Posts Tagged ‘gays’

“CHARLESTON, S.C. – Like every great sales pitch, Mitt Romney’s case for Mitt Romney is low on the hard sell,” writes David Segal in a Wapo transmission titled Romney’s gyrations mystify observers.

At the Sheraton Hotel one recent morning, the boasting is handled by a former governor of South Carolina, who opens this “Ask Mitt Anything” session with a precis of the candidate’s career. This includes academic achievements (Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School “in four years!”) and election as governor of Massachusetts in 2002, which is described in a tone befitting a miracle …

… It’s smooth, folksy and winningly sincere. But it doesn’t sound much like the man who won that vote in Massachusetts. That Romney positioned himself as a moderate: in favor of abortion rights, courting gay voters and crusading on environmental matters.

He now says his pro-choice leanings were a mistake. He has become one of the country’s highest-profile opponents of gay marriage, and he warns against taking Al Gore’s side regarding action on global warming.

Which has prompted more than a few people to ask: Who is this guy?

The search for an Overarching Theory of Mitt has been a preoccupation in Massachusetts. Fans say he simply evolved; detractors call him a flip-flopper. But talk to those who’ve watched him longest, and some who were personally wooed during his run for governor, and you’ll hear something else. The man is a born salesman, they say, and he has taken the modus operandi of selling to a whole different level in the world of politics.

What earned him the job in Massachusetts is an idea that he doesn’t mention much any longer. Back in 2002, he emphasized one promise, time and again: He would be the state’s No. 1 salesman.

At that time, Romney deflected many of the social-conservative issues that he now embraces, and he charmed a handful of left-leaning interest groups who might otherwise have been enemies. A few of them say they wound up with the political version of buyer’s remorse. Romney made enemies with abortion-rights advocates, gay Republicans and environmentalists after gaining their trust during his campaign.

“We felt completely played,” recalled Melissa Kogut, former executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts. “We just couldn’t believe it, given what he’d said to our faces”more

We wonder if it is any consolation to Romney’s former friends and associates—those who got played in Romney’s former incarnation—that he’s now busily playing us, i.e. those who stand to the right of center.

Willard Milton Romney has but one loyalty: Willard Milton Romney.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.


Romney himself: “I think [the Craig scandal] reminds us of the fact that people who are elected to public office continue to disappoint, and they somehow think that if they vote the right way on issues of significance or they can speak a good game, that we’ll just forgive and forget,” as quoted by the tiresome Charles Mitchell of the canting and priggish Evangelicals for Mitt in a post titled On Standards and Setting an Example.

Oh, we could not agree more.

Romney “continues to disappoint” us, again and again.

So: We will certainly—and in all cases—hold Romney to the same evaluative standard despite that he sometimes “speak[s] a good game”—at least when he is not fatly contradicting himself.

It is a frankly non-Evangelical who provides in our view the most intelligent and most compassionate rejoinder to Romney’s hatred and abuse of a friend. No, no, no, no, no, writes Lambert of Corrente in a post titled Shocker: Willard Mitt Romney screws the pooch on Craig response.

Romney is just so wrong on so many levels.

1. People do “disappoint.” That’s human nature, even if you’re not religious. (See, e.g., Romans 3:23).

2. People do “forgive and forget.” Not only do most world religions enjoin such behavior (I haven’t studied Mormonism), it’s empirically true. It’s reality based. People forgave Clinton on Monica. People forgave FDR on his adultery. People forgave Reagan’s divorce. And on and on and on.

If Clinton’s blow job and Bush’s destruction of the Constitution were weighed in a cosmic, karmic balance, which would sink the scales more heavily? Suppose an all-powerful God presented the choice of restoring Constitutional government at the prices of “forgiving and forgetting” Clinton’s blow job. What would you do? I know what I’d do, and if Romney would refuse to forgive and forget, he’s not fit to be president.

Or take Social Security. Suppose the same God gave the choice between preserving Social Security at the price of “forgiving and forgetting” FDR’s adultery. What would you do? I know what I’d do, and if Romney did differently, again, he’s not fit to be President.

These great issues of public policy, which affect, quite literally, the lives and the happiness of millions, trump the personal sexual peccadilloes of politicians.***** If Romney doesn’t understand that, he’s not fit to be President.

