Clip and Send

A few days ago, the Dems released this chilling thing:

“Government is the only thing we all belong to” is a sentiment that Mussolini thoroughly approved of. “Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state” said he. That is a hell of a long way from the classical American ideal (perfectly reflective of Catholic teaching) articulated in Kennedy’s inaugural when he said that “the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe—the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.” The Dem party tried very hard to eliminate all mention of God in it’s platform–and its leader, a jealous god, is trying very hard to crush the religious liberty and freedom of conscience and make the Church a lapdog of the State.

Now conservatives get all this and regard with horror the proposition that we “belong to” the government. They get (at least while Obama is in office) that the state exists to guard the dignity of the human person and that state official work for us, not we for state officials.

But when it comes to the Home Team, conservatives generally believe about their party what Dems believe about the State: that we citizens belong to and serve the Party rather than the Party existing to serve us.

Here is reality: Romney is a manipulative dishonest cynic

–who lies that he was a prolife governor while the Youtubes repeatedly proclaiming his fealty to the abortion regime are there for anyone to see;
–who sends clear messages through surrogates that he does not care about gay “marriage”;
–who makes very clear he will make no efforts to do anything serious about abortion;
–who (in a recent interview with Raymond Arroyo, the friendliest of interviewers) cannot bring himself to say that he will overturn the HHS mandate;
–who ordered Catholic hospitals to prescribe contraceptives

An election campaign is, in effect, a job interview and you are the employer, not the subservient one. The candidate is the applicant and you, as employers, have the right and the obligation to tell–nay, demand–that your potential employee have the talent, brains, and willingness to do what you want. You’d never hire some jerk who was planning to dip into the till, or shoplift, or use your business as a warehouse for his heroin trade. So why, when a candidate is lying through his teeth to you, do you give him the benefit of the doubt when he is a proven liar?

“Because we have to vote for the lesser of two evils!” Prescinding from the fact that this is utterly false and you can vote for whoever you like, note how quickly we revert to language which assumes that the candidate is running the show and not you. We’re not at Election Day. You don’t have to vote today. What you and I have to do–today–is tell this cynical, manipulative, unprincipled man whose moral center is made of tofu that he had better knuckle under and do exactly what we, his employers, demand he do or we will make life hell for him and his party. We have to tell him that if he complies with what we want, we will reward him and his party. We have to, in short, remember that they work for us, not we for them.

This concept is, surprisingly, startling to many of my readers, and several have, over the past couple months written to ask how to do that. My answer: clip and save the following, then send it to the Romney campaign (if you are an Obama supporter, you can use it as a template, but include a different list of betrayals (indefinite detention, secret murder lists, assaults on religious liberty, contempt for the 30% of Dems who oppose abortion, etc) and your corresponding threats of reprisals against your Party).

Dear Mr. Romney:

I am a conservative who believes that the purpose of conservatism is to conserve things which are good in American and Western culture. Among these things are life and liberty.

At present, I have grave concerns that you have any serious intention of conserving these things and so I have no good reason for voting for you. Merely saying “I’m not Obama” is not enough to win my vote. Why? Because I have zero confidence that you are going to, in any significant way, overturn much of his agenda and plenty of concern that, in addition to it, you will lard on tax cuts for yourself and your class and more wars for our troops to fight.

Let me be clear. You have lied that you governed as a prolife governor. Sorry, but I have seen the multiple Youtube videos of you, as governor, proudly proclaiming your devotion to abortion. When you lie to me about your record on something as fundamental as the right to life, I have no reason to trust a word you say.

Both your sister and your wife have made clear that you have no serious interest in abortion. This is a tried and true political strategy for the GOP (just as ask the Bush women). The candidate makes prolife noises, his women say, “He doesn’t really mean it.” The women are right.

You were given a softball question about the HHS mandate recently by Raymond Arroyo of EWTN. You could not bring yourself to say you would overturn it. If you are unwilling to undo the immense damage to religous liberty done by this edict, why should I vote for you? I require from you a loud and often repeated public pledge that you will do this or you can forget my vote.

You have made clear that you don’t care about the integrity of traditional marriage and will do nothing about gay “marriage”. If that does not change with loud and repeated pledges to oppose gay “marriage” you can forget my vote.

You use enthusiastic endorsement of torture (yes, waterboarding is torture and is but one of the criminal methods we used in both torturing and murdering prisoners, several of them documentably innocent) in our War on Terror. Just as I will not vote for a candidate who supports abortion and the crushing of religious liberty and conscience and the legalization of gay “marriage”, so I will not vote for a candidate who supports the use of torture.

Finally, although I was disgusted by your remarks which strongly suggest that half the American people are motivated by welfare parasitism in supporting your opponent. Many of our troops (a body to which neither you nor your sons have ever belonged) are forced to live on welfare and food stamps while defending you back home has you pursue power and wealth and your party leads the charge to cut their pay and benefits still further.

