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February 1, 2008

Mitt Romney Can Suck It

I think the title says it all here. Mitt Romney can suck it! But of course it wouldn't be any fun just to say that, so here's a long list of reasons why. The ESC has been vaguely creeped out by Romney since the campaign began (Jezebel couldn't really participate in writing this because she finds his hair so distracting that she's never been able to actually hear or focus on anything he's ever said), and after all this research we've found that we're...creeped out in a more specific way. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share the creepiness with all of you. You're welcome.

He doesn't support same-sex marriage.

"I join with those who support a federal constitutional amendment. Massachusetts has a law that attempts to restrain this infringement by restricting marriages of out-of-state couples to those where no impediment to marry exists in their home state. Even with this law, valid same-sex marriages will migrate to other states. For each state to preserve its own power in relation to marriage, a federal amendment to define marriage is necessary."

"I've been in a state that has gay marriage, and I recognize that the consequences of gay marriage fall far beyond just the relationship between a man and a woman. They also relate to our kids and the right of religion to be practiced freely in a society.

The status of marriage, if it's allowed among the same sex individuals in one state is going to spread to the entire nation. And that's why it's important to have a national standard for marriage. And I'm committed to making sure that we reinforce the institution of marriage in this country by insisting that all states have a right to have marriage as defined as between a man and a woman; and we don't have unelected judges saying we're going to impose same-sex marriage where it was clearly not in their state constitution.

My state's constitution was written by John Adams. It isn't there. I've looked. The people need to speak on this issue and make sure that marriage is preserved as between a man and a woman."

"Marriage is a fundamental and universal social institution. It encompasses many obligations and benefits affecting husband and wife, father and mother, son and daughter. It is the foundation of a harmonious family life. It is the basic building block of society: the development, productivity and happiness of new generations are bound to the family unit. That benefits are given to married couples and not to singles or gay couples has nothing to do with discrimination; it has everything to do with building a stable new generation and nation."

I took a stand against the Massachusetts supreme-court ruling on same-sex marriage. I have made clear since 2003, when the supreme court of Massachusetts redefined marriage by fiat, that my unwavering advocacy for traditional marriage stands side by side with a tolerance and respect for all Americans.

"The debate over same-sex marriage is not a debate over tolerance. It is a debate about the purpose of the institution of marriage and it is a debate about activist judges who make up the law rather than interpret the law.

I agree with 3,000 years of recorded history. I believe marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman and I have been rock solid in my support of traditional marriage. Marriage is first and foremost about nurturing and developing children."

So basically marriage is about having kids? So does that mean that the heterosexual couples that marry but choose to not have children are not in proper marriages? What if they weren't childless by choice and were just unable to conceive? Is Mitt Romney suggesting that infertile couples are somehow not part of this "sacred institution" he speaks of? Well I guess infertile couples could always adopt... but oh wait, what about single people or gay couples who adopt children? Well I suppose he's against that too.

He says he doesn't "support torture", but he sure gets pretty damn close.

He has been quoted as supporting intense and aggressive methods of interrogation:
"I support tough interrogation techniques, enhanced interrogation techniques, in circumstances where there is a ticking time bomb, a ticking bomb. I do not support torture, but I do support enhanced interrogation techniques to learn from terrorists what we need to learn to keep the bombs from going off."

So he says he doesn't support torture, but really... what does he think "tough" and "enhanced" interrogation techniques are? For years, there have been questions about the CIA's aggressive interrogation techniques and whether they cross the line into torture and abuse. (One of these techniques is "water-boarding", which even the first secretary of the Homeland Security Department, Tom Ridge, says is torture).

But that's not it when it comes to Romney's ties to torture! Despite the fact that people have been trying to shut down the torture-factory that is Guantanamo Bay, Romney wants to double the size of it:

“I hope the administration does not take the course which is being contemplated. I think Guantanamo is a symbol of our resolve.”

“...if we need additional space, why, we should be expanding Guantanamo.”

Some people have said we ought to close Guantanamo. My view is we ought to double Guantanamo.”

He also mentioned how important it is that the detainees "don’t get access to lawyers” or other U.S. constitutional rights.

Of course, he doesn't explain whether or not he's going to finally put a stop to all the rest of the alleged torture that goes on in there. Two in three Americans believe that the U.S. should change the way it treats detainees at Guantanamo Bay (to more closely match international standards as set out by the UN Commission on Human Rights). Even the Supreme Court has questioned the constitutionality of the behavior that goes on at "Gitmo".

But wait there's still more... He's also been linked to organizations that have been accused of torturing troubled teenagers. Not suspected terrorists... but teenagers. Some of Romney's biggest financial supporters have been accused of actions that many believe amount to child abuse and torture.

