March 5, 2012

Mitt Romney and the Damage Done

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Life-Based News,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 4:25 pm

NoToRomneyA little part of it in everyone.

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Even if Mitt Romney never becomes president, the harm he has already done to America’s cherished institutions and our legal and constitutional framework is incalculable. That he is as is close as he is to becoming the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential nominee, and that he might be granted a four-year pass to “do the least amount of damage,” shows us how close we are as a nation to, as Rick Santorum publicly fears, leaving “a very cold dangerous, frightening America to our children.”

In three critical areas — health care, same-sex “marriage,” and the overall rule of law — Romney has inflicted severe national harm which will be difficult and perhaps impossible to reverse.

Health Care

“Commonwealth Care,” which became law in Massachusetts in 2006 while Romney “collaborator and friend” Ted Kennedy admiringly looked on, legitimized the idea that when public priorities supposedly justify it, a state could and should in effect take over an entire industry, mandate that its citizens purchase its services, and force them to pay fines if they refuse. People on the left and the right both agree that Commonwealth Care, which came to be known as RomneyCare, was the prototype for the Affordable Care Act, which became known as ObamaCare.

RomneyCare emboldened the statists who ultimately passed ObamaCare’s 2,000-page monstrosity and are working feverishly to implement it to argue that the federal government can, as Massachusetts did, compel citizens to buy a product or service if it is somehow perceived to “promote the general welfare” (the “constitutional” fig leaf employed). If not repealed by Congress or nullified by the Supreme Court, it will establish the idea that the government can force citizens to spend what used to be their money to buy virtually anything as long as its compulsion can be spun as serving “the public interest,” even over formerly paramount religious objections.

In theory, all of this can be overturned. What will be much more difficult is restoring the notion of presumptive personal control over one’s life. RomneyCare gave sanction to the notion that the state can, again in Santorum’s words, “make every man, woman and child in America now dependent upon the federal government for your life and your health.” That includes pre-born children, who under RomneyCare can be aborted, i.e., murdered, with no copay. Now, if you believe the left and its media acolytes, it’s only extremists who believe that any of this is even a problem. Thanks, Mitt.

Same-Sex “Marriage”

The harm Mitt Romney did in the wake of the Goodridge same-sex “marriage” decision may never be undone. Even those who believe that homosexual marriage should somehow become law (which I don’t, on both religious and historical grounds), if they believe in the rule of law (as many don’t; “the end justifies the means” is their “rule”), must admit that Romney unilaterally imposed it, and in doing so, acted lawlessly and became their cause’s chief national enabler.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court should have been impeached for even taking the Goodridge case; the Massachusetts Constitution specifically keeps matters relating to marriage away from the state’s courts. The decision itself had and still has no force of law; the Court admitted as much, only telling the state’s legislature that it had 180 days to “take such action as it may deem appropriate in light of this opinion.” The legislature never passed an enabling law to legalize same-sex “marriage,” and hasn’t to this day.

Yet when the 180-day mark arrived, Mitt Romney forced town clerks in the Bay State to start granting “marriage licenses” to same-sex couples. He had no constitutional authority to do this. In the process, he violated the oath he swore in January 2003 to uphold the state’s constitution as its governor. Worse still, it turns out that Romney acted as he did because he promised that he would.

Though there are several proactive steps he could and should have taken to completely nullify the public-opinion impact of Goodridge, Romney could have stopped it from taking legal effect simply by doing his constitutional duty, which was to do nothing. The legislature had clearly demonstrated that it didn’t have the nerve to pass what the Court had suggested (the Court had no power to do anything except to suggest) and thereby face voters’ wrath. It would have ended right there, because, as noted here, “By the very terms of the (Court’s) order, the Massachusetts legislature had discretion to do nothing.”

