Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney
In politics it pays to be handsome. It helps you appeal to voters. And Lord knows Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney is handsome (really – just ask Him).
He’s also a Republican – a Republican in charge of a true-blue Democratic state, I might add. He accomplished this feat by running as a moderate. But when Romney’s name was put on pundits’ short list of possible 2008 GOP presidential nominees, Romney’s rightward march began.
After all, if you want to roll with today’s Republican Party you’ve got to be down with the right-wing Christian conservatives calling the shots. And they’re looking for more than just a pretty face.
Nowhere is this more evident than in Romney’s vocal opposition to marriage for same-sex couples. Mind you, conservatives feel Romney has a lot of making up to do in this department. Massachusetts is, after all, the only state where homos are actually allowed to get married – and it happened on his watch.
And so Romney has been trumpeting his opposition to “man-on-man” marriage to appeal to Rick Santorum fans nationwide. On June 28 he stood with the vocally anti-gay Cardinal Sean O’Malley and VoteOnMarriage.org spokesman Kris Mineau and proclaimed that voters, not the courts, should decide civil rights issues. Oh, and not by lawmakers, either, even though he then urged Massachusetts lawmakers to pass an anti-gay marriage amendment when they vote on the issue July 12.
“Who’s going to tell us what a civil right is and what’s not? Well, the people will,” Romney said.
Calling the legalization of equal marriage “a huge error and wrong,” Romney said, “The ideal setting of society overall, is a setting where there’s a mother and a father.”
“We have a Constitution. We can look in there and say, ‘Does it say here you can vote on matters unless someone can define them as civil rights?’ No,” said Romney. “It says you vote on all matters in this country and we’ll decide what is a civil right and what’s not. So, fundamentally, we come back to the principle that the people speak.”
Never mind that this flies in the face of precedent. Can you imagine how long it would have taken for women to get the right to vote if it were up to the majority of voters at the time (who were, need I add, all men)? And what about school desegregation? Brown v. The Board of Education was decided in 1954. Not exactly a time when the majority of voters would have been willing to vote such a change in themselves.
“He’s absolutely wrong when he says the definition of civil rights is a definition that is made by all the people,” said State Democratic Rep. Byron Rushing. “It is not reasonable to ask all the people to decide what a civil rights issue is. If it was left up to popular referenda in the 1950s and 1960s, we would not have had any of the civil rights laws passed.”
But, sadly, being reasonable isn’t what being a Republican is about these days.
Call Romney at 617-725-4005 or email him via his Web page at http://www.mass.gov.