Super Tuesday Tracker

Comments

  1. Go Obama!

  2. word up sol.

  3. Place a vote for your candidate on Super Tuesday at http://drinksfoodandfun.blogspot.com/ Voting ends today!

  4. But who will he pick for a running mate?

  5. Kevin Barney says:

    I voted IRL this a.m. I originally had thought I would pull a Republican ballot and vote for Romney simply in the interest of him having a decent showing. But I think he’s toast, so I pulled a Democratic ballot and voted Obama, who is the one I was going to support in November (if he makes that far) anyway. (Most local politics in Illinois are de facto Democratic, and there are other important races going on here, so if I pulled a Republican ballot I would essentially just be voting for President. The guy who came in behind me pulled a Republican ballot and it took him all of ten seconds to finish voting.)

  6. cantinflas says:

    Any chance you can reorder the Republican chart so the two real contenders are closer to the state names?

  7. MikeInWeHo says:

    Thanks for putting this up, Steve. Fun times!

  8. #7- What are you trying to say? Huckabee called for Romney to step down. You don’t think it will work? That’s one Huckabee policy I’d like to support.

  9. Um, that was for #6. Sorry to throw yo for a loop there, MikeInWeHO!

  10. Steve, great chart! Let’s hope Romney can pull through a few wins. I think he may win California overall, and there’s an outside chance he may even win Arizona. That would be very interesting. McCain will still be ahead in delegates by Wednesday morning, but it may be closer than some people think.

  11. CNN has just announced that Huckabee won West Virginia. Who’d have thought?

  12. Well it’s not on your chart (fancy, btw), but Obama already won Indonesia.

    Yes we can!

  13. The whole West Virginia thing stinks. Apparently when, after the first round, it looked like Romney was leading in delegates, the delegates repping the distant-third McCain threw their support to Huckabee so Romney wouldn’t get it. It’s just stupid junior high politics.

  14. Grr I hate Huckleberry… see my rant for more if you want.

    As far as Obama goes, while I am hugely disinterested in his removal from Iraq policy, I do think he would be an interesting candidate. Certainly could support him easier than McCain or Clinton.

    Of Course here in Canada we are having our own little vote… I expect our “Mormon” Candidate will have even more trouble gaining ground then Romney.

  15. #14- Love that video.

    #13-Stupid junior high politics? Well, maybe, but that’s the beauty as far as I see it. We get to choose who’s voted most popular.Yes. like junior high, we have little say in who originally gets to compete, but in the end, we choose. And, unlike junior high, your opinion gets to matter just as much as mine.

    I’m hoping this same system works to my favor tonight as I go caucus for Obama. Those candidates who don’t have 15% after the first count can choose to join another team. Peer pressure baby! No one wants to be on the losing team. And sometimes it is enough just to want someone else not to win. You didn’t like the way it worked in W.Va., but it will be great if Hillary gets shut out in my state.

    Oh, and if you elect me, I will get us longer breaks between classes and vending machines in every hall.

    Go Obama!

  16. Geoff B., if Romney does win California overall, it won’t actually matter. Because my favorite state splits delegates proportionately, it turns out that a close victory (like the one today will necessarily be) results in pretty nearly an equal number of delegates going to the first- and second-place candidates. Romney may edge McCain in vote share, but that’ll be good for only a handful of extra delegates. And I’ll be pretty surprised if Romney takes Arizona. I mean, anything’s possible, but only just barely.

    Once you count in the New England winner-take-all states where McCain has a solid lead, it’s pretty much guaranteed that McCain will be well ahead in delegate count tomorrow morning. That is, probably ahead by hundreds of delegates. The race won’t be over mathematically, so there will still be possible scenarios where he doesn’t get the nomination. But, realistically, Romney’s really just looking at more opportunities to give his family fortune to the advertisers at this point.

  17. England says: Go Kenya/Kansas!

  18. Is there anyone else who is frightened spitless by the specter of a McCain/Huckabee ticket? West Virginia highlights that possibility quite clearly.

  19. If you are Romney and you are facing defeat after tonight, can you do a Reagan in 1976, get a convention speech and try and position yourself for 2012 knowing that McCain will probably do a Gerald Ford?

    The only thing I can see working against him is he had no momentum. Reagan got in late and picked up a lot of momentum in 76 which was then propelled into his convention speech. Then he took the ball and ran with it.

    Romney comes into this having blown the whole wad of dough and spending literally years preparing for things to go belly up.

    To me pragmatically I think he is done. In fact for the health of the Republicans in 2012 I think they need to get a lot younger and more dynamic, less insiderish, if they want to put the hammer down.

  20. Thomas Parkin says:

    Ray – yes.

    I think it is likely that McCain will choose Huckabee as running mate. I think we’ve seen them playing tag team already.

    At least it helps me know where I stand. I’d likely vote for McCain, but Huckabee on the ticket pretty much guarantess my vote for the Democratic nominee, whoever that is.

    I wonder how far this election might go in breaking the Republican hold on Mormon inter-mountain culture.

    ~

  21. Antonio Parr says:

    Re: McCain/Huckabee. I am not frightened spitless, but I am vehemently opposed to Huckabee, and will not support McCain if Huckabee is his running mate. Why? Because Huckabee pandered in the worst possible way to religious bigotry, the victims in this case being my own people. I will never support Huckabee, and will be disappointed if any of the LDS-centric States back him in any way, as he has fanned the flames of hatred of certain “agents of intolerence” who have no place for Mormons in America. (Correction: they have a place for us, but only if we give them our block Republican votes and promise never again to be so uppity as to suggest that one of us could ever lead this nation.)

    If Huckabee is selected by McCain as his running mate, watch out for a real “Blazing Saddles” moment when Huckabee knocks on our window at night with some warm apple pie, and a quiet “Sorry about the ‘up yours, Mormon’” apology.

  22. Ah, Blazing Saddles. Good times.

  23. Antonio Parr says:

    As for Obama, he is the best motivational speaker of our day, but I am not convinced that he has the experience to run a country. I like the idea of him, though, and would give serious consideration to voting for Obama if he goes head-to-head with McCain.

  24. Steve Evans says:

    No way is Huckabee going to be the McCain running mate. You heard it here first. I will eat my hat.

  25. I hope you are right, Steve. I hope you are right – even if I’d love to see you eat your hat.

  26. Do you think Obama will pick Oprah?

  27. Thanks for the laugh, sol.

  28. They could call their ticket “Double O Heaven”.

    I’m killing myself here. Whoever just thought, “Promise?” is a really evil person.

    And, no, I don’t want him to pick Oprah.

  29. Dude, if McCain picks Huckabee, he’s a goner. That guy is out of the question and would never get my vote.

    I have to say, I’ve never been so undecided in a presidential race.

  30. J. N-S (#16) I’m aware of your points. As a Romney supporter, at this point I’m hoping that Romney can stay in long enough to perhaps take Texas and Ohio and a few other states later on. I’ve posted several times that McCain looks like the clear favorite. A likely result post-Super Tuesday is McCain with 500-plus delegates, Romney with about 400, Huckabee with about 270 or so. 1100-plus needed to win. If Huckabee and McCain unite, with it looks like they are doing, it looks very grim for Romeny. But I’m hoping that conservatives will flock to Romney post Super Tuesday. But I admit chances are very, very slim.

    See here for some good analysis of the Republican delegate count:

    http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YTk5NTk1ODI0ODkzM2RhYmIxZDc5ZmZlOTQxZDMzMDg=

  31. I hope Obama doesn’t pick Oprah as a running mate. We’ve already seen what happens when the president chooses a VP more powerful than himself.

  32. #31- Too funny!

  33. A compelling argument from Lawrence Lessing:

    http://lessig.org/blog/2008/02/20_minutes_or_so_on_why_i_am_4.html

  34. #15 –
    Hey! That was my line! What are you doing, sol, plagarizing my witty mind and cool rhetoric? [although I will say that you make it sound better than I did ;)]

  35. I think that McCain will pick a swing state governer. Like Pawlenty up in Minnesota. If he goes Huck I am gonna upchuck.

    I think Hillary will be the nominee for Dems. I am not sure she can win outside of the already blue states though. Obama would be a better nationwide candidate

    Mikeinweho. Remember my McCain prediction this spring? Looks like I was right.

