Would you vote for Mitt Romney? Poll

America just might have a Mormon candidate for President. Would you vote for him?

It’s an interesting question. Do we want to be in this kind of spotlight?


  1. Nick Literski says:

    Wait a minute…your “poll” choices are either “Yes,” or “I hate all mormons”??? Why does one need to “hate all mormons” in order to oppose Mitt Romney’s potential candidacy? I don’t care whether he’s LDS, Buddhist, Episcopalian, or Atheist. I care about his positions on the issues, and whether he would uphold the Constitution of the United States. His performance as Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts demonstrates that he will seek to circumvent constitutional rights (in this case, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as interpreted by the highest court in that commonwealth) if they happen to conflict with his religious ideology. If he cannot be trusted to uphold constitutional rights on the commonwealth level, he certainly shouldn’t be trusted to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

  2. cantinflas says:

    I would rather see the results of this poll from a DAMU blog, an Evangelical Christian blog and a Catholic blog. Anyone know where those are posted, or have acquaintances that could post them for that demo?

  3. Nick, I see that humor is not lost on you.

  4. D. Fletcher says:


  5. Nick, see that’s why I keep going third party ;)

  6. Well, if you people don’t want to vote for Mitt, then why not vote “no” in the poll?? Chickens.

  7. D. Fletcher says:

    Thanks for the epithet, Steve. I seem to be getting them from all quarters today.

    I wouldn’t vote for Mitt, but that doesn’t mean I hate all Mormons.


  8. I was interested when he seemed more moderate. I do not think that he will advance any of my political principle. However, I do think that he has shown a thoughful and skillful ability to work with a democratic legislature. Since the democrats will be running the show in Congress by then, he would be my favorite Republican option.

  9. I’m still nervous about him and want to learn more but he seems better than anyone else running on either party. (Although Biden would be my vote for a Democrat over Hilary)

  10. I will not be voting for Mitt Romney because he supports the use of legalized torture on anyone and everyone the president deems an “enemy combatant,” whether American or foreign. Frankly, I had higher expectations from a man of God.

  11. And please fix your poll. I vote no on Mitt Romney, but that does not mean I hate all Mormons…..just conservative ones ;)

  12. I liked Mitt a lot more before he started kissing up to the evangelicals. I have a feeling its going to be painful to watch him courting the religious right (opposite godless whoremongering GOP frontrunners like Giuliani). I’m picturing Brother Romney on 700 Club amen-ing Pat Robertson… Ewwww.

    (Of course, we’re gonna get it on the left too: Hillary kicking up her heels with a gospel choir in a black church…)

  13. Steve, keep the poll just like it is. It’s definitely true that anybody who doesn’t vote for Mitt hates all Mormons. (I wonder if anybody will understand that such a statement is tongue in cheek).

  14. No, I wouldn’t vote for Mitt, having lived with him as governor for awhile. I guess I hate the Mormons then. Boy, church is going to be awkward this Sunday.

  15. Shameless plug: right now, Romney is on the ideal trajectory to win the Republican nomination. As long as he is the most likely alternative to John McCain, right wing evangelicals such as Pat Robertson will be supporting Romney.

  16. Where’s the Cleveland Wrecking Co. when we need someone to smash Nick’s one-string banjo?

    The fact is that proposing a constitutional amendment is not a failure to uphold the constitution. The Massachusetts constitution, like the U.S. constitution, provides a mechanism for amending it. And proposing, encouraging, politicking for, and working all out to amend the constitution cannot be unconstitutional, else why would the document itself allow for amendments.

    If you don’t agree with Gov. Romney’s position on the Goodridge decision, fine. But don’t pretend that a different position is a failure to “uphold the constitution.” It’s simply a failure to agree with Nick and four justices of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. I don’t think Governor Romney swore an oath to agree with them.

  17. Last Lemming says:

    Unlike Nick, I find nothing outrageous about a governor (or president) seeking to amend his state’s (or the federal) constitution through prescribed means. Like Dan, however, I do find something outrageous in supporting Bush’s position on “alternative techniques.” My previously open mind on the subject of Romney has, therefore, now closed.

  18. Kelly! Long time no talk. :)

    Are you still in Virginia?

    Personally I thought Romney did a decent job as governor of a very liberal state. His problem in becoming the Republican candidate for president is that he has to court the vile Christian Right. Does he realize that he will have a hard time explaining himself in 2008 when he tries to act all moderate for the things he says he supports now?

  19. D. Fletcher says:

    Yes, we get that the poll is tongue-in-cheek. But then, we were called chickens.

  20. Well I have yet to vote. I know it is tongue-in-cheek, but something about “hate all Mormons” just doesn’t sound like something I want to attribute to myself…..

  21. If Mitt gets the nomination which looks unlikely to me he would probably enjoy about 70- 80% of the LDS vote like past GOP candidates which would be of little value to him cause we are to small to really matter in the current Blue state red state divide.

    Lets say Harry R. is the 08 Dem candidate. I would wager money that he would get less then 50% of the LDS vote.

    Could Mitt get thru the primaries is the biggest question.

  22. Nick Literski says:

    Nobody is arguing that it is unconstitutional to seek a constitutional amendment, so why don’t we just avoid setting up strawmen?

    Office holders of Romney’s level are sworn to uphold their respective constitutions to which they are beholden. Part of that duty involves protecting the constitutional rights of citizens—not just those you happen to agree with, but all citizens. If the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachussetts (I believe that is their official title) has interpreted the constitution of their commonwealth as guaranteeing certain rights to citizens, then Romney’s duty is to protect and uphold those rights—not seek to eliminate those rights.

    Why is it so hard for people to see past their own noses? Why don’t they realize that the moment we seek to limit or eliminate another person’s rights, we theraten our OWN rights?

  23. I’m troubled by Romney’s wholesale adoption of George Bush’s war on terrorism propaganda. He either needs to distance himself from George Bush on the use of torture and on the Iraq War, or I will not support in in any primary or general election–Mormon or not. In fact, as a Mormon he should KNOW BETTER!

  24. I can’t say I’d be against Mitt, but, after this month’s article on Hillary Clinton, he’s a second choice at best.

  25. Sorry–this month’s article on Hillary in The Atlantic Monthly.

  26. greenfrog says:

    The polling option seems to be closed to me. Hm. not sure what that portends.

    But, anyway, No on Romney.

  27. cj douglass says:

    67%?! I must be at the wrong blog.

  28. Eugene V. Debs says:

    Anyone for “Mormons Against Mitt?” Not necessary right now, of course, but if the Republicans pick him…

  29. No

  30. I will only vote for Mitt if he supports torture.

    Wait…this just in:

    “I am foursquare behind the president on this”

    That does it for me–count me in!

  31. LOL. I was hoping that a Mormons Against Mitt site would start up somewhere. Not because I’d support it, but because Mormons somewhere have to respond to this Evangelicals For Mitt site.

    Did someone say “torture”? I fully support torture.

