Original_Intent wrote: Juliette wrote:
pjbrownie wrote:Don't blame the GOP. They by and large didn't come out to vote. It was an open caucus and mostly independents.
But, but, there must be a reason Ron Paul isn't winning!
True, and one of them is that his positions aren't popular enough, yet. that doesn;t mean that they are incorrect.
Juliette, how do you feel about Mitt saying that he supported the NDAA? I do hope you know what the NDAA is without having to look it up on Wikipedia. Would you say that is a Constitutional position? If not, I'd be interested in any justification you could enlighten us with in regards to that?
What was Mitt's position on TARP? How about Obama's stimulus? How does that square with the Constitution or even common sense fiscal policy?
I have heard you fuming about the "libertarians" on this site, I am sure I am one of them that gets under your skin. So let's leave Mitt's religion out of it and discuss policy, if you want, let's avoid the ad hominems and gloating that our candidate is doing better, because that is nothing short of a great and spacious building type of argument. If you think Mitt is the best man for the job, and I hope you base that on an understanding of the Constitution, let's hear it. I'd love to be convinced.
But I highly doubt I will be. You see, unlike some who crawl out from under a rock every four years to vote, I follow what is going on in the political realm fairly constantly. I see people to be admired. I see people that at one point I admired, but then they turned to the dark side. And I see people who are actively pushing Satan's plan, sometimes knowingly and sometimes not. And I think Mitt is a pretty great guy, not evil, just pretty clueless about some things, some pretty important things. I'm a nobody, and I am 100% certain that I could SCHOOL Mitt on the Constitution. He has repeatedly shown a complete lack of understanding. And this is the guy that wants to run the country?
But see I think at least in his case a lack of knowledge can be fixed. Gingrich and Santorum, especially Gingrich, I feel has a pretty solid understanding of the Constitution. I think of the four in the race, Mitt is the worst as far as his knowledge of the Constitution goes. The thing with Gingrich is, he knows but he doesn't care. It means he can say all the right things and sound good, but when in office he has shown no inclination to follow it. So Gingrich is actually the worst candidate.
But anyway -knock yourself out. Tell me what a great Constitutional scholar Mitt is, and that he even understands the duties and limitations of the job he is applying for. Show me how his positions on TARP, NDAA, stimulus spending, etc. are the correct, constitutional positions.
They claim Romney has changed his position on gay rights, citing a Romney 1994 statement supporting gay rights. However, the term "gay rights" had a different meaning in 1994 than it does today. Moreover, critics falsely paraphrase Romney's statement, based on headlines rather than the actual quote from Romney, as a claim that he would be further to the left on the issue than Ted Kennedy.
In fact, what Romney actually said was that Kennedy would be less effective because he is viewed as too extreme: "when Ted Kennedy speaks on gay rights, he's seen as an extremist. When Mitt Romney speaks on gay rights, he's seen as a centrist and a moderate"(23). Critics also cite a letter Romney wrote to the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts, claiming that Romney said he would not only match but surpass Kennedy's "record" on gay rights, implying that Romney took the same positions as Kennedy and would take them even further.
However, critics falsely paraphrase Romney, who in reality made his statement in reference to Kennedy's "considerable record in the area of civil rights," speaking of civil rights in general terms, not gay rights exclusively. Only then did Romney go on to argue that part of achieving civil rights goals is to "make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern," stating that he could do what Kennedy "cannot do," because "the gay community needs more support from the Republican Party." Romney said he could "be a voice in the Republican Party to foster anti-discrimination efforts," which Kennedy clearly could not do.
While Mitt Romney has been consistent in his gay rights position of 1994, the Republican party has moved to the position that Mitt has held all along. Mitt is the only one who has not flip-flopped on the issue.
Gay and Lesbian Youth Groups
-They accuse Romney of instituting a Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth which funded speakers and activities for high school children. In truth, Massachusetts had the Commission long before Romney took office. While Romney had power to dissolve the Commission, the people of the state overwhelmingly wanted the Commission; dissolving it would have been a violation of their trust and would have created gridlock.
