It has become something of a recognized double standard that many in the media media will go to extraordinary lengths to bring out the worst in Republicans, while Democratic indiscretions are often overlooked or disproportionately covered.
For instance, the news that Mitt Romney allegedly gave a haircut to someone who may have been homosexual nearly fifty years ago recently swept the airwaves, though the same pundits showed little interest in the new Jeremiah Wright tapes that indicate he may have been offered a bribe to stay quiet until after the 2008 election.
However, the Washington Post is seemingly not content reaching back 50 years to find “dirt” on Romney — this time, it’s not stopping until it reaches 1857.
In an article titled “Mitt Romney’s Faith Tangles With a Quirk of Arkansas History,” the Post writes:
On the wildflower-studded slopes of the Ozarks, where memories run long and family ties run thick, a little-known and long-ago chapter of history still simmers.
On Sept. 11, 1857, a wagon train from this part of Arkansas met with a gruesome fate in Utah, where most of the travelers were slaughtered by a Mormon militia in an episode known as the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Hundreds of the victims’ descendants still populate these hills and commemorate the killings, which they have come to call “the first 9/11.”
Many of the locals grew up hearing denunciations of Mormonism from the pulpit on Sundays, and tales of the massacre from older relatives who considered Mormons “evil.”
“There have been Fancher family reunions for 150 years, and the massacre comes up at every one of them,” said Scott Fancher, 58, who traces his lineage back to 26 members of the wagon train…“The more whiskey we drunk, the more resentful we got.” [Emphasis added]
The Post then concedes that, when polled, the majority of Republicans say Mitt Romney’s faith is not a reason either to either support or oppose him, before continuing:
In northwestern Arkansas, at least two monuments commemorate the massacre, including a towering wooden cross erected just six years ago. On it is carved a biblical saying: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay saith the Lord.”
“It’s an emotional thing for us,” said Phil Bolinger, president of the Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation. “When you come of age, when you mature, things to do with your own blood kin becomes more important and you become passionate about it.”
In another quirk of history, both of the main presidential candidates have ties to this region. Parley Pratt, an ancestor of Romney’s and an esteemed figure in the Mormon Church, was murdered in Arkansas shortly before the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Historians have speculated that anger over this killing may have played a part in the massacre.
And in a cemetery nearby is buried Nathaniel Bunch, an ancestor of Obama’s, according to local genealogists, who say Bunch was a contemporary of the wagon train emigrants. [Emphasis added]
So essentially, while Barack Obama is “the first gay president” because he endorsed gay marriage and “the first Amish president” because he doesn’t like Twitter, Mitt Romney is to be associated with murderers (even terrorists, if you caught the “first 9/11″ reference), who lived roughly two hundred years ago.
The Washington Post, it seems, just can’t get enough of Romney’s “past.”