Monday, November 20, 2006

Anti-Reality Rally in Boston

Oops, Mitt Romney must be slapping his forehead. He forgot to be governor!

In a giggle-producing moment yesterday, he attempted to associate himself with Abraham Lincoln, John Adams and all manner of folk far superior to him in intellect, civic practice, honesty and vision. His mercifully short and astonishingly disingenuous speech before the State House rally promised two actions:
  1. Tomorrow, I will send these 109 a copy of the Constitution and of their oath of office.
  2. And this week, we will file an action before the courts, calling upon the judiciary to protect the constitutional rights of our citizens.

While those are impotent and pro forma, they really represent a year of Mitt-level activity. Coupled with the vindictive and cruel slashing of social programs just over a week ago, this shows the baseness and deceit of this failed governor. After years of accelerating the damages to our infrastructure and stealing from the poor, Romney managed to cut over $400 million from the budget. He points to a few frivolities, such as a town gazebo, in the cuts and expects we simple-minded citizens to ignore that the bulk of the cuts affect human services and aid. This will increase pressure on the incoming administration and General Court. We have no doubt that the aim is to point to their short-term repairs as being wasteful and proof of their spendthrift natures.

Shame on the man in the magic underwear. He discovered his religion and his worship of the constitution only when they might benefit his political drive. What a fortuitous coincidence.

The Constitutional Convention has used parliamentary moves to avoid other controversial votes, including term limits in 1992. Then, an appeal to the Supreme Judicial Court produced a decision saying that this wasn't the intent of the constitution nor of the derived rules, but that it could not nothing about it.

To their credit this time, the anti-SSM forces apparently finally outnumbered pro-SSM demonstrations (at the rally but not among voter or in the legislature). Even though the largely bused-in folks may be in the minority of public opinion, for two hours yesterday, they had the most feet on the sidewalk.

The bluster seems for naught. We can revel in Romney running to his reviled activist judges at the SJC to force a vote on advancing the anti-SSM amendment. He knows it's not going to work, but in his pique of POTUS envy, he is happy to ignore that in 1992 when the SJC ruled on forcing a vote on term limits at a ConCon --no can do.

Romney's chief spokesman said, apparently straight-faced, "The governor has a constitutional role to play in making sure that the Legislature votes on matters that are brought to them by the people. He is using the bully pulpit of his office to get the Legislature to uphold its constitutional obligation."

You would think that after all the chicanery to advance this amendment so far, that voters would not be so witless and self-deceptive. However, he is playing to Ohio and Iowa and South Carolina. This is a nation that re-elected George the Lesser. They might buy Mitt as a constitutional champion.

Maybe not though...

There is that other problem with the rally's demands. The anti-SSM forces favor a very literal ruling of the commonwealth constitution's Article XLVIII. They like to say it forces the ConCon to vote initiatives up or down. That is moot.

Not only have ConCons not done this numerous times -- those term limits, budget issues, and the previous anti-SSM bid, but there are ways and ways of looking at the article. It does demand consideration and discussion, but not literally an up-or-down vote. More important, the only weapon against recesses or adjournments is the governor's ability to call the ConCon back into session, but not to force a vote.

So, Mitt can and surely will try to let such theatrical displays substitute for his lack of leadership and accomplishment over four years. Hell, he couldn't even engineer returning that symbolic 0.3% of the tax rate back to voters -- a major campaign promise.

Sad it will be though come January 3, 2007, when this monstrous amendment unquestionably dies, the dwindling anti-gay/anti-SSM forces will not get on with their lives and let the rest of us do the same.

Incoming Governor Deval Patrick has a lot of repair and more to develop for us. We could use some pest control for those who want to distract us from the business and hope at hand.

Raybo Babble: As a lamentable sidebar, erstwhile liberal ex-Boston mayor Ray Flynn continued to muddle issues. He is firmly on the side of legislating his religious rituals and beliefs -- and he was an original signer of his amendment drive. At the rally, he said that "he opposes discrimination, but the grandfather of 14 said children are best served 'growing up in a loving environment with a mother and father.'"

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Ryan said...

I'm so glad I clicked on the magic underwear hyperlink. A quick google image search brings up some rather humorous imagines...

eeka said...

I'm about as anti-Romney as they come, but I was a bit turned off by the inclusion of the underwear link in that context. It came across to me as a jab at his religion and a jab at Mormons in general.

I'm not of Mormon background, but I grew up in a largely Mormon community and have many Mormon friends who have been my friends since before I was born. Several very devout Mormons were present at my legal same-sex wedding this past year, and others sent along very touching and heartfelt blessings. While I definitely disagree with many of the church's teachings, I don't think it is fair to insult anyone's religion. A person's religion and what a person chooses to do with that religion are two different things.

Mitt Romney looks enough like a bigot based on his actions. We don't need to resort to insulting people's cultural ties in order to point out what a bigot he is. We also don't need to risk alienating devout Mormons who are GLBT and/or have GLBT friends and family.

massmarrier said...

That's a fair criticism, eeka, and it reflects on my varying political correctness. While I have known a couple of Mormons who laugh about their temple garments, I suspect my shot at Mitt would offend many.

I might add that I am a long-term UU, who like most UUs was raised as a traditional Protestant. I have seen the hypocrisy of some of both, as well as others’ compassion and humanity.

Be aware that this blog has often ridiculed my adopted religion. In fact, while I have never owned Birkenstocks, I do drive the stereotypical UU Volvo. I poke fun at the weekly UU candles of concern and celebration, which I call candles of whining and bragging.

The trappings of puffy types who claim religious righteousness are far too easy to ridicule and I am guilty of doing so, probably too often.

In reality, Mitt’s nominal Mormonism gets my comments because he uses it only when it is politically expedient. I should have insulted him directly, not obliquely, for his callousness and cruelty. He could be naked, or wear long johns or a bustier and his words and actions would be similarly unacceptable.

eeka said...

"In reality, Mitt’s nominal Mormonism gets my comments because he uses it only when it is politically expedient."

Yes! Exactly!

This is why calling him "Mormon-only-when-it's-convenient" or somesuch is a much more substantive attack. Shows that you're educated enough to get the basic gist of the religious beliefs he claims to have, and that you recognize and respect that there are a lot of Mormons who do use their religion to promote love and acceptance.