  36. #34- Which line? Since you so unabashedly catered to my pride I will willingly give you credit for whichever line I plagiarized.

  37. I’ll be seriously ticked if McCain is our next president. We could choose between a Mormon, a black guy, and a woman, and we get the old white guy again? Urgh.

  38. Tracy M–I’m with you. I have never been so undecided in my life. I keep asking myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or are they all wrong together? If any one of them be right, which is it, and how shall I know it? I’m thinking of trying to clear things up a bit with the inspired coin toss.

  39. #37- Sounds like the start of a great “walks into a bar” joke.

  40. Jami, I seem to remember a young farm boy who felt similar confusion. What is to be done? Who of them are right? How shall I know it? That young boy went out on his own to discover the answer, and it came to him in a way no one could have expected, and we are all the better for it.

    That boy’s name was Clark Kent.

  41. #40- ROFL!

  42. sol-
    Well, I had said “pop machines”. However, I used it to compare Obama to the popular kids who get voted but have no ability to deliver on promises (at MMW). How could you twist my words to make Obama look good!? :)

    Susan-
    Seriously! I totally agree. McCain has got to go.

    Steve Evans, you are hilarious!

  43. Cheryl- How can I help it? BTW I totally blew your mind over on MMW just now. Go check.

  44. Consider my mind blown. However, I do have to say that if Obama does win the bid and it’s against McCain, I might just have to switch parties –oh, my heck, did I just say that?

  45. My powers are too great for you to resist.

  46. Hey, when this is all over, we should watch Star Wars or something. For some reason, it just feels right.

  47. I’d invite you to my upper kingdom, but I don’t think it works that way. So yes, I’ll come down and catch a flick with you.

  48. 40. Nice one.

  49. What we need is a candidate who can inspire Americans to work for our own future, to participate in the political process and to reduce the influence of special interests in Washington.

    As a recruiter – we are constantly weighing candidates with less direct experience against those who have been doing the job for a long time. We ask them to tell us how the work experience they do have will help them do the job for which they are applying – what will they bring to the table that may not be evident on a resume?

    Obama may have only been in Washington DC for 3 years, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have experience or is not qualified for the job. In fact, I think it is his greatest strength. That, and he is able to bring people together and actually get stuff done. That, and he spoke out against the Iraq war from the beginning, shows good judgment.

    I don’t get to caucus until Saturday, but I am so fired up! It has been inspiring to see how many people are participating in these primaries than ever have before.

  50. From what I understand it took both the McCain and Paul delegates in WV to put Huckabee over the edge.

    the first round of the caucus:
    464=ROMNEY
    118=PAUL
    176=MCCAIN
    375=HUCKABEE

    with 567 needed to win.

    The Paul supporters agreed to back Huckabee in exchange for 3 of the 21 national delegates

    See
    http://ronpaul2008.typepad.com/ron_paul_2008/2008/02/ron-paul-secure.html

  51. Well chillins, I gots to go. We’re gonna go throw it around for Obama. Watch the stats rise in Idaho. Barack the Vote!

  52. I too view the McCain/Huckabee unholy union as terribly frightening, but almost a certainty. McCain has already alienated the conservative base so that the Paris Hilton of Politics (Ann Coulter) has talked about campaigning for Hillary if McCain is the nominee. The only way McCain gets some street creds back with the conservatives would be a Huckabee VP nod. I suspect it may already be a done deal, with Huckabee staying in over Super Tuesday to deny Romney in the winner-take-all states. At the end of the day, Huckabee withdraws from the race, endorses McCain, and his delegates put McCain over the top.

    Anyway, that’s the nightmare that woke me up in the middle of the night last night.

  53. What makes me laugh is that Romney courted a bigoted party that would never nominate him in the first place (as today’s West Virginia primary demonstrates). Few Democrats have a hard time with Harry Reid being Mormon because, as conservatives argue, Dems are godless liberals. True or not, at least they know where they stand with their own party. Mitt, this is what you get for trying to fit in with the crowd who will never see you as one of them. Didn’t you go to high school? You should have learned this lesson decades ago.

  54. Um I think if you scratch the surface in the Dems if Harry Reid ran for President you would get a slightly differing point of view.

    Dems are no less bigoted. Thus the problems for Mormons in my opinion.

  55. Well I’m shocked. I expected nearly all Mormons to support Romney, or at the very least a Republican, but it seems to be evenly split here between Obama and Romney.

    As a Catholic, at one point I didn’t think I could vote for a Mormon, but now I’ve decided he’s the best candidate. If he wins, don’t let me down! : )

  56. Jon #54 said: Dems are no less bigoted. Thus the problems for Mormons in my opinion.

    I’d disagree. When Reid went for Majority Leader in the senate I don’t recall any controversy at all related to his Mormonism. If Reid ran for president today there would surely be some discussion about his Mormonism, but by and large the people in his party would continue to not care much, and in the other party his religious beliefs would be way down the list of reasons not to vote for him.

  57. Steve Evans says:

    Obama takes Georgia!

  58. Angellius #55 said: As a Catholic, at one point I didn’t think I could vote for a Mormon, but now I’ve decided he’s the best candidate. If he wins, don’t let me down!

    It’s hard to know what would “let you down” if Romney won. Richard Neuhaus, writing in First Things, stated quite plainly his biggest fear isn’t that Romney would be a lousy president, but that he would be an effective one, and that his effectiveness would legitimize Mormonism as a mainstream religion. Shame on Neuhaus, and on anyone who would let Romney’s Mormonism be a determining factor in their vote.

    Don’t get me wrong: as an Obama fan I don’t want anybody to vote from Romney. But as a faithful Mormon I want them to not vote for Romney for the right reasons!

  59. Jerry:

    I’m afraid I don’t understand why we should not let religion be a determining factor. If religion has any meaning, then it will affect what kind of person adheres to it, and the kinds of decisions that person will make. The only time religion should not matter is if the person does not take it seriously and therefore it’s unlikely it will affect how he acts.

    This is not bigotry. Bigotry is hatred without reason. Racism is of this type, since a person’s skin color has no necessary bearing on his character or behavior. But religion’s very reason for being is to effect changes in character and behavior.

    The reason I overcame my initial reluctance is that no other candidate seems to hold religious views that are any more consonant with my own than Romney’s. Giulani is Catholic but it’s only skin deep, if even that. So I set aside the religion issue and looked at other issues, and Romney came out on top.

  60. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 35, Yes I do remember your prophecy bbell. I trust your intuition about these things. So what happens next?

    The nomination of McCain would be a fascinating twist. If that happens, it really all hinges on who he picks as his running mate. A conservative Democrat or Independent would be a brilliant move, and he’s quite capable of that.

  61. Steve Evans says:

    Agellius, I tend to agree with you, except religion is so charged in this country that I’m afraid Americans are consistently making it too high a priority. I mean, is there any reason Huckabee can considered as a candidate, other than religion?

  62. If religion has any meaning, then it will affect what kind of person adheres to it, and the kinds of decisions that person will make.

    So, when you said that “As a Catholic, at one point I didn’t think I could vote for a Mormon,” what character flaws resulting from Mormonism gave you pause?

  63. is there any reason Huckabee can considered as a candidate, other than religion?

    Same deal as Bush in 00 and 04: he’s just the kind of guy you’d want to have a beer with. Or fry a squirrel in a popcorn popper with.

  64. Thomas Parkin says:

    I’m not sure that McCain choosing an independent as running mate is likely. I think that he will probably choose to “broaden his base” by bringing on someone the religious right will approve of, hence Huckabee. Ultimately, I don’t think that McCain can win with his only appeal in the center. I think the Republicans have (over)learned the lesson that they have to motivate the evangelicals to win presidential elections. That looks to me like the definitive politcal lesson for Rs in 2000 and even more in 2004. He loses far fewer vots (like mine) by going right with the vp than he gains by cementing the evangelicals.

    ~

  65. McCain = 40% in MA? Geesh, Mitt…

  66. New strategy:

    Romney pulls out tomorrow and throws 100% of his support behind Huckabee to completely screw McCain.
    It’s then Huckabee vs. Clinton which will have Bloomberg’s mouth watering to the point that he wouldn’t be able to resist running.

  67. Kevin, you think Huckabee will give conservative street cred?

    The conservatives were up in arms about Huckabee before McCain.

