Friday, December 7, 2007

It's not Romney's religion

Yesterday's speech by ex-Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) I think went a long way to dispelling some doubts some may be having about voting for a Mormon as US President. Some have gone so far as to say it may be the most daring move a Presidential candidate has made since JFK, a Roman Catholic, dared to go into the lions' den of a conference of Protestant ministers and declare that if he had to chose between the Vatican and America he would always choose America.

In both cases, I think the timing was and is suspicious. Kennedy was running dead even with Nixon and it could have been anyone's race. In the end, the tipping point wasn't religion but charisma -- Kennedy had too much of it, while Nixon had comparatively little notwithstanding his famous "Checkers" speech in 1952. Nixon was a Quaker, and no one questioned his faith.

This time, Romney is trying to stop a surge from the very evangelical Mike Huckabee (who like Clinton is evangelical, a former Governor of Arkansas -- and also from Hope). Most evangelicals and even many Protestants refuse to accept Mormons as Christians. Many Catholics also have misgivings -- my understanding is that the Vatican refuses to accept the validity of a Mormon baptism (unlike the form for the Sacrament as used by most other Protestant and the Eastern Orthodox churches, which it does).

Personally, my stance remains the same: If one associates himself or herself with the Christ, he or she can't be the Anti-Christ, or against Christ period. So if Romney states he's a Christian, then he is. No one I am aware of has ever questioned the Christianity of the Osmonds, and they are devout Mormons.

It's not Romney's religion. It's the party he belongs to. Romney has more than proven his competence; first by cleaning house at the Salt Lake City Olympics, then running a very efficient government in Massachusetts. But he's a Republican, and he wants to continue to the fight the so-called War on Terror as business as usual. In other words, continue the unwinnable GOP strategy.

He also risks becoming beholden to the most extreme element of the evangelical community which wants to turn America into a theocracy. The religious right has controlled the party for far too long. The GOP has to move back to the centre where it once was and start recognizing the legitimacy of the camp led by Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT), Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and former EPA boss Gov. Christie Wittman (R-NJ). It has to be the Big Tent that Nancy Reagan claims it is -- for real, or they're toast next November. No sign from Romney that he will, yet.

If he was a Democrat, and he had a viable plan both to pull out of Iraq as well as to crush terrorist groups outside and inside America once and for all, and he found a way of healing the country from the inside by addressing the concerns of the poor and unprivileged classes -- then he might get my consideration. For now, however, the only Republican candidate that even begins to meet the merits of being winnable is Ron Paul and he's a longshot at best.

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Johnathon said...

Why do you like Ron Paul?

Because he wants to pull out USA troops before the Iraqis can take over.

You want to see Ron Paul win so that America looks bad and then you can come here on and say " America has lost the war, America has the lost the war".

There is no logical reason why you would want Ron Paul to win.

It's only because you want to see America embarrassed, rather than triumphant.

Pretty sad person you are buddy.

JimBobby said...

Whooee! It'd be nice to think a Dem in the White House would turn the Merkans around a hunnert an' eighty degrees. Thing is... the Dems ain't a whole lot different than the Repugs. The disappointin' Dem congress has proven that over the past 13 months. Where are the bigass sweepin' new broom changes they promised?

As far as trade issues go, Canada won't do better with Dems in power. Maybe even worse. They gotta stronger record on protectionism.

Even Merkan candidates on the so-called left seem to have bought into the framing of international affairs as a clash of civilizations -- us versus them. The Dems think they have to prove themselves by beatin' the drum louder on the War on Terror.

Merkans believe they're involved in something that resembles a conventional war. If somebody wants to be president they gotta spout that same crappola.