Hart answers Oliver on the issue of Romney’s despicable, indefensible treatment of former friend, Craig

Update: Justin Hart offers an MS Powerpoint slide-like rebuttal by way of counterpoint to Tommy Oliver’s analysis of Romney’s treatment of Craig. In typical Romney style Hart’s rebuttal attempts more to slime Tommy Oliver than to acquit Milton Romney. We answer each of Hart’s rebuttals, each in its turn.

  • Hart argues that Romney did not “flip-flop” on abortion as a “flip-flop” means—and we have no idea where Hart gets this odd definition—that you convert or have converted, and then you convert back again. (So a simple reversal on an issue or a policy is just a flip; to reverse yourself again is when a flip becomes a flip-flop, get it? Neither do we.) Only even according to Hart’s convenient redefinition on the term “flip-flop,” Romney still “flip-flopped.” See: Romney already flip-flopping, again, on the abortion issue -or- Kornacki: Not the first time Romney has changed public position on abortion.
  • Hart argues that Romney’s need to appear consistent–to not look like he was “skirting the issue”—trumps the “sensitivities” of Craig’s family. Uh, um, OK, so we would tend to value someone who could set aside his or her own ego needs to shield others from calumny and abuse, rather than join the calumniators and abusers so as not to be seen to “skirt an issue,” but we will allow the argument to stand (even though it makes us uncomfortable). So we suppose that—to remain consistent—Romney would treat his own family with similar abuse and contempt should any of them ever err and stray from their way like a lost sheep. Actually, come to think of it, Romney has treated at least one family member with similar contempt. See: Romney lashes out at his father for indecision even as Romney himself vacillates wildly. So, alas, we are forced to concede this argument. Granted: For Romney, there is no higher priority than Romney—not father, not family, not the dignity of a friend, not anything—Romney’s ego needs trump everyone else’s.
  • Hart asks: is there “anything in Romney’s condemnation or broader examination of the trends and GOP failures that is untrue?” This is an odd question: truth is the wrong standard to apply in this case. Romney’s “condemnation” may be “true” in some trivial sense; but it also unseemly, inappropriate, and unwise. And just what is supposed to true in Romney’s condemnation? Does Romney generalize from Craig to the entire GOP or conservative base? Will he treat all of us as he treated Craig?
  • Hart excuses Romney’s ignorance by claiming that only “leftist blogs” carried news of Craig’s weaknesses. This is an odd defense, and one frequently offered by Romney apologists: the Democrats accuse Romney of x or of flip-flopping on x! Hence, Romney must be conservative because he is being attacked by Democrats. Actually, rumours, innuendos etc. of Craig’s behavior go back to 1982, and are non-partisan in origin.
  • Hart offers an odd counter-argument to Oliver’s point about the Litchfields and the Semblers. First, he defends the Litchfields and the Semblars as honourable people. He then concedes that wrong doing may have occurred at their dozens of teen reeducation camps!—uh, OK, I mean, but haven’t you just conceded the whole argument, Hart? Hart then asks if that should reflect badly on Romney; his answer: no. (Apparently Hart forgot his larger point.) Well, we would answer, of course not. That was never Oliver’s point. Oliver’s point was Romney’s strangely variable and always convenient estimations of guilt, innocence, or guilt-by-association. How is this different from Romney’s association with Craig? The parallel still stands. If you are useful to Romney, you are safe. But the moment you are not …
  • Hart then asks if Oliver has ever met any member of Team Romney, because he cannot think of a better crowd. We beg to differ. Please see:

Team Romney smacks down distressed waitresses and cancer victims—we ask: is this leadership!?

a Romney hireling who can communicate!? [in which a member of Team Romney smacks down a cancer victim]

Romney lashes out at his father for indecision even as Romney himself vacillates wildly

Here again is Hart’s rebuttal to Oliver’s analysis.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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  1. tommyd4

    Here is An exclusive from Tommy Oliver himself:

    Mr. Hart,
    In response to your post, I have chosen to address your points one at a time.
    · First, a flip-flop is where a candidate takes a political stance on one issue, changes his mind and changes his position back to the original. While the case can be made that Romney has changed his position on abortion — this is not a flip-flop (unless he were to change back). In the case of Senator Craig this is certainly not a flip-flop.
    You accuse me of calling former Governor Mitt Romney a flip flopper, which I never did. I accused him of pandering, and opportunism. I even mentioned that I had been slow to call out Romney on his perceived flip-flops. You obviously didn’t read close enough to understand my points in the first place which are A) I don’t trust Mitt Romney as a judge of character at this point, B) I think he’s an opportunist, and C) I am not a fan of the CEO mentality.

