January 2, 2008

The Mittster Mash: Romney’s Crunch-Time Choke Game Fix on Same-Sex Marriage

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:02 am

OVERVIEW: In this verse of The Mittster Mash, we see that Mitt Romney’s reaction to the Goodridge same-sex marriage “ruling” by the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) of Massachusetts wasn’t merely the equivalent of an athlete choking in a key situation. It was, instead, the same as an athlete in a position to do so deliberately throwing the game.

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There’s really no substitute for reading the three well-done late-December posts by Amy at Mass Resistance on this (index, Part I, Part II, Part III).

This post will hopefully boil down her great work adequately, and accurately.

As noted in Amy’s Part II, in March 2004, in advance of the artificially created and unenforceable “deadline” created in the Goodridge same-sex marriage ruling (full text here), profamily groups and concerned citizens….

wrote to Governor Romney asking him to please:
(1) defy the Court ruling, as it is only an illegitimate opinion and there is no new law for him to enforce;
(2) issue an Executive Order barring issuance of homosexual “marriage” licenses starting May 17, 2004; and
(3) support the Bill of Address to remove the four errant Judges.

In response, they got this from Mitt Romney on April 15:

Thank you for your letter regarding same-sex marriage. Over the past several months, many people have taken the time to contact my office with their thoughts and concerns on this issue. I am happy to have this opportunity to respond.

Recently, the State Legislature met in a rare joint session and passed an amendment to the Massachusetts Constitution that defines marriage as the union of a man and a woman. For this amendment to become part of our Constitution, it must be passed by the Legislature again and then be approved by the people of Massachusetts in November 2006.

As you know, the definition of marriage is of great concern to many citizens. On a matter of such significance and with such tender sentiment involved, we must show respect and consideration for those with different opinions. There are real people, including traditional couples, gay couples and children, who are deeply affected by this issue.

But, even as we disagree, we must not forget that at the core of American democracy is the principle that the most fundamental decisions in society should ultimately be decided by the people themselves. I support giving the people the opportunity to decide this issue.

Again, thank you for taking the time to contact my office.

Sincerely,
Mitt Romney

Anyone who sees anything responsive to the letter writers’ original three requests in what Romney wrote back has a very vivid imagination.

We all know that Mitt Romney didn’t ignore or defy the ruling and subject himself to whatever public opprobrium may have ensued. Instead, he proactively and unilaterally imposed same-sex marriage, even though the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court had no jurisdiction to even take the case (see first indent at link, which is an HTML conversion of a later letter from Mass Resistance to Romney) under Massachusetts’s constitution, and even though there was no law telling him what to do and how to do it.

In other words, his actions willfully violated his state’s constitution and violated the oath of office he had sworn to uphold. As noted towards the end of this previous post, this is not arguable; our Founding Fathers would agree; and Romney’s extra-constitutional, oath-breaking actions make him objectively unfit to serve as President (hence the nickname, “Objectively Unfit Mitt”).

At the time, disappointed profamily groups thought that Romney, knowing what he really should do (Harvard Law, 1975, remember?), had choked. The thought was that he had stared at what he would have faced, namely a tidal wave of criticism from the press, the Legislature, and perhaps the SJC (though it should be emphasized that the SJC had, and has, NO power to force the Governor to do what he did), and that he had taken the easy way out.

Nope. Objectively Unfit Mitt threw the game.

He had promised to throw the game when he was campaigning for governor in 2002, as noted in this New York Times story:

Mitt Romney seemed comfortable as a group of gay Republicans quizzed him over breakfast one morning in 2002. Running for governor of Massachusetts, he was at a gay bar in Boston to court members of Log Cabin Republicans.

Mr. Romney explained to the group that his perspective on gay rights had been largely shaped by his experience in the private sector, where, he said, discrimination was frowned upon. When the discussion turned to a court case on same-sex marriage that was then wending its way through the state’s judicial system, he said he believed that marriage should be limited to the union of a man and a woman. But, according to several people present, he promised to obey the courts’ ultimate ruling and not champion a fight on either side of the issue.

“I’ll keep my head low,” he said, making a bobbing motion with his head like a boxer, one participant recalled.

Can it be any more obvious?

(Aside — Speaking of “keeping his head low,” how convenient it was for Romney to issue his non-response letter on April 15, when the news of the day is always about taxes. April 15 was also the Thursday before the three-day Patriots Day holiday weekend and the Boston Marathon, which took place on the 19th that year. So if his office mailed the letter on the 15th, recipients wouldn’t have had time to react until the Friday afternoon preceding a weekend when almost no one would have been paying attention to anything. Thus, I believe that the letter’s issue date was no accident.)

In 1919, there were the Black Sox and Shoeless Joe Jackson.

In 2002, there was Goodridge and Objecively Unfit Mitt Romney.

It’s really that simple.

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UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt Follow-up: His Reax When Goodridge Was Imposed by Romney

From the Internet archive for the HughHewitt.com home page on May 20, there’s an entry dated May 17, 6:30 a.m. Pacific, which starts thusly (scroll down about 45% of the way, or do a word find on “marriage”; bold is mine):

Same-sex marriage came to Massachusetts at a minute after midnight last night, when the city of Cambridge began issuing licenses to same sex couples. Early this morning, an out-of-state couple, from Minnesota, will be married in Provincetown. When they return to the upper midwest, the real controversy will begin because the federal Defense of Marriage Act says they won’t be married, but the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the Constitution may mean that they are. If the latter view prevails, a Marriage Amendment to the Constitution will become the dominant domestic issue of the day. There’s a reason why John Kerry refuses to endorse same-sex marriage even as his own state yields to the whims of four judges. He knows the country opposes this judicial diktat, and by a wide margin.

The 2004 Hugh Hewitt, in the bolded text, clearly understood that Romney, even though he didn’t name him, was taking the “easy” way out by “yield(ing) to the whims of four judges.”

Why do I say that? Because just after the Goodridge ruling, Hewitt, in a Weekly Standard column (blogged on here; bolds are mine), passionately pleaded with Romney ignore the ruling:

Just Say “No”: Calling Governor Romney and the elected representatives of Massachusetts

Romney should seriously consider indifference. The governor noted that the ruling declaring same-sex marriage a mandate of the Massachusetts constitution is contrary to the sweep of recorded history, but it is more than that. The ruling is also absurd in its reasoning and breathtaking in its arrogance.

….. The decision is illegitimate, and the appropriate response will be to ignore it. Some law professors will shudder (though two well known in the blogosphere, Eugene Volokh and Glenn Reynolds did not when the subject was kicked around on my program Tuesday; Volokh in fact thinks such inter-branch confrontations are useful in the life of constitutional republics). Editorial writers will shout. Senator Kennedy may even brand Romney a Neanderthal, as he did Justices Brown, Owen, and Judge Kuhl earlier this month.

But the storm will pass and the people of Massachusetts will applaud.

The 2007 Hewitt’s support of Romney, and Hewitt’s apparent abandonment of a core 2003 and 2004 principle, is really hard to understand.

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1 Comment

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    Comment by Charlotte — January 2, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

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