In the past, the Commission had funding as high as $1.6 million dollars, but Romney brought the funding down to $125,000, which the legislature doubled and Romney the next year settled on the $250,000.(26) Romney explained some of what he liked about the Commission, saying, "The work that they're doing to prevent suicide and prevent violence is important work, and we support the work which they're doing"(27)
In May of 2006, MassResistance presented evidence to Governor Romney which showed that the Commission had been sponsoring inappropriate activities. Upon learning of this, Romney decided to dissolve the Commission, but after a few hours reached a compromise, saying that he would only dissolve it if they did not focus on their "original mission"(28). This prompted the state legislature to immediately craft a new Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth which the governor would have no power to dissolve, and inserted it into the state budget the following month. Romney vetoed that proposal, but the legislature overrode the veto.
-They accuse Romney of not allowing the Catholic Church to exclude gays and lesbians from adopting children through its adoption service. However, Romney disagreed with the decision which caused the imposition on Catholic Charities(29), particularly after the court legalized gay marriage. Romney had no authority to unilaterally protect the Catholic Church from anti-discrimination laws(30). Romney had his staff draft a bill to exempt Catholic Charities, but the bill did not pass.(31)
Some have criticized Romney for not taking action against the state Department of Social Services when they named a same-sex couple as "parents of the year" in 2006(32). However, after the court legalized gay marriage, the same anti-discrimination laws(30) which prevented Romney from protecting Catholic Charities also prevented Romney from penalizing the employees who were involved in determining the "parents of the year," or from ordering them to only consider opposite-sex candidates.
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Boy Scouts of America
-They claim Romney wanted to force the Boy Scouts of America to admit gay scouts. In fact, Romney actually said, "I support the right of the Boy Scouts of America to decide what it wants to do on that issue," but added that he personally believed "all people should be allowed to participate in the Boy Scouts regardless of their sexual orientation."(26) Back to top
Boy Scouts of America and 2002 Olympic Games
-Critics claim that Romney banned the Boy Scouts from participating in the 2002 Winter Olympics because of their stance on homosexuals. In reality, Scouts were not banned, and according to a local paper, Boy Scouts received "a list of volunteer opportunities they are eligible to participate in," although they could not serve as regular volunteers due to "the minimum age requirement of 18 years."(33)
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-They claim Romney is not conservative because he did not have a Republican litmus test in his selection of judicial nominees. However, almost all of Romney's appointments, 30 out of 36, were to lower court positions where judges deal directly with criminals at the district and magistrate levels. Rather than political affiliation, Romney looked for effective prosecutorial experience and a record of being tough on crime. As Romney explained when asked about it, "people on both sides of the aisle want to put the bad guys away."
Romney also explained that even though he had only a few chances to appoint judges to higher courts, and no chances to appoint anyone to the MA Supreme Judicial Court, in those cases the criteria changes to include "strict construction, judicial philosophy"(34), which he adhered to in those appointments. In all, only 12.5% of registered voters in Massachusetts are Republican(35) and Romney's 9 Republican nominees count for 25% of his total judicial appointments, representing Republicans twice as well as they are represented in the general voting public. But more important than political affiliation, Romney's appointments represent the relevant conservative qualifications.
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Bush Tax Cuts
-They accuse Romney of opposing Bush's tax cuts. In fact, Romney never opposed the Bush tax cuts. In negotiations with a heavily Democratic legislature, Romney chose not to "weigh in on federal issues," including the cuts (36).
