Romney Confronts Fischer. Kind Of.

Romney Confronts Fischer. Kind Of. October 11, 2011

At the Values Voters Summit, Mitt Romney took a mild, very general shot at Bryan Fischer, without naming him by name:

Our values ennoble the citizen, and they strengthen the nation. We should remember that decency and civility are values too. One of the speakers who will follow me today, has crossed that line I think. Poisonous language does not advance our cause. It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind. The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate. The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda, narrow our vision or drive us apart.

Right Wing Watch praises him for this, but I won’t. First, he didn’t call him out by name. Second, he didn’t get specific at all; calls for “civility” and to avoid “poisonous language” are quite routine in politics, used even by many who engage in such rhetoric. Thirdly, much of it is gibberish — what the hell does it mean to say “our values ennoble the citizen?” This is politico-babble. Lastly, no one in that audience is going to believe him when he talks about his “conservative beliefs and values” because he simply doesn’t have them. He is whatever he wants the audience in front of him to think he is at any given time. When he’s running for the Senate against Ted Kennedy, he’s a pro-choicer who will be stronger on gay rights than Kennedy; when he’s running for president in the Republican primary, he’s the second coming of the Reagan they all fantasize about — you know, the one who didn’t actually exist.

If Romney had any courage at all he would have stood in front of that audience and called Bryan Fischer a bigot and a menace to society, because that is exactly what he is. He would have done what Bill Bennett admirably did when he slammed Robert Jeffress of the Southern Baptist Convention, who introduced Rick Perry, for saying that no Christian should ever vote for Romney because he’s a Mormon and thus a member of a cult:

“Do not give voice to bigotry. Do not give voice to bigotry,” Bennett said in his speech Saturday morning. “I would say to Pastor Jeffress: You stepped on and obscured the words of Perry and Santorum and Cain and Bachmann and everyone else who has spoken here. You did Rick Perry no good, sir, in what you had to say.”

That was half an hour before Romney got up and delivered the weakest response imaginable.

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  • Well said, Ed.

    Cuts through the bullshit in no time.

    “our values ennoble the citizen” could be a good bumper sticker.

  • Rob Monkey

    Anyone else hear the phrase “our values ennoble the citizen” and think “a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man?” It’s a perfectly cromulent expression!

  • The last time around when Romney gave his “don’t hate me because I’m Mormon” speech, the gist of it was that all the religious conservatives should be united against the secularists, who are the real enemy.

    As offensive as it was, it was at least effective. If you want conservatives to stop hating you, you have to find another scapegoat.

  • Rey Fox

    he’s the second coming of the Reagan they all fantasize about — you know, the one who didn’t actually exist.

    Man, it’s depressing “defending” Reagan by pointing out all the times he did the no-quite-completely-evil-or-insane thing.

  • d cwilson

    Anyone else hear the phrase “our values ennoble the citizen” and think “a noble spirit embiggens the smallest man?” It’s a perfectly cromulent expression!

    Yup. That’s exactly what I thought.

  • d cwilson

    I’m surprised he said even that much. Given his natural pandering instincts, I expected him to endorse anti-Mormon bigorty.

  • raven

    Repost. This is a key piece of information because it has real and relevant data. Romney has a Mormon problem.

    Most xians would agree with Pastor Jeffress and Bryan Fischer. That is what the polls say.

    It’s reassuring that when they aren’t hating everyone else, they hate each other.

    Huffingtonpost.com:

    a new survey released Saturday afternoon says that three out of four pastors agree, at the least, that Mormons are not Christians.

    As part of a larger survey conducted by Nashville-based Lifeway Research a year ago, 1,000 pastors were polled from around the country who represented dozens of denominations.

    and

    A Pew Research Center survey from the summer said that one in four voters would be less likely to vote for a Mormon candidate and found that 34 percent of white evangelical Protestants held this view. A Gallup poll released in June also found that almost 20 percent of Republicans and independents would not vote for a Mormon president, compared to 27 percent of Democrats who said the same.

  • curtcameron

    Dammit, Rob Monkey, I was going to point out that “ennoble” is a perfectly cromulent word!

  • d cwilson

    three out of four pastors agree, at the least, that Mormons are not Christians.

    And it needs to be said that this should not matter one bit. The Founding Fathers were clear on this point. They explicitly wrote into the Constitution that there shall be no religious tests for public office. It’s bad enough that morons like Fischer and David Barton keep trying to rewrite history, whether or not Romney is a Christian should be completely irrelevant.

    Of course, I know, thanks to our home grown Taliban, too many American voters think that only Christians should hold office and that the odds of an avowed atheist being elected president are slim to none. Maybe if we cut back on the baby-eating a little.

  • fifthdentist

    @ shripathikamath

    “’our values ennoble the citizen’ could be a good bumper sticker.”

    Meh. I think it loses something in translation from the original “arbeit macht frei.”

  • Aquaria

    Poisonous language does not advance our cause.

    Then why do so many of you keep using it AND getting elected?

    It has never softened a single heart nor changed a single mind.

    Your side of the debate fails when it shows those commie liberal ideas of compassion and empathy and the desire to help people. And you obviously have changed some minds, or Fox News wouldn’t exist or have become the most watched cable news network if it didn’t use poisonous language and lies to advance the conservatard agenda.

    The blessings of faith carry the responsibility of civil and respectful debate.

    Facts not in evidence. We’ll wait for some.

    The task before us is to focus on the conservative beliefs and the values that unite us – let no agenda, narrow our vision or drive us apart.

    The conservative agenda is to overturn the New Deal, turn back all civil rights reforms, especially for gays and women, make women brood mares and servants to privileged males, especially white ones, and otherwise make most of the country peons scrabbling for crumbs while serving the oligarchs who actually own everything and maximize their profits by fucking over workers.

    Shut up, mittens.

  • Michael Heath

    Plenty of conservative Christians will vote for Mitt Romney in spite of believing Mormonism is a cult where they’ll feel very liberal for doing so. I know many who did the very same in the ’08 election.

    Some of their religious leaders don’t like it because it’s competition framing the political debate, but given that Romney now feeds the base the same raw meat conservatives already eat I see no reason to believe anyone will beat Gov. Romney this time around.