Yesterday morning, I got a flurry of emails about Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul reaffirming that Mitt supported the right of Boy Scouts to define their own membership policies but also would apparently prefer that the Scouts allow gay scoutmasters. This has been Mitt’s position since 1994, and — quite frankly — I (partly) disagree with him. I don’t think the Scouts should have gay scoutmasters. But I’d go farther than the Scouts do — I would prefer that scoutmasters step down if they’re engaged in any kind of extramarital sexual activity. I don’t want my son taught by an adulterous scoutmaster, by a scoutmaster who’s shacking up with a girlfriend, or by a scoutmaster who’s addicted to porn.
(And frankly, a scout is far more likely to encounter an adulterous scoutmaster than a gay scoutmaster.)
But from the standpoint of a government official — or an aspiring government official — the key policy question is whether you’ll try to use government power to interfere with the membership policies of a private organizations. And on that point, the only point that really matters for a President, Mitt’s answer is exactly right: The Boy Scouts’ personnel policies are for the Boy Scouts to decide.
So relax, Mitt is not going to mess with the Scouts.
But that brings up a larger point. We are trying to defeat the most pro-abortion president in history, a man who’s launched an unprecedented attack on religious liberty through HHS regulations that require Christian groups to violate their beliefs as a condition of doing business. Our candidate is not only pro-life, he’ll undo the Obama administration’s HHS regulations within 24 hours of taking office. The stakes are simply too big to waste one more second of time arguing about Mitt’s personal opinion on Boy Scouts’ personnel policies. As I’ve argued before, abortion is morally comparable to slavery — yet do you think the abolitionists let a candidate’s irrelevant and extraneous personal opinions deter their support or diminish their zeal to transform our politics?
There is not a politician alive who will agree with you on every point. There is not a person alive who agrees with you on everything. But the presidency is about getting the big things right, and Mitt’s right about all the big things. He’s for life, he’s for liberty (including the Scouts’ liberty), and he understands our economy.
Let’s stay focused.