Mitt Romney: A Massachusetts Liberal for President
By: Selwyn Duke
With the 2008 presidential campaign looming just on the horizon, speculation about political fortunes abounds. On the Democrat side, Lady Hillary is waiting in the wings, and the mediaâ€™s profilers have found their fair-haired boy in Barack Obama. On the Republican side, the picture is murkier. Often the Vice-president would be the logical choice to carry the incumbent partyâ€™s torch, but Dick Cheney wonâ€™t be running and, even if he did, he wouldnâ€™t win. Of course, Arizona Senator John McCain is still around, but he arouses suspicion among conservatives. Seeming worn, tired, erratic and untrustworthy, many think the old soldier should just fade away.
Enter Mitt Romney. Inching ever closer to a presidential run, the former CEO and outgoing Governor of Massachusetts is emerging as the Barack Obama of the GOP. And the analogy is apt. He has the resonant voice, the good looks, the statesman-like bearing and, going Obama two better, great hair and unobtrusive ears.
But Romney shares another commonality with Obama: Heâ€™s a liberal in his party masquerading as something more palatable. Yes, sugar and spice and dealing the deck twice, thatâ€™s what little politicians are made of.
As to this point, another politico he can be compared to is Al Gore. Like Gore, Romney has flip-flopped on abortion, only in the other direction. While he now claims to be pro-life, he supported legalization of the â€œmorning-afterâ€ abortion pill, RU-486. Moreover, as recently as his 2002 run for governor his platform ,
â€œThe choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the governmentâ€™s.â€
Of course, Romney says that his views have â€œevolved.â€ But I strongly suspect his adaptation relates more to the evolution of political ambitions than that of conscience. Call me cynical, but unless youâ€™ve been cloistered in an ancient monastery for the duration, Iâ€™m very suspicious of deep personal growth occurring between ages 55 and 59.
According to Romney, unlike himself, the â€œparadigmâ€ of marriage is not â€œevolving,â€ and his high profile stand against anti-marriage has garnered him much publicity of late. But here, too, Romney has been about as consistent as March weather, with a track record that belies his newfound traditionalism.
In a to the Log Cabin Republicans, Romney hailed Bill Clintonâ€™s â€œdonâ€™t ask, donâ€™t tellâ€ policy as a â€œstep in the right directionâ€ and â€œthe first of a number of stepsâ€ toward homosexuals serving â€œopenlyâ€ in the military.
Then, Brian Camenker points out the following in :
â€“ â€œRomneyâ€™s campaign distributed pro-gay rights campaign literature during Bostonâ€™s â€˜Gay Prideâ€™ events,â€ issuing pink fliers stating, â€œMitt and Kerry [running mate Kerry Healey] wish you a great Pride weekend! All citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of their sexual preference.â€
â€“ Romney advocated governmental recognition of homosexual adoption rights, domestic partnerships and homosexual civil unions.
â€“ Romney opposed the Boy Scoutsâ€™ policy prohibiting homosexuals from serving as scoutmasters and prevented the organization from participating publicly in the 2002 Olympics.
â€“ The Boston Globe wrote in 2005, â€œGovernor Mitt Romney, who touts his conservative credentials to out-of-state Republicans, has passed over GOP lawyers for three-quarters of the 36 judicial vacancies he has faced, instead tapping registered Democrats or independents â€“ including two gay lawyers who have supported expanded same-sex rights.â€
â€“ Romney promoted homosexual propaganda in Massachusetts schools through the â€œGovernor’s Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth,â€ funding this bureaucracy of social engineering instead of eliminating it.
Thus, itâ€™s no wonder that while campaigning against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney said that anti-marriage â€œis not appropriate at this time.â€ My guess is that the time will be right when the electorate is left.
Equally damning, though, is that in a very ominous way he can be compared to yet another infamous poseur, Hillary Clinton. On April 12, 2006, Romney signed a bill into law that creates a universal health system intrusive enough to be the envy of socialists everywhere. The plan mandates that every Ma. resident must obtain health insurance by July 1, 2007, or face a fine that could exceed 1,200 dollars a year. Of course, this scheme includes the creation of a new bureaucracy, one that will, using Big Brotherâ€™s infinite wisdom, determine how much you can afford to pay. Wow, thanks for the help, Mitt. Or, is it â€œVinny the Chinâ€? I mean, this sounds like an offer you just canâ€™t refuse.
To justify his socialist brainchild, Romney uses the argument that it is no different from requiring people to carry car insurance. Ah, speciousness, thy name is Romney. Mr. Governor, you can choose not to own a car.
Everyone must have a body.
But remember this when Romney touts his credentials as a fiscal conservative. While he may boast of his steadfast refusal to raise taxes, it rings hollow when he turns around and mandates citizen expenditures and levies fines. But liberals are adept at revenue-raising sleight-of-hand; when another tax increase would raise voter ire, they simply deem it a toll, fine, fee or, I love this one, a â€œsurcharge.â€ I prefer honest theft myself.
President Bush is often excoriated for betraying his conservative base, a perception that contributes to poll numbers lower than Ted Kennedyâ€™s jowls. Forgotten, however, is that while campaigning for the presidency in 2000, Bush accused the Republican Congress of trying â€œ. . . to balance the budget on the backs of the poor,â€ a line that could have been culled from Democrat talking points. Folks, the president never cast himself as anything but exactly what he is. We just werenâ€™t listening.
Are we listening now?
Ah, those Massachusetts liberals: Frank, Dukakis, Kennedy and Willard Mitt Romney. It just seems to roll off the tongue.
Bernie Sanders for veep, anyone?
Contact Selwyn Duke or follow him on Twitter