SexCrime (1965)

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
May 10 2012 4:36 PM

SexCrime (1965)

Jennifer Rubin has doubts -- such doubts -- about Jason Horowitz's big Romney prep school scoop. What about the key incident, anyway, the one where Romney forced his scissors on John Lauber's long, dyed hair? "Is this an act of anti-long hairism or anti-gay?" asks Rubin. "There’s certainly more evidence of the former, yet this decades-old incident is run amidst news on the president’s shift on gay marriage."

Driving around today, I heard Rush Limbaugh making versions of the same argument, arguing that Horowitz's phrase -- "presumed homosexuality" -- was the author's invention. It was 1965. "Having long hair made you look like you were in the Beatles," said Limbaugh.

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It sounded to me like a lot of grasping for an elusive straw, so I called Horowitz to ask about his evidence.

"Several students recalled that Lauber seemed effeminate," explained Horowitz. "That was the general sense among the students. It was pervasive. He was effeminate, he wore his hair differently. He wasn't into sports. Jim Bailey [who went to both Cranbrook and Harvard with Romney] told me, 'You know, we all just thought he was gay.'"

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.