Had Mitt Romney merely done nothing, defenders of traditional marriage would still be on offense, relying on electoral results in over 30 states where attempts to redefine marriage have failed. Proponents of same-sex “marriage” would have had to go about the task of convincing the American people that their arguments should hold sway. Mitt Romney’s reaction to Goodridge enabled that illegitimate decision to be seen as a precedent, short-circuited the democratic process, and motivated courts in other jurisdictions to inject themselves by fiat. In California, to name just one example, first the state and now the federal courts are feverishly working to justify overturning the twice-expressed will of a majority of the state’s voters to keep marriage as is. The Golden State’s Republican governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, no doubt influenced by what Romney did and didn’t do, set the stage for the current unnecessary battle by failing to fight a 2008 court ruling. Just like Romney, he ordered the issuance of ”Partner A – Partner B” certificates, and folded.

Because of Mitt Romney, traditional marriage advocates are playing defense, and the fight is showing signs of becoming futile. Six states are now granting same-sex “marriage” licenses. Nationally, President Obama, while claiming to oppose same-sex “marriage,” has a Justice Department which will not defend the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act because it believes it’s unconstitutional. A “national campaign of harassment and intimidation against supporters of traditional marriage” designed to marginalize and silence its supporters in the workplace, in businesses, and in the public square is in full gear.

Same-sex “marriage” is very close to becoming the de facto law of the land without the expressed consent of the governed and a subject outside the realm of public discussion because of how Mitt Romney reacted to Goodridge. Thanks, Mitt.

The Rule of Law

Romney’s deliberate disregard for his state’s constitution, its clearly enumerated separation of powers, and the rule of law during the same-sex “marriage” saga has not gone unnoticed. The Obama administration’s willingness to so nonchalantly flout the nation’s Constitution, its separation of powers, and the rule of law with palpable disdain is in no small part influenced by the lack of negative repercussions Romney experienced after his Goodridge betrayal. Incredibly, many alleged leading lights of social conservatism now see Romney as a friend of traditional marriage.

In case Team Obama and his merry band of statists and plunderers didn’t get the message that authoritarianism is okay and will get a pass from people who should vehemently oppose it, Romney reinforced his approval of unilateral unconstitutional action in early 2009. When Obama perpetrated a boardroom coup at General Motors, fired Chairman and CEO Rick Wagoner, and set the stage for the government’s takeover of the company, Romney congratulated the President for “expressing some backbone.”

Now that it’s escaped, it will be extremely difficult to get the authoritarian genie back into the bottle. Thanks, Mitt.

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While it’s certain that things will only get worse in the three areas discussed — health care, same-sex “marriage,” and the overall rule of law — if Barack Obama wins reelection, there is no reasonable basis to expect any kind of improvement to occur if Mitt Romney by some hard-to-imagine circumstance wins the presidency.

Unless Mitt Romney’s march to the GOP nomination is stopped, to paraphrase Neil Young:

We’ve seen Mitt Romney and the damage done.
A little part of it in every one.
Our country’s looking like a settin’ sun …

Shocker (Not): USAT’s Jackie Kucinich (Dennis’s Daughter) Thinks Ohio GOP Voters Are ‘Weary’ of ‘Social Issues’

In public accounting, there’s a concept known as “independence,” which has two aspects: independence in fact and independence in appearance. If you are auditing a company, you may in fact be the most independent person in the world, willing to follow the audit trail wherever it leads, but no matter how much you object, if you own stock in the subject company, you won’t be allowed to participate in the audit (generally, no firm member can own stock in a client company).

This brings me to USA Today reporter Jackie Kucincich, who is the daughter of former Cleveland mayor, multi-term Congressman, and two-time presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich. She may in fact be the most independent and objective reporter on earth, but given her bloodlines and her father’s still-present engagement in politics, from appearances alone she has no business being assigned to cover the presidential campaign of Rick Santorum (there’s plenty of other non-conflicting work back in Washington, so I’m not proposing that she not be in the media). No matter what she produces in covering Santorum, it will and should be suspect. It just so happens that her latest write-up would, based on its content, be dubious in any event, as it fits too neatly into the “social values-obsessed conservatives” meme which has been all the rage in the Democratic Party and the establishment press (but I repeat myself). Several excerpted paragraphs demonstrate that obsession:

Ohio GOP voters grow weary of social issues in campaign

Some Republican voters in this key swing state have grown weary of the talk of contraception and religion in the GOP primary campaign.