Make a public and frequent renunciation of the grave evils of abortion, the HHS mandate, gay “marriage” and torture and I will consider voting for you. Pledge, loudly, repeatedly and publicly that you will see to it that our brave and self-sacrificial troops receive the pay and benefits they deserve, instead of the contempt you heaped on them when you thought you were only speaking to your rich and smug peers, and I will consider voting for you. Pledge that you will bring them home instead of expanding into still more imperial pre-emptive wars and I will consider rewarding you with my vote.

And be aware that if you make these promises and then break them–if dare to betray my support for you–I will do everything in my power to punish you and your party at the ballot box and financially, and I will do everything I can to mobilize all the other supporters of human life and liberty to do likewise. We do not serve you, Mr. Romney. You serve us. We will not shut up and get in line behind you. We will not be stampeded by “lesser of two evils” rhetoric about how we have to vote for you or Obama will win. Do right and you will be rewarded by your employers, the American people. Do evil, and we will punish you and your party.

We will no longer be played.


Clip that. Save it. Send it to the Romney campaign via their website here, with your own signature on it (and edit it how you like to document more Romney perfidy and offer more carrots and sticks to Romney).

Start a signature campaign, get thousands of signatures and take out a page in the paper. Send the signatures to the Romney campaign.

Start a Facebook page with that letter or one like it and get a bazillion people to like it. Point the Romney campaign to it.

Update: a reader sez:

This misses the target. Romney is a liar without a conscience or conservative values. If he changes his message to suit the letter, the change means nothing and guarantees nothing.

Rather, conservatives should send this letter to the RNC Chairman, and the chairperson of their State and local GOP parties, to let them know why their “base” is staying home in November. Tell ’em the jig is up, and stop dancing.

I won’t stay home this November. But I agree with exerting maximum pressure on the whole party. Romney, precisely because he has a heart of tofu, might respond if his whole party says, “Don’t screw us over, you unprincipled jerk. My constituents are breathing down my neck!”

Put pressure and heat on these clowns *now*, while they are vulnerable to public pressure, not after they are elected and can say, “So long and thanks for the votes, suckers!”

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  • KenC

    Mark, as much as I understand your concerns about Romney, sometimes you do appear to attack him far more than Obama. Here, you start with an execrable quote from the Dems that is more than worthy of the great Shea treatment by itself, and then spend several hundred words bashing Romney. Just an observation.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      hey Mark,

      What percentage of your readership is even tempted to vote for Obama? And of those, what percent would listen seriously to things you say, as opposed to just being here to defend their man?


      Take it as a compliment. Mark obviously thinks Romney’s supporters, some, are still intelligent, thoughtful and loving folks.

      • Mark Shea

        Virtually none, from what I can see. But I thought I’d cover all the bases.

    • Dan C

      Some folks obviously write and read blogs for finding and discussing topics with people who agree with them.

      Some folks read blogs and write them for the possibility of growth and challenge.

      Mr. Shea’s blog is one of those latter. Especially challenging is the Star Wars Holiday Special Penitential Service.

    • Josh

      I agree KenC, but I think this has to do with Mark Shea not entirely perceiving the shift that has occurred in his readership in the last few years as evidenced by the people posting in the comboxes. I think Mark believes that his readership is still largely right-of-center as it was years ago when he used to do admirable battle against torture apologists. So he spends a lot of time trying to hone his message to appeal to the consciences of right-of-center readers. If he went after lefties then all he would get would be a chorus of amens which wouldn’t really move hearts and minds Christward. From what I can see though most of his readers of late have been left-of-center who really kind of do enjoy watching him go after righties. I think his readership has changed, but I don’t think he sees that.

    • Mark Shea

      That’s because the overwhelming majority of my audience support Romney. I don’t have to tell people who aren’t going to vote for Obama not to vote for Obama.

      • Andy

        Mark – I don’t believe that the overwhelming majority of your audience supports Romney – they may vote for him to defeat Obama, but I don’t really see support. I think had the reps. nominated a person with vision and concern there might have been support. By the way neither lizard will get my vote.

        • Mark Shea

          Fair enough. My point though is that the inclination of my readership is toward Romney. I bet a show of hands would reveal almost nobody here is even considering Obama.

          • Peter

            Well I’m considering Obama. I’m the Chairman of the Board of the Chicago Midnight Basketball Program and, by golly, when he comes home we are considering him for a Board Seat on our Team! He can teach the kids how to “burn a dirt” while they do layups. A Win-Win for all concerned!

            • Ted Seeber

              [Channeling my inner Shelbot]This is sarcasm, right?

      • I agree with Andy on this. It seems as though the majority of the audience either has a ‘pox on both their houses’ mentality, or are firmly and passionately behind Ron Paul (or some other Independent candidate). Perhaps the actual readership is different, but if comments are any indicator, I don’t see the Romney-love in these comboxes. Nor do I see a whole truck load of GOP/Conservative support, or even ‘God Bless the USA’ anymore. Was a time perhaps, but that time passed some years ago. At best, as Andy points out, I see folks agreeing with many of the criticisms, but reluctantly deciding to support Romney against Obama’s flagrant moves against the Faith.

        • Irenist

          Yeah, “pox on both their houses” seems like the default for Mark and his commenters, myself included. Of course, that’s understandably going to look like leftism to someone on the right, and vice versa.

