I haven't made much of a foray into the race for president yet. It just seems so early. A friend of mine is the state campaign director for Sen. Brownback. Many bloggers who I respect are pulling for darkhorse Ron Paul. Then, people ask: How about Mitt Romney? Here is my answer.
Article V. (of the Massachusetts constitution) All causes of marriage, divorce, and alimony, and all appeals from the judges of probate shall be heard and determined by the governor and council, until the legislature shall, by law, make other provision.
Which means (in my reading) that no matter what judge ruled about homosexual marriage, until the legislature passed a law about it, the governor had the power to do he wanted about enforcing it or vacating as a practical matter.
As governor Mr. Romney had the constitutional power to instruct clerks not to issue marriage licenses to homosexual couples until the legislature passed a law or amended the constitution. Yet while Mr. Romney supported legislation protecting marriage, he did not stick his neck out and do what he himself had the power to do. After all, maybe he had to honor the endorsement he received from the Log Cabin Republicans.
On abortion, in his 1994 race against Ted Kennedy for Senate he made clear that while 'personally opposed' he thought abortion should be legal. Now running for president, Mr. Romney says this was just a youthful indiscretion. Yet when running for governor of MA in 2002, his platform stated:
As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change. The choice to have an abortion is a deeply personal one. Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not the government's.
Mr. Romney's flip flops and hedges on several issues are hurting him-and rightly so. Yes, I believe people can change their mind-but there has been a history of hedging and trying to play both sides for years with this candidate. I don't think he can be trusted, and I don't think I could in conscience vote for him even if he was paired against Hilary. If someone could persuade me his conversions were real.... I don't know.
As time goes on I will make my case for and against other candidates-although the obvious smelly choices, i.e. the likes of Mr. Guiliani-will be neglected.