  32. Guy, I think you will find that whomever the candidates of both parties are, both will support limited torture of Al Queda leaders for information about planned attacks on America. I think you’ll find that as soon as one person said they’d not abide torture in any fashion that they’d lose the election.

    So faulting Romney for this is kind of pointless (IMO).

    I can understand those making this their deciding issue. But I don’t think it’ll go anywhere.

  33. So faulting Romney for this is kind of pointless

    I’ll let my boys speak for themselves.


    “We do not believe we should change the Geneva Conventions that we have adhered to for 57 years,” he said. “I hold no brief for Al Qaeda. No.”

    “What is this all about?” he continued. “It’s all about the United States of America and what is going to happen to Americans who are taken prisoner in future wars.”

    Mitt Romney:

    We have different views on McCain-Feingold, differing views on immigration policy, differing views on the interrogation of terrorists.

  34. You just don’t get it, do you Nick?

    If the executive believes that the court got it wrong, he has every right to attempt to change that, through further litigation (if there is a higher court to which appeal can be made) or by amending the constitution. To suggest that either course is a breach of his oath to preserve and protect the constitution is arrant nonsense.

    Besides, Gov. Romney has seen to it that the marriage license clerks have followed the law, even if he (or they) have to hold their noses while doing so.

  35. Clark: What Peter said to a degree–though even McCain caved in to this abhorrent law.

    Perhaps then, I will be left without a “popular” presidential candidate to support in ’08. But I cannot get my soul around the idea “limited torture” or anyone Al Queda or not. Nor, can I condone perpetuating the disaster in Iraq one day longer. Like I said . . . as a Mormon Romney should “know better.”

  36. Guy, your name link is taking people to the old blogspot addy. You may need to get that cookie fixed so that it goes to the wordpress.com site.

  37. cj douglass says:

    I still say that hating mormons is a far better reason to not vote for Mitt than what his views are on torture.

  38. danithew . . .thanks!

  39. Here is a good reason to vote for Romney:

    It is inevitable that he will be compared to Hitler. I’m already looking forward to the protest signs depicting somebody who takes the sacrament with me on Sunday wearing a brown shirt, a swaztika, and a Hitler style booger broom and the words DOWN WITH MITTLER!

  40. Ages ago, I wrote this. The upshot: a Mormon president (if he was hated like Bush) might not be a good thing for Mormons.

  41. Good point Ronan. I’m not at all convinced Romney will be good for Mormons. But that doesn’t mean that cost means I ought not vote for him.

    Regarding McCain, as I said, I think the torture issue will bite him and (along with a lot else) probably keep him from the nomination. I don’t dispute people will run saying they’re against torture. I just don’t think the people who will win the nomination of either party will espouse that.

  42. There will be a number of candidates against torture. Otherwise, they will not survive the Democratic primary.

    Ronan, foreigner do not hate every American president like Bush. True, there is some envy that makes American presidents the subject of suspicion but people hate Bush because he is arrogant, incompetent, and corrupt.

    Should Romney appeal to the so-called Christian right then he will find it difficult to mend the relations with the rest of the world. Internationally, being Mormon is not necessarily a challenge. If you hang out with people that villify evolution and sex education and want to force other people’s children to pray then you are in trouble.

  43. Which means that being against torture has become a sign of being fringe or extreme. This disgusts me.

  44. HP,
    If you DON’T TORTURE, the TERRORISTS WILL KILL YOU ALL. What don’t you get?

  45. it

  46. To hate torture, you have to hate Jack Bauer.

  47. Nick Literski says:

    Mark #34,
    If I understand correctly what you are saying, you feel that it is consistent with an oath to uphold the Constitution to seek to amend the same. We don’t disagree there at all. I don’t fail to “get” that issue. I never argued otherwise.

    Since you are consistently misunderstanding me, let me try to communicate my point more clearly. It is the role of the judiciary, and not the executive, to interpret the law. In this case, the commonwealth’s highest court did just that, and found that certain rights existed under the commonwealth’s constitution.

    I suspect we would both agree that the role of a constitution is to define and restrict the power of government, rather than to restrict the rights of individuals. In this particular instance, Romney seeks to amend that constitution in a way which would restrict the existing rights of certain individuals—rights that the highest court in his commonwealth have found to exist under their constitution.

    This isn’t about whether you or I, or even Mitt Romney, agree with the court. If the highest court in Massachussetts says that the commonwealth’s constitution guarantees a particular right, it becomes Romney’s sworn duty to *uphold* that right, because he has sworn an oath to uphold the constitution of the commonwealth. It is entirely inconsistent to claim to uphold a constitution, while at the same time fighting to *eliminate* certain rights found therein. Even without an oath such as that taken by Romney, one’s personal religious convictions are simply not a proper basis upon which to essentially seek the *overthrow* of a portion of the constitution, by amendment or otherwise.

    I certainly don’t insist that you agree with me, Mark, but I do hope this at least helps you to better understand my position.

  48. That’s right. If you hate torture you have to hate Jack Bauer. You also have to hate Jack Ryan. That is un-American and cannot be tolerated.

    [Actually I’m not sure if Jack Ryan ever tortured anyone. But one of his loyal good buddies knows just how to break a finger and move the bones around until the terrorist screams and tells everything.]

  49. If I like Jack Bauer, can I still hate mormons?

  50. Independent says:

    I’m an independent. I think MR (or McCain) would be a tremendous improvement over Cheney, but I’ll be voting Democrat to voice my disapproval of the last six years.

  51. Nick,

    I usually agree with you and, as noted above, I do not plan to vote for Romney if he gets the nomination. But I am still not sure I understand your position about Romney and that state’s constitution.

    Let me change the scenario to see if I understand your position. The Supreme Court of the United States has interpreted our Constitution to protect the right to abortion. Would it violate the President’s duty to support the Constitution if he or she (1) argued in subsequent cases that Roe v. Wade was wrong and should be overruled, or (2) advocated a constitutional amendment overturning Roe v. Wade?

  52. Look, torture is a red herring issue. Can we move on to something more actually pertinent, like Mitt’s hair?

  53. D. Fletcher says:

    Mitt is hot! That’s partly why I’m not voting for him. Ugly presidents do better.

  54. Alright Steve. I can get serious if asked to do so.

    But first a question. Can Mormon-hair exist as a separate principle or is it part of the whole Mormon-face package?

    We all know that having Mormon-face helped John Roberts get to the Supreme Court … so now we have to see if it will get Mitt Romney the presidency.

    The forces of chaos and order in the universe are not allowing me to link this comment at BCC: to a post at Millennial Star. Interesting. Very interesting indeed.

  55. Greg,


    To hate torture, you have to hate Jack Bauer.

    Then I hate Jack Bauer.

  56. Steve . . .what about Mrs. Mitt?

  57. She is eclipsed in the matted Mitt.

  58. a random cougar says:

    I was all about Mitt when his main tenet was balancing the budget and having the best hair. Having seen a dynamic Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth finally came to Provo), I must say that the former-VP has won my love for 2008.

  59. a random cougar says:

    I was all about Mitt when his main tenets were balancing the budget and having the best hair. Having seen a dynamic Al Gore (An Inconvenient Truth finally came to Provo), I must say that the former-VP has won my love for 2008.