The false claim was based on speculation in an article for the liberal Boston Globe which cited a quote from an anonymous "observer" at a private meeting but did not seek either a response or clarification from Romney with regards to that quote. Romney maintains that he has always supported the Bush tax cuts (37), a fact which does not contradict his decision to not distract from where his impact would be most effective, saying as governor: "I see my role as helping do a good job for the people of Massachusetts, and so I'm not going to be playing a political role outside of that."(38)
Romney, who evidently was never asked by Bush to endorse the tax cuts, never said he would refuse to endorse the tax cuts. The word "refuse," used by the writer of the article, initially came from a political antagonist, liberal Democratic Representative Barney Frank from MA, whose statement, calculated to weaken Romney, is not an objective characterization.
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-Critics cite differences between the paperback and hardcover editions of Romney's book, "No Apology," accusing Mitt Romney of subtly changing positions on Obama's policies to harden his stance for political reasons. However, critics falsely lead people to this conclusion by taking excerpts out of context. For instance, critics claim that Romney called Obama's stimulus plan "a failure" in the paperback but not in the hardcover. The truth however is that Romney wrote the hardcover during the initial phase of the stimulus and thus could not yet claim that it had "failed," or elaborate on the effectiveness of details which had not yet been implemented. But Romney specifically said on page 145 of the hardcover that Obama's stimulus had "already been far less than successful," and Romney predicted "it will impose a heavy burden on the economy in the intermediate and long term."
Critics also fail to mention that on page 31 of the hardcover, Romney says "the record and achievement of modern free-market capitalism" is "now at risk because of the economic policies of President Obama." Romney goes on to say, "His effort to expand the size, reach and role of government is without precedent in our history. His plans would leave us with a crushing deficit and debt, far beyond anything we have ever experienced." Also on page 31, Romney writes that "at a time when Europe is moving away from socialism and its many failures, President Obama is moving toward that direction."
Likewise, critics claim that in the hardcover Romney promoted Obama's stimulus on pages 144-145 as something that would "accelerate the timing of the start of the recovery." But in fact, Romney's statement was alluding to the limited tax cut portion of the stimulus, having put it in that context in the previous line which critics leave out, by stating that congressional Democrats fail to understand "the crucial role played by tax cuts." It is in this context that Romney said the stimulus would not help "as much as it could have had it included genuine tax- and job-generating incentives."
In a similar criticism, critics accuse Romney of being soft on Obamacare in the hardcover because in the paperback he stated that it should be "repealed," but in the hardcover did not call for a "repeal." The truth however is that Obamacare had not passed when Romney wrote the hardcover edition and its passing seemed less likely at the time because of the election of MA Senator Scott Brown. With no law to repeal, a call for repeal would have made no sense. Furthermore, Romney had no pressing need to discuss Obama's health care ideas in extended detail.
Ohio Ballot Measures
-Critics accuse Mitt Romney of flip-flopping on John Kasich's collective-bargaining law in Ohio, claiming Mitt refused to comment on a ballot referendum concerning the law but then expressed his support the following day. In reality, Romney did not refuse to comment on the ballot measure but in fact had been refusing to comment on the other two ballot measures. As he stated the following day, “What I was referring to is I know there are other ballot questions there in Ohio and I wasn’t taking a position on those.” He added that he supports Kasich “110%.” All of the evidence supports Romney's account and contradicts the claim of critics from the beginning.
Initially, Mitt came under fire for telling reporters, “I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues.” However, Mitt did not say this in response to any question about the collective-bargaining measure. Rather, a group of reporters had gathered around Mitt and began asking multiple questions. Romney addressed his response to the entire group of reporters, not to any specific reporter.
Romney's complete statement explicity says he's talking about only "the two" out of the three measures:
“I am not speaking about the particular ballot issues. Those are up to the people of Ohio. But I certainly support the effort of the governor to reign in the scale of government. I am not terribly familiar with the two ballot initiatives. But I am certainly supportive of the Republican Party’s efforts here.”
Moreover, his original statement offers explicit support for “the Republican Party’s efforts here,” and “the effort of the governor to reign in the scale of government,” evidently expressing support for the collective bargaining measure.