“I think all politicians need to stick to the economy and get away from social issues,” said Marty Folger, 52, a banker from Port Clinton, Ohio.

Folger said she came to Saturday’s Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner at Bowling Green State University to help her decide between former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

“I’ve always been more about the economy and when it comes to the social issues I don’t really let them play into my decisions,” said Folger, who is nevertheless leaning toward Santorum.

Santorum said the presidential election is about “more than just a bad economy” — it is about the “real soul of America” and the concept that “all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.” Santorum said that notion “comes from our culture and tradition from the Judeo-Christian ethic. That is where this comes from, this sense of equality.”

One woman — who nevertheless is still leaning towards Santorum — is all Jackie Kucinich could find to fit her (from all appearances) predetermined theme. But she ran with it anyway.

Anyone who has seen Santorum speak in person — unfiltered, as yours truly has, and as Kucinich presumably has several times — knows that he emphasizes the importance of the Declaration of Independence as the foundation for applying the specific measures contained in the Constitution. Without that foundation of non-negotiable God-given rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (not government-granted, and withdrawable at the whim of whoever happens to be in power), the state has nearly free rein to do almost anything it wishes. “Pursuit of happiness” can mean different things to different people, but virtually everyone agrees that it includes the right to pursue individual and family economic improvement. In that sense, Santorum never really gets away from the economy at all during his presentations — and his audience knows it.

If she’s really listened to Santorum, Jackie Kucinich should know this. But admitting as much would bust the stereotypes, and we can’t have that.

Perhaps if USA Today had a truly independent reporter on the Santorum beat, a fairer message might come through.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Attn: Wal-Mart, Target, and Kroger Shoppers (and Sandra Fluke, Leftists, and Leftist Media)

Filed under: Education,General,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:53 pm

The non-story of the week was that female grad students at Georgetown have to spend what was thought to be about $60 a month for contraception the Jesuit Catholic school won’t cover.

Even before getting into the reality that there are free resources available in many instances, it turns out that the amount involved is much lower, to a level where if you won’t get it unless someone else pays for it, you must not really care about your own health:

Attention Media: Walmart and Target Have Been Offering $9 (per 28 days) Birth Control Since 2007

Sources:

  • Wal-Mart
  • Target (listed under Women’s Health near bottom)
  • (Free Midwest bonus for BizzyBlog readers!!) Kroger (listed under Women’s Health near bottom)

Y’know, there’s a lot of hardship out here in the real world, e.g., the “tent cities” no one in the press but the BBC has seen fit to notice.

But having to pay $9 every 28 days on a drug purchase which is almost always only necessary because of certain completely optional “lifestyle” choices is NOT one of them.

Accusing people who don’t think that someone else should be forced to pay that $9 or even $60 a month, especially if goes directly against their religious beliefs, of being heartless misogynists is completely out of bounds.

Forcing people to go against their religious beliefs is tyranny (“arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power; despotic abuse of authority”).

Mitt Romney and the Damage Done Update: Romney Advocated National Individual Mandate — in July 2009

Filed under: Economy,Health Care,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 9:57 am

More Mitt Romney, more damage done. In 2009, he advocated that President Obama and the Congress should include the individual mandate in any “health care reform” bill it might pass.

What follows is from an op-ed Mitt Romney had published in USA Today on July 30, 2009 (HT Buzz Feed via Erick Ericksen):
(more…)

Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (030512)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:15 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: 40 Days for Life Campaign Bringing Together All Christians

Filed under: General,Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Shawn Carney at Life News:

David Bereit, the 40 Days for Life national director, and I are in Iowa today — celebrating the closure of TWO Planned Parenthood abortion centers that have been the sites of 40 Days for Life campaigns.

One of the reasons 40 Days for Life has such an impact in communities is because of strong leadership from local pastors.

I’ve seen a lot of courage this spring at kickoff events I’ve spoken at, where pastors of Baptist, Catholic, Presbyterian and many other Christian churches shared the Word of God and challenged their congregations to be part of 40 Days for Life.

Pastors don’t hear it enough, but we appreciate YOU! Thanks for all you do on behalf of God’s children. …

Go here for the full column, which contains report from Texas, California, and Oregon.