Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Vile is as Vile does

Posted by David Keelan on Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Howard County Blogger has a post calling Mitt Romney a Vile Scumbag.  Searching the writer’s blog it seems that this epitath is based upon an article written by Eleanor Clift.  Eleanor has earned the nickname Eleanor “Hillary” Clift for her political idealogoy.  Since this blogger hasn’t written anything else about Mitt Romney I am left to wonder if his feelings are simply based upon Clift’s article.

The basis of Clift’s article is that Mitt Romney is pandering to GOP conservatives on the issue of traditional marriage.

There ought to be a prohibition against opportunistic politicians messing around in state laws to further their presidential ambitions. With his days as governor of Massachusetts nearing an end, Mitt Romney is trying to reopen the issue of same-sex marriage in the only state where it is legal.

The problem with Clift’s article is that Mitt Romney has been a supporter of traditional marriage when he ran against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate and Eleanor Clift knows it – or if she is a journalist worth her salt she could have easily researched it.

During his 1994 campaign against Senator Edward Kennedy, Romney said that same-sex marriage “is not appropriate at this time”[35] but supported Federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace against homosexuals.[36]

In fact Romney is on the record very clearly on this matter.  He advocates respect and tolerance for gay couples.  He also supports the same rights for gay couples that those in traditional marriage enjoy.  Eleanor Clift should know this and should report it instead of writing vile articles.

…also voiced support for basic domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. Romney told the Log Cabin Club of Massachusetts (a Republican gay-rights group) that he did not support same-sex marriage, but would fight discrimination against gays and lesbians. He also opposed an amendment, then before the Legislature, that would have banned same-sex marriage and outlawed all domestic partnership benefits for gay couples. As a result, the Log Cabin Club endorsed Romney in the gubernatorial election. When campaigning in 2002, Romney’s stated position was that “all citizens deserve equal rights, regardless of sexual orientation” and that “homosexuals should have the right to a domestic partnership status that affords them the potential for health benefits and rights of survivorship.”

Anyone who uses the internet, a blogger for example, could get the same information – if they wanted to.  Of course, it is their right not to bother.

What are we to conclude?  That Clift is lazy?  That the blogger believes everything that he reads and posts it without seeking more information?

I believe that Romney has been consistent on the subject in question.  He hasn’t been pandering to anyone.  Agree with him or not I find that his consistent stand to be refreshing.

Perhaps Ms. Clift will next wow us with her in depth analysis and research regarding how Mitt Romney brought universal health care to Massachusetts and we will find that posted on Steve’s blog too.  Some how I doubt it.

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24 Responses to “Vile is as Vile does”

  1. bsflag2007 said

    I must be missing something.

    The Clift piece does reference Romney’s moderate history.

    As I read it, she is saying that his recent efforts to derail equal rights for homesexual couples is a move designed to pander to a particular audience — very clever actually if David K is any indication.

    Romney still gets the “benefit” of having been moderate and tolerant, plus for those who aren’t, he gets the “benefit” of making this move to the right.

    Now he has a campaign speech for both audiences —“i’m a tolerant moderate…I have worked to overturn gay marriage rights”

    Clift seems to be saying – the electorate is becoming more sophistacated and will (hopefully) see through these pre-election year manipulations.

    As for “vile scum bag” – I guess that depends on how you feel about public officials using their special positions of trust and power.

    If they abuse those positions in order to manipulate the agenda of the legislature in order to enhance their future campaign stumping speeches … well, I’d call that “vile”and a “scummy”.

    Though I do agree with David K – I would find a consistent stand refreshing.
    cindy v.

  2. bsflag2007 said

    btw – speaking of “refreshing consistency” — my award goes to Jesse Helms from North Carolina. For all the caveman mentality, Mr. Helms was predictable, consistent, and in word and deed true to what must have been his core values.

    I can respect that.

    In fact, in many ways, North Carolina used to be a pretty interesting study in true conservativism. The kind where people were fiercely independent and did not want the “gommint” interfering in their lives —- and weren’t asking the “gommint” to take care of them either.

    One example of this brand of conservatism sticks with me — in spite of the fundamentalism which runs through the gamut of religious sects — funding for abortion for poor women was not restricted (back int he 80’s and 90’s). From an economic, social policy viewpoint, it is much less expensive for a county/state to pay for an abortion than it is to pay for a pregnancy and delivery, then health care and social services.

    In fact, some folks worried that poor women might be encouraged to have abotrions on the public dime because it was so much more cost effective.

    Cindy V

  3. MBT said

    Noth Carolina – give me a break. I worked with a group of Chinese scientists who had moved from the Research Triangle area. They could not leave the area unless they wanted to take a chance of getting seriously harassed by the locals. KKK meetings were openly advertised on the radio, and anyone (of any race – white included) not from North Carolina were referred to as “foreigners.” I am hoping things have changed in the last 15 years – but I was just down there last year, and the “foreigner” term is still being used. Interesting study indeed – if you happen to be white.

