The Mormon After

Opinion Journal’s Best of the Web points out a particularly galling post by Princeton professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell:

I never thought I would say this, but I miss Mitt Romney.

After three full days of having to interpret, explain and apologize for Reverend Jeremiah Wright I am feeling a little religiously defensive. So I started fantasizing how different this would be going down if Mitt Romney were still challenging John McCain for the Republican nomination.

Instead of us Obama supporters sweating, Romney and his supporters would be fielding calls all day to explain Mormonism, polygamy and the relationship of Romney’s faith to the cult compound in Texas. Does Mr. Romney believe that 14 year-old girls should marry? Does Mr. Romney plan to take additional wives in order to fulfill the moral requirements of his religion? If not why has Mr. Romney stayed affiliated and raised his children in a church with whom he so vehemently disagrees?

Yeah, Yeah, we know he gave some big speech about this issue earlier in the campaign, but how does he respond to what those women with the long skirts and weird hairdos said on the Today Show this morning? . . . Maybe a little black liberation theology would have looked tame next to the FLDS.

Best of the Web’s James Taranto responds:

Harris-Lacewell claims that her own mother is a lapsed Mormon, which, if true, makes the professor’s ignorance rather stunning. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did originally sanction polygamy, but you have to get up pretty early in the Mormon for that. As LDS Church Web site notes, the church banned polygamy in 1890, “and any member adopting this practice is subject to losing his or her membership in the Church.”

The FLDS, to which Harris-Lacewell refers, is the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a group that split with the Mormons precisely because of the latter’s rejection of polygamy. Were Romney the nominee, his foes might well try to suggest that his LDS membership somehow puts him in league with the FLDS. But they would be arguing in bad faith.

Since Harris-Lacewell brought up the comparison of Mormonism to “black liberation theology,” it’s worth noting that early Mormons suffered persecution at the hands of their neighbors in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois. They ultimately settled in Utah in 1847, and their abandonment of polygamy 43 years later was a price they paid for integration into American society.

It was just about as long ago–44 years this summer–that America took its most definitive step in ensuring equality for blacks, the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Progress toward integration has been uneven since then, and the antagonistic attitude toward America of black leaders like Jeremiah Wright is arguably the greatest remaining hindrance.

Me: It is disgusting to see Romney’s faith distorted, particularly to score political points. Harris-Lacewell’s attempt at moral equivalence misses badly because of her loose association with the facts, as Taranto explained. Still, her slander of Mormonism reveals the lengths to which Obamaniacs will go to excuse the personal relationship Obama had with Wright. Harris-Lacewell excuses her own gross negligence because she comes from Mormon ancestors and a disaffected Mormon mother. It is sad that this kind of excuse carries water with a Princeton professor.

A long time ago…

From the Campaign Spot:

“My favorite comment in a while, found over at the Volokh Conspiracy:

Those of you complaining may not be old enough to remember this, but there was a time when a person’s associates thought to provide insights into that person’s character. I remember a time when a man named Ken Lay became a campaign issue.

That was way back in the election of aught-four. Things were different then; many people argued that lack of active-duty military service should practically disqualify a candidate, if you can believe such a thing, and Geraldine Ferraro, Joe Lieberman, and Bill Clinton were all widely respected within the Democratic party.

We’ve come a long way since then. The idea that a candidate should be grilled for views of other people in his church hasn’t been commonplace in the Democratic party for tens of thousands of minutes, since Mitt Romney suspended his campaign.”

Where are they now: Kevin Madden

From Potomac Flacks:

Washingtonian’s Garrett Graff writes in this month’s “Capital Comment” that Kevin Madden, Mitt Romney’s former press chief and veteran Capitol Hill aide, is “loved by the media and at some point seems destined for the White House briefing-room podium.” He received the coveted “up” arrow. Madden, who has moved back to Washington following the campaign, has artfully managed to remain a key player in D.C.’s highly-competitive spin market. You can watch him tonight on and, along side Karen Finney, spokesperson for the DNC, as they debate the issues throughout the night following the Pennsylvania primary.

Romney on fire

From the Hotline:

In non debate action, Mitt Romney just made an impromptu appearance at the Radio-Tv Correspondents Dinner in DC to offer up the Top 10 Reasons Why I Dropped Out.