  60. Guy, did you want to vote for her?

  61. Nick Literski says:

    David #51,
    Thank you for giving me a chance to clarify. I would not find it troublesome for an elected official to present new arguments to the court in an effort to convince the court to overrule itself. In my mind, that sort of action respects the distinct roles of the judiciary vs. the executive.

    Your second question falls more in line with what I am saying, but I would hasten to point out that abortion is a very different issue. Those who oppose elective abortion naturally point to the competing rights of the unborn fetus, and feel a governmental responsibility to protect those rights (rights which, incidentally, the Supreme Court was hesitant to find, not being certain when human “life” begins). The civil rights which Romney seeks to eliminate involve conduct between two consenting adults, which is a very different scenario. I am more sympathetic toward a politician who is seeking to protect perceived rights that the court *didn’t* recognize, than I am toward a politician who wishes to eradicate rights which the court *did* recognize.

    I still stand by the idea that an elected official’s oath to uphold a constitution is compromised (“violated” may be a strong word in some cases) if he/she seeks to eliminate rights which exist under that constitution. That said, subjects like abortion, which actually involve arguable “competing” rights, are much more complex in my mind.

    Clear as mud? :-)

  62. Voting for a person is idiocy. You’re voting for one of the three branches of government (four if you count the media). The winner makes hundreds of political appointments, many that last much longer than four years in office. What’s your philosophy of how government should operate? Which party reflects that philosophy? Nobody wins the nomination for their party without tons of baggage and ethical compromise. Punch the card for your party and hope your chad doesn’t hang.

  63. Thanks Nick. Futher clarification. Suppose the Supreme Court found that the right to privacy included the right to use and distribute narcotics (marijuana, heroin, etc…). Would it compromise the official’s oath if he or she sought to have the Court overrule that decision, or advocated the amendment of the Constitution to allow Congress to prohibit and/or regulate the sale or use of such narcotics?

  64. I think the reading through the comments on this post and the squabble over torture is torture.

  65. Sorry Doc, but you’re wrong. It’s actually cyber-waterboarding. We can hold your comments in moderation indefinitely without trial while we do this to you.

  66. Thomas Parkin says:

    I think a Romney nomination would be horrible for Mormons and I hope to heaven it doesn’t happen.

    I, for one, do not look forward to doing my part trying to counter the reams and reams of misinformation that will – totally without any malice – enter the collective consciousness. Ugh … just plain ugh.


  67. Nick Literski says:

    As I said, I have no problem with an elected official presenting new arguments to the court in an effort to persuade the court to overrule itself. I think you can take that as a blanket statement on my part.

    As for the rest of your question, you’ve presented another situation where the exercise of one person’s rights may or will infringe upon the rights of another. As I noted, I am more sympathetic where “competing” rights are involved, especially where an official is attempting to protect the unrecognized or unprotected rights of a relatively powerless person or group.

    The right which Romney wishes to eradicate involves fully consensual behavior between adults, and cannot be said to infringe upon the rights of others without some *serious* twisting of reason.

  68. “Mitt is hot! That’s partly why I’m not voting for him. Ugly presidents do better.”

    Yeah look at old sweaty, Richard Nixon…

  69. I would like to support Romney. Unfortunately, he’s had to pander too much to the right-wing base of his party (read: evangelical Christians) to get my moderate vote. I think his natural inclination is to be a moderate on issues such as immigration, the Geneva Convention and stem-cell research. Unfortunately, he hasn’t stuck to what got him elected in Massachusetts. While that may give him a good shot at the nomination, he’s going to have to do an awful lot of back-pedaling to get himself elected by a moderate U.S. populace in the general election.

  70. Did he follow Bush on stem cells? I hadn’t heard that. Immigration is a hard one since I think a lot of what some want to do is simply unworkable and a waste of money. I actually take a position to the Geneva conventions more on par with Clinton of all things.

  71. Let me twist this back into a sustaining fantasy:

    Bishop: “All those in favor of Brother Smith as Gospel Doctrine teacher over Brother Young, please make manifest.”

    [Ward clerk counts hands.]

    Bishop: “All those in favor of Brother Young as Gospel Doctrine teacher over Brother Smith, please make manifest.”

    [Ward clerk counts hands.]

    etc. …

  72. Clark, Wolf Blitzer interviewed Romney on 10/17/06. Romney essentially adopted Bush’s stem cell position:

    ROMNEY: Well, when I was elected governor, I said that I didn’t support abortion, but I wouldn’t change the laws in Massachusetts. And people said, well, that is effectively pro-choice. I didn’t argue with them. I didn’t take the label pro-choice. But I did take the label pro-life, following the debate associated with stem cell research.

    I sat into my office. And a provost of Harvard University and the head of stem cell research came in and said: Governor, this isn’t a moral issue, because we kill the embryo after 14 days.

    And that struck me as being a — just a blow to the gut, because I recognized that we had so cheapened the value of human life, through the Roe v. Wade mentality, that I could no longer stand on the sidelines, if you will. I had to take sides.

    And I call myself firmly pro-life.

    BLITZER: So, you oppose embryonic stem cell research?

    ROMNEY: Well, I favor using existing lines, as does the president, and using surplus embryos from in vitro fertilization. Those provide plenty of lines, as well what Dr. Hurlbut of Stanford describes as altered-state nuclear transfer, which is a type of embryonic development without actually creating a human embryo.

    But I do not favor, if you will, what is known as embryo farming, taking donor sperm, donor eggs, putting them together in the laboratory, and creating new embryos.

  73. hmm I wonder how Mitt’s stance on stem cell would play in the political arena and in the arena vs. Orrin’s well known support for stem cell research.

    Orrin Hatch once said something to the effect of “being pro-life to me means improving the quality of life for people with degenerative diseases.”

    I’m in agreement with Senator Hatch.

  74. One of the few issues where I think Hatch was principled and right on the issue.

    I’m surprised about Romney on that. One more reason to be skeptical of him. Sadly there aren’t a whole lot of choices on either side of the isle.

  75. Looks like the Good Lord’s inspired leaders have pretty well been used up. Now we are stuck with the dregs at the bottom of the pot.

  76. I used to say that Romney was the best of the GOP candidates. But, like others here, I can no longer say that after he stated his position on torture. He’s just wrong, period.

    I expect to vote Democratic in ’08. But I have yet to find a Democrat I can get excited about. I’ve been impressed by Barack Obama, but I don’t think he has the necessary experience.

  77. Yes, I could vote for Romney. A lot of Utah conservatives are skeptical of his pro-life conversion, though. They consider him a moderate, and they distrust moderates. I’ll be watching what he says about Roe v Wade, since I want a pro-life president – someone who will give us more Alitos and Scalias on the court.

    Romney seems to understand the war against radical Islamists, but I hope he keeps an open mind on our options in Iraq. Staying the Course would be easier if we knew what the course was.