    · Second, calling on the sensitivities of Craig’s spouse and children to condemn Romney’s criticism of Craig is silly and irrelevant. If Romney did anything less than point out Craig’s admitted failings he would run the risk of skirting the issue. Note here, if Craig had the courage to admit the incident in June, there would be no rush to condemnation. I suppose by extension Tommy would recommend that the GOP Senate avoid anything that might offend the already fragile psyche of Craig’s family. I empathize with their troubles but we can do nothing less than condemn Craig for this incident. (personally, I think Craig is flat out lying)
    Wrong again, Mitt Romney named Craig to be one of his representative liaisons in the senate. That is a position that is not of little importance. You obviously didn’t read my prior post about Senator Craig, in which I did basically call out the entire GOP leadership in the senate.
    You said, “If Craig had admitted in June about this.” Justin, the bottom line is that Craig’s behavior has been public knowledge since 1982, when he was accused of providing cocaine to congressional pages and having sex with them. You obviously didn’t check the source I provided which the link to a broadcast from NBC news tonight report that same year. Justin, that’s not a local broadcast, but NBC news. Like I said originally, if Romney wasn’t aware of this behavior, then he is not the CEO I thought him to be.

    · Third, I should ask this question: Is there anything in Romney’s condemnation or broader examination of the trends and GOP failures that is untrue? What Tommy sees as “opportunism” I see and serious and frank admission of a terrible black eye for the conservative movement.
    Justin, yes there is. As I updated my post with earlier, after a similar scandal, Barry Goldwater wrote:
    “It was a sad time for Jenkins’ wife and children, and I was not about to add to their private sorrow. Winning isn’t everything. Some things, like loyalty to friends or lasting principle, are more important.”

    It’s a black eye for the conservative movement? I find what he did wrong, but no worse than what David Vitter did. Romney’s comments were irresponsible and over the top. What Romney and some of his supporters still don’t understand is that here in the deep south, where the GOP must retain some support or the election will end up miserably, people don’t want anybody else to tell them the right and wrong of their personal decisions. They have their opinions and disapprove, but a large majority of them don’t want to be preached to about virtues. What belongs in a bedroom should stay in a bedroom. Do I personally agree with it? No, but I am in no position to lay moral judgement upon others. Romney could’ve stayed on the right side of the issue by stopping at the issue of breaking the law, but he didn’t. David Vitter broke the law, and of course, neither Mitt Romney nor Hugh Hewitt called out Mr. Vitter when it became known that he solicited a prostitute. That is against the law too, and definitely no worse of a person convicted of pleading guilty “disorderly conduct,” but you and Mr. Hewitt both seem unable to come to grips with the fact that not only did this man possibly cheat on his wife, but allegedly with another man. The fact is that, for better or worse, we live in a free society governed by laws that separate the church and the state. Finding something morally repugnant is not sufficient grounds for removal. Breaking the law is, but politicians have broken minor laws over the years, and many were a lot more serious than “disorderly conduct.” Let me be perfectly clear, I am a federalist in principle, not a moralist. I find Mr. Craig’s alleged actions to be disgusting and also agree that he needs to go, but so does Vitter.

    Romney also decided to compare Larry Craig to Bill Clinton and Mark Foley. This makes me seriously wonder about his judgment. First of all, according to the case, Mark Foley was directly linked to congressional pages. That alone should be cause for removal, as he is somewhat responsible for their care. Unless Romney was well aware of the 1982 accusations against Craig beforehand, then why compare him to Foley? If Craig’s actions were only based on what has been leaked, then there is no reason to compare him to Foley, other than his sexuality. Secondly, what in the world does Clinton have to do with Foley and Craig? I hate defending the former president, but by using the most obvious democrat example of immorality, it looks like nothing more than a cheap shot across the aisle at someone the party is going to have to deal with in the general election. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife with a consenting adult. Bill Clinton was never involved with young boys, and Bill Clinton did solicit sex from an undercover cop or a prostitute. Just because he has proven to be a less than ideal model for how a husband should behave, it does not put him in the same class as having illicit, illegal sex. Lying under oath does not have anything to do with sexual crimes, even if that is what Clinton was lying about. His grounds for impeachment were not because he had sex with Monica Lewinsky, but because he lied under oath. The Constitution does not judge a person for their moral failures, and no law making it illegal to commit adultery would ever pass, as it would shot down by the Supreme Court. You see, some are misguided in what nominating originalists, such as Scalia or Thomas, would mean for the conservative movement. They would not pass any of the “dream laws” for those who claim to want to clean up the morality in this country. This is not the case. These judges, as proponents of originalist theory, are in favor of returning power to the states, not passing federal bans on marriage, abortion (at least not until the debate of when life begins is over), or any other wide reaching federal mandate that prohibits morally indecent acts. One would have better luck getting Ruth Bader Ginsberg to vote for it, as she is in favor of passing legislation that will be implemented on a federal level (of course, first they’d have to convert her to the pro-life cause, which might be just as difficult). It’s what all the “Johnny Come Lately’s” to federalist principle do not understand. Federalism is not a codeword for compassionate conservatism, or moral majorities. It is the separation of power by ceding authority to the states. That includes moral and legal authority. It is not as extreme as isolationism, and holds firm in the belief that the federal government should provide only when necessary.

