Friday, May 11, 2012
On the Mitt Romney Hit-Piece
We know the Obama campaign will go dirty against Mitt Romney. But how dirty is problematic for the simple reason that Romney has, by all accounts, lived an exemplary life. We forget that Obama didn't go to Harvard Law until he was 27, graduating when he was 30, and wasn't married until age 31 (note: he did better than the Regular Guy on all these things, but that's not the point). Romney had married his high school sweetheart at age 22, and by the time he was 31 was a Vice-President at a prestigious consulting firm, Bain and Co., had been married for 9 years, had four children, and had both a J.D. and an M.B.A. from Harvard, after graduating with highest honors from BYU and having gone on a two-year mission. Since then he has been fabulously successful at literally everything he's touched, there is no hint of scandal surrounding his marriage or children, he's given tens of millions to charity, he's been a public servant, etc. In sum, there is no remotely plausible evidence anywhere that Romney is anything other than an exemplary character.
So, in the absence of any substantive "dirt," you get the idiocy of an article yesterday in the Washington Post spending 11 pages talking about an "incident" nearly 50 years ago where Romney apparently hazed a boy in prep school who later apparently turned out to be homosexual.
The story is falling apart as we speak. The family of the boy (who died in 2004 in his 50s of liver cancer) has already issued a statement saying the story is factually inaccurate and would have outraged him, had he lived to see it. Other "witnesses" have already said that the Post reported falsehoods about what they had to say. And, of course, the Post only quoted people who are active Democrats.
And, of course, you will wait in vain for an article from the Washington Post providing details about Obama's admitted drug use during high school. Or about his relationship with Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, the unrepentant 1960s radicals/terrorists. Or about his relationship with Jeremiah Wright. Or about his father's and mother's Marxist leanings.
But here's the thing that rankles me, that a real journalist would try to investigate. On Wednesday the President gave a big interview in which he admitted what everyone already knew, that he was pro-gay marriage. On Thursday, the Post publishes a lengthy article that was clearly in the works for some time, with the unspoken premise that Romney is anti-gay. There is no question in my mind that these two events were coordinated. Which means that the Washington Post essentially gave a huge in-kind contribution to the Obama campaign. Democrats are always harping on about "corporations" being involved in giving money to political candidates. What exactly is the difference when the Washington Post Corporation gives a huge in-kind contribution to Obama? I mean, if they simply published pro-Obama ads for free in their paper, wouldn't that raise some eyebrows over at the Federal Election Commission? So explain to me the difference.
An enterprising U.S. Attorney might do start an investigation of campaign finance violations involving illegal coordination between the White House and the Washington Post. I won't hold my breath, and I guess in the end I wouldn't like to criminalize bad editorial judgment in liberal newspapers, but, sheesh, does this sort of thing piss me off.
Really, WaPo? High school boys not being nice... in 1965? That's the best you've got?