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“Right Wing Opportunists”: Anti-Mormon Attacks Aren’t Coming From the Left

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch made headlines yesterday when he claimed that Democrats will “smear” Mitt Romney for his Mormon faith during the general election.

Hatch’s claim is ridiculous. In fact, it is right-wing politicians and pundits who keep on “warning” us that Democrats will attack Romney’s faith — and then use those “warnings” as opportunities to slam Mormonism themselves.

The American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, like others on the Religious Right, has continually attacked Mormons, even going so far as to say their faith shouldn’t be protected by the First Amendment and claiming that a Mormon president would threaten the “spiritual health” of the nation. But Fischer warned in a column yesterday that the “the out-of-the-mainstream media” will attack “every unusual thing Mormons have ever believed or done” — helpfully listing a litany of things he deems “unusual” about Mormonism.

The Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land has likewise claimed that progressives will make Romney’s faith a campaign issue — while he himself insists that Mormonism is “technically… a cult.”

The Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody used the same tactic this week when he posted a video of a Ron Paul supporter grilling Romney on quotes from Mormon scripture — and then claiming that Democrats and liberals will be the ones to attack Romney’s faith.

The Values Voter Summit, the Religious Right’s marquee event, fell apart last year after the pastor who introduced Gov. Rick Perry repeated his claims that Mormonism is a “cult” that worships a “false god.”

Meanwhile, one of the most powerful Democrats in the country, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, hasn’t been held back by any progressive backlash to his Mormon faith.

Romney is receiving attacks on his faith. But, as much as the right-wing media is trying to spin it otherwise, those attacks are not coming from progressives.

By: Michael B. Keegan, The Huffington Post, April 5, 2012

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012, Religion | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Fear Is Good”: Romney’s Pivot To The Center Postponed Indefinitely

In a new tactic that TPM appropriately called the “I’m rubber, you’re glue” strategy, Mitt Romney has decided to accuse President Obama of being too vague in his plans for a second term. Once you get past the absurdity, there’s something meaningful going on. But first, to Mitt’s charges: “Nancy Pelosi famously said that we would have to pass Obamacare to find out what was in it. President Obama has turned that advice into a campaign strategy: He wants us to re-elect him so we can find out what he will actually do. With all the challenges the nation faces, this is not the time for President Obama’s hide and seek campaign.” Riiiiight.

This probably seems to you like a weird accusation to make. After all, Obama’s plans for a second term seem pretty clear: more of the same! You may think that’d be great, or you may think that’d be a hellish nightmare, but either way it’s not like it’s some big mystery. It isn’t as though he’s going to come out and really shock us with some new policy turn that is totally different from the kind of things he’s been doing for the past three years. But that’s what you think only if you don’t reside deep in the heart of the Republican base, which is where the key to this appeal lies.

You see, as far as base Republicans are concerned, there are two kinds of Obama policies. The first kind is the freedom-destroying, Constitution-desecrating, pulling-us-toward-socialist-dystopia awfulness. Like health care reform, or repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The second kind is the long con, the things he has done to lull the American people into a false sense of security before the second term comes and he unveils the horror of his true agenda. Like the way he has done nothing to restrict gun purchases, which only proves just how diabolical his plan to take away every American’s guns really is.

When Romney says that Obama is hiding his true intentions from us, he knows that your average voter isn’t going to be persuaded. And that’s what’s so notable about this. At a moment when he’s got the nomination pretty well locked up, Romney is still trying to assure conservatives that he’s one of them, that he hates who they hate and fears what they fear. That “pivot to the center” could be a while in coming.


By: Paul Waldman, The American Prospect, April 5, 2012

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Republicans “Marvelously Looking Forward To Tampa”: Godfathers, Caterpillars And Golf

Republican to-do checklist:

1) Pooh-pooh all the talk about a war on women.

