November 27, 2007
And What of Atheists?
My outrage on the subject isn't different or more enlightening than anyone else's outrage on the subject, but Mitt Romney's admission that he wouldn't consider any Muslims for high level cabinet appointments is shocking, even anti-American, stuff. Romney, of course, is a Mormon, and has spent much of this campaign begging the electorate not to allow his membership in a cult harm his presidential campaign. For Romney to now turn on Muslims is like the fifth least popular kid on the playground trying to help his status by stealing the lunch money of the few losers beneath even him.
November 27, 2007 | Permalink
For Romney to now turn on Muslims is like the fifth least popular kid on the playground trying to help his status by stealing the lunch money of the few losers beneath even him.
Romney is the most poll-driven candidate in the history of the universe, so, when a poll result is not readily available telling him how to answer a question, he thinks only of how his answer will play in wingnut living rooms. The man is as plastic as they come.
Posted by: Jasper | Nov 27, 2007 10:58:17 AM
It's hardly a nice thing for Mitt to say, but honestly, do you think *any* of the candidates would consider a Muslim for the SCOTUS? Didn't he just say what everyone else was thinking?
Posted by: Jeremy | Nov 27, 2007 10:58:56 AM
I hadn't heard about this. So Mitt is promising to break the law, right?
Posted by: david Mizner | Nov 27, 2007 11:02:06 AM
You're missing the point. Mormonism is better than Christianity, because they have the balls to say that Jesus was an American. Most Christians aren't willing to go that far, so Romney's worry is that he's seen as too good, too All-American, and more Amerochristian than other Amerochristians. So he has to downplay the Mormonism.
Muslims, however, are swarthy and foreign, and therefore worse. You can't expect people to vote for a guy who is better or worse than they are, but a guy who promises an administration that is both? That's the ultimate non-starter.
Posted by: calling all toasters | Nov 27, 2007 11:02:14 AM
a horrific statement coming from someone who is running for president of the united states.
Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 27, 2007 11:05:29 AM
a horrific statement coming from someone who is running for president of the united states.
Posted by: jacqueline | Nov 27, 2007 11:06:13 AM
Romney dissed atheists months ago while responding to an
attack on his cult membership by a deranged codger at a retirement village. Here's his response:
"Let me offer just a thought. One of the great things about this great land is we have people of different faiths and different persuasion, but we need to have a person of faith to lead this country."
Yep, we're supposed to forget about his special undies and 29 great-grandmothers or else we're bigots, but it's okay for him to dismiss Muslims from consideration for cabinet posts and disqualify atheists out of hand. What a hypocritical tool.
Posted by: Betty Cracker | Nov 27, 2007 11:06:30 AM
Jasper nailed it. Romney, whatever else you may say about him, definitely knows in his gut what lines he can't cross and get the GOP nomination. Muslim is the new black.
Posted by: David W. | Nov 27, 2007 11:10:40 AM
Is there time to record a YouTube question asking the GOP candidates if they'd be prepared to appoint a Mormon to their cabinet or the SCOTUS?
Posted by: pseudonymous in nc | Nov 27, 2007 11:10:48 AM
They've got to stop getting away with hating and loving at the same time. Ask Romney:
The ostensible goal of Republican foreign policy is to foster democracy for Muslims in the Middle East at virtually any cost of American blood and treasure. Given what you are willing to sacrifice for non-US Muslims, why do you reject the idea of an American Muslim Secretary of State?
Posted by: apm | Nov 27, 2007 11:22:41 AM
my suspicion is that the great majority of politicians in the upper echelons are actually atheists or agnostics, Mitt included. they'd almost have to be to do what they do. Romney sticks to his Mormonism because it would be political suicide to change at any time after he entered public life, but I just can't see someone who can organize a presidential campaign actually believing that there is a planet out that belongs to him where he'll get to torture all the people that called him names when he was little. or that Jesus was American and when he returns, he'll visit Branson, MO first.
Posted by: Cody | Nov 27, 2007 11:30:51 AM
"Romney sticks to his Mormonism because it would be political suicide to change at any time after he entered public life, but I just can't see someone who can organize a presidential campaign actually believing that there is a planet out that belongs to him where he'll get to torture all the people that called him names when he was little. or that Jesus was American and when he returns, he'll visit Branson, MO first."
Naw, he's a real, dyed-in-the-wool Mormon. You're trying to equivalate intelligence with rationality, and that's a huge mistake. I don't even believe there's a substantial correlation there.
Posted by: Korha | Nov 27, 2007 11:46:07 AM
I don't know, I think I'd be hesitant to put a practicing Muslim in my cabinet too. But I'd also hesitate before putting a practicing Christian there, and I almost certainly wouldn't let a Scientologist anywhere near the White House.
Religious beliefs deserve as much scrutiny as any other ideological commitments.
Of course, Mitt's reasoning - that his cabinet shouldn't include minority demographics - is absurd and speaks against his own candidacy.
Posted by: Jason C. | Nov 27, 2007 11:52:37 AM
or that Jesus was American and when he returns, he'll visit Branson, MO first.
Mormons don't believe Jesus was American, and it's Independence, MO, not Branson. The RLDS has a temple on the exact spot, which really pisses off the Mormons.