  68. Well so far McCain continues to control the Yankee states.

    Huckabee controls the Confederacy.

    Hopefully Romney will win the west and then it will be a saw off. And we have another whole new race.

  69. Wishful thinking, I’m afraid, Jon. McCain has the Republican nomination just about sewn up.

    The Democratic race . . .

  70. Good, brief overview of Romney’s problem:

    National Review Online article

  71. I’m loving the exit polls showing Mitt and McCain tied in AZ. I’ll be fast asleep when the AZ results come in, but if Mitt can take McCain’s home state it will bring a rare smile to my face on this grimmest of political seasons.

  72. Mike,

    I really think MCain will pick a swing state governer. McCain has a chance to win in the great lakes states and Ohio, Penn. I also think that McCain wins Florida.

    I also think Hillary can win in some of the border states like Missouri, Arkansas and perhaps Kentucky. Bill used to win those states. She will need to move to the right and pull out the “bubba moves”. I think she will eventually defeat Obama

    We may see some scrambling of the Red State blue divide.

    I lean towards McCain in a Hillary/McCain election. Say 52-48. The war hero stuff will work for him unlike Kerry.

  73. I forgot to attribute the link in #70 to the sidebar of That Other Blog. I didn’t find it on my own.

  74. Mike H. is really kicking Romney while he’s down in his speech right now.

  75. Interesting… Huckabee breaks with normal tradition and has only old white people behind him…

  76. Eric Russell says:

    Did Huckabee call Romney a pharisee? That’s what I got.

  77. And I think he compared his campaign with the stone in Daniel and Romney with the armored statue.

  78. MikeInWeHo says:

    Yep, and Huckabee also referenced the widow’s mite. I almost gagged on my dinner.

    I suspect you’re right, bbell: It will come down to McCain vs Clinton and McCain will nudge by her, barely. Sigh…..

    OK, moving on: What would a McCain presidency look like? The fact that the hard Right loathes him gives me a bit of hope.

  79. So are we seeing identity politics, where Huckabee gets Evangelicals, McCain gets veterans, and Romney gets Mormons? Or sectional politics, with Huckabee getting the South, McCain the East, and Romney the Midwest and West?

    Note that McCain’s appeal in the East will likely not carry against a Democrat in the general election, whereas Huckabee’s appeal in the South and Romney’s in the West probably would.

  80. Identity politics, yes; that breakdown, no. Huckabee is getting the evangelicals and almost nobody else; Romney is getting fiscal and social conservatives who aren’t evangelicals; McCain is getting moderates and those who are passionate about terrorism and keeping the troops in Iraq. In a two man race between McCain and Romney, it would be a nail-biter – and it would be fascinating to see how the social conservative vote (especially the evangelical vote) would play out in that setting.

  81. NoCoolName_Tom says:
  82. sigh… come on California. Give us some sense that Romney might just barely raise a pulse.

  83. Seriously, if the Dems can’t win the Presidential election this year, how bad does it have to get for them to do so?

    I’ll stick by an earlier comment, though, and say we’re electing a one-term president.

  84. Utah was called for Obama. Neat.

  85. Obama, great speech. Definately a rallying cry.

  86. Jeremy:

    You asked, “what character flaws resulting from Mormonism gave you pause?”

    First, I’m sorry I called you Jerry before. Careless of me. Second, I didn’t say it had to do with character flaws. What I said is that religion is a legitimate basis for deciding whether or not to vote for someone because it should, if he takes it seriously, have a bearing on his character and behavior.

    Romney, in his famous “Kennedy speech”, said something like, he would not allow his religion to take priority over the interests of the nation. But if he’s a true Mormon, how could he not? And if the current Prophet received some kind of revelation commanding the President to do something, and the President is a devout believer, how could he refuse a direct command from God’s Prophet?

    In fairness, let me say that those who were disturbed about a Catholic, Kennedy, being president, were probably right too. If a Catholic were to listen to some of the popes, for example Leo XIII (see his encyclical letter “Libertas”), they would reject some of the very founding principles of this country. Which frankly, I do.

    Accordingly, I would not blame people if they were disturbed at the idea of a devout Catholic president. Not because of flaws in his character, but because his faith might conflict with some of the principles on which our government is based.

  87. Agellius, I respect your moderate tone, and I understand the intellectual reasoning behind it, but that argument just drives me nuts. Our Mormon leaders have said explicitly that Mormon politicians have NO need to deny their individual consciences in the execution of their duties; we have Mormon politicians of every stripe and ideology (just Harry Reid, Orrin Hatch and Mitt Romney make that point very well); Romney himself has said publicly that as President his highest oath in that office would be to the Constitution – which is considered to be a divinely inspired document by Mormons; there is absolutely NO reason to believe, based on actual modern examples, that your scenario would happen; yet, people cling to that justification regardless.

    The position you articulate makes one of two fundamental assumptions:

    1) God really does lead the Mormon Church through revelation and, therefore, might give the Prophet such a revelation;

    2) God does not lead the Mormon Church through revelation – and the leaders are so deluded or politically inept that they would try to pressure the President of the United States into doing something – in full view of the world and all their critics. That is flat out ludicrous, especially when you look at the last 20 years of the Church’s activities.

    My point is that the argument depends almost entirely on a view of the Church and its leaders that is, at the very least, borderline bigoted – since it denies the “fruits” of the Church over the last 20 years and relies on “what maybe might happen when those evil Mormons try to take over the government”.

    Honestly, that’s not hyperbole. I have lived among it, and it is real and vibrant. Consider this: What would the race be like among the Republican candidates if everything else stayed the same, but Romney was a member of any Protestant denomination?

    Fear is the deciding factor in this race, and that’s just sad.

  88. #86, You stated, “Romney, in his famous “Kennedy speech”, said something like, he would not allow his religion to take priority over the interests of the nation.” You then asked,”But if he’s a true Mormon, how could he not?”

    My question is, if he is a true Mormon, wouldn’t he think any religious dictates from his Church would be in the best interests of the nation?

  89. Not the right question, CW.

    If he’s “a true Mormon”, wouldn’t he believe it when the leaders promise not to require him to pay any attention to what they “just maybe, might” say?

    Phrased differently, my biggest problem with the question is that it assumes every Mormon in question simply is lying – when it comes right down to it. It assumes that the leaders WILL interfere, when they have said they won’t; it assumes Romney WILL prioritize their words when they do interfere (even though they have said they won’t), even though he has said he won’t; it assumes everyone is lying to the public simply in order to get elected, so that the doomsday scenario has a chance to happen.

    It’s ludicrous on its face, but it is believed because, hey, we’re just a bunch of lying cultists, so what else could we do? Again, in case this sounds like hyperbole, I have heard it said in almost that exact way too many times to try to count.

  90. The problem here is the very notion of a Mormon president getting “religious dictates.” That’s just not the way it works.

    Harry Reid was invited to speak at BYU a year after he voted against the federal marriage amendment. The brethren recognize that public figures have stewardships over and obligations to their constituents, and that in matters of governance, ecclesiastical counsel is one of many factors to be considered in making a decision.

  91. BTW, Clinton is claiming a great victory, since Obama didn’t do as well as her people thought they would. He won at least 13 states to her 9, including Missouri (where her camp had claimed victory earlier); they essentially split the delegates and the actual vote; Obama has a very good chance to take a decent lead after the contests over the next two months; etc.

    Great victory tonight, Hillary.

    Also, the talking heads are questioning whether Romney will stay in the race or if he will bow out – leaving it a two man race. Romney won more states than Huckabee (even with the WV deal); he now has more delegates than Huckabee; he smashed Huckabee in the total actual vote; etc.

    It is fascinating to see the bias of the coverage showing so clearly.

  92. Ray,

    You’re right–you could spin that either way, and they, of course, are. Two weeks ago the notion that Obama would split the delegate count with Hillary was a long shot, so it would seem a victory for him to have pulled in so close. On the other hand Hillary’s team can cast the performance today in relief against the Obama surge just of the last few days (whether real or simply Zogby-driven), and claim that his surge is over. I don’t know that the word “victory” is accurate for either side yet at this point.

    (BTW, with 32% reporting, Clinton’s ahead in CA by 16%.)