Robert Lichfield, Romney's Utah finance co-chair, is also the founder and on the board of directors of the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs and Schools (WWASPS). WWASPS was recently under fire for allegedly abusing teens at their "tough love" camps for troubled youth. WWASPS has been accused of subjecting the teens to: severe beatings, sexual abuse, food and sleep deprivation, exposure to extreme temperatures, exercise to exhaustion, containment in outdoor dog cages, forced ingestion of vomit, spraying with chemical agents, forced medication, etc.

Mel Sembler, Romney's national finance co-chair, also founded a nationwide network of similar treatment programs for troubled youth, Straight Inc. They have also been subject to numerous lawsuits and investigations regarding "unusual punishment" such as beatings, food and sleep deprivation (for days), hours-long restraint, sexual humiliation, mental abuse, and "interference with daily living functions" such as toileting.

(Straight Inc. was ultimately closed after paying out millions in settlements. WWASPS has settled several lawsuits out of court and many WWASPS-associated programs have been closed prior to police investigations).

His staff includes alleged criminals.

As if Lichfield and Sembler weren't bad enough...

Members of Romney's campaign staff were recently under separate investigations by the police. A campaign aide, Jay Garrity, was under investigation for allegedly impersonating a law inforcement officer in two states. (Garrity resigned from the campaign after this became public).

Another staff member was under investigation by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office for allegedly making an illegal traffic stop of a New York Times reporter, checking his license plates and asking him to leave. (New Hampshire law does not allow private citizens to access to license plate databases, nor allow them to pull over fellow citizens).

Now this wouldn't be as big a deal if these staff members weren't using this kind of behavior in order to intimidate activists and reporters to stay away from campaign events. That just makes it extra bad.

Also, Cofer Black is a top Mitt Romney national security adviser. Don't know who that is? He's only the Vice Chairman of Blackwater USA, the private security/mercenary firm that was allegedly responsible for the shooting of 11 Iraqi civilians.

“Black’s experience at the forefront of our nation's counter-terrorism efforts will be tremendous asset.

Blackwater has also been possibly linked to the illegal smuggling and sales of weapons (some of which may have been sold on the black market and ended up in the hands of terrorist organizations).

He switched teams on the choice-issue.

Despite being "pro-choice-ish" in the past, he's come out as an anti-choicer more recently.
"When I first ran for office [I was] deeply opposed to abortion but [I said] I'd support the current law."

"I never said I was pro-choice, but my position was effectively pro-choice. I've said that time and time again. I've changed my position."

"I was effectively pro-choice when I ran for office. When I became governor of Massachusetts, the first time a bill came to my desk that dealt with life, I simply could not side with--with taking a life, and I came on the side of life. Every bill that came to my desk, every issue that related to protecting the sanctity of life, I came down on the side of life. I'm pro-life. I'm not going to apologize for becoming pro-life. I'm proud to be pro-life."

So basically, he was pro-choice-ish while running for office... and then once he got to office, he basically abandoned that part of his platform? I guess running for governor of Massachusetts it was beneficial to appear pro-choice and now running for president, it's more beneficial to come out as pro-life. Meh. Either way he sucks.

He just might be a big fat liar. Maybe.

So we already know that he used to be pro-choice (or at least claimed to be at the time), but his campaign was allegedly spreading rumors about John McCain being pro-choice. Um, what?

Apparently a Romney aide might have been outright lying about McCain's issue positions which we think is just plain dumb. McCain has voted to ban partial birth abortions, to maintain the ban on military base abortions, and to make it a criminal penalty to harm a fetus during another crime. Does that sound pro-choice to you? His record speaks for itself. (And don't worry, we'll be telling him to suck it soon enough too, just you wait). It's Giuliani and Romney himself who have been flip-flopping on the abortion issue. Not McCain.

In addition to his discrepancies on the abortion issue and stem cell research, Romney also flip-flopped on the gun control issue. In the past he has supported the Brady gun control bill and a ban on assault rifles.

"We do have tough gun laws in Massachusetts. I support them. I won't chip away at them. I believe they protect us and provide for our safety."

Now all of a sudden he's a member of the NRA. But not only has he "changed his mind" about gun control (sure), he flat out lied about his experience as a "hunter".

"[I have] been a hunter pretty much all of my life."

"I have a gun of my own."

Only he doesn't actually have a gun of his own. His sons own firearms and he owned a gun years ago as a young man, but he certainly didn't when he made that statement. He doesn't even have a hunting license and never has. His campaign later admitted that Romney has hunted twice - one summer as a teenager and once in his late 50s. Of course, ol' Mitt claims he frequently hunted "small varmints" and hunted in places where it wasn't required to have a license. Okay.

He also bragged about being a member of the NRA, even though he had only joined a few months beforehand. So either he suddenly decided that he's way into guns, or he's trying to win the hearts of the NRA in time for his presidential election. Hmm, what do you think?