“If the Democrats said we had a war on caterpillars, and every mainstream media outlet talked about the fact that Republicans have a war on caterpillars, then we’d have problems with caterpillars,” said the Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, during a week when a USA Today/Gallup poll found Barack Obama leading Mitt Romney among women in key swing states by 18 points.

This comment was extremely unsettling. What was it that made Priebus think about caterpillars? At least if you mess with women, women can fight back. We’re already losing all the bees, and the bats are in trouble. We do not want these people picking on caterpillars at all.

2) Seek out news about the mood of the womenfolk.

“My wife has the occasion, as you know, to campaign on her own and also with me, and she reports to me regularly that the issue women care about most is the economy,” Mitt told a meeting of editors in Washington this week.

It sounded as if Ann Romney was, say, a native of Turkmenistan who had occasion to return to her native people and bring her husband back word of their hopes and concerns.

3) Make Rick Santorum get out of the race.

This is becoming a Republican obsession, and I am sure it will be a hot topic of conversation at Easter and Passover dinners, when American families will get together and express their amazement at the news that Rick Santorum is still running for something.

4) Keep Mitt on script.

The other day Romney reacted spontaneously to a comment by David Plouffe, an Obama adviser, that Mitt was the “godfather” of the individual mandate in health care reform.

“If I’m the godfather of this thing, then it gives me the right to kill it,” Romney said.

Think about that for a minute. What do you think he was going for there? A Mafia metaphor? Romney also tossed in a mention of Rumpelstiltskin, so maybe either a Mafia metaphor or some sort of weird fairy-tale image? (“I am your evil fairy godfather, and I am putting you into a coma from which you will never awake. Especially since your health insurance expired.”)

5) Watch the Masters golf tournament.

But not with approval! “Don’t you think it’s time Augusta National joined the 21st century — or the 20th — and allowed women members?” tweeted John McCain. (O.K., possibly not personally. Possibly tweeted by a minion on behalf of John McCain.)

“If I could run Augusta, which isn’t likely to happen, of course, I’d have women,” said Romney.

There are two ways to look at this. One is that this is another sign of an increased gender consciousness in the Republican ranks, albeit a teensy-weensy, poll-driven one. Another is that it is heartening that the whole men-only-golf-club thing now seems so pathetic, even the Republican high command wants to steer away from it.

Although, in that case, somebody had better tell John Boehner to ditch his.

6) Prepare for the next big primaries.

“On April 24 — is that — what day is April 24? Is that a Tuesday?” Mitt asked the crowd at a rally this week. “It’s a Tuesday! I need you to — it’s not that coming Tuesday. It’s the one after that, or is it the one after that? It’s the one after that!”

As Mario Cuomo said, we campaign in poetry, govern in prose.

7) Prepare for the convention.

Which will be held in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 27. Where, in the name of safety, the City Council is attempting to ban water guns from the area around the coliseum but is prohibited by Florida state law from banning handguns. Sure looking forward to Tampa.

8) Try to figure out what to do for the four months in between. That’s enough time to run an entire season of a TV series.

Star Trek, the Mitt Generation — A time machine takes Romney 100 years into the future, where Newt Gingrich is plotting his next political comeback.

Romney Top Chef — Ann impresses the judges with Mitt’s favorite meal of meatloaf cakes with catsup and brown sugar.

Undercover Boss Reunion Show — Mitt goes back to visit workers who were laid off after Bain Capital bought their factories and discovers that every one of them is doing great.

The Amazing Race: Michigan — Team Romney overcomes a Roadblock in which Tagg is challenged to measure the height of the trees.

Republican Swamp People — The Romneys move to the Everglades in an effort to woo the swing state of Florida. Excitement ensues when Mitt tries to drive to a rally with an alligator strapped to the roof of the car.


By: Gail Collins, Op-Ed Columnist, The New York Times, April 6, 2012

April 7, 2012 Posted by | Election 2012 | , , , , , , | 2 Comments


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