3. Romney’s notion of “disgusting” is bizarre (and seems more than a little defensive). What could be more disgusting than torture? What could be more disgusting than destroying the Fourth Amendment, and every other fucking amendment? What could be more disgusting than abolishing habeas corpus? What could be more disgusting than setting up as a dictator? What could be more disgusting than looting the country of billions? What would be more disgusting than timing a war to win a mid-term election? And on and on and on and on. If Romney equates those grossly disgusting public acts with the pathetic, private acts of a single individual, he’s unfit to the President.

4. Finally, Romney’s purity test plays into a subtle, vicious, and destructive meme that’s gradually propagating all over our discourse: The “leader” meme. This is the essentially European philosophy that, if only we had a Leader who was pure in heart—perhaps one who rode a white horse—that all our troubles would be over and there would be ponies for everyone. (This is why the Christian Embassy loons targeted “leaders” (read: bureaucrats) in the Pentagon.) Not so. Heed the words of Federalist 51 [emphasis ours; more]

Please see:

Oliver of Romney ultimate hypocrite and opportunist

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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.

In an article for titled aptly titled My Growing Concerns About Romney, the estimable and reflective Tommy Oliver argues:

Although I’ve been vocal in my opposition to the former governor from Massachusetts (at least when compared to my preferred candidate), I have been slow to publicly accuse him of pandering and flip-flopping in the past. Today, he went beyond the boundary, and crossed that line. Last night when I was posting on the Larry Craig affair, I even went back and changed my post because someone accused me of using the situation to attack Romney by linking to articles that connected him to Craig. I was, at the time, disturbed by the fact that Romney pulled the YouTube video of Craig endorsing him, but I was willing to let that slide. Today’s actions, I can not and will not let go without calling it for what it ismore

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We echo Oliver’s analysis; see:

Romney tries to link his former campaign chairman to Bill Clinton; all of America balks at the risible transparency of Romney’s attempt to distance himself

Also see Jonathan Martin’s analysis aptly titled Romney throws Craig under a bus.

The estimable Paul Curtis, commenting on Oliver’s analysis, likewise concludes:

This, to me, seems consistent with Romney’s approach to policy. Romney’s famous flip-flopping — “pulling a Mitt Romney” — is likewise the result of his political amorality, his willingness to say and to pretend to believe (or maybe even to believe he believes) virtually anything so long as it advances his career. You wonder if he has any moral center at all, because he’s running a campaign that verges on the sociopathic … more

We heartily concur.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

In his interview on CNBC’s Kudlow & Company (which will air later this afternoon), Mitt Romney had some sharp words for Sen. Larry Craig, who had endorsed the former Massachusetts governor’s presidential campaign and was his Idaho chairman. “Once again, we’ve found people in Washington have not lived up to the level of respect and dignity that we would expect for somebody that gets elected to a position of high influence. Very disappointing. He’s no longer associated with my campaign, as you can imagine… I’m sorry to see that he has fallen short,” reports NBC’s estimable Mark Murray in story titled Romney Links Craig with Bill Clinton.

Romney receives “briefing” from his Iowa campaign staff

Note the captious former governor’s bitter, angry cant, combined with his curt dismissal of what we were led to believe was a personal friend:

“He’s no longer associated with my campaign, as you can imagine… I’m sorry to see that he has fallen short.”

… as you can imagine … What does that mean, precisely?

Compare Romney’s rage with the deeply reasoned compassion of e.g.’s Toranto, who makes a larger point about the politics of hypocrisy:

The Craig conviction has, predictably enough, prompted mortification on the right and Schadenfreude on the left. The latter is an easy-to-understand partisan/ideological temptation, especially given the comical aspects of this story. It is physically impossible to keep a straight face while thinking about the “wide stance” defense.

That said, we’d like to step back and, without drawing any conclusions about Craig beyond what is on the public record, make a case more generally for liberal compassion toward closeted homosexual politicians who oppose gay rights.

The liberal view of homosexuality is based on two claims: an empirical one and a moral one. The empirical claim is that sexual orientation is inborn, a trait over which one has no control. The moral claim is that homosexuality is no better or worse than heterosexuality; that a gay relationship, like a traditional marriage, can be an expression of true love and a source of deep fulfillment. Out of these claims flows the conclusion that opposition to gay rights is akin to racism: an unwarranted prejudice against people for a trait over which they have no control.

For the sake of argument, suppose this liberal view is true. What does it imply about the closeted homosexual who takes antigay positions? To our mind, the implication is that he is a deeply tragic figure, an abject victim of society’s prejudices, which he has internalized and turned against himself. “Outing” him seems an act of gratuitous cruelty, not to mention hypocrisy if one also claims to believe in the right to privacy.

