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Mitt Romney and Jerry Sandusky: Bullies and Rapists

by Mickey Weems
Friday May 11, 2012

We all make mistakes. Most of us have done things we're ashamed of.

The lucky ones among us are caught red-handed and swiftly punished, thus reducing our chances of repeating our errors. Such was the case when I bullied somebody when I was 11 years old. Punishment was swift and devastating and I vowed never to do it again.

Not so Mitt Romney when he was at boarding school. At the age of 17 or 18, he led a gang of prep-school thugs to physically attack and humiliate an insufficiently masculine classmate. Unlike his victim, Romney suffered no negative repercussions. He escaped even the mildest scolding from adults, and won the admiration of his more arrogant and athletic peers as a real go-getter.

Young Mitt was no athlete. Seems he didn't dare take on the queer kid by himself for fear of getting his ass handed to him, so he recruited jocks to be his muscle. Maybe this display of stealth cowardice on Mitt's part was his way to earn their admiration. Or to keep from becoming a target.

Mitt's reaction as an adult when confronted with his abysmal behavior? He laughed, claimed he didn't remember, gave a watered down apology with so little sincerity it would have been better if he'd said nothing at all. Then the most telling of remarks: it was just hijinks, horsing around.

Just like Jerry Sandusky when he was seen sexually molesting a boy in the showers at Penn State. No reprimand (at least none of significance) at the time of the rape, no real apology when confronted with it years later. It was just horseplay.

The victims who stepped forward against Sandusky were punished for speaking out, just as they and their parents feared they would be. Mitt's victim, John Lauber, is already dead. He is spared a second humiliation.

Make no mistake about it. The same unspoken homophobia that triggered Romney's attack also made it all too easy for Sandusky to do what he did multiple times to multiple victims over a span of years. Mitt claims that his jolly band of bullies didn't even know what "gay" meant, but you'd best believe they knew the word "faggot." Jerry Sandusky knows that word too, and it was obvious to him that he was not a faggot, even when he was raping those kids.

We will never know the actual number of people assaulted by Mitt as a young man in prep school terrorizing sissy-boys, or again in college at Stanford where he and a different gang attacked student after student from another university, shaved their heads and painted them red. Same with Jerry as a middle-aged man who picked his prey from a children's charity he sponsored.

The silence that protected them at times of wrongdoing continues to blanket the minds of both men. Since the acts they committed were given a pass, neither of them considered themselves out of line, which explains the bizarre remarks recently coming out of their mouths. They never went through the repentance process, and appear incapable of sincerely admitting fault.

Any rapist who uses power dynamics to force another to experience the humiliation of unwanted sexual submission is also a bully. Sandusky may not have been a bully, strictly speaking, but he wasn't far from it.

If Romney and associates got sexually stimulated when they grabbed the queer, pinned him down and had their way with him as he cried, they went from bullying to something else. Strictly speaking, Romney may not have been a rapist, but he wasn't far from it.

Either way, Mitt and Jerry play on the same team.

Dr. Mickey Weems is a folklorist, anthropologist and scholar of religion/sexuality studies. He has just published The Fierce Tribe, a book combining intellectual insight about Circuit parties with pictures of Circuit hotties. Mickey and his husband Kevin Mason are coordinators for Qualia, a not-for-profit conference and festival dedicated to Gay folklife. Dr. Weems may be reached at


  • J R, 2012-05-21 19:58:55

    Mitt is an ass. Heaven help us if hr gets elected.

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