school’s hockey team as its manager, lugging a duffle bag full of pucks and sticks. Dressed in suit and tie and three-quarter coat, he rode the bus with the uniformed players and kept stats in the coach’s box at the cold outdoor rink. The team’s senior year began with promise, but ended badly. The players took out their frustration on the ice, getting into brawls with Lakeview and Catholic Central. During one fight, Maxwell pulled the jersey over the head of an opposing player and pummeled away. Romney dashed onto the ice, slipping and sliding in his Brogan wingtips in an apparent attempt to break up the fight.

Apparently this irony was lost on Jason Horowitz.

Buy Danish on May 12, 2012 at 3:01 PM

As someone else on here said, is Romney cutting someone’s hair 50 years isn’t going to affect the lives of my grandchildren.

WeekendAtBernankes on May 12, 2012 at 5:54 PM

NEW Obama strategy… Look into the death records in every state and city and find anyone that has died that may or may not have EVER had any type of interaction with Mitt Romeny and make up any kind of “Bully” story that cannot be refuted by the Deceased.

Classic. Didn’t Barack push some little boy off a bike and break his arm in Indonesia while he was going under the identity of Barry Soetoro (unknown passport verification on said name) or is that an act of compassion there in Indonesia we just don’t understand well enough?

Make a false claim with democrat operatives, then regurgitate is as though it were a proven fact. Obama’s character has proven over and again it is he that is the biggest BULLY of them all….. he mocks, berates and taunts every single American citizen that he disagrees with every single solitary day of his mean spirited hypocritical life!

He may be the President of the United States….. But I don’t have to Like him, Trust Him or stay silent when I disagree with him….. and I won’t.

ActinUpinTexas on May 14, 2012 at 12:13 PM