    Two people here in Utah who have worked either for or with McCain describe him as borderline psychotic. I wouldn’t make much of that if they hadn’t both said it independently. It hasn’t seemed to affect his performance as a Senator, though. He is as self-absorbed and useless as any other multi-term Senator. They should rename it the House of Lords.

    Having a Mormon in a conspicuous public role is risky, but Romney’s answers to questions about his faith have been very good so far. It could deflate the fear-mongering of the antis.


  78. statspolice says:

    But does he get his home teaching and temple attendance done every month? If he’s not fulfilling his Priesthood Duty, I cannot bring myself to support his candidacy, as HT slackers cannot bask in the light of the Spirit’s inspiration.

  79. This just in. Rumors of Romney operatives conspiring with Church leaders to promote his candidacy. Note the source.


  80. The Romney/Church connection story, reprinted in the Deseret News, is met by this disclaimer from the Church:


  81. Re: comment 78: You appear to be joking, but it raises an interesting issue. A friend of mine who was in the high priests group leadership when Mitt lived in Park City during the 02 Olympics says that Mitt actually came up to him the first Sunday he was in the ward and volunteered for home teaching, temple and other service assignments, even though these weren’t things that put Mitt in the limelight. Mitt was previously a stake president in Boston, but that Park City anecdote impressed me because it shows he really is committed to living the gospel. Per my comment 69, however, I still can’t vote for him.

  82. Where to begin. Voting for Mitt? Yes I am. And frankly, I am quite disturbed by some of the comments that I’ve been reading. I have taken notes and will quickly comment:

    #50, I would tell you to have a look at #62. I think it dangerous for anyone to use their franchise to vote as a tool to ‘get back at’ or ‘show their disgust for’ the previous administration. An election cycle is exactly that…a time not to look back, but a time to consider what is to come and then to decide which of the candidates best fits your picture of the future. Voting against Romney simply because you dislike the current administration is proposterous.

    #53, while this sounds a bit absurd, there is ample evidence to suggest that at the end of the day, many Americans look at an election much like they do American Idol. History shows that we are inclined to vote for the taller, thinner, more attractive man. Kennedy beat out a much shorter and older and tired Nixon. A movie star, Reagan, was able to beat out a sitting president. Bush 41 beat a much shorter Dukakis. Clinton is self explanitory. Bush 43 might be the anomaly:) Mitt, like Reagan and the others, seems to fit the bill!

    #58, There is no doubt that Al Gore is posturing for another run at the office he and Kerry have both dreamed of having their entire lives. He finally has a platform and is sticking to principles. In the end, like all of the others, he will no doubt have to do a fair bit of pandering to the base and the middle which is always a bit of a high wire ballace act, but I think he will be Hillary’s greatest threat. And your comments hint at what was mentioned above. Gore is seemingly more in control and more comfortable…thus more electable.

    #66 and others, an old mantra comes to mind: any PR is good PR. Mitt is supposedly an upstanding Mormon and has beed in his fair share of elections and made it through alive. If there were any skeletons in his closet, Massachusetts would have found them. He will have to answer for the church and yes, many of us might cringe a time or two, but I think there is no better stage in which to open eyes to what Mormons are really all about.

    #69, Many of you have noted that you are inclined to change your vote because of Romney’s recent pandering to the right. Folks, whether we like it or not, that is what an American two party system requires. No, I don’t like it, but it is a reality if he is going to win the primary. Hillary is doing her best to pander to the middle and Mitt will do that as well, but only after he has convinced that he is a better option than McCain or the others. This behavior of a candidate is by no means a reason to change your vote. All candidates are guilty.

    #74, Is there not room or time for Romney to change his opinion on stem cell research? Since when is any candidate beholden to one view? With further research and prodding by interests groups, I wouldn’t be surprised if his view doesn’t change.

    While we are still a long way out from November 2008, I think that Romney stands the biggest chance of getting the GOP nomination. Many think McCain or Guiliani, but neither one of those can rally the base. Mitt’s only real competition will be in George Allen of Virginia. Romney has a decent record in Massachusetts (even if it is probably true that he wouldn’t have won reelection). His work with healthcare should play well with moderates and Democrats. He has everything one needs to get the nomination while the others, who are arguably more popular at the moment, do not. My prediction is that it will be Romney and either Clinton or Gore in the final election. Many Dems think the current political tide will continue and end up puting Hillary in the office. They may be right. But if there is someone that can stop her, I think its Romney.

  83. Re: comment 82: Very well thought out comments. Nevertheless, many of us are still naive enough to want a candidate who says what he means and means what he says, especially if he is good Mormon boy like Mitt. I accept what Mitt tells me he believes, and I will vote against him because of it.

  84. Skip,

    I’m assuming now, but if you even considered voting for Romney, you must be either a republican or right leaning moderate. By not voting for him, you are voting for someone else. Will that someone else be a better alternative to Romney, with whom you only slightly disagree? In other words, are we all to throw the baby out with the bathwater simply because of one or two things? That sounds awfully idealistic and frightening. I happen to think that it is unwise to base a voting decision on one or two variables, ie gun control, abortion, terrorism, education. While each party has their various points on each issue which is important, it is the big picture that we are voting for, not one issue.

  85. The Church’s statement is deliciously vague:

    “In light of articles appearing in the media, we reaffirm the position of neutrality taken by the Church, and affirm the long-standing policy that no member occupying an official position in any organization of the Church is authorized to speak in behalf of the Church concerning the Church’s stand on political issues.”

    None of what transpired equates with someone speaking “in behalf” of the church.

  86. 82,

    Voting against Romney because one dislikes the current administration is not preposterous when he has positioned himself as a champion of many of its worst excesses.

    I would be surprised if, not unlike Kerry and Gore, he hadn’t also “dreamed his entire life” of a presidential run; his father was a candidate, after all. I would hardly hold this against him or anyone else, since however much they wish to appear as a modern-day Cincinnatus, probably all serious candidates have had such longstanding dreams.

    With buffoons like George Allen and Bill Frist self-destructing, Romney may benefit, but he won’t get the vote of people like me who believe we need a volte-face where church/state issues are concerned, not just slightly less extreme pandering to the religious right. Or that our foreign policy requires more clever diplomacy, not just a slightly less incompetent, slightly less cowboyish unilateralism.

    Of the Republicans, the only one I am interested in now is Chuck Hagel, whose pronouncements have the benefit of being based on reality.

    What I would really like to see is an independent run by Michael Bloomberg, who has been a much better mayor than Giuliani, and who is more interested in whether or not his policies work, than if they fit into a preconceived ideology.

  87. From #72:

    ROMNEY: Well, when I was elected governor, I said that I didn’t support abortion, but I wouldn’t change the laws in Massachusetts. And people said, well, that is effectively pro-choice. I didn’t argue with them. I didn’t take the label pro-choice. But I did take the label pro-life

    I sat into my office. And a provost of Harvard University and the head of stem cell research came in and said: Governor, this isn’t a moral issue, because we kill the embryo after 14 days.