        • Thomas R

          Yeah. Recently I’ve been considering voting for Romney because I’m not sure the statement “They are both just as bad” or “American politics stinks I choose to voice my rejection of it and the electorate” works for me. “Neither party has made a tolerable choice this time” may work so I may still not vote for him. Either way I wouldn’t say I’m really for Romney.

          My main problem with Shea on politics is, by his stated positions, I think there might be no viable Presidential candidate in history he could ever support and he’s never really disagreed with that. (Although maybe Al Smith of the 1920s could be supportable for him) I’m sure I can find things on JFK that would make supporting him untenable from his moral perspective. He certainly was of the “Ruling Elite”, if such a thing exists, and he violently interfered in the internal affairs of other nations. He’s lucky in that in this particular case Romney is pretty awful, but if it had been a Newt Gingrich/Chris Smith ticket (Smith is one of the most human-rights/life-rights oriented Catholic politician I can think of) I think he would be almost as hostile to the GOP side.

        • Ted Seeber

          God Bless the USA. It sure ain’t being blessed by anybody else.

    • Warene

      OBAMA is the most PRO-ABORTION candidate in American history! No serious Catholic can vote Democrat. He even voted for the abomination called Live-Birth Abortion!!

  • Michael F.

    “who cannot bring himself to say that he will overturn the HHS mandate.”

    That’s false, Mark.

    And a very recent ad:

    Romney has been dishonest at times and he’s tried to re-write his history when it was embarrassing or unhelpful to him (which most politicians do – still wrong – but extremely common). I don’t trust him.

    But it seems very likely to me that he’s not stupid enough or so dishonest to completely go back on all of this. He’s going to have a hard time walking back such clear and recent statements.

    • I don’t think it will be that hard. All he has to do is *nothing*. He doesn’t have to make any announcements, he just has to keep putting it off.

    • Michael in ArchDen

      It won’t be any harder than the President’s failure to close Gitmo. He promised clearly and repeatedly to close it within 100 days. The cost of breaking these promises is cheap (and getting cheaper, IMHO).

    • Beadgirl

      A politician who doesn’t keep his campaign promises? Why, I never!

  • Ted Seeber

    May I just say that the webform you linked to, to make a comment on the Romney Campaign, is seriously the most ridiculous GUI I’ve ever seen in the past 5 years. Who was doing their beta testing in Chrome, a blind paraplegic homeless guy?

    • Irenist

      “a blind paraplegic homeless guy?”
      Now you’re knocking their private charity program, Ted.

  • Joannie

    I agree with Mark’s open letter to Mitt Romney that he should prove what he will do as President because he is not like Ron Paul who made all of his views clearly known. Just today I got a election day card from the Ohio right to Life and they endorse him and his running mate for President. Another reason besides those Mark states is that he had the entire Republican Nomination bought and paid for by the RNC which did not happen in 2008. And also he cheated the Paul delegates at the Convention just a few weeks ago and treated them like dirt. Finally, as we all well know he had the RNC change the rules for future elections so no “grass roots” candidate can have a chance and he would not let Ron Paul speak enlist it was a “vetted” speech that endorsed Romney. Enough Said.

  • Fiestamom

    I’m not voting for Obama. I’m not crazy about Romney, so I am praying for Romney’s conversion on the prolife issue. Baby steps, after November,I’ll pray for his conversion conversion.

  • Just going to point out but… maybe we shouldn’t be looking to Romney to overturn abortion, HHS, etc. Maybe we should be looking to our congressmen and senators.

    On another level, I finally figured out what was bothering about these posts. They are essentially Mark losing the argument because he is already buying into the axioms that the opposing side is arguing from (what Goldberg rails against in “tyranny of cliches”). Namely, that the president is our “king” and we must look to him to do all things. Romney and Obama are both just symptoms. Restore separations of powers, slay leviathan, let us be free people again.

    • Hezekiah Garrett

      You really don’t understand what ‘the God King’ means, do you?

      Do you read ANYTHING besides National Review? I haven’t touched that rag in a decade.

      (You’ll get a lot more traction for your arguments with Catholics is you’d occasionally cite, I don’t know, maybe some Christian Thinkers?)

      • Well I see you engaged in Bulverism, as described by CS Lewis. aka “Attack the source, not the argument.”

        See, I’m so committed to fighting Bulverism in this age, that I fight it even in myself, and seek out arguments which are right, and try not to worry about who said them.

        I will morn your loss to the disease.

  • Obpoet

    People. Stop. A president cannot end abortion. Only the SCOTUS can. So to that end the only contribution the President can make is who she appoints to the SCOTUS. And as we saw with Roberts, even that is a crap shot.

    • Andy, Bad Person

      Actually, a far more effective way is through the legislature. Roe sets the very condition necessary to overturn itself: defining life as beginning at conception. If that were defined by Congress, Roe would become moot.

    • Ted Seeber

      A president *could* however trigger a constitutional crisis on the subject which would force the debate.

  • Hezekiah Garrett

    I attacked no source.

    I asked If you had any other source. I am sorry I gave the ImpressIon I was even attemptIng to engage your argument. Only so many hours In a day and all that.