Some of the details cited by critics attempting to paint Romney as flip-flopping actually support Romney's account. For instance, Politico pointed out that Mitt had expressed support for Kasich’s law in June, and Romney was visiting a phone bank where supporters of Kasich's reforms were making calls in support of the collective-bargaining measure, at the time of the "controversial" statement.
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-Critics allege Mitt Romney flip-flopped on Global Warming because he stated that he believes man contributes something to warming, although he is quick to state he doesn't know how much, while on a recent occasion he stated that he does not know what is causing climate change, and expressed his opposition to cap-and-trade.
This is not a flip-flop, for multiple reasons. First, Mitt Romney rejected a regional cap-and-trade initiative while governor, after looking into the issue, and has consistently opposed cap-and-trade.
Second, Romney never said man is causing climate change. He said man is probably contributing "some" but not that man is the "cause." CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and greenhouse gases cause warming. It's a matter of science. Romney accepts that fact without accepting the dramatic claims made by using climate models. The fact that CO2 causes some warming does not mean it causes enough warming to create the changes we observe. So there's no contradiction in what Romney said. We don't know what is causing climate change, because we don't know if man is contributing enough to cause the changes we observe. The two statements go hand in hand. No flip-flop. A car that is stuck in a traffic jam is contributing to the traffic jam even though it did not cause the traffic jam. The jam is caused by factors outside the car's control. But a car further up the road that got in an accident may have caused the traffic jam. Romney's position is that he doesn't know if the car is contributing because it is stuck in the traffic jam or if it caused the traffic jam.
Essentially, the anti-Romney crowd accused him of having a position he never had in the first place, then accused him of flip-flopping when they found out more about the actual consistent position he has held.
Third, Mitt Romney stated his full position in his book, No Apology, and his position contains an acknowledgement of the earth's temperature rising, as well as an acknowledgement that he doesn't know how much man is contributing, an acknowledgement of reasons to be skeptical of what climate scientists are saying, and an acknowledgement that cap-and-trade is a very bad idea. None of these things are contradictory. They are all part of his position, which is a "no regrets" policy of only doing things which reduce carbon if those things are also beneficial economically. He gives the examples of natural gas and nuclear power expansion, as well as efficiency in power plant technology and other actions to make us energy independent.
Here’s a sample of what Romney said in his book (Hardcover, pages 227-230):
“I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies … Of course, there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth’s history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now … If developing nations won’t curb emissions, even extreme mitigation measures taken by the United States and other developed nations will have no appreciable effect on slowing the rate of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Romney's position is consistent with a statement made by Texas Governor Rick Perry at the Reagan Library debate on September 7, 2011. Perry likewise implied that mankind has some impact but he does not know how much:
“The fact of the matter is, the science is not settled on whether or not the climate change is being impacted by man to the point where we’re going to put America’s economics in jeopardy.”
Mitt uses more “honey” than “vinegar” and looks for common ground in explaining his positions, but the substance of his claim that man is contributing "some" is undeniable. Even if we set aside the question of greenhouse gases, the mere act of burning fossil fuels generates heat which otherwise would not be released. This is a relatively tiny amount of heat, but enough to have "some" effect. Similarly, man's corresponding carbon emissions have "some" effect on warming, through the greenhouse effect. No one disputes that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas - not Glenn Beck, not Rush Limbaugh, not Mitt Romney. The dispute over global warming is not about whether man contributes to warming, but whether the amplification effect of that warming surpasses the earth's moderating forces. For instance, the warming caused by man's carbon emissions enables the atmosphere to hold slightly more water. Since water also acts as a greenhouse gas, this in turn creates slightly more warming which then allows even more water to be held in the atmosphere, which creates more warming and more water, in a repeating cycle. This is the amplifying effect which global warming enthusiasts, from Al Gore to Al Franken, believe is getting out of control. But climate has many moderating factors we do not understand. No one knows how much the earth will moderate the amplification cycle. And that goes both ways. The climate scientists don't know, the global warming enthusiasts don't know, and the climate change skeptics don't know. So, how can anyone criticize Mitt Romney's observation that man is contributing "some" to global warming while at the same time stating that he doesn't know if it is enough to cause the noticeable trend in warming? Until Romney's critics can answer "how much?" they have no grounds for criticizing him.