According to the Statesman, the blogger who “outed” Craig did so in order to “nail a hypocritical Republican foe of gay rights.” But there is nothing hypocritical about someone who is homosexual, believes homosexuality is wrong, and keeps his homosexuality under wraps. To the contrary, he is acting consistent with his beliefs. If he has furtive encounters in men’s rooms, that is an act of weakness, not hypocrisy.

Defenders of “outing” politicians argue that the cruelty is not gratuitous–that politicians are in a position of power, which they are using to harm gay citizens, and therefore their private lives are fair game. But if the politician in question is a mere legislator, his power consists only of the ability to cast one vote among hundreds. The actual amount of harm that he is able to inflict is minimal.

Anyway, most lawmakers who oppose gay-rights measures are not homosexual. To single out those who are for special vituperation is itself a form of antigay prejudice. Liberals pride themselves on their compassion, but often are unwilling to extend it to those with whose politics they disagree … more

Where is Romney’s compassion? Where is his humanity? Where is his concern for the dignity of his fallen friend? Has Romney never wrestled with a demon of his own?—if not, do we really want this man to be our president?

Did Romney not once defend and promote gay rights?

Priggish, canting, emotional brutality is a Romney signature. This is how Romney referred to the weaknesses of his own father:

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

These are Romney’s remarks on the departure of the long-suffering Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as reported by WaPo’s web log, THE TRAIL.

“I believe the Attorney General made the right decision to step aside,” Romney said in a statement. “The resignation is an opportunity for President Bush to renew the nation’s commitment to the law enforcement officers and personnel who are dedicated to enforcing the rule of law and protecting the American people from the threat of terrorism around the globe.”

Remarking on Gonzales, Imam Romney simply must issue his own evaluation; he strikes the school-marmish pose of moral arbiter. Compare Romney’s cant with the quiet dignity that Giuliani affords Gonzales (again: from THE TRAIL):

Former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was more succint: “Judge Gonzales served his nation honorably and I wish him well in the next phase of his career.”

No judgement. No cant. Only the acknowledgment of a distinguished career of honourable service and a wish that the Judge prosper in the future.

Question: why does this admitted newcomer to conservative values—Romney—insist on lecturing, and passing judgment upon, the rest of us?

yours &c.


Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) — who has pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in connection with an incident where he allegedly solicited a plainclothes police officer in a men’s restroom — is one of Mitt Romney’s top backers in the Senate. A clip of Craig praising Romney was until just moments ago available on Romney’s YouTube channel, but is now listed as “a private video” reports the estimable Jonathan Martin in a web log post titled Larry Craig’s pro-Romney video taken down.


FIG: Team Romney plotting the destruction of the GOP from within

Oh, but we have more.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho pleaded guilty this month to misdemeanor disorderly conduct after being arrested at the Minneapolis airport, writes the world-class Associated Press writer, Steve Karnowski in a story titled Idaho Senator Arrested in Airport.

A Hennepin County court docket showed Craig pleading guilty to the disorderly conduct charge Aug. 8, with the court dismissing a charge of gross misdemeanor interference to privacy.

The court docket said the Republican senator paid $575 in fines and fees. He was put on unsupervised probation for a year. A sentence of 10 days in the county workhouse was stayed.

Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, which first reported the case, said on its Web site Monday that Craig was arrested June 11 by a plainclothes officer investigating complaints of lewd conduct in a men’s restroom at the airport … more

And we have still more.

Kane and Murray of the Washington Post, in a story titled Idaho Senator Pleaded Guilty After Arrest In Restroom, quote the unlucky senator and slavish Romney courtier:

“At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct,” Craig said. “I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously” … more

And finally we have “tittergrrrl” (She’s Pumpkinninny!!), who weighs in on this world historic development claiming that she is “sensing a pattern!

The news that he’s closeted is apparently not shocking here in DC since rumors have swarmed about his love of the rooster for years. This may be changing in his home state of Idaho, however.

What’s sad is his voting record.

  • Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage.
  • Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes.
  • Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation.
  • Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage.
  • Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation.

The Romney campaign has already started distancing themselves from him, as he was the state co-chair of his Presidential election committee.

Cue the trombone again!

Finally here’s an awesome discussion about it on Real Time I think this past weekend … more

Thank you, Willard Milton Romney and family, for bringing integrity, honour, and a profound sense of dignity to the GOP.

We have just one small question, Willard:

What the hell did we ever do to you, you knuckle-dragging, slack-jaw’d, cross-eye’d lack-wit!?

yours &c.
dr. g.d.