Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bad news for Mitt

The co-chair of Mitt ("Flipper") Romney's Utah finance committee has been sued for child abuse by no fewer than 133 plaintiffs, according to The Hill. The plaintiffs allege that Robert Lichfield operated schools where children were subject to "physical abuse, emotional abuse and sexual abuse."

This is bad news for Mitt, potentially worse than the indictment of Rudi's S.C. now-former-chairman on drug-distribution charges. The mention of child abuse in a major Romney supporter--especially one from Utah--will play into widespread prejudice against the former governor's Mormon faith; there's no connection, of course (for all I know, Lichfield might not be a Mormon), but the suit will remind people who want to be reminded of such things about stories of abuse from polygamous break-away Mormon sects. Bigots don't need evidence, of course, but a story that seems to justify their prejudice is always welcome. Unfortunately for Mitt, prejudice against Mormons seems more deeply rooted in his party than in the nation at large.

(I don't know much about Mormon theology, and I haven't known many people who identified themselves as Mormons, but the ones I have met have seemed to me to be extraordinarily decent people. As TONE has suggested in the past, the question isn't whether a Mormon should be President, but which Mormon we might vote for. Mitt isn't the one, but that has nothing to do with this latest story.)

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