Per Hotline editor Amy Walter, here are a few of the 10:

Not as many Osmonds as I thought
Got tired of corkscrew landings
Wasn’t room in the campaign for two Christian leaders
I’d rather get fat, grow a beard and try for a Nobel Prize
Once Ann realized I couldn’t win, fundraising dried up
Flawed theory that as UT goes so goes the nation

Romney on Hannity and Colmes

Romney had a great showing on Hannity and Colmes last night. The transcript is here. Video of the first segment is here and video from the second segment is here. My favorite part was this exchange where Romney parried (followed by a strong riposte) with Colmes:

COLMES: The word “elite” gets tossed around a lot. Republicans and deregulated industries who have helped create monopolies. They fought against labor unions. They’ve campaigned against a government net for the poor. They’ve tried to do privatize Social Security and you call the Democrats elites.

Is it possible that some of the issues I’ve just mentioned might show some elitists among the Republican side of the ledger?

ROMNEY: You know, I know every policy that conservatives espouse and fight for and Republicans are overwhelmingly conservative, those policies are designed to help the American people from the very poorest to the middle class. We don’t think about how do we take away from some and give to others, we say how do we lift everyone in this great nation.

And every policy you’ve described — for instance, Senator McCain today said he wants to lower the corporate tax rate. Why is that? Because lowering the corporate tax rate will bring more jobs here, will build more businesses here. He’s not worried about, you know, chief executive pay. That’s not what’s the concern he’s going have. It’s instead how do you build more jobs and keep companies from going offshore?

So his policies, conservative policies, Republican policies, are designed to help people from the very poorest and particularly those in the middle class who feel the real squeeze right now.

COLMES: Are you satisfied that people corporation of oil companies, for example, pay enough taxes? You know, Robert Reich used to refer to that as aid to defending corporations. Are you satisfied that — there are no loopholes that corporations jump through to avoid paying taxes that would help the economy if they paid them?

ROMNEY: I’m sure there are loopholes that the corporate accountants find. When I was governor of Massachusetts I went after these loopholes that were not intended to be put there by the legislature, and we took them out, and you want to make sure the people are following the rules, and not getting special breaks. But I don’t want to tax corporations that provide jobs and build new factories and are doing research and development, I don’t want to tax them out of existence, I want them to grow and thrive, particularly small businesses.

Don’t forget, these tax rates are applied to the very smallest businesses. The pizza shops and the new software engineer firm. That’s the place we want to see growth in our economy. We don’t want those jobs to go elsewhere.

Mitt Updated

In case you haven’t checked into lately, skip on over to check out the slimmed down website. For quite sometime the site has simply features a photo of Mitt and Ann along with a thank you message. Now, the site is back up with a short biographical section about Mitt and Ann, as well as the texts from major speeches and many photos. The Issues section also has many positions outlined. Nice to have some of that reference material back since I was looking for one of his speeches sometime back. Your core of support is strong Mitt!

The AP Needs to Rethink “Reverse”

Just when you thought the Romney is flip-flopping silliness had finally ended, we get treated with yet another claim from the AP’s Glen Johnson. Here is the entire article:

Romney Reverses on McCain’s Economic Credentials

Mitt Romney said Tuesday that Sen. John McCain’s Washington experience counts in drawing up economic policy.

That’s not what Romney said during the heat of the Republican presidential race.
Here’s Romney from Tuesday’s appearance on CNN:
“I can tell you that for a person who’s spent over 25 years in Washington, D.C., working on economic policies from the days of (Ronald) Reagan and throughout the current time, Senator McCain is very well aware of the spending programs in Washington, which ones need to be cut back, which ones need to be grown. He understands also how to relieve the pressure on the American taxpayer,” Romney said hours before McCain, a four-term Arizona senator, delivered an economic address in Pittsburgh.
Here’s Romney on Jan. 25 in Florida:
“Now he’s engaging in ‘Washington talk,'” Romney said of McCain and his self-professed “straight-talk” mantra. “`Washington talk’ says that somehow, because you’ve been in Washington, and you’ve been on a committee, that you somehow know about how the jobs of this country have been created.”

Romney, who bowed out of the race in February, has been mentioned as a possible running mate for McCain.

In a phone call to The Associated Press, Romney said his latest comments in part acknowledged the verdict of the voters.

“There’s no question any one of the three would have benefited from a lifetime of service in the private sector that I enjoyed. That’s why I thought I was the strongest candidate. The voters chose differently,” Romney said of the three remaining candidates, McCain and Democratic Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

My Thoughts: I may be an idiot but I think there is a difference in talking about cutting government programs and relieving taxpayers versus how jobs are created.

For the attorneys out there, if Romney had been a witness in my trial and had said the first quote, the second quote would not be admissible as hearsay because the exception in CA for past inconsistent statements would not apply.