  93. Oops, Obama 14 states; Clinton 8 – assuming she wins CA.

    Romney probably will lead Huckabee at the end of the count tonight by as many as 50-60 delegates.

  94. I’m amazed that no news source has a running delegate count graphic up somewhere. Or is there one? Past midnight on election nights I have an easier time hitting Reload over and over again while watching a pie chart than reading text…

  95. Duh. I post that comment then flip immediately to cnn.com, where they’ve posted this.

  96. The total Romney rejection speaks volumes about just how the public sees our people. A reality check for those of us who feel that we have been accepted by mainsteam.

  97. Go Idaho! Go Obama! We totally rocked it here tonight! All delegates for the two districts in our county (largest in the state) go to Obama!

    My husband and I wore “Mormons for Obama” shirts. Those were definitely conversation starters.

  98. Peter LLC says:

    #96:

    The total Romney rejection in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas speaks volumes about just how the South sees our people

    Fixed.

  99. Peter LLC says:

    Go Idaho! Go Obama!

    Did Clinton campaign at all in Idaho?

  100. Watching the returns come in, what interests me the most is how the Democratic race is so solidly divided by race, gender, and class. The news keeps depicting the possibility of the first black or the first female president as a unifying transcendence of American identity divisions, yet the returns just manifest the continuing power of those categories. It seems that whoever does win will have not a less prejudiced America to thank, but the strength of American attachments to identity politics. Hmm.

    Obama 2008!!

    For whatever its worth, my parents report that most Mormons in southern Michigan are planning on supporting Obama in light of Romney’s loss…

  101. Good fix, LLC.

    I think the results don’t say much about the country’s perception of Mormonism, frankly. I think another candidate could have handled the question differently (and better). Romney was trying to do two things at the same time: convince people that Mormonism is not weird, and also convince people that from a policy standpoint Mormonism was the equivalent of evangelicalism.

    If there had been a Mormon candidate that didn’t so conspicuously try to pander to the Christan Right, the Mormon angle would have played out very differently in the press. The Christian Right wants someone in the White House that leverages faith politically. If, then, you have a candidate trying to convince them that he will, you inevitably get the questions about whether the Mormon prophet will be phoning in policy. Not that Harry Reid would ever run for president, but if he did, you simply wouldn’t get this kind of press coverage of his faith.

  102. I don’t see this as a referendum on Mormons in public life. The problem has been Romney’s strategy of pandering to people who will never accept him, and the resultant perception of him as a phony.

    I’m becoming more and more invested in Obama every day.

  103. If Hillary is the democratic candidate and wins presidency, I’m moving to Canada.

    Go Obama!

  104. MikeInWeHo says:

    Mormons in public life are just dandy, as Harry Reid and so many others have shown. Mormon presidential candidates who need the Evangelical primary vote to get nominated, on the other hand, appear to be in a pickle. The results last night are clearly about Evangelical religious bigotry; it’s hard to interpret it any other way.

    Ask yourself this: Do you think the primary results thus far would be different if the ONLY difference were that Romney was devout member of a conservative protestant church?

  105. #88:
    My question is, if he is a true Mormon, wouldn’t he think any religious dictates from his Church would be in the best interests of the nation?

    Yes, and it wouldn’t take a personal phone call from Monson, either. People criticize Romney for changing his stand on gay rights, and assume it’s because he’s now running for POTUS instead of governor of Massachussetts. I’m not so sure that’s the case. I think the timing of Romney’s shift coincides well with the first presidency’s direct statement of support for a constitutional amendment to deny equal civil rights to gays. In other words, I don’t think Romney shifted for the electorate on that issue. I think he shifted out of religious obedience.

    #89:
    If he’s “a true Mormon”, wouldn’t he believe it when the leaders promise not to require him to pay any attention to what they “just maybe, might” say?

    I think you miss the point, Ray. It’s not a question of whether Romney is ecclesiastically required to carry LDS dictates into public policy. Rather, it’s a question of whether he will do so because he believes it’s “god’s will” that “revealed truth” dictate civil law.

  106. Mikeinweho,

    I am looking at the demographic data for the southern Repub primaries and my feeling after seeing the data is that when given a choice between a fellow evangelical and a Mormon the Southern Evangelical votes evangelical.

    Its hard to say from the data if they are voting against Romney or for Huckabee. Its probably some of both. The anti-LDS feelings down here are not as strong as they once were but they are still around.

  107. Latter-day Guy says:

    RE 78:

    What would a McCain presidency look like? A disaster. It would be simply torture (sorry). McCain it seems is too crazy to even know when he’s been caught lying (see, for instance, the whole “timetable”/”buzzword” portion of the republican debates). I am definitely going to vote with the democratic candidate if McCain gets the nomination. And if Huckabee is his running mate, that will make me consider leaving the republican party permanently. That is, if any of us live that long: I think Tennessee and Arkansas learned what happens when you vote for Mike “God wants me to be president” Huckabee.

  108. Latter-day Guy says:

    [Sorry admins, feel free to edit tasteless parting shot.]

  109. Disappointed for Romney, but not surprised. I think Romney has two strikes against him: First, his religion really is a stumbling block for many, and second, I just don’t think he’s connected well with people. I contrast his speeches over the last couple of months with Obama’s last night, and the the difference is huge. Obama is an inspiring figure. I especially liked the line “We are who we’ve been waiting for”.

    Oh, and Clark, way back in # 67, from what I could gather in the CNN coverage last night, Huckabee was winning in the conservative areas of most of the red states, especially in the south. He has more street credibility with conservatives than McCain, so I still think a McCain/Huckabee ticket is a possibility, but I was intrigued by McCain’s obvious and very kind (pandering?) comments about Romney. Could he be hoping for Romney to back out and support McCain in exchange for the VP slot? Anybody else notice that?

    I thought Huckabee’s obvious biblical references last night were tasteless and offensive to all other religious Americans outside of the evangelical right. Take a step up or step out, Huck.

  110. Disclaimer: I’m probably going to go to the Washington State caucuses on Saturday and vote for Obama.

  111. Kevinf,

    Huck dropped 3 biblical references last night. I was sitting there with my super conservative anti-era Mom and she about had a heart attack over his biblical comments.

    Its over the top….

  112. #110- Probably?! There’s no room for ‘probably’ at this stage of the game! You see where the Republicans are headed, do you want the alternative to be Hillary? Get out and caucus. It’s easy and even kinda fun.

  113. Utah went 90% for Romney.

    All this, “they’re not voting for him because of his RELIGION!!!!!” seems a bit disingenuous given those results. Someone needs to remind Mormons that voting for someone because he’s Mormon is no more rationally defensible than not voting for him because he’s Mormon.

  114. Someone needs to remind Brad that Romney came into Utah and did a fabulous job with the Olympics — and not only saved but made them one of the best, if not the best, Winter Olympics ever.

    However, I predict that for the first time in a long time, Utah will not vote Republican because it cannot support a McCain/Huckabee ticket. Look for Obama to do well and perhaps a third party candidate over McCain.

  115. “Someone needs to remind Brad…”

    I think someone just did!

    The best Winter Olympics ever, however, were in Calgary, Canada in 1988. Alberto Tomba. Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards. The Battle of the Brians.

  116. Who?
    I’m sure you’re right. The 90% was all about Mormons’ fond olympic memories and had nothing to do with Romney’s Mormonism.

    Mea Culpa.

  117. Kevin, Huckabee has more street cred with social conservatives but not much with economic and more libertarian conservatives. Those tended to break from Romney. But realistically the big problem is that not too many people are excited by any of the three. It’s funny since McCain has been pro-life for a long time. I think the opposition to him there is more because of McCain-Feingold and the perception of stopping anti-abortion ads.

    Anyway, I think given perceptions that McCain needs a more solid conservative than Huckabee.

  118. It’s not that Romney is LDS. It’s that he reads as totally insincere. I’ve commented before that he projects Eddy Haskell rather than JFK (using JFK as the “break out” Catholic candidate). Moreover, his rapid change of positions from Republican moderate to knuckle dragging conservative simply isn’t credible. I’m also amazed at his recent remarks comparing his conservatism to Reagan’s. What he doesn’t get is that Reagan was tolerant of others, including atheists, Democrats, gays, etc. Anyone who actually remembers Reagan can remember that he seemed warm and accepting even with those with whom he profoundly disagreed. Romney comes off like a Ken doll trying desperately to pick up some kind of Main St., Mississippi cred.