I fail to see how evincing just as much religious bigotry as Romney is helpful. Is there any actual evidence that Mormonism is a "cult?" I used to believe such from reading supposedly first-person accounts of ex-Mormons, and things like the tenacity of polygamy bother me, but it's not like Roman Catholics or Southern Baptists are in the business of treating women any better.
I'm with Ezra; any GOP candidate taking the White House would be a disaster, but Romney does seem to be the least crazy and dangerous of the group. We all disqualify Giuliani because he apparently wants to preside over a global war, McCain because he's lost his mind utterly, Tancredo because, well jeez, he's Tancredo and everyone knows Ron Paul is a danger to himself and everyone around him - or they should.
But the reaction to Mitt Romney is always: "He's a Mor-mon! Haw Haw Haw!"
Apparently he's a bigoted, fearmongering freak like the rest of the GOP field of candidates, and needs to be opposed on those grounds, not how silly his religion seems to be.
Posted by: Stephen | Nov 27, 2007 12:00:16 PM
but it's not like Roman Catholics or Southern Baptists are in the business of treating women any better.
if the subject were Tancredo or Brownback, i would've made a similar argument about their ridiculous 'beliefs'. ok, maybe not Brownback. that guy seems to actually be crazy. the point wasn't that Mormonism is ridiculous (every religion is), it was that I don't think Romney is actually Mormon. just as i don't believe for a second that McCain is actually Christian.
the argument that religious bigotry as a response to religious bigotry isn't helpful is a good one, but i wasn't really responding to his religious bigotry as much as to what i believe is his completely artificial religious bigotry. i mean, do any of us truly believe that Bush believes God talks to him, or do we all accept that he simply says it is so?
Posted by: Cody | Nov 27, 2007 12:39:58 PM
You have to read Romney's rationale for why he would not choose a Muslim for his cabinet - "based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified."
So if I follow Romney's rationale - based on their percentage of the population - why is anyone considering yet another filthy rich, stupid, white guy for president?
Posted by: CParis | Nov 27, 2007 12:41:37 PM
The most interesting thing to me about this, once you get past the sheer offensive sillyness, is that Romney is essentially coming out in favor of quotas and proportional representation. He says "…based on the numbers of American Muslims [as a percentage] in our population, I cannot see that a cabinet position would be justified. But of course, I would imagine that Muslims could serve at lower levels of my administration."
So my question for Mitt is this: You seem to believe that representation in important jobs should be proportional to representation in the general population. Does that also mean that you think there are too many white men in Congress? That there are too few black students in our elite universities? If you're prepared to keep a minority out of your cabinet for reasons of proportional representation, doesn't that also mean you favor affirmative action? Bear in mind that the only alternative is to say that you think minority status should only be used to exclude people, but never to include them.
Posted by: Galen | Nov 27, 2007 12:45:56 PM
i mean, do any of us truly believe that Bush believes God talks to him, or do we all accept that he simply says it is so?
I've gone back and forth on this his whole presidency. I'm pretty sure that Bush really does believe that God orchestrated his presidency and that God does "speak" to him. There's a lot of leeway in interpreting what "speaking" means, so it doesn't have to involve an audible voice. Though I wouldn't rule that out, I really think Bush is batshit insane.
And your comment wasn't really the focus of what I was saying.
Posted by: Stephen | Nov 27, 2007 12:57:16 PM
Of course, the fifth least popular kid always picks on whoever's beneath him. That's what keeps the ruling class ruling, and why building solidarity is so hard.
Posted by: tps12 | Nov 27, 2007 1:18:19 PM
I'm pretty sure that Bush really does believe that God orchestrated his presidency and that God does "speak" to him.
i just can't see him believing that his ascendancy was due to anything other than his own will and determination. even if Karl Rove had told him he'd rigged the election, Bush would still pat himself on the back for picking the right guy to run his campaign.
Posted by: Cody | Nov 27, 2007 1:24:59 PM
The funny thing is that when Romney's father, the governor of Michigan, was running for the '68 nomination, he was considered a moderate, and little was made of his religion, even though Mormonism--with its then-current racism--was arguably farther out of the US mainstream than it is now.
Posted by: Henderstock | Nov 27, 2007 1:25:11 PM
Henderstock, some of that about George Romney is likely due to JFK's successful defusion of his Catholicism as an issue when he ran for President in 1960, but of course after the "brainwashing" flap Romney rapidly receeded from view anyway.
Posted by: David W. | Nov 27, 2007 1:30:35 PM
That and the fact that his father really was a moderate and ran on his record rather than pandered to the right.
Posted by: Eric K | Nov 27, 2007 2:11:28 PM
I wish they could get Thompson or McCain or even Giuliani to say that they also wouldn't have a Mormon in their cabinet because Mormons represent such a small part of the population. I think one of the top GOP candidates saying that would really put Romney in an uncomfortable position and would open the doors again for the others to question Romney's religious beliefs. I love to see the GOP candidates running their purity tests on each other, it truly becomes an 'I-am-batshit-crazier-than-you-are' pissing match!
Posted by: Ricky | Nov 27, 2007 3:01:55 PM
A cult, huh?
Posted by: Tony | Nov 27, 2007 3:27:42 PM
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