    And that struck me as being a — just a blow to the gut, because I recognized that we had so cheapened the value of human life, through the Roe v. Wade mentality, that I could no longer stand on the sidelines, if you will. I had to take sides.

    And I call myself firmly pro-life.

    From April 29, 2005 Boston Globe:

    Governor Mitt Romney yesterday filed a long-awaited bill to reinstate the death penalty in Massachusetts for deadly acts of terrorism, killing sprees, murders involving torture, and the killing of law enforcement authorities.

    Romney called [the bill] ”a model for the nation” and the ”gold standard” for capital punishment legislation

    Does the right to life end with birth? Answer with your vote for Romney in 2008!

  88. “he won’t get the vote of people like me who believe we need a volte-face where church/state issues are concerned, not just slightly less extreme pandering to the religious right.”

    I like the idea, but again I feel it is a bit idealistic. Both parties pander in the extreme to their bases at the detriment to sound policy. Do we reward Hillary Clinton simply because we don’t like the previous administration’s pandering or what we think is extreme pandering by Romney? What of her own inability to stand on principle and not waiver in the face of her constituency? As one eluded to earlier, I can’t wait to see Hillary in the pulpits of the black Southern Baptist churchs. I have a hard time sometimes distinguishing between the two parties when it comes to church/state.

  89. Aaron Brown says:

    Can anyone think of a more tired, silly, easily dismissible assertion from the political left than the old chestnut about opposition to abortion and support for capital punishment being somehow inconsistent with each other? I know I can’t.

    Aaron B

  90. Aaron Brown says:

    Nick Literski,

    Why don’t you just say “I favor gay marriage, and I oppose any nominee who doesn’t share my view on this subject”? This would be more succinct and less tortured than your argument above, and it would, I suspect, pretty accurately sum up your views.

    If I’m reading you correctly, you claim to believe that the act of constitutional amendment, per se, is fine and dandy, but not if the amendment strives to overturn a judicially-recognized individual right. (Except when the right could arguably be understood to infringe on the right of some other party). But even if I am sympathetic with your libertarian sensibilities (I am), and even if I grant, for the sake of argument, that the no-harm principle you espouse is applicable in the gay marriage context (debatable), why does any of this have constitutional implications? How is it that your libertarian policy preferences mandate a particular theory concerning when a governor can legitimately try to amend a constitution, and when he must only try to persuade a court to change its views, but go no farther (huh?)?

    Furthermore, putting aside the question of why the legitimacy of a governor’s quest to pass an amendment should turn on this technical distinction, I am skeptical that you, or anyone, would really consistently apply this philosophy in all circumstances. Do you really believe that any and all court-recognized individual “rights” are, per se, in a special sacred category such that a public servant’s oath to uphold the constitution necessarily commits him to leave such rights inviolate? Are court-recognized individual “rights” always, by definition, a sacred thing? That seems to be your premise, and I have no idea why. Surely you can imagine some scenario where a court might purport to recognize a “right” that shouldn’t really exist.

    It seems to me you want to dress up your policy preference as some sort of principled stand for a particular theory of constitutional and political legitimacy, but I’m not buying it. I think you just support gay marriage, and don’t like the fact that Mitt doesn’t. Not that there’s anything wrong with that …

    Aaron B

  91. Aaron Brown says:

    Mormonism is still terribly misunderstood by most Americans. Thus, if Mitt Romney is elected president, his every action will have a profound impact on how many Americans view the Church, for better or for worse. In this day and age, any President is likely to he loathed by a substantial portion of the electorate. Whatever issue Mitt gets loathed for is likely to become inextricably intertwined with people’s perceptions of Mormonism. The Church probably stands to lose quite a bit as a result, unless it and Mitt can very successfully make people understand that they are at arms length. I am not optimistic. At least not this morning at 5:27 am. Ask me again tomorrow.

    Aaron B

  92. Prudence McPrude says:

    Of course I would vote for Mitt. Why would you even ask? Only with a fellow Churchmember holding the reins of power will I be able to implement my long-awaited theo-political project to ban all coffee and tea in the promised land. America will be purged of all its Starbucks and other similar dens of sin and filth. Round up the latte-addicts and put them in camps, I say.

    Free agency is not freedom to make wrong choices.

    Thank you.

    P.S. Caffeinated soft drinks will also be anathema in my preferred utopian regime.

  93. PMcP: does that include decafe cafinated soft drinks?

  94. Prudence McPrude says:

    Yes and no. I am open to lesser sanctions being applied in the case of non-caffeinated beverages. After all, it is caffeine which ranks as one of the Devil’s favorite tools, as we all know from modern revelation. However, those who imbibe uncaffeinated colas are not valiantly striving to avoid the appearance of evil, and for that they should still be punished. I’d probably support a public lashing. Or perhaps a scarlet “C” branded on the left buttock or forehead.

  95. I think I understood you the first time, Nick, and I still do. And you’re still wrong.

    On two counts:

    First, Governor Romney has complied with the Supreme Judical Court’s ruling in Goodridge. Thus he has fulfilled and is fulfilling his oath to uphold the constitution.

    Second, the court is no more capable of interpreting the constitution than is either of the other branches of government in Massachusetts. And if either the legislature or the executive believes that the court has got it wrong, it may attempt to amend the constitution to “change” the court’s decision. To suggest that either the legislature or the executive cannot do that because of their constitutional oath is ridiculous.

  96. Left Buttock umm . . . Prudence you savage you! ;-)

  97. Can anyone think of a more tired, silly, easily dismissible assertion from the political left than the old chestnut about opposition to abortion and support for capital punishment being somehow inconsistent with each other? I know I can’t.

    How about my assertions from the political right (where I am comfortably at home on most issues) that the inherent, no-holds-barred-for-any-reason-even-to-improve-quality-of-life-for-existing-humans value of human life ought to extend past birth?

  98. No way in, uh, outer darkness.

  99. Nick Literski says:

    Aaron #90,
    Thanks for your thoughts. I think you have some very good points.

    It would not be accurate for me to say I oppose any candidate who disagrees with my position on equal marriage rights. I recently helped to re-elect Gerry Alexander, a Washington Supreme Court justice who was part of the 5-4 majority in ruling against gay marriage. In other rulings, however, he has shown willingness to recognize equal rights, and he was very much preferable over his challenger—a right wing extremist who would make many Utahns blush.

    While I don’t think it is your intention, your comments suggest that my views on civil rights are entirely self-interested. This is not the case. I believe that in order for a constitution to work, we have to be willing to respect the rights of others to do that which we personally disapprove of. When I was an active member of the LDS church living in Nauvoo, I was asked if something could be done to ban critics of the church from passing out their literature on city sidewalks. My not-so-welcome response was that I viewed such actions as a wonderful thing, because they were evidence that our federal constitution still works. Joseph Smith spoke of how he was just as ready to fight and die for a Methodist’s right to worship as he/she saw fit, as he was for a Mormon. I believe in that principle.

    I recognize your point about consistently applying the thoughts I expressed. We are human, and as humans, none of us are very good at consistent application of our principles. We can play a “what if” game, and I guarantee we will come up with circumstances where our individual philosophies don’t seem to rightly apply.