  119. Just a note for all you Washingtonians – Not only is our democratic Caucus (with 80 delegates on the line) on Saturday (Be there by 1!!) but it looks like Obama will be speaking in Seattle or Bellevue (or both) on Friday. Locations and times haven’t been announced yet.

    Go Obama!

  120. To add – Romney’s big showing in Utah shouldn’t be seen purely as a religious vote. You have to factor in his Olympics history as well as lining up better on the issues traditionally of interest to Utahns. Frankly both Huckabee and McCain are much more moderate than Utahns. Saying it was purely a Mormon vote is akin to the silliness of saying Huckabee’s success in Evangelical areas is an anti-Mormon vote.

  121. The best Winter Olympics ever, however, were in Calgary, Canada in 1988.

    Surely you jest? The best games were the double hand-me-downs Innsbruck 1976 games!

  122. Peter, if you were alive in 1976 I’d be more inclined to agree. The heyday of Dorothy Hamill….

  123. Didn’t Calgary have pretty bad snow that year?

  124. Eric Russell says:

    “Someone needs to remind Mormons that voting for someone because he’s Mormon is no more rationally defensible than not voting for him because he’s Mormon.”

    Brad, what if we switched this up a bit and said, “Someone needs to remind blacks that voting for someone because he’s black is no more rationally defensible than not voting for him because he’s black.”

    I don’t think this is true. I think it’s easily defensible that blacks would vote for Obama because he’s black. I don’t think it’s justifiable that other races vote against him because he’s black.

    Perhaps a better analogy is statehood. Candidates almost always take their home state and everyone accepts that. But it would be some pretty serious prejudice to vote against Clinton because you disliked New York.

  125. Clark, it wasn’t about the snow (but yes, it was poor, and Nakiska’s not a great mountain). It was about the Spirit of the Games and a time to come together in the spirit of sportsmanship!

  126. Steve,
    I bet it made you so proud.

  127. lol.

  128. Can you guys post a poll for BCC readers to vote for the current nominees? And maybe another with hypothetical November election tickets? Just curious as to what the bulk of us are thinking.

    Okay, just assessing how much work I need to put in for Obama.But still, it’d be fun!

    Go Obama!

  129. Peter in # 120 has a point. I still remember as a young 24 year old ski nut watching Franz Klammer in the most exciting donwhill ever at Innsbruck. They showed that run during the last Winter Olympics, as an example of what Bode Miller was trying to do, but couldn’t.

    Sol, I’ve been going to caucuses for years, was going to skip this one because it’s the same day as our Stake Conference, but now, pretty sure I’ll show up again.

    Quick note to Washington State caucus first time attendees: be patient if you’re a Democrat. The Republicans have all the trains and caucuses running on time. They really are better organized. Four years ago, the county convention here in King County for the Democrats started at 9 AM, but the credentials committee still hadn’t been able to certify all the delegates by 1 PM, when I threw up my hands and left. The Republicans started at 9, one of my friends told me, and were done with everything by noon. The voting on our side didn’t get started until at least 2 PM.

  130. Sol, I’ve been going to caucuses for years, was going to skip this one because it’s the same day as our Stake Conference, but now, pretty sure I’ll show up again.

    You’ve made the righteous choice.

    And I also can rest assured you’re not a total loser.

  131. Ray:

    I respect your moderate tone as well.

    You say, “Our Mormon leaders have said explicitly that Mormon politicians have NO need to deny their individual consciences in the execution of their duties”. But how would a non-Mormon know that? We don’t all read the “Ensign”, you know.

    You say, “there is absolutely NO reason to believe, based on actual modern examples, that your scenario would happen”. I note you stick the word “modern” in there. : ) I can only go on how I view religion myself, and if the pope were a prophet — which he’s not — but if I were morally certain based on the tenets of my faith, that he was, and he had a revelation from God saying that such a thing must happen, I personally would be placed in a position where I must either obey the revelation or abandon my faith.

    You say Church leaders have promised not to meddle in politics. But how can any Church leader decide what revelations God is going to give his prophet? Basically you seem to be saying, “don’t worry, we promise God won’t give any revelations to the president, through the Prophet.” But how do you know what God will do?

    The position I articulate makes neither the assumption that the Church is led by a true prophet, nor that Mormon leaders are inept or deluded. It merely takes Mormon teaching at face value: the teaching that the Church has a living Prophet who may receive revelation directly from God at any time. Whether or not Joseph Smith received genuine revelations in the past, Mormons believed he did and acted accordingly. Why should I assume they would not do so today?

    But keep in mind, this whole thing started with my saying I had decided to support Romney. So the charge of bigotry, in my case at least, would seem misdirected.

  132. Ray:

    In response to your no. 89: You write, “It’s ludicrous on its face, but it is believed because, hey, we’re just a bunch of lying cultists, so what else could we do? Again, in case this sounds like hyperbole, I have heard it said in almost that exact way too many times to try to count.”

    This is not at all what I had in mind. As I said previously, what I have in mind is the assumption that you sincerely believe in your religion, and believe you have a true prophet at the head of it. And since I know I would obey any revelation from a true prophet, because his words come from God, I assume Mormons would too. If they would not, that’s when I would start to suspect insincerity on their part.

  133. Sol,

    Glad to know that I’m not a total loser! :)

  134. Steve – you’re totally right. Us Brits still occasionally reminisce about Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards!

  135. This is huge!

    If you consider yourself a conservative Christian and you want someone with conservative values in the White House you must vote for Romney. Dr Dobson said in a statement yesterday that a vote for Huckabee is essentially a vote for McCain and if McCain wins the nomination he won’t vote.

    Listen to his statment:

    http://election.newsmax.com/dobson_mccain/

    Now pass this information on to your fellow Christian friends.

    http://www.graceforgrace.com

  136. Jeremy:

    In response to your no. 90: Maybe the crux of the matter is that we view religion differently. As a Catholic, I could not, if I were a politician, vote for any law that is understood to be immoral according to Catholic teaching. You seem to be saying that a Mormon is allowed to do just that, if that’s what he believes his constituents want.

    I’ve been assuming that Mormons, like Catholics, expect their politicians to act in accord with the dictates of their faith at all times. You seem to be saying that Mormon politicians are not required to do that. This is a foreign notion to me so you will have to excuse me not realizing it at first.

    Really, I was doing Mormons more credit by assuming that a Mormon president would act in accordance with the dictates of his religion at all times, than I would have done by assuming he would not. Because to me, it’s more honorable to be obedient to your faith at all times than to set it aside for any earthly consideration whatsoever. I would have less respect for Romney if he were to say, “I’m Mormon but if my religion conflicts with what my constituents think is best, I will go along with my constituents.”

  137. Thanks for the clarification, Agellius.

    Nick, your “Romney switched because the Church switched” is absurd. He went back to his personal beliefs when he wasn’t running to execute the laws of a liberal state. Pure and simple.

  138. AHEM! Where’s that poll? Is this not a democracy? The voice of the people demand a poll!

  139. Steve Evans says:

    apologies, sol. Perhaps Stupor of Thought should do it?

  140. Agellius, I doubt anyone here would argue that Mormons shouldn’t vote and act according to their consciences. That isn’t the central issue, at all. I believe that adamantly. I simply believe the Prophet and the apostles when they say that they will not dictate to a politician as to how he should vote or what he should do; and I believe Romney when he says that he would not let SLC dictate to him in the office of President of the United States.

    Theorhetically, *could* the Prophet try to do that? Certainly. Theorhetically, could Romney listen and “obey”? Certainly. Is there ANY evidence whatsoever that it will happen? Not at all. In fact, based on actual experience, there is a MUCH better chance that Huckabee will let his religious convictions cloud his executive judgment and act in a dangerous and illogical way.

    Huckabee’s stated reason for backing the early release of the serial rapist who then raped and murdered someone else was, “I believe that he has repented.” Almost every convict will make that claim if he thinks it will help him; there was NO evidence that this particular inmate had exhibited “repentance” any more so than any other inmate; there is NO legal justificaiton for reducing one’s sentence due to “repentance”; yet Huckabee backed it for that reason, anyway – and he was wrong to the worst degree possible. With Romney, there is no evidence he would let his religious beliefs “cloud his judgment” in any way, even as he acts on his convictions; with Huckabee, there is evidence – and it is egregious.

