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PARIS, THE NEW NORMAL? — Diana Johnstone files an in-depth report from Paris on the political reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shootings; The Treachery of the Black Political Class: Margaret Kimberley charts the rise and fall of the Congressional Black Caucus; The New Great Game: Pepe Escobar assays the game-changing new alliance between Russia and Turkey; Will the Frackers Go Bust? Joshua Frank reports on how the collapse of global oil prices might spell the end of the fracking frenzy in the Bakken Shale; The Future of the Giraffe: Ecologist Monica Bond reports from Tanzania on the frantic efforts to save one of the world’s most iconic species. Plus: Jeffrey St. Clair on Satire in the Service of Power; Chris Floyd on the Age of Terrorism and Absurdity; Mike Whitney on the Drop Dead Fed; John Wight on the rampant racism of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper;” John Walsh on Hillary Clinton and Lee Ballinger on the Gift of Anger.
Willard the Weird

Mitt Romney’s Homosexual Panic

by JOHN ESKOW

First things first: you don’t have to be a shrink to know that no-one bullies homosexuals unless they’re tormented by their own homosexuality, active or suppressed.   Any physical attack on a “gay” man is de facto rape.  All that’s required to understand that basic fact is four years of  high school or two years in the military.  Mitt Romney’s serial “pranks,” like the gang-bang attack he led on a gay student while in prep-school at Cranston—Cranston!  how the name itself reeks of fey weakness and upper-class entitlement!—speak loudly to his own deep sexual confusion.  Who the hell seeks the help of a “champion wrestler”—gay-bells ringin’, are you listenin’—to pin the gay student to the ground while “viciously” hacking away at the helpless boy’s long blonde hair with a pair of scissors?  Who DOES such a thing?

Well, a guy like Mitt Romney, about whom a certain rapper—who bears a striking resemblance to myself–wrote this verse: “You don’t think I’m hard, I’m’a show you the proof—I put the muthafuckin’ dog on the damn car roof!  You think my sons are weird, I’ll tell ya why that’s true—I stuck their little bitty asses on the car roof too!”  In any case, a deeply sick man.

Romney’s obvious attempt to “castrate” Jonathan Tauber, the gay student, haunted the poor man for the rest of his life.  But Romney claims not to even remember it—denial, anyone?  Then, in classic Romney style, he makes his original lie exponentially worse for himself by amping it up with a second, even more laughable lie:  “I certainly don’t believe that I thought the fellow was homosexual. That was the furthest thing from our minds back in the 1960s, so that was not the case…”

Lie.  Stone lie.  I’m not that much younger than Mitt Romney, and I can testify that, like teenagers since the beginning of time—or, as Romney would say, for 6,000 years—we had powerful hunches about which of our peers was gay.  No doubt most of those guesses were hilariously wrong.  But in rural New York, we definitely would’ve pegged a certain Willard “Mitt” Romney as a “faggot,” to use the offensive parlance of the day.  And, to this day,  Romney speaks in a prissy, dare I say tight-assed, way; he wears mommy-jeans, with “magic underwear” beneath them, and folds back his shirtsleeves with a fussy precision; he spends hours at the hairdresser dyeing his stylized locks; he seems wildly uneasy in the presence of his wife; he doesn’t like sports, only the owners of sports-teams; and…his name is Willard.

And of course as soon as the world saw that he’d hired a gay man as a policy advisor he insisted on firing him, lest…lest what, exactly?

Whatever Mitt Romney’s true sexual orientation, America is prepared to accept him for who he is.  But first he needs to make peace with himself–and stop trivializing his attacks on gays  by calling them “pranks.”  Once he’s done that, we can all move on.

And then we’ll get to the subject of Michelle Bachman’s husband.

John Eskow is a writer and musician. He wrote or co-wrote the movies Air America, The Mask of Zorro, and Pink Cadillac, as well as the novel Smokestack Lightning. He can be reached at: johneskow@yahoo.com