    Do I think that all “court-recognized” rights are “sacred?” In general, I have to say yes. Your rights don’t end at my line of approval, nor vice versa. If anything, I believe our courts have fallen short of recognizing certain rights, such as in the polygamy case of U.S. v. Reynolds. For me, government is about *protecting* rights. Therefore, the only time government should be *eliminating* rights, is when the exercise of those rights necessarily infringes upon the rights or safety of others. I believe plural marriage should be legal between consenting adults, for example. On the other hand, I do not believe it should be legal for young teenage girls to be “given” into plural marriages, as they cannot consent.

    I hope, Aaron, that you will continue making your good points. On the other hand, I hope that you will avoid trivializing my views by accusing me of “dressing up” my favor toward marriage equality. The principles I believe in go beyond that single issue.

  100. Nick Literski says:

    Mark #95,
    Let’s leave aside, for the moment, whether or not Romney is compromising his oath by seeking to eliminate the basic civil rights of a minority, as they have been recognized by his commonwealth’s highest court.

    I honestly find it surprising that you so openly reject the separation of powers, as well as the system of checks and balances. The question isn’t whether some right wing pundit thinks he’s “equally capable” of interpreting the law. Our system of government assigns that task to the judiciary.

    Now, I understand what you are saying about the right of the legislative and executive branches to attempt to change the law. In fact, the recent Washington Supreme Court decision, finding specifically that Washington’s version of DOMA was not in violation of the state constitution, openly urged the state legislature to change or repeal the law, signalling that the justices themselves were uncomfortable with the moral implications of the ruling they felt compelled to make.

    Notice the difference, however. The Washington Supreme Court urged the legislature to change the law in a way which would protect individual civil rights. Romney, on the other hand, wishes to change the law in a way which would *eliminate* individual civil rights. If you could see past your individual disdain for the specific issue, I suspect you would agree with me on which of these parties is acting in the spirit and meaning of what a “constitution” is all about.

  101. cantinflas says:


    It sounds like in the race for Washington Supreme Court justice, gay marriage wasn’t a factor in deciding which candidate to support, since neither candidate would support it. In this light it seems a little disingneuous to use that race and your support of Justice Alexander as an example of your impartiality.

  102. Nick Literski says:

    I see what you’re saying, and I would have to agree. My intention (which I obviously didn’t communicate well) was simply to point out that contrary to Aaron’s supposition, I did indeed support a candidate who disagreed with my position. I saw it as supporting the lesser of two “evils,” but you’re right—I didn’t have the option of supporting a candidate who DID agree with me.

  103. Nick,

    If you will allow the same “basic civil right” argument to the slaveholder in Dred Scott, and argue that Lincoln and congressional Republicans were wrong for opposing the court’s decision granting that basic civil right, then I’ll accept your argument that a member of the legislature or the executive cannot, consistent with his oath to uphold the constitution, propose or urge the passage of an amendment which would change the decision of the supreme court in Goodridge.

    Your statement that our system of government “assigns” to the courts the task of being ultimate arbiters of the meaning of the constitution is wrong. The task wasn’t assigned to them–they arrogated it to themselves. See Marbury v. Madison.

    Ultimately, the final arbiters of what the constitution means, and what the government can and cannot do, are the people. See, U.S. Constitution, Art. V. See also, Declaration of Independence. Whatever natural law arguments you want to make in favor of any constitutional right, that right is ultimately subject to limitation or change or abolition by the people.

    I have no idea what you mean when you refer to “what a ‘constitution’ is all about.” The constitution is much more “about” establishing a republican form of government, where the government acts with the consent of those governed, than about granting to a small group of unelected judges the right to rule over us. And I’d be willing to wager quite a pile of money–more than I’ll ever see–that the men who wrote the constitution, or the amendments that the Goodridge court relied on, were not thinking of sexual intercourse (of whatever kind) when they talked of equal protection of the laws. (In that regard, Dred Scott is on firmer ground–there may in fact have been those among the framers of the U.S. Constitution whose opinions about “Negroes” were the same as Roger Taney’s.)

    Nobody by his oath of office is stripped of his right, as one of the people, to propose or urge the amendment of the constitution to change a decision by the supreme court. Governor Romney has executed the laws of Massachusetts, as interpreted by the Supreme Judicial Court. Thus far he has kept his oath. And he may, consistent with that oath, do all he can to urge an amendment to the constitution on whatever matter he desires.

    Of course, the Governor could have followed Andrew Jackson’s lead. After the Supreme Court decision in Worcester v. Georgia, he reportedly said: “John Marshall has made his decision. Now let him enforce it.” And it was never enforced.

  104. Nick Literski says:

    What’s all this nonsense about “granting to a small group of unelected judges the right to rule over us?” I’m always amused when people make such comments about the judiciary. This claim, along with the hackneyed “activist judges” epithet, are simply codewords, meaning “those nasty ol’ judges didn’t rule the way my politics said they should!”

    The idea that “the people” (presumably by majority vote?) are the ultimate interpreters of the Constitution is not only inane, but truly dangerous. Such a philosophy, if actually carried out, would relegate civil rights to the stone age, Mark. To allow the majority to determine the rights of the minority is tyranny, plain and simple. Of course, right wing pundits and extremists can’t quite wrap their heads around that—they like to scream about *their* rights needing protection, but they are the *first* to fight against the rights of anyone they disagree with.

    You keep harping about whether Romney has a “right” to seek an amendment to the Massachussetts constitution. Nobody here has said he doesn’t, Mark! This is where you keep getting confused.

    When an elected official, who is sworn to uphold a constitution, actively seeks to *eliminate* rights which are guaranteed in that constitution, he/she may be acting within their rights as a citizen. In doing so, however, he/she simply cannot say in good faith that they are *upholding* that constitution. For all your shouting about what the “founding fathers” did or did not anticipate, they would be the first to condemn the bigots who now seek to twist the constitution into a mere tool to enforce religious opinions.

  105. Nick,

    It may well be tyranny for the majority to determine what rights the minority has, but you have yet to show me anything in the Constitution that prevents it.

    You seem to be hung up on what you think the Constitution should mean. I’m simply telling you what it says.

    Article V permits amendment of the Constitution. A 2/3 majority of both houses of Congress, or a convention called at the request of 2/3 of the legislatures of the states, may propose amendments to the constitution, which then may be ratified by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states, or by conventions in 3/4 of the states. Such an amendment could repeal the entire bill of rights, make Scientology the state religion of the U.S., and establish a hereditary monarchy and peerage. You and I may not like it, but there’s nothing in the constitution that would forbid it.

    You seem to have ignored my question about the rights “guaranteed” in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by Roger Taney in Dred Scott, so I believe I’ll ignore your rant about the supposed right that the Goodridge court discovered. I suppose your ignoring the question means that you in fact don’t have a neutral basis for your argument that a state executive cannot urge a constitutional amendment that would change a court decision. (I will grant you, however, one thing: your argument is novel.)