    What I’m saying is that there is a double standard applied to the Mormon candidate simply because of a fear of what “might” happen – when that same standard is NOT applied to a Southern Baptist candidate with a background where it DID happen. That’s bigotry in its most fundamental form, and it relies on an underlying foundation of fear and distrust.

    That might not fit your situation and outlook, especially since you are willing to vote for Romney, but the fundamental premise essentially is the same. In the end, Romeny loses strictly because he is Mormon. Again, does anyone really believe the outcome would be the same if Romney were a devout Methodist or Lutheran or even Catholic – with the same specter of the possibility of taking orders from the Pope? His credentials would make this a rout for the Republican nomination.

  141. Yes, Steve, but that would mean work for me. But thanks for the shout out.

  142. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 134

    I love that statement from Dobson! Yee-ha! After so many years of conservative gloating it will be fun to watch them turn on each other like myopic piranha. Go, McCain, Go!

    re: 136
    Agreed, Ray. There’s no evidence Romney switched because of that statement from SLC. Harry Reid seems to have ignored it too. Also, Romney is a bit of a flip-flopper in general…hard to deny that.

  143. kristine N says:

    In response to your no. 90: Maybe the crux of the matter is that we view religion differently. As a Catholic, I could not, if I were a politician, vote for any law that is understood to be immoral according to Catholic teaching. You seem to be saying that a Mormon is allowed to do just that, if that’s what he believes his constituents want.

    Agellius, that is correct. We are expected to act according to the teachings of the LDS church, but it is not necessary to vote to enforce those beliefs on others. For instance, you can remain in good standing within the church if you politically support gay marriage, but not if you are a sexually active homosexual.

  144. Mike, Romney runs as an executive who will execute the laws of the land – wahtever that “land” is. He ran as an enforcer of MA laws (liberal); now he’s running as an enforcer of federal laws (as a conservative who will nominate judges to interpret laws conservatively and use his influence to sway things in a conservative direction). Hence the “flip-flop” instances. I just wish he’d say that.

  145. Ray,
    I have to admit that your explanation isn’t any more satisfying than Nick’s. Calling his current positions his original positions is a hard case to make historically. You can enforce the laws of the land even if you don’t agree with their merit as policy. That’s why we can have Republican presidents with Democratic Congresses.

    He didn’t change because of the church either. He changed because it was politically convenient to do so based upon what his consultants were telling him about strategies for getting the Repub nomination. That’s by far the easiest answer to swallow. Pure political convenience. He’d been prochoice his entire life, but at the precise moment when it became more expedient to change, he did without batting an eye.

    Converted on abortion because of stem cells? That’s like a life-long atheist converting to Christianity because he found Intelligent Design so compelling.

  146. Ray:

    In response to your no. 139, it is not a double standard. The Mormon religion is unique among major religions in its claim to have a living prophet. I can’t help it if I have less fear of a Protestant receiving revelations from God. The reason I have less fear in that case is that Protestants (for the most part) believe revelation is closed. Mormons, on the other hand, proudly proclaim as a major selling point the existence of a living prophet who continues to guide the Church’s members to this very day.

    As I said before (you may not have seen it), I believe those who were leery of Kennedy taking orders from the pope had a good point. If you read Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical letter “Libertas”, you will see that he condemns some of this country’s founding principles (e.g. that authority to govern comes ultimately from the people). Thus any Catholic who claims to be faithful and obedient could rightfully be accused of not subscribing to some of the basic tenets of our democracy (which I admit I do not).

    There is no double standard if all you are doing is holding members of each faith to the tenets of that faith.

    And it’s not bigotry to do so. As I said previously (not sure if you saw it), bigotry is judging someone’s character and behavior based on attributes, such as skin color, that have nothing to do with character and behavior. But religion has everything to do with character and behavior since religion is *designed* to effect changes in character and behavior.

    You seem to be saying that religion has nothing to do with how anyone would act as president, and therefore we should all ignore it. I think that’s absurd. Religion should have everything to do with how someone would act. If it doesn’t, that only shows that he doesn’t take his religion very seriously.

  147. Kristine, re post 142:

    You write, “you can remain in good standing within the church if you politically support gay marriage, but not if you are a sexually active homosexual.”

    That would be an untenable position for a Catholic to take, though I admit a lot of Catholic politicians do it anyway.

  148. Agellius, I think we are the exact same page with about 90% of this discussion. The only point where we differ is how legitimate we believe the “threat” is of the Mormon prophets and apostles (through real revelation or not) trying to dicate to the President of the United States.

    On everything else, we probably agree. Let’s agree to leave it at that, since 90% agreement is not a bad thing.

  149. Agellius,
    The reason your attitude is bigoted is that you’re judging a people by your conception of what they would do, in spite of factual and asserted evidence to the contrary.

    You’re right that religion has a lot to do with a person’s character, and evaluating that character is an important part of evaluating a potential president (or at least, so I hope). But you insist doggedly that my religious beliefs would obligate me to vote in accordance with prophetic statement. You assert this dispite Harry Reid’s good standing in the church, and dispite Mitt Romney’s (and a number of believers’ on this blog) statement to the contrary. What makes that viewpoint bigoted is that you have taken it upon yourself to tell us what we believe and how we have to act if we subscribe to the beliefs we have. I don’t see how that differs from telling an African American that he or she is less intelligent because of the color of his or her skin, or telling a woman that, because she is emotional (a bigoted opinion itself), she is incapable of being a rational leader.

    In our case, you’re saying we’re disqualified and, if we disagree, we’re liars.

    So yes, religion has plenty to do with how a person would act as president. But the belief that my Mormonness disqualifies me from acting as a competent president, in spite of my assertion and evidence that it does not, is a bigoted opinion. (That’s not to say you would have to vote for me—I can assure you that there are plenty of other reasons why you wouldn’t want me as president, including the fact that electing me within the next few years would violate the Constitution’s age standard.)

  150. Agellius, Kristine’s example is not just for politicians. It is for members, as well. As long as we don’t actively break the basic commandments or encourage others to do so, we can hold just about any personal, political position we choose. Hence, Harry Reid and Orrin Hatch both are active, “faithful” Mormons. Most Mormons do vote Republican, but even among those members there is a *wide* variety of unique political stances and opinions and beliefs.

    That’s a paradigm that is extremely hard for many of our critics to understand and accept, and it goes to the heart of the problem with assuming all Mormons are going to vote and act politically in one uniform way dicated by SLC.

  151. StillConfused says:

    I am worried about who the candidates for this race will end up being. We need some stronger candidates!!

  152. Most Mormons do vote Republican

    Sorry but this is a pet peeve of mine: most American Mormons do vote Republican, but most Mormons aren’t American.

  153. Antonio Parr says:

    If McCain picks Huckabee to be his running mate, please, please, please exhort all of your LDS friends and neighbors to let the “agents of intolerance” who have taken over the Republican Party know that they cannot have it both ways, i.e., disdain for Latter-Day Saints but the automatic right to the LDS vote. We probably need to learn to stand up for ourselves.

  154. (To clarify: it’s not a pet peeve that most Mormons are not Americans; my peeve is that American Mormons so often forget it.) :)

  155. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 151

    So true. If the majority of members now live outside the U.S., you can be sure that most Mormons do NOT vote Republican. (Although there’s a rumor that Ronan is a closet Tory)

  156. “That would be an untenable position for a Catholic to take, though I admit a lot of Catholic politicians do it anyway.”

    And in the early days of the church, you would probably have found much the same attitude within Mormondom. There are still people who feel that it’s improper to be a Democrat if you’re LDS, but they’re few and far between these days. Just about every election the First Presidency comes out with a political neutrality statement that basically says the church doesn’t tell people how to vote, though it encourages them to vote. We really are expected to vote according to our conscience, and while for most that leads to a fairly conservative, Republican political viewpoint, it doesn’t for everyone (myself included–my thinking is of a rather liberal bent).

    If you’re feeling a little picked on in the discussion, it’s only because this is a bit of a sore spot for some of us. We really do want to divest ourselves of the stereotype that we’re all Republicans and that we blindly follow whatever counsel we’re given.

