Thursday, September 06, 2007

Presidential Politcs

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.


TS said...

Yes you make a good point, but whether his conversion is sincere I think it's nice that for once they are in the pro-life direction.

Al Gore and SO many others began their careers pro-life and moved to be archly pro-choice. There is no fear that Gore will become pro-life anytime soon and likewise I don't think there's any reason to think Romney will go pro-choice again.

Gore was pro-life in the beginning because you *had* to be in order to get elected in Tenn at representative level (I believe he was a Representative before a Senator).

Similarly, Romney was pro-choice in MASS simply for political survival. That is in no way to excuse it, but just as Gore got welcomed by pro-choicers when he turned, it's reasonable to welcome Romney now that he has.

Finally, I'd be happy with Romney simply because it's not as big a bet as it was last time. It may not be as important, perhaps, for the Prez to be a social conservative as it was in the crucial '00 & '04 elections when there were so many retiring Supreme Court justices...

JCurley said...

It is good that his trend is towards life-and yet if it is all for presidential primary politics ....what happens tomorrow? I want to welcome him-but I don't trust him.

And, I don't think he can win in the South. Even though he is GOP, he is from Massachusetts-which is scorned even more than NY down here. And he is a Morman. I am not sure the number of Southerners he needs to win can get past this.

Personally I think it is still crucial to have a 'true believer' even if no SCJ vacancies occur. The President can use the bully pulpit to change hearts if he chooses.

Its a tough call this year. You live in a crucial state in the election. My state is usually a Republican stronghold. So I have more flexibilty to be contrary.

I do think there are better candidates-but I haven't finished my research. Usually it is by process of elimination to see who is left standing.

TS said...

Bush is a true believer and didn't change any hearts via the bully pulpit. Same thing with Reagan. So I think the bully pulpit is overrated. But your point is well-taken concerning his Mormonism and potential viability in the South being from MA.

JCurley said...

I would dispute that Bush is a true believer on life issues. Yes, he did some important things I am grateful for (SCJ nominations and Mexico City policy re-instatement for example.) And he uses the right words when speaking to pro-lifers-but he hired people to tell him what those words were... On the other side of the coin, his FDA did not re-investigate RU486, which there was cause to do. He also went further with embrionic stem cell research in his first term than even B. Clinton did. And as you say, he did not use his position to make speeches aimed at changing hearts. His only speaches on the subject were via hookup to pro-life rallies. A mixed record: grateful for what he has done; wish he'd done more. (Granted he has been tied up with Iraq-but that is a whole other story, huh?)

(And regarding your post on whether the spammers have won-I seldom get the word verification right the first time on my own blog)!