Romney: A Gay-Basher In High School, Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  May 14 2012 @ 1:07pm

Edmund White attended the same school as Romney, seven years prior. White's take on Romney's psychology:

On the one hand he had an embarrassingly famous father, the governor of Michigan, whom he idolized as the youngest child. On the other he was the sole Mormon, a member Youngmittof what was definitely seen as a creepy, stigmatized cult in that world of bland Episcopalian Wasps (we had Episcopalian services at chapel three mornings a week). When his father was president of American Motors, he lived at home and was a day student, an envied status. When his father was elected governor and moved to the state capital of Lansing, he became a boarder. Suddenly he was surrounded by other Cranbrook students and the strict “masters,” 24/7. He no longer had the constant support of his tight-knit family. Now he had to win approval from the other boys.

No wonder he became a daring and even violent prankster. He who worried about his own marginal status couldn’t bear the presence of an unapologetic sissy like Lauber, with his long bleached hair (the Mormons, then as now, have insisted on a neat, traditional, conservative appearance, especially in their young missionary men whom they send out all over the world). In scorning and shearing a sissy student and leading a gang of five other boys in this “prank,” Romney may have felt popular and in the right for the first time.

Steve Almond compares his own experience witnessing a sexual assault in Junior High to Romney's. Cranbrook alum Mike Kinsley's hilarious take here:

One of [Romney's] favorite insults was: "Your mother is assistant secretary of Agriculture! Take it back? Make me, you future federal bureaucrat. And screw the pandas."

Or maybe I just imagined all that. It's been a long time.

My take here, here, herehere and here.