    You seem to be saying that religion has nothing to do with how anyone would act as president, and therefore we should all ignore it. I think that’s absurd. Religion should have everything to do with how someone would act. If it doesn’t, that only shows that he doesn’t take his religion very seriously.

    You’re quite correct in saying someone who doesn’t act in a manner consistent with their religion doesn’t take that religion seriously. That said, it is possible for one to believe and act a certain way and not expect others to do the same. For me, that’s why I am okay with the legalization of certain choices, especially socially, when I would never, ever consider participating myself.

  157. We kick around a lot the idea that most members live outside the US. I know statistically its true.

    But if you look at who and where the active members live we still have a very much US based church.

    maybe in 30-50 years this will be different but now realistically I think I am right

  158. Peter LLC says:

    if you were alive in 1976 I’d be more inclined to agree

    Oh I was alive, barely. It’s a vicarious appreciation.

  159. As I non American Mormon I would vote republican… and yes I vote Tory (federally).

  160. Ray, in response to 147:

    You write, “Let’s agree to leave it at that, since 90% agreement is not a bad thing.”

    The only remaining burr under my saddle is you implying that I’m bigoted. So now am I only 10% bigoted? : )

  161. Sam, in response to 148:

    You write, “But you insist doggedly that my religious beliefs would obligate me to vote in accordance with prophetic statement.”

    If I’m wrong then straighten me out: If the Prophet called you personally and told you that God had given him a direct revelation containing instructions to yourself, you would feel no obligation to obey it? If not, why? Do you not believe that it’s God speaking through the Prophet? If not, then I do indeed have a serious misunderstanding of the Mormon religion. Because I thought the Prophet was supposed to be, you know, a Prophet, and that prophets speak the word of God.

    You write, “In our case, you’re saying we’re disqualified and, if we disagree, we’re liars.” I never said you were disqualified or that you were liars. Maybe you have me confused with somebody else.

    “But the belief that my Mormonness disqualifies me from acting as a competent president, in spite of my assertion and evidence that it does not, is a bigoted opinion.” Well if that’s what makes me bigoted, then that’s a big relief, since I never said that. Phew! : )

    (Did you miss the part where I said I was going to vote for Romney?)

  162. Ray, in response to 149:

    Sorry to have to keep correcting things. : )

    You write, “it goes to the heart of the problem with assuming all Mormons are going to vote and act politically in one uniform way dicated by SLC.”

    I never even suspected that all Mormons would vote uniformly or that all votes would be dictated by SLC. What I thought was that Mormons were the same as Catholics, in that on *moral* issues, we would never vote in favor of something our Church defines as being immoral. Such as so-called gay “marriage”, which does in fact encourage others to break the commandments.

  163. Kristine, in response to 155:

    You write, “If you’re feeling a little picked on in the discussion, it’s only because this is a bit of a sore spot for some of us.”

    I don’t feel picked on, but thank you. Everyone’s been quite civil and I’m enjoying the discussion. Although I wish they’d quit with the “bigot” stuff. : )

    “We really do want to divest ourselves of the stereotype that we’re all Republicans and that we blindly follow whatever counsel we’re given.”

    I think being Republicans is a fine stereotype. We Catholics should be so “unfortunate” as to have people think we uniformly vote Republican. I wish we would. On the other hand, as someone else said, we can’t have the Republicans taking our votes for granted, otherwise they start ignoring the issues that are most important to us.

    But with regard to abortion, all of us should be doing everything possible to outlaw it. I won’t budge on that issue, not one centimeter, and shame on anyone, Catholic or otherwise, who does.

  164. Agellius,

    Thanks for your patience with us. This blog tends to attract mostly people already pretty well steeped in Mormon doctrine and culture, whether they are in the church or out of it. So if we seem a bit like impatient older siblings, just ignore us, and keep on posting. What you don’t already know you’ll pick up on quickly, and even though we sometimes might seem a bit argumentative, we’re mostly harmless. All except maybe Steve.

    If you’re picking up some ambivalence about abortion, bear in mind that the Mormon church has taken no official position on when the spirit enters an embryo/fetus, so abortion, while highly discouraged, and as a general rule disapproved, is allowed in instances of rape, incest, or in cases where the health of the mother is threatened. Even in those cases, spiritual guidance is encouraged to be sought, and abortion under any circumstances is never entered into lightly.

    I’ve appreciated your thoughtful comments.

  165. Kevin:

    Thanks for your kind words.

    I’ve learned something new from you, that the Church takes no position on when the spirit enters an embryo, therefore abortion is sometimes allowed.

    This implies that once the spirit does enter the embryo, it should not be killed because from that moment on it’s a human being. Is that right?

    By the way if anyone doesn’t like this discussion going on here, you are welcome to e-mail me at agellius1@gmail.com.

  166. Agellius,

    Just to clarify a bit as it relates to this thread and our discussion:

    I think just about all of us are “bigoted” to some degree, since differentiating and categorizing people based on both artificial and real, observable distinctions is a natural, human result of the Fall. Hopefully, we are trying to overcome that tendency toward bigotry, but I don’t exclude myself completely from the group that holds some degree of bigotry. I probably should have said that earlier.

    As kevinf pointed out, most of us have had to deal with the basic premise you are presenting in MUCH more vitriolic, vile, crude and nonsensical ways and manifestations than yours. To most of us, mild and “respectful” as it is, it still is the “same old, same old” to some degree. Hence, my own difficulty being as patient as I should be.

    Finally, there is an inherent doctrinal flaw (from a Mormon standpoint) in your example that might be hard for someone outside Mormonism to understand completely. You asked what we would do if the Prophet called us and asked us to do something. Frankly, that very concept is so foreign and unbelievable to most of us, I think, that it simply sounds farcical.

    We believe in stewardship, and, while he has stewardship for the “entire church”, the Prophet doesn’t *exercise* stewardship for individual members. That responsibility rests with the local leaders of those members – in my case, my Bishop, my High Priests’ Group Leader and my Stake President. If I received a call from any apostle or the Prophet giving me personal direction, I probably would die of shock. Also, if my own direct-line, local leaders tried to give me direction in their stewardship about politics, I would listen and do with it as I wish – since that kind of counsel is outside their ecclesiastical stewardship.

    The Book of Mormon places political / legal authority completely outside ecclesiastical authority after the reign of the judges began. Thus, our prophets and apostles being politically neutral and non-coercive in their religious administrative duties is more than just a stance of political convenience; it is part of our scriptural canon. (Kind of like “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s and unto God that which is God’s.)

    For that reason, your theoretical scenario simply doesn’t ring true to many of us. We just can’t fathom the Prophet trying to dictate to the President of the United States, since that type of personal involvement (with an individual member AND with a head of state) simply doesn’t happen in the Church.

  167. Ray, in response to 165:

    You write, “your theoretical scenario simply doesn’t ring true to many of us. We just can’t fathom the Prophet trying to dictate to the President of the United States, since that type of personal involvement (with an individual member AND with a head of state) simply doesn’t happen in the Church.”

    I understand that this may be unheard of and may seem bizarre. But when Joseph Smith first announced his initial revelations, do you think they sounded common and normal? In other words, the foundation of your religion, assuming it is true, consists of some of the most astounding events in the history of the world: God the Father and Jesus Christ appearing bodily to a prophet, who didn’t even know he was a prophet until that moment; and telling him not to join any of the existing Christian churches but rather to start a new one (or restore the original one). And then being directed by an angel to a location in New York state where ancient scriptures engraved on metal plates were buried. And then translating those scriptures, of which the world had never heard, and this by a man with no knowledge of ancient languages whatsoever.

    Now with these incredible events as the basis of your beliefs, I don’t understand how you can think that God giving a revelation to a modern-day Prophet, directed to a Mormon president, is so bizarre and remote as to be nearly impossible.

    You speak of “the Prophet trying to dictate to the President of the United States”, as if the Prophet took it into his head to influence government policy of his own volition; but that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about God giving a revelation to the Prophet, in which case the Prophet, presumably, would feel he must deliver it whether he liked it or not. Joseph Smith may not have liked the idea of challenging the existing Christian churches of his day, but presumably having received the commission from God himself, he felt obliged to carry it out.