  4. MBT said

    Why are comments off for the Steelers/Ravens game?

  5. Because I don’t want to hear it….

  6. Steve Fine said

    #1 Jesse Helms makes Mitt Romney look saintly by comparison. Sure, he might have been sincere, but he was still a bigot. I’m sure Hitler was sincere, too.

    #2 I think David is missing the point. Mitt Romney used to be pretty tolerent (of course, he was running for Gov. in a very tolerent state). But then he changed, when he started running for the Republican Presidential Nomination. Now, if I am wrong and he has always been intolerent, then he is more like Jesse than I thought. Is Ms. Clift wrong about Romney’s recent anti-gay agenda? Or is Mitt Romney actual pretty liberal on Gay issues?

    Is your problem with Ms. Clift, rather then my concerns about Mr. Romney? Maybe I am misunderstanding something.

  7. Jim Walsh said

    “There ought to be a prohibition against opportunistic politicians messing around in state laws to further their presidential ambitions.”

    Silly me, I thought our elected officials had a constitutional role in making law. I forgot that we were supposed to abdicate our freedom to omniscient and wise judges, who obviously are above we mere mortals.

  8. bsflag2007 said

    I have to chuckle at MBT’s interpretation of my North Carolina comments. When we moved there in the late 80s from Boston – I was a complete fish out of water. People smoked cigarettes in the grocery store, and every (other) woman carried lipstick with her at all times. Just about the time I started to get a little comfortable – the Jesse Helms/Harvey Gant senatorial campaign started. Neighbors I had thought seemed perfectly normal put out Jesse Helms signs – and I was heartsick. I even registered as a republican specifically so when I voted against Helms it would be counted somewhere as an anti helms republican vote.

    I do not consider most of Mr. Helms positions “admirable”. But I do have to give him credit for being consistent and honest – he said what he did, and did what he said he would do. That’s a far cry from the hypocrites who speak in code, or promise one thing and deliver another, or flat out lie. With them, well intentioned folks are tricked into voting for them and unintentionally lend their support for programs they actually find reprehensible.

    People who voted for helms knew what they were getting– which is why the fact that he won (again) was sickening to me…. that meant my neighbors, and “friends”, knew what he was and voted for him because of it.

    Just to be clear – “true conservativism” does not include racism, fascism, or any of the hate riddled “isms”.

    The challenge for today’s “conservatives” is to divorce themselves/extricate themselves from that element … that “very vocal minority”.

    cindy v.

  9. Steve, does being against gay marriage mean that a person is anti-gay? My sister doesn’t support gay marriage and she is gay.

  10. bsflag2007 said

    Steve-
    Hitler was insane … I’m not sure “sincere” plays a role in that.

    Also, there is a difference between “sincere” and “honest”. But that is more of a metaphysical question for another venue.

    cindy v.

  11. bsflag2007 said

    David,
    Please define “marriage” – and which kind of “marriage” your gay sister is against, civil or religious.
    thank you,
    cindy v.

  12. bsflag2007 said

    Jim Walsh’s point about the role of lawmakers in making laws is a good one — and they should make every effort to “do the people’s business” in a timely way. Timely for the people that is, not manipulated for political gain in an election year.

    I think people generally have pretty good instincts about when something is being manipulated — those “gut reactions” should be listened to.

    cindy v.

  13. Steve Fine said

    Treating Gays as second class citizen’s (i.e. fewer rights than heterosexual people) is anti-gay in my book. Wanting to use a different word than marriage, for what in effect would be them same thing, would be no big problem to me. Opportunistically currying favour with those who hate or fear gay people, that would also be anti-gay in my book.

    I’ll be commenting on some Dems who are anti-gay on my blog.

  14. My sister is not interested in marriage of any kind with her partner. They has a committment ceremony with a minister – so they are religious.

    However, she doesn’t define it at all. She and her partner only want to ensure that they have the legal protections to stay together, care for each other, medical rights, inheritence, etc. She doesn’t give a rats *** what people call it. She and her partner think that naming it is a distraction from the real issue and that for the most part people are trying to score points not solve the problem.

    On the other hand, people have been defining marriage for 2,000 years and don’t want it to be changed. What is wrong with that?

    I agree with my sister. Ensure the rights – it doesn’t need a name.

  15. bsflag2007 said

    And there you have it – legal rights, civil union, marriage as a contract.

    If my partner and I stand up in a church and say a few words — we may be married in the eyes of that church – but not in the eyes of the state.

    If my partner and I go to the state and get a license and complete the forms – we may be married in the eyes of the state – but tthat doesn’t require any particular church to recogmize the union.

    two distinct issues.

