…and one I am considering, from my good friend Dale Price:
He wasn’t even my fifth choice in this cycle, and his record is in many respects indistinguishable from that of the President.
Including on the central issue of religious freedom. Yeah, Mitt’s a bit of a giant liar on his record in Massachusetts.
But/However/Nonetheless Alert: He has promised in no uncertain terms to shred the HHS Mandate. Ditto his Catholic wingman, who made a big deal of it during the Veep debate.
Why do I believe Romney? Because it takes no political courage to shred it–it costs him nothing with any other constituency that’s supporting him to do so. But it will needlessly alienate social conservatives if he doesn’t. Being that Mitt’s not remotely stupid, he’ll do what he says on this one.
In other words, Bonchamps is right, and after much grim wrangling with the issue, that’s enough for me. I want someone who will take the boot off the Church’s throat, and hand it back to the Left. With the foot still in it.
“Here you go. Don’t do that again, champ.”
If the only guy who will do it is Romney, then that’s the sway-backed, spavined rhino I have to back.
I totally hear that and can completely respect it. On the question of life issues, I do not, in my heart, believe Romney will achieve anything other than what he and the GOP have already consistently labored to do: namely, to persuade prolifers to move from being prolife to being willing to kill those innocents inconvenient to the GOP’s shot at power. That is, at present Romney’s single solitary contribution to our national conversation on abortion: he has persuaded a formerly prolife candidate for Veep to prostitute himself and approve of the murder of victims conceived in rape and incest. Most Americans approve of such murders, so Ryan has chosen to abandon these innocents to the will of his boss: a man who paid with his own money to make sure that any of his own grandchildren who gave signs of being defective in utero would be killed. That, and that alone, is all Romney has concretely achieved. And it is all I think he will achieve.
This long-term corruption of the prolife movement into a wholly owned subsidiary of the GOP, cheering for enthusiastic supporters of Roe, just so long as they are Republican, is a process now well under way. Just yesterday, I was being informed by a devotee of Romney that he endorses no grave intrinsic evil at all (she apparently has forgotten that whole thing about how innocent human life can never be deliberately destroyed under any circumstance). When I pointed out that killing people who are conceive in rape is still murder, she responded with the intelligent argument of blocking me on Facebook.
Effective. And that is the net effect that a man like Mitt Romney is having on the prolife movement: teaching that movement not to recognize a cynical duplicitous liar, but to pretend that, because he is slightly less awful than Obama, he is God’s Man and those who warn he is a cynical duplicitous liar are opposing God’s Anointed. However, the fault of that lies not with Romney but with a prolife movement so consumed with the hunger for earthly power that it is willing to sell its soul, not merely to cut a deal or to (as Dale realistically does) sigh and admit that Romney is the Sucks Less candidate, but to lie to itself that Mitt Romney is a good man and even “God’s servant” as I have seen some suckers for Romney call him.
No. He is not a good man. He is a man who would abort his own grandchild–just like Obama. He is a man who has lied repeatedly on multiple issues, including his own pro-abort record. He is a man who has sent multiple signals that he has not the slightest intention of doing anything about abortion at all beyond a couple of minor bones to the prolife movement (Mexico city and semidefunding PP) in order to buy the silence and cooperation of dutiful prolifers who will prostitute themselves for war and torture for him as they did for Bush. The embarrassing spectacle of watching the prolife movement try to get itself into the headspace of trying to say he is not merely the Barely Sucks Less candidate (Dale’s honest and clear-eyed assessment) but is actually a prolife candidate is the single greatest impediment to my voting for him. Far more than any actual benefits to be derived from this odious man is the profoundly corrupting effect people like he and Scott Brown have had on the prolife movement. If the salt loses its savor, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing but to be trampled underfoot. That is why I have been so adamant that the main thing to look at in this election has not been the essentially non-existent impact your vote will have on the election, but the immensely important impact it will have on you.
That said, I appreciate Dale’s clear-eyed assessment. The one and only reason I can see that might constitute a proportional justification for voting for Romney is that, as Dale says, this man with a moral core of tofu has something to gain and nothing to lose by overturning the HHS mandate. There’s no guarantee he will, but he might. He is, after all, the same despicable man who ordered Catholic hospitals to dispense the morning after pill and the guy who just a couple months ago was holding fundraisers at the home of its manufacturer. So it’s not a slam dunk that he will overturn the mandate, but he might. Depends on how much his crony capitalist buddies care about it, not how much Catholics care about it. I have no sense of that particular situation and would be interested in hearing from readers who do.
Romney is, never forget, seeking the presidency to serve the crony capitalist class. That’s it. That’s all. That’s what the 47% video made clear. If there is no objection from those who stand to profit from the HHS Mandate, then he might overturn it to secure some of his base for next time. But if it appears to him that a) his rich friends won’t like it if he opposes the Mandate and b) most Catholics are comfy with free contraceptive candy and don’t much care about this little fetish of the bishops, he is just as likely to blow it off since he is, you know, a documented multiple liar with absolutely no principles beyond his own will to power. So it’s a tradeoff and a gamble. Do you, like Dale, hope that he might accidently do the right thing as he panders? Or do you think, as I do on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday/Sundays, that the main issue is not “How will my vote affect the election?” but “How is the prolife movement’s embarrassing attempt to persuade itself the Romney is a good man forcing prolifers to prostitute and lie to themselves?” Dale doesn’t lie to himself, which is why I respect his argument. As the election approaches, more and more prolifers, trying to gin themselves up to vote for Romney out of fear of Obama, do lie to themselves and try to pretend that Romney’s “commitments” on abortion and the Mandate mean anything other than cynical duplicitous pandering and, worst of all, spend all their energy, not pressuring Romney to keep his empty promises, but pressuring other prolifers to shut up and get in line and deny the obvious about Romney’s lies and duplicity.
I still haven’t made up my mind on Dale’s argument. But it’s the issue that bothers me. I totally respect Dale’s argument and may yet buy it because Dale doesn’t lie to himself about what sort of man Romney is. But the strongest arguments I’ve seen against voting Romney have come, not from Obama supporters, but from Romney supporters who say utterly delusional things about his supposed “conversion”, or who demand that I ignore my stupid conscience since winning is everything, or who pretend that approval of just a few murder of innocents is not gravely and intrinsically evil, or who speak with contempt about refusal of grave intrinsic evil worthy of the fires of hell as “perfectionism”. Nobody has done a better job of filling me with grave foreboding about the profoundly corrupting effect the GOP has had on the prolife movement than its own “prolife” supporters. We are supposed to leaven the world, not the world leaven us.