    In a way you surprise me, because you seem to be saying that the whole idea of the Prophet receiving revelations that are in any way obligatory to the Mormon faithful, in this day and age, is ridiculous. But if it’s ridiculous, then what’s the use of having a Prophet?

    And again, you say the Prophet would never do this and never do that. But it’s not about what a Prophet would do, it’s about what *God* would do. How can you presume to know how God would go about using his Prophet to carry out his purposes? It may seem ridiculous to you, but so what? Are you God? Perhaps his original plan for Joseph Smith seemed ridiculous to some people too. But he did it anyway, and look how it ended up. What makes you so sure that equally amazing things could not happen today?

    If you’re saying that God has given a revelation in which he guarantees he will never give a prophecy to an American president, through a Prophet of the Church, then that would settle the question. Has there been any such revelation?

  168. Agellius,

    Let me make this crystal clear. The ONLY way that your last comment makes ANY sense is if you are willing to complain about God giving an actual revelation to the Mormon Prophet – if you are willing to argue with God for asking the Mormon Prophet to pass along a revelation to the President of the United States. It ONLY works if you assume God DOES speak to the Mormon Prophet.

    I’m saying I don’t think it will happen. If it does, I will be happy to admit I am wrong. You, however, are implying your concern is IF God actually DOES talk with the Prophet. That’s incredible – simply incredible.

  169. I think Ray doth protest too much. Of course it is a possibility that the prophet may take a position on political issues. The Church has spoken out on gay marriage initiatives, and other political issues and have spent money supporting their point of view.

    The general rule is political neutrality, but they reserve the right to speak out on issues they consider moral. Just because Harry Reid ignores them does not mean that Romney would or should. Yes he could, I admit that.

    However, I could see that Romney, or somebody else, in that position, could say, “I will not let my religion interfere with the best interests of the country.” And in their heart they would believe that what the brethren might say, would be in the best interest of the country. Hence the Church wouldn’t interfere one bit.

  170. “Of course it is a possibility that the prophet may take a position on political issues. The Church has spoken out on gay marriage initiatives, and other political issues and have spent money supporting their point of view.”

    Sigh; I never said the Prophet wouldn’t take a political stand. That would be naivete at its height. I said I can’t imagine him calling the President of the United States and saying, “Hey, President Romney, as the Prophet I am telling you that you need to do this regardless of how you feel about it personally. You know, ’cause I’m the Prophet and you promised to obey me.” (or anything that would give that same message)

  171. MikeInWeHo says:

    re: 163

    Speaking of Steve, where did he go??

    Time for a good ol’ fashioned banning!

  172. Speaking as an outsider, in the sense of being neither American nor a resident of that country, I hope Obama wins the Presidency. Failing that, Clinton. McCain and Romney (in that order) I think, would have been the best options if a Republican had to win. But I’m praying that Huckabee and his bigoted followers don’t find themselves rewarded with the VP.

  173. This issue–how to balance fervent religious belief with civic (political) stewardship–is actually one of the central reasons I support Obama. He articulates it with (IMO) stunning clarity in this speech. I would love to have a president in the White House that shares my political beliefs and also, as Obama eloquently puts it, doesn’t “clap–out of rhythm–with the choir” of the faithful when it’s politically expedient.

  174. I can’t believe I just read this whole thing and Ray has managed to still not answer Agellius’s question. Argh, thats what I get for reading a political post.

  175. So, CNN just announced Mitt will suspend his campaign.

  176. Ray, in response to 167:

    You write, “The ONLY way that your last comment makes ANY sense is if you are willing to complain about God giving an actual revelation to the Mormon Prophet”. Yes but by the same token, the only way your position makes any sense is if you don’t believe that the types of things that happened to Joseph Smith could ever happen again. In which case I wonder what the point is of having a prophet.

    The point I am making, which I thought was clear but maybe it wasn’t, is that believing Mormons have no grounds on which to argue that God would never give a revelation to the Prophet which pertains to the president, despite your continued insistence that it would never happen. Either you must admit that it could happen, however unlikely you personally conceive it to be, or else admit that you don’t have a real prophet.

    I understand that your point is that if God actually does so, I should not mind because being a Christian I would want God’s will to be done. And that’s true, if God actually does I will be all for it. My problem is, that although I don’t believe God has actually given revelation to Mormon prophets in the past, the prophets themselves have asserted that he has, and the Mormon people have believed it and have acted accordingly. So I have no reason to believe that if a future Prophet told a Mormon president that he had received a revelation from God, that president would not believe it and act accordingly, as faithful Mormons have done in the past.

    The only reason such a president would have for not believing and obeying is if he were not a sincere believer in the Mormon religion.

    Before you start beating me with the bigotry stick again, let me protest that I am not saying Mormon prophets are liars. There may be any number of reasons why they may have believed they were receiving genuine prophecies in the past, and why they may believe it again in the future, which don’t necessary involve lying. But yes, they would involve at least mistaken perceptions or apprehensions.

    This does not make me a bigot. If I believe in my own Catholic faith, I simply have no choice but to believe other religions are false insofar as they contradict my own, whether they be Islam, Judaism or Mormonism. So while I must believe that Mohamed was a false prophet, this does not make me bigoted against Muslims. Nor does believing Joseph Smith, or other LDS Prophets, to have been false prophets make me bigoted against Mormons.

    In any case, although I said this was a concern for me initially, that was when the field was still wide open and I was hoping a good Catholic such as Brownback might make a good run. Once the field was reduced to McCain and Romney, I decided Romney was the better candidate, and whatever concerns I had about the religion issue were not so strong as to dissuade me from voting for him. In other words, like you, I considered it only a remote possibility. But unlike you, I admitted that it was a possibility, however remote.

  177. Last comment, Agellius. We now agree on 99% of what we have written. If you want to do so, go back and read what I have said more than once – that I don’t THINK it will happen. I admitted it “could” happen – but ONLY if God really does speak to our Prophet OR if our apostles and Prophet are politically naive enough to try to dictate to the President of the US. I simply don’t see even a remote chance of that happening sans revelation; you do – at least to a very small degree.

    So, we are in 99% agreement – with our own microscopic bigotry providing the difference. :-)

  178. CW, in response to 168:

    You write, “And in their heart they would believe that what the brethren might say, would be in the best interest of the country. Hence the Church wouldn’t interfere one bit.”

    That’s a good point, and it’s as it should be. We elect men to do what they think is best, not just stick their finger in the wind and obey the latest poll numbers.

  179. I need to check and see if my wife has commented recently before I submit comments. #176 obviously was I.

  180. Steve Evans says:

    Agellius, I would say that it’s useless to fret about outlandish hypotheticals, which quite honestly is what you are describing. Anything COULD happen, it’s the responsibility of a smart voter to assess risks and make decisions accordingly. Ray and others have been quite clear in making the case that Romney as a puppet of the Church is an infinitesimally remote probability — so much so that it’s virtually impossible. Why bother continuing to debate the issue, if it has precisely zero real-world relevance?

    ESPECIALLY since he’s no longer a candidate!

  181. Ray (assuming “Mi” is Ray), in response to 176:

    So then your position is not, “we’ve guaranteed that a Prophet would never give a revelation to a U.S. president, so objections to a Mormon presidency are pure bigotry.” It’s actually, “no one should object to a Mormon presidency, because although it’s possible that a Prophet could give a revelation to a U.S. president, we consider it extremely remote, and if it did happen it would be a genuine revelation anyway, so what’s the problem?” : )

    Which by the way I consider a perfectly legitimate position to take.

  182. Yes – since I never used the word “guarantee”. *grin*

  183. oops. Mitt is out. Is that yet another change in position?

  184. Steve, in response to 179:

    What, me fret? For the umpteenth time, I voted for Romney! : )

    I would not have characterized Romney as a puppet of the Church, I only gave him the benefit of the doubt that he is a faithful Mormon. By the same token I am a faithful Catholic and would not call myself a puppet of the Pope. But an obedient son of the Church, I should hope so. And if Romney is obedient, I respect him all the more for it.

    The discussion, as I saw it, was not about Romney in particular but about a Mormon presidency in general.

    In any case, we seem to be done now. Thanks everyone for your courtesy and for letting me have my say.

  185. James Smith says:

    Now that Romney is out, see what prominent Mormons are saying about the election.

  186. Spam somewhere else, James.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,684 other followers