    Guessing what about modern politics the founders would have been most aghast about is an interesting parlor game. My entry is: the relegation of so much decision-making to unelected judges. You see, they had just fought a revolution so they could rid themselves of an unelected King, an unelected (at least by the colonists) Parliament, unelected governors (in most of the colonies, unelected upper houses in legislatures (again, in most of the colonies), unelected judges (remember what the Intolerable Acts said about certain trials of colonials?) and so on.

    And I didn’t realize I was shouting. I guess I’ll have to turn off the CapsLock key.

  106. Prudence McPrude says:


    I think there are inconsistencies in your position that you’re simply not seeing. You talk as if the court’s recognition (or invention) of a “right” magically makes it a right that is “guaranteed in that constitution.” But that sort of begs some important questions, doesn’t it? And you’ve elsewhere suggested that you don’t have a problem with attempts to amend the constitution to reverse Roe v. Wade, for example, because there are, at least arguably, countervailing “rights” at issue (i.e., rights of the fetus). But why should the Goodridge decision be constitutionally sacrosanct just because it fits your libertarian philosophy, while Roe shouldn’t be, just because it arguably doesn’t. Are individual rights recognized by courts sacred, or aren’t they?

    Look, I have libertarian sympathies, and I understand that some try to read the constitution as if it enshrines those sympathies. But even if I grant this enshrining, for the sake of argument, I don’t see why trying to constitutionally amend a gay marriage ruling is a “failure to uphold,” while trying to amend Roe would not be. Either you think a court’s decision should be beyond reproach (or amendment) or you don’t. The legitimate exercise of the respective powers of the executive and judicial branches should not turn on whether Nick Literski happens to think the “right” in question is legitimate or not.

    Also, I was not supposing that you would or would not support certain sorts of candidates. I hadn’t even thought about the question. I am simply trying to make sense of the way you want to treat certain judicial recognitions of individual “rights” as sacrosanct, and others as potentially worthy of being overturned.

    Aaron B

  107. Aaron Brown says:

    Drats! Outed again!

    Aaron B

  108. Nick Literski says:

    Mark, I ignored your comment on the Dred Scott decision, because it has long since been overruled, so the point is irrelevant. Further, using it as an example is entirely outside the scenario I described as failure to “uphold” a constitution.

    What I don’t understand, Mark, is why you insist upon mischaracterizing my comments, despite my repeated clarifications. In your last post, you claim that my argument is “that a state executive cannot urge a constitutional amendment that would change a court decision.” Mark, I never made such an argument. What I *did* argue, is that when he or she does so, specifically in an effort to *eliminate* one or more recognized rights under that constitution, *then* he or she is no longer “upholding” that constitution.

    Let’s take an example that I believe you are familiar with. Recently, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania ruled that Stan Shepp could teach his daughter about plural marriage, despite the objections of the custodial mother. Suppose for a moment that they had ruled against Stan, instead. I would have no problem with the governor of Pennsylvania urging that Stan *should* have that right, and promoting an amendment to the state constitution which would guarantee him that right.

    Of course, the court ruled in Stan’s favor. Now, suppose that the governor of Pennsylvania was outraged, and believed according to his own religion that Stan should *not* have the right to teach his daughter about plural marriage. Suppose that based on that religious opinion, the governor of Pennsylvania sought a constitutional amendment that would *remove* that right from Stan. In my opinion (and no, you don’t have to agree with me, Mark), the moment the governor sought such an amendment, he or she would become a *threat* to the constitution of Pennsylvania, rather than “upholding” it.

    Any official who would seek to *remove* the rights of men and women is unworthy of trust. If the official uses his or her personal religious views as an excuse for such near-treasonous conduct, he/she is no better than the Osama Bin Ladens of the world.

    If Romney wants to be the first “Mormon” president of the United States, it would be far better for him to look to the example of Joseph Smith, who vigorously *defended* the rights of others to disagree with him, and proclaimed himself as ready to die for a Methodist’s rights as any Mormon’s.

  109. Aaron, only Tom Cruise gets outed online more than you.

  110. Nick Literski says:

    Aaron, if you assume that I disagree with Roe v. Wade, you assume incorrectly. I’ve read the full decision, and frankly, it’s well-reasoned for a secular decision that avoided getting caught up in (varying) religious opinions. I can sympathize with those who oppose the decision, however, because it fails to acknowledge rights on the part of the fetus (because the Court couldn’t pretend to know for certain when “human life” begins). I can understand that a public official would feel obligated to defend the rights of the powerless–in this case, the fetus—from being infringed upon by the rights of the mother. I can respect that approach, whether I agree with it or not.

    Conversely, I think it’s a far stretch to suggest that a marriage ceremony between two gay men does anything to infringe upon the rights of others. In Massachussetts, the highest court has interpreted the commonwealth’s constitution as guaranteeing the right of homosexuals to marry a person of their own sex. Because the exercise of that right goes contrary to his own religious convictions, Romney seeks to *eliminate* that existing right. Unlike in the abortion example, however, Romney isn’t acting in a way that protects anyone else’s rights from infringement. He is left without a real justification, and is essentially declaring war on the constitution he is sworn to uphold.

    I really don’t know how to make it any more clear to you, Aaron. I hope that this time, you can understand where I’m coming from, instead of simply concluding that I’m “dressing up” my own political opinion on a single issue.

  111. Nick,

    I’ll let Aaron’s comment 106 be the last word for me on this.

    And I’ll bite my tongue on all the caustic rejoinders I’m thinking of.

  112. Keith #84, like I said before, you are persuasive. I am a Democrat that leans right on social issues and left on peace and war issues. There aren’t very many of us around any more. I’ll try to keep an open mind on Mitt.

    Aaron #89, I am opposed to abortion along the lines of the LDS Church’s limited exceptions policy and I support Sen. Hatch’s position on stem-cell research. I also oppose the death penalty. My position is somewhat aligned with the Catholic Church (though more liberal than the Catholic Church’s official abortion policy). Since abortion involves taking an innocent “fetus-life” and the death penalty involves taking a usually (though sometimes not) guilty “real-life killer”, is that why you believe it is not inconsistent to be pro-life on abortion and pro-death penalty? In other words, a probable killer is less worthy of being kept alive than an innocent fetus? While I disagree with that argument, I don’t think it’s entirely illogical. I do believe, however, that it is more logicially consistent to be pro-life on both ends of the spectrum, even given the differences described above. Do you disagree?

  113. An interesting discussion. Unfortunatly our written constitution has become what ever 5 members of the unelected supreme court decide it is. Following Thomas Jeffersons lead in the Declaration, I hold that rights are God given. They are not bequeathed by Judges, Executives or Legislators. The role of the courts as envisioned by the founders was to interpret the laws not make them. Very much along the lines of Justice Scalias thinking. Otherwise why did our founders even make a mechanisim for amending the Constitution?

    Prior to Roe V. Wade Court confirmations in the U.S. Senate were based on Qualifications to serve not political philosophy. That was the case until in the 1980’s when one political party turned one nominees name into a verb. Ever heard of “Borking” a judge? The confirmation process has since been turned into a circus by both parties. The reason is because of the politcal power we have bequeathed on the unelected branch of Government.