Some have criticized a law Romney enacted as Governor, claiming it was primarily a global warming effort. However, the bill was entirely different from cap-and-trade or other economically hurtful policies.
The only part critics have found to criticize was about capping excessive pollution from four power plants. Critics falsely paint this as similar to cap-and-trade.
Romney cited an aging coal-fired plant spewing pollutants in the densely populated state of Massachusetts, as his flagship example. Carbon dioxide was only one of the substances regulated to ensure the plants were not excessively polluting.
As for the impact on climate change, Romney stated at the time:
"If climate change is largely caused by human action, this will really help. If we learn decades from now that climate change isn’t happening, these actions will still help our economy, our quality of life, and the quality of our environment."
The problem wasn’t that the plants were producing too much energy, but that they were producing energy inefficiently and thus polluting excessively.
Romney's actions with respect to the power plants are in tune with a position expressed by Texas Governor Rick Perry on his official State website:
“The need for clean air is something we all can agree on … The federal Clean Air Act falls short of Texas standards. The federal system allows older plants to be “grandfathered” without requiring or encouraging upgrades to air quality equipment. That’s why aging, inefficient facilities in other parts of the country continue to chug along, spewing out pollution using environmental technology many decades old, mostly in areas now – ironically – considered “in full compliance” with the federal Clean Air Act.”
Governor Romney's actions are also consistent with Ronald Reagan, who said:
"More than 15 years ago, the State of California decided that we needed to take action to combat the smog that was choking the beautiful cities of my home State. Out of that concern was born the first serious program to require manufacturers to build cleaner cars and help control air pollution. The auto industry had to build two kinds of cars -- one that would be for sale in the other 49 States and one that would meet the stiff antipollution standards required in California ... I happened to have been Governor of California back when much of this was being done. Now, obviously, neither the problems in California nor those nationally have been solved, but I'm proud of having been one of the first to recognize that States and the Federal Government have a duty to protect our natural resources from the damaging effects of pollution that can accompany industrial development." (Radio Address to the Nation, July 14, 1984)
(1) "Moe v. Secretary of Administration & Finance." 382 Mass. 629 (8 Sept. 1980 - 18 Feb. 1981): 629-664. Print. and "Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, Inc. v. Attorney General." 424 Mass. 586 (1997): 677 N.E.2d 101. Print.
(2) "An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care."Massachusetts General Court Ch. 58 of the Acts of 2006. http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/seslaw06/sl060058.htm
(3) "A Plan B Mistake." The Boston Globe 8 Dec. 2005: A18. Print.
(4) Heslam, Jessica and Maggie Mulvihill. "Gov May Let Catholic Hospitals Deny Morning-After Pill to Rape Victims." The Boston Herald 7 Dec. 2005: 007. Print.
(5) Howe, Peter J. "Romney Recasts His Minimum-Wage Plan; Election 94." The Boston Globe 17 Oct. 1994: 16. Print.
(6) Stephanopoulos, George. Interview. ABC News 18 Feb. 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=77309
(7) Viser, Matt. "Property Taxes Still on Rise in Mass.; State's Median Bill Will Top $3,000." The Boston Globe 18 Dec. 2005: A1. Print.
(8) Greenberger, Scott S. "Romney Rethinking New Powers for Tax Aide." The Boston Globe 2 Mar. 2005. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.mhtc.org/articles/news/counc ... -23427.asp
(9) Peterson v. Commissioner of Revenue, 444 Mass. 128 (2005). ("Peterson II").
(10) Vennochi, Joan. "Romney's Real Agenda." The Boston Globe 11 May 2004: A11. Print.
