LEAVE us now consider Mitt Romney. Or just why we should consider him.
Or is this another Republican Presidential nominee whose youthful indiscretions extended into his forties?
Second, about the "youthful indiscretion" defense: I did a lot of stuff in my youth I wouldn't want publicized, too, but most of that is because of various statutes of limitation. None of it ever included picking on children younger or smaller than myself, and certainly not joining or organizing gangs to do so. Because I knew that was wrong. Because I'd been taught it was wrong. And because it is wrong. And a mark of cowardice. Most Vietnamese are smaller than Mitt Romney, too. Just a fun fact.
Finally: that "the boy later turned out to be gay" routine seems designed to induce empathy in the modern reader. I happen to believe Romney's FOX defense--what I could hear of it through his Haw-haw-hawing--that homosexuality had nothing to do with it. This was Ur-Hippie punching. As such, it's precisely the same, and a damned fine lasting metaphor for Romney, his party, and their economic policies.
Should this be an issue in a Presidential campaign? In a sane and sensible time and place, no. Does that answer the question?