    · Fourth. It’s too easy for Tommy (in hindsight) to accuse the Romney campaign of sloppiness by not seeing the shadowy foibles of Senator Craig. When the first leftist blogs accused Craig of these type of peccadillo’s last October, it was roundly laughed off. (see this entry on Hotair for example).
    · Fifth. The Litchfields and Semblers. I personally know the Litchfields and have no problem in saying that these are totally honorable people. I’ve met numerous individuals who have been through their programs (tough love camps for troubled teens) and how it has changed their lives. These type of programs are routinely subjected to lawsuits due to the aggressive rehabilitation that occurs there. Final points here. Could there have been wrong doing at one of the dozens of camps that the Litchfields and Semblers own? Yes. Should that reflect badly on Gov. Romney without warrant or context? No.
    · Sixth. Tommy accuses the larger “Team Romney” of this same seedy nature. I ask Tommy: have you personally ever met anyone on “Team Romney”? Have you traded emails or spoken with Stephen Smith, Mindy Finn, Peter Flaherty, Eric Ferhnstrom, Spencer Zwick, …? This is the real team Romney and I can’t think of a better crowd.
    Justin, as I explained above, this was not something that came out in October. There were federal investigations into Craig’s behavior as early as 1982. While this did not prove that he was guilty, it should not have come as a big surprise when rumors began to swirl again. If Romney was willing to take a chance by having Craig publicly represent his candidacy, he should not be so quick to cast judgment on others. We are taught to forgive those of their transgressions. For example, do I find what Ted Haggard did to be disgusting morally? Yes. However, if I were a personal friend of the man, I would admit to being disappointed in his behavior, but well aware of how my comments would be taken by those who he has hurt. Look again at the example set by Rudy Giuliani. When Vitter and his South Carolina campaign official both caused scandal, he expressed disappointment in their actions, and publicly said that he hoped that they would seek help. That is how I would expect a person who is running for president to respond. I hope that the person I vote for is a leader who is moral and fair. I’m sure that Giuliani was let down, and hurt by their actions, but he had the decency to not make the situation even worse for them or their party, and their problems ultimately did not come back to haunt him or the party, only the candidate. By inserting himself into the debate, Romney has now made this a campaign issue for which he is to be held accountable. My examples of Sembler and Litchfield are there to reinforce my point. Litchfield is currently under investigation for teenage programs that he is ultimately accountable for. Is he guilty? That is not the point. The point is that Romney is able to overlook their alleged transgressions and ultimately he made that judgment call. I have also been in contact with a couple of families who came from the program, but did not fare as well as those whom you are familiar with. What I posted originally was not an opinion of Mr. Litchfield’s guilt or innocence. If that were the purpose, then I would’ve hit a lot harder than I did, but since I didn’t, you seem to think I am just grasping at straws. Justin, I have researched the case extensively, and if I was intent on proving the guilt or innocence of Robert Litchfield, his brother, or anyone else involved with the case, I could’ve made accusations that are much tougher than the ones listed. I listed the two recent media articles because as I said before, I am not casting guilt upon them. I am questioning Mitt Romney’s judgment. If a court finds Litchfield guilty, then Romney will have found himself in the same position. Naming people under investigation or with questionable ties to represent you is your own fault. Their fault lies in their actions, and the Romney’s fault lies in the fact that he seems willing to appoint some people with shady ties to help him win. The bottom line is that he shouldn’t act shocked when it comes back to haunt him, and to feign ignorance and use it as a way to attack Bill Clinton is questionable. The GOP has enough problems than bringing him into this mess.

    Now, do I question the integrity of everyone who is a member of Romney’s campaign? No, of course not. I’m sure there are fine people working for him who only want what they believe is best for their country. However, do I question the judgment of Mitt Romney, the candidate for the republican nomination? Yes.

    Before I posted yesterday’s article, I sent my article out to more than one person to make sure I was not out of bounds. Not every one of them agreed with my conclusions, but none thought that my concerns were out of bounds. Did some debate me and disagree with me? Yes, including some fairly famous media names, who’ve interviewed the candidate, or have actually been in contact with you personally. However, nobody said that I crossed the line in my reasoning; they just had their own conclusions on the matter.

    Tommy

  1. 1 Oliver’s rejoinder to Hart’s rebuttal; a WIWMR exclusive « who is willard milton romney?

    […] one at a time,” begins the estimable Tommy Oliver in a point-for-point rejoinder available only here on our humble, anonymous, vanity web […]

  2. 2 Romney, family and staff prefer Ford to the Jews; prefers SAAB to Ford « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Is this man loyal to anyone? We mean, anyone? Even Romney sycophant Justin Hart argues that Romney’s first and only priority is Romney. See: Hart answers Oliver on the issue of Romney’s despicable, indefensible treatment of former friend, … […]

  3. 3 How Romney treats his friends: Craig speaks out against Romney’s betrayal « who is willard milton romney?

    […] Hart answers Oliver on the issue of Romney’s despicable, indefensible treatment of former friend, … […]




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