Another potential lie might include claiming that his father marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"You can see what I believed and what my family believed by looking at our lives. My dad marched with Martin Luther King. My mom was a tireless crusader for civil rights."

“I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

"My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit."

It's already been determined that Mitt Romney "misspoke" and definitely didn't march with Dr. King, however there's still questions over whether his father did or not. There has been difficultly finding any evidence or public records that the late George W. Romney, a four-term governor of Michigan, actually marched with King. While he was undoubtedly involved in the civil rights movement, it's up for debate whether he ever marched with King.

Romney's campaign claims that this alleged march took place in Grosse Pointe, Michigan which was "confirmed" by a one-line statement in a 1967 book by David S. Broder. However, King never marched in Grosse Pointe according to the Grosse Pointe Historical Society (and didn't even appear in Grosse Pointe until after Broder's book was published). Although George Romney did participate in various civil rights rallies and even marches, he was never in attendance at the same time as Dr. King.

So was Mitt Romney lying? It's possible he was mistaken (although it's definitely curious why he didn't make these claims until after his fathers' death in 1995 - when it would impossible for him to confirm or refute them.

Maybe it's all about semantics - Romney says there are different meanings of the word "saw"; that he didn't mean to see in the literal sense, but to have a "figurative awareness of". Okay, I'll buy that. And maybe he meant a different meaning of the word "with" too. Instead of actually physically being together with Dr. King, his father marched "with" him, meaning he marched for the same causes, he marched in solidarity with Dr. King's movement. Yeah all of that is possible and maybe we just misunderstood what Romney meant. Or, it's possible that he purposely used those terms in order to imply that his father literally marched with Dr. King - knowing full well that was how people would interpret his exaggerated statements.

Another exaggeration was back in May, 2007 regarding "the terrorists", which he lumped together as one group.

"You see, the terrorists are fighting a war on us. We've got to make sure that we're fighting a war on them."

"...they've come together as Shia and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda"

Only, um, they hadn't. Shia and Sunni, for example, are branches of Islam but they're not terrorist groups and they certainly weren't "coming together", with each other or the Muslim Brotherhood or Al Qaeda or really anyone else relevant to the point he was trying to make.

Religion is an issue. No matter how much we don't want it to be.

Now it would be totally bigoted of us to say that he should suck it because he's a Mormon or that he shouldn't be president because he's a Mormon. And we're not saying that. What I am saying though is that there's a ton of controversy about Romney's views on religion and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in general. And maybe some of them are relevant.

I suppose the first issue would be that some of the doctrines and practices of the LDS Church are... um, questionable. The main concern being that it's kind of like a cult.

Now, obviously calling someone's religion - whatever it is - a "cult" is offensive and we're not going to do that. However, there are certain aspects of Mormonism that are... well... cult-ish. Aside from the fact that many claim that Joseph Smith - who was also a Freemason - fabricated the religion in order to gain money and power (which is like, text book culty), they do employ some practices that could arguably be called "cult-like". Those include authoritarian leadership, expulsion of dissenters, an "us vs. them" mentality, rigid control of personal life, deceptive recruitment techniques, withholding of information that might be contrary to the church's teachings, dismissal of criticism as "persecution"... not to mention the original blood oaths.

Now honestly, while I don't personally agree with their religious beliefs (or really, any organized religion in general), I don't think it's fair to use the "it's a cult" argument. It's just not. You could reasonably call any religion you disagreed with a cult if you wanted to. Although I'm not too scared to say that if a Scientologist ever tried to run for president, I'd be a little extra nervous. But I digress.

So of course, there's the polygamy thing. Now the church's policy on polygamy was reversed in 1890 but critics argue it was done for political reasons. Critics also argue that the original basis for polygamy was actually merely to justify "immoral behavior" (not just having multiple wives, but forcing women - and children - to become brides). Romney's great grandfather had five wives and moved to Mexico to escape the church's changing marriage laws and though Romney say he's against polygamy he often jokes about it:

"I believe marriage should be between a man and a woman … and a woman … and a woman."

The polygamy was geared towards men having multiple wives, while the reverse was rare. The church in many ways treats women as inferior to men, there are few women in leadership roles and it's believed that a woman's place is in the home raising children.

Apparently, the LDS church also has a history of racism and contentious activities regarding Jewish people. Originally blacks were denied priesthood and although this has been changed, the church still refuses to reject some of their racist doctrines. Believing in baptism for the dead, for a period of time they took it upon themselves to baptize hundreds of thousands of Jewish holocaust victims. (Romney himself committed a faux pas that some regarded as anti-semitic. He chose the Henry Ford Museum for the location of his presidential announcement, but some Jewish people - including the National Jewish Democratic Council - felt that it was an inappropriate setting considering Ford's notorious history as an anti-Semite and Hitler apologist).

Overall, Romney prefers not to discuss his personal faith.