    As for Governments right to determine who marries who, I believe we have had 218 years of the Federal Constitution being silent on this issue. Unfortunatley the Judges have made it an issue and the Executives, Legislatures, and the people are responding in the only way they can under our form of Government. By overrulling the judges with laws and constitutional amendments. Governor Romney is in no way violating any oath of office to advocate for what he sees as a protection of the sanctity of marriage.

    The Book of Mormon is quite clear who corrupted the laws and caused the downfall of the Nephite nation. It was the lawyers and the Judges. Unfortunately History seems to be repeating itself.

    As for Romney’s chances I believe he will have to continue to pander to the right if he wants to secure the nomination and he will then move back to the center. Unfortunatley thats the nature of Presidential Politics. If Romney secures the nomination the LDS Church will be under and enormous microscope of a media that is not to friendly to religious people of any persuasion.

  114. Third party rules!

  115. Nick Literski says:

    So if you believe that all rights are “God-given,” how do you propose to determine which rights deity has “given?” Should the rights of all citizens be judged by *your* particular religion’s view of what deity allows?

    Though it’s a bizarre paradox when compared with common American LDS political views, the Mormon doctrine of agency seems to include a pretty large bundle of “rights.” The deity of Mormonism “allows” mankind to exercise complete freedom to choose their actions, with certain consequences naturally following from those choices. Funny, but Mormonism also shows an example of a prominent individual who wanted to *enforce* the commands of deity in such a way as to make sure all mankind acted accordingly—perhaps you know who that individual was?

  116. Nick,

    I am confident that you can see how this sentence:

    Should the rights of all citizens be judged by *your* particular religion’s view of what deity allows?

    completely undercuts all your arguments in favor of the outcome in Goodridge. Hoist on your own petard, my boy!

    And, the agency argument will get you nowhere, or everywhere. Should we allow some bigot his agency to harass or kill persons who are exercising their “rights” under Goodridge? We don’t want to force anybody to make the right choice!

    Though it’s a bizarre paradox when compared with common American LDS political views, the Mormon doctrine of agency seems to include a pretty large bundle of “rights.” The deity of Mormonism “allows” mankind to exercise complete freedom to choose their actions, with certain consequences naturally following from those choices. Funny, but Mormonism also shows an example of a prominent individual who wanted to *enforce* the commands of deity in such a way as to make sure all mankind acted accordingly—perhaps you know who that individual was?

    Comment by Nick Literski — October 21, 2006 @ 8:44 am

    Leave a comment

  117. OOPS!

    I copied and pasted too much, and forgot to delete. Everything after the second full paragraph is there by mistake. Ignore it.

  118. Nick,
    Government by its very nature is the use of Force. Therefore governments role should be limited to protecting individuals from the violation of basic “Human Rights” as defined in the Declaration and the bill of rights. At the federal level, particularly, the founders believed governments role should be very limited. Consequently we have article 10 of the bill of rights limiting the Federal role to those enumerated in the constitution. Unfortunately during the 20th Century This amendment has been completly ignored.

    As for my version of deity’s bequeathing rights as opposed to someone elses version of deity doing the same, I say as long as anyones version of diety’s rights does not violate the rights as agreed upon in the basic founding documents of our nation I can live with and next to them.

    Fortunately our founders did their best to give us an agreed upon framework that codified what they considered to be basic human rights. I believe they did a pretty good job given the nature of their challenge. Unfortunately because of the economics of the day and the “Judges” ruling in “Dred Scott” and others we allowed man to continue to enslave man. This was an obvious violation of basic human rights, allowed and endorsed by the unelected Judges.

    It took the bloodiest war in our history to forever change this basic violation of the Black mans rights. And this war gave us the “Civil War” Amendments. I suppose we may have had a Civil war sooner than the 1850’s if the Judges had ruled otherwise.

    Unless their is a violation of the basic human rights outlined in our founding documents Government has no right to intervene. Therefore each man can have his version of deity and the rights they deem to receive from them.

    You are absolutely right about force. No one should be forced to live acording to my diety’s version of law. Unless that version is in conformance with the basic agreed upon limited “Human Rights” of the founding documents.

  119. Nick Literski says:

    Mark #116,
    I asked whether the rights of all people should be judged by *your* particular religious views of what deity approves. I guess your “confidence” is misplaced, because I’m not the one advocating that *your* rights be limited by the requirements of *my* religious beliefs.

    Your slippery-slope argument about killing others is, of course, the very silliness used by the Supreme Court in denying the right of Mormons to practice their religion in U.S. v. Reynolds. The problem (or should I say, one problem) with your application is that harassment or killing necessarily infringes upon the rights of the person being harassed or killed. You would be hard pressed to argue that your rights are being violated if I happen to marry another gay man.

  120. Nick Literski says:

    I appreciate your comments, and I’m not sure we disagree at all in what you said. The only question comes down to what each of us considers “basic human rights,” I suppose. I would argue that the right to marry the consenting adult of your choice is one of those “basic human rights.” It has been recognized as such for heterosexuals repeatedly. All I ask is that the same right be respected equally to all persons, rather than being denied to a minority on the basis of religious opinion.

  121. In a threadjack, It was announced today that Obama may run for President. I have to say, I really like him and would vote for him even over Romney.

  122. Nick Literski says:

    I’m with you, Matt. I would be delighted to see Obama on the ballot. My only hesitancy is his relative youth and experience level, both of which may make him more suitable as a vice presidential nominee.

    Of course, I have this nagging suspicion that the republicans would find a way to capitalize on how “Obama” sounds close to “Osama.” Ugh.

  123. I bet there are a lot of Republicans that would also be delighted to see Obama on the ballot.

    Served several years in the Illinois State Senate, won election to the U.S. Senate against a guy who was certifiably nuts (Alan Keyes), showed no evidence that he’s done much in his two years in the Senate: is this the best the Democrats can come up with?

  124. C’mon Mark B., if what a candidate has actually done mattered to the American people, how did Bush get elected…..TWICE?

  125. Al Gore and John Kerry, respectively.

    How else can you explain it?

  126. touche

  127. why not put Gordon B. on the ballot. Brothe Joseph thought he could hack it!

  128. Who would be his running mate? Thomas S. or James E.? Maybe he could win the Utah primary, (Pat Robertson did come in second in Iowa, after all), but I doubt if the rest of the country would be ready for a centenarian in the Oval Office.

  129. Judy Brooks says:

    I’ve seen Mitt Romney lie.
    I don’t believe a person who takes over businesses that are struggling and sells them off to others for a great profit can really be an honest person.
    He’s arrogent.
    I feel sorry for his wife.

  130. Judy, what’s wrong with taking over businesses that are struggling and selling them to others (besides the Richard Gere-esque quality, that is)?

    What was the lie you saw him tell?

    Why do you think he is arrogant?

    Why do you feel sorry for his wife?

    I’m sorry, but there is very little to your comment that I can really accept at face value.