    As you say, “marriage” has been around for thousands of years — the USA has been around for a couple of hundred. Maybe all “civil unions” should be called one thing … and all other, non state recognized, unions can be called whatever the participants want to call them.

    cindy v.

  16. Steve,

    Then we would not be talking about Mitt Romney. He doesn’t discriminate based on sexual orientation.

    David

  17. MBT said

    “Just to be clear – “true conservativism” does not include racism, fascism, or any of the hate riddled “isms”. ”

    CV – I could not agree more. Unfortunately, the message isn’t getting out.

    Several days before the election, a “gentleman” came up to me at a grocery store where I was greeting voters and snarled “racist” at me. He then went on to say that all Republicans were racist. When I told him that my husband was of another race, he then said “you are all still racists!” (translation: Don’t confuse me with the facts.)

    I am hoping that his comments were an anomoly, but I don’t think so. No more so than the assumption that all liberals are tolerant (which is why the Democratic leadership in Maryland would not allow the constitutional amendment vote to come to the floor – too many Democrats would vote for it), or that liberals aren’t patriotic. I really wish we could move away from generalizations…

  18. Freemarket said

    Is marriage a legal contract or a religious contract? If it is a legal contract, I think it is discriminatory to deny a gay tax paying citizen the right to enter the contract if they would be otherwise qualified. If it is a religious contract, why is the state involved at all? To the extent that marriage is both a legal contract and a religious contract, I don’t think that the state should take orders from the church on whom to allow to enter the marriage contract. That is not fundamentally different that the church trying to tell me I can’t get a driver’s license because I have brown hair.

  19. bsflag2007 said

    exactly — so why are we letting religious definitions of marriage dictate legal contracts?

    consider this – a catholic marriage is not annulled by a civil divorce … and people still “get to” remarry … civilly that is. the catholic church doesn’t have to recognize the subsequent marriages…. (and they shouldn’t have to) — and yet, the state does.

    i think it comes down to the churches wanting ownership rights over the word “marriage” — they should talk to ralph lauren’s lawyers about owning the rights to the word “polo”.

    cv

    ok – it comes down to some folks wanting to control how other folks live…. but in addition to that small matter.

  20. Bruce said

    I think that Bsflag2007 (19) and Keelan (14) are the most thought-provoking posts in the stack.

    My own view is that of the majority in the New Jersey case – that same-sex and male-female couples should enjoy the same equal protections of their substantive rights, privileges and immunities, but that the label “marriage” can be regulated by the state and assigned to one type of couple only.

    To use a vicious example, forcible vaginal sexual conduct is rape. Forcible non-vaginal sexual conduct in Maryland is classified as one or more classes of “sexual offense” which, depending on more or less common-sense definitions of severity, can be punished up to a level of severity equal to that of rape. However, the general assembly did not redefine “rape” to recognize a broader category of sexual violence, but added parallel offenses and a penalty structure fit (more or less) to the severity of the offenses.

    Similarly, one need not necessarily yank out the classic definition of “marriage” to uphold equal substantive and procedural protections of the laws to same-sex couples, though reasonable minds may differ on the prudence of doing so.

  21. CV,

    I don’t think Churches want to control the word marriage. I think social conservatives do. Some Churches are socially conservative and others are not.

    When is someone going to pull out the quote “A rose is a rose by any other name”?

  22. bsflag2007 said

    David,
    When you say your gay sister “doesn’t support gay marriage” — is that the same thing as being “against gay marriage” or “anti-gay marriage”?

    I have no problem with the folks who don’t want to be involved in a gay marriage … gay or straight …. so, they don’t have to get married.

    I do, however, have a problem with those folks who actively work to deprive others of their choice of legal partner/spouse.

    I suspect your sister falls into that category of people who are content to live and let live — you say she doesn’t care what pther people want to call it, as long as she has the legal rights of a spouse?

    That’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it?

    I’ve heard of men who call their female wives “the old ball and chain” — doesn’t work for me, but I have no interest in making it illigal. 😉

    cindy v

  23. bsflag2007 said

    David,
    I think you are quite right — I sincerely believe that only a very small percentage of people are really interested in imposing their views on others, sadly, many of them pervert their affiliations with recognized organized religions to give weight to their positions.

    Then when the fringe ideas are questioned/attacked — the other members of the organized religion are sucked in and often unintentionally lend their support to the fringe issue because they are trying to be loyal to their church.

    I would like to see church leaders make more forceful statements regarding the appropriation of their status for these minority/fringe causes — organized religion should be as fearful of the co-mingling of church and state as any individual.

    If there is ever a “winner” in the holier than thou contest — every other religion will lose.

    Cindy V.

  24. timactual said

    I am shocked, shocked I say, that a politician is pandering to a group of voters.

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