"I'm not running for pastor-in-chief, I'm running for commander-in-chief."

"We really shouldn’t be attacking a person’s religion in this nation... I think Americans are going to ultimately shy away from any effort to define candidates based on their faith."

"I do not define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith. "

And that's a really good point of view, unless of course, you're a hypocrite. When asked if he would consider including qualified Muslims in his cabinet as advisers on national security matters, he answered no:

"…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."

Considering how much he keeps arguing that his religion shouldn't matter... he has no problem judging candidates for his cabinet based on theirs? Because they're too much of a "minority" for a high-level position. If anything, you'd think that having a personal knowledge of Islam and the American Arab and Muslim communities would be helpful. (Romney tried to backpedal later on, claiming that he would consider applications of any faith and ethnic group for positions in his administration).

He also had some interesting thoughts about Islamic mosques:

"How about people who are in settings - mosques, for instance - that may be teaching doctrines of hate and terror. Are we monitoring that? Are we wiretapping? Are we following what's going on?"

That sounds like a good idea for about a second, until you think about the fact that there's no way to really know if they may be teaching hate and terror. Obviously there are some sects of Islam that are like that, but you can't just go around wiretapping every mosque just because they may be doing that. You'd need some probable cause, which he neglected to mentioned (and which doesn't exactly fall into the phrasing "may be").

All in all, despite what he says about his religion being irrelevant, religion is relevant. And even he feels that way. Sort of. Read as he talks in circles about freedom and religion:

Q: You said in your speech on faith, "Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom." Can you have freedom without organized religion?

A: Well, I was paraphrasing and underlining a quote from John Adams, who said that our constitutional form of government in this nation would require morality and freedom to be able to survive. We believe, as a nation, that God gave the individual certain inalienable rights. That's not a constitutional guarantee, that's not a policy guarantee, it's a guarantee from our creator.

Q: But when you say freedom requires religion, can you be a moral person and be an atheist?

A: Oh, of course.

Q: And participate in freedom?

A: Of course yes.

Q: So freedom doesn't require religion?

A: Our constitutional form of government and this American experiment requires morality, which in turn required religion. Yet, of course, on an individual basis, you have many individuals of great morality that don't have any particular faith.

Wha---? Last time I checked freedom didn't require religion. We have the freedom to choose our own religion and that includes none at all.

He's just a big creepy weirdo

Yeah okay maybe that's not a fair argument to make, but um, yeah it's still true. His name is "Mitt Romney". It just sounds creepy. And maybe it's not fair to mock someone's name, but he chose that name. His first name is actually Willard; Mitt is his middle name. And his hair just annoys us. For no real reason except that it just does. And he has this really plastic look about him. (Did you know he spent $300 on a make-up consultant?). And his whole family looks like something out of a Mormon Stepford JCrew catalog.

(Photo blatantly stolen from meridianmagazine.com)

But seriously, he's kinda (maybe) charismatic on camera, especially when someone else is likely writing his speeches for him... but sources say he's not so great when it comes to actual human interaction. Former Republican Mayor of Los Angeles Richard Riordan said, “I don’t think he has the charisma to get the votes... And he didn’t make eye contact with me.” Regarding Barak Obama's foreign policy statements, Romney said "he's gone from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in one week." Talk about outdated references. And who can forget the cringe-worthiness of his "Who Let the Dogs Out" camera-op? He's just so uncool. (Plus, speaking of dogs, you know what he did to his right?)

Also, his favorite book is L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth. Like we said: Creepy. For that reason alone, we think Mitt Romney can suck it!

For more reasons why Mitt Romney sucks, visit


ruthellis said...

Okay, I'm pretty much in a state of Jezebel...I find his hair plus those pearly whites along with smile, so distracting, that I can barely focus on him. My reaction, 'Is he real or is he a comic strip character that I would NEVER read, nor buy. His teeth and smile, talk about 'bling bling!'

Yet, in the throes of trying to focus, I am able to hear the most promising or should I say, deadliest of his positions and comments - ouch & ugh!

First Off, he's anti-same sex marriage and anything there of BECAUSE, Romney is so buried deeply and hidden in the closet, that he is about to suffocate and die.

Secondly, Romney is a believer of Torcher, becuz he'd like to beat the shit out of someone for having to live in his self imposed closet of Who He Really Is -- A Same Sex Loving Man.

Third, He inducts Criminals into - becuz He is a Criminal. He's an advocate of robbing and stealing the Human Rights of all the Universe's People.

I'm not going to speak on his religion, that's truly an individual's choice.

But, I love Mitt Romney! Just as much as I love stepping into a pile of dog shit. Not at all!

From a Staunch Obama Campaigner and supporter!

Adam said...

I would just like to point out that as a Mormon, a politician, a republican against same-sex marriage, and a leader from Massachusetts/new england, the chances of him being closeted gay/bisexual are exponentially increased.