(11) Helman, Scott. "Romney's Words Grow Hard on Immigration." The Boston Globe 16 Mar. 2007. Print.
(12) 2008 Republican debate at Reagan Library in Simi Valley. 30 Jan. 2008.
(13) "Mitt Romney Terminates Contract With Lawn Care Company for Hiring Illegal Immigrants." Fox News 5 Dec. 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,315129,00.html
(14) Lehman, Evan. "Romney supports immigration program, but not granting 'amnesty'." The Lowell Sun 30 Mar. 2006.
(15) "Republican Presidential Candidates Participate in a Debate Sponsored by Fox News." Political Transcript Wire 16 May 2007.
(16) Kranish, Michael. "Mormon church obtained Vietnam draft deferrals for Romney, other missionaries."
The Boston Globe 24 Jun. 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.boston.com/news/politics/200 ... t1_side_2/
(17) Battenfeld, Joe. "GOP Senate hopeful Romney got draft deferment for Vietnam." The Boston Herald 2 May 1994: 1. Print.
(18) Nolan, Martin. "Ambition Dashed in a Sound Bite; In George Romney, a Life of Accomplishment Shadowed by a Media Gaffe." The Boston Globe 30 Jul. 1995: 22. Print.
(19) Brinkley, David. Interview. ABC News 16 Oct. 1994.
(20) Johnson, Glen. "Romney Says Keeping Minimum Wage Low Preserves Jobs for Poor." The Associated Press State & Local Wire 25 Jul. 2006.
(21) Allen, Mike. "Witnesses recall Romney-MLK march", Politico.com, 21 Dec. 2007. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1207/7524.html
(22) Garrow, David J. Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, New York: Random House, 1988, p. 575.
(23) "Romney: I'll be Better than Ted for Gay Rights" Bay Windows 25 Aug. 1994. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch= ... =&id=53688
(24) "19 Questions for Mitt Romney" Bay Windows 1 Jan. 2002. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.baywindows.com/index.php?ch= ... =&id=53686
(25) LeBlanc, Steve. "Romney Says He's Always Been Opposed to Gay Marriage and Civil Unions.", The Associated Press State & Local Wire 23 Feb. 2005.
(26) "Mitt Romney's Secret Gay History!" Bay Windows 3 Mar. 2005.
(27) Greenberger, Scott S. "Governor's Vetoes Raise More Questions on National Run." The Boston Globe 1 Jul. 2005: B5. Print.
(28) Estes, Andrea. "Romney to Limit Gay Panel Activities." The Boston Globe 12 May 2006: A1. Print.
(29) "Goodridge v. Department of Public Health" 798 N.E.2d 941 (Mass. 2003). Print.
(30) Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 151B.
(31) Roy, Jennifer. "Newton couple honored as 'Parents of the Year' by DSS" Daily News Tribune Newton 9 Aug. 2006. Print.
(32) Brooke, Donald. "Romney Files Religious Freedom' Bill On Church And Gay Adoption." The Associated Press 15 Mar. 2006.
(33) Arave, Lynn. "SLOC Denies Snubbing Scouts Over Gay Stance." Deseret News 19 Dec. 2006: B1. Print.
(34) Lewis, Raphael. "Romney Jurist Picks Not Tilted to GOP." The Boston Globe 25 Jul. 2005: A1. Print.
(35) "Enrollment Breakdown as of 10/18/2006." http://www.state.ma.us
(36) Johnson, Glen. "Romney takes on McCain over taxes." USA Today 22 December 2007: n. pag. Web. 29 Jan. 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/2 ... 6741_x.htm
(37) Fox GOP Forum 6 Jan. 2008.
(38) Washington, Wayne and Glen Johnson. "Romney weighs in - carefully - on Bush Tax-Cut Plan Governor Won't Give His Endorsement." The Boston Globe 11 Apr. 2003: A3. Print.
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