fresh voices from the front lines of change







I think this says it all:

Mitt Romney suggested in today’s debate that only rich people should run for office, and then quickly celebrated the fact that he’d forced a rival to take out a loan against his house.

Romney said his father, Michigan Governor George Romney, had told him, “Mitt, never get involved in politics if you have to win an election to pay a mortgage.”

“If you find yourself in a position when you can serve, why you ought to have a responsibility to do so if you think you can make a difference,” he recalled his father telling him. “Also, don’t get in politics if your kids are still young because it might turn their heads.”

A few seconds later, he bragged about his run against Teddy Kennedy.

“I was happy he had to take a mortgage out on his house to ultimately defeat me,” he said.

Really darling, if you have to worry about paying bills you have no business running for office. Needing money for your expenses distracts from your real job — delivering for your fellow millionaires.

I watched him last night and he really is bad. (I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch this morning’s yet.) Yes, he’s marginally better than the rest of them, but that’s a comment on them, not him. He doesn’t really say anything, his “passion” is stilted and phony and he’s stiff as a board.

Plus, he really proved last night that he isn’t in touch with the religious right base with his answer on birth control. He acted like it was insane to assume that anyone anywhere would like to ban it and didn’t seem to understand the connection between Griswold and Roe. And that’s just wrong. There’s a whole bunch of social conservatives for whom this is a priority of the first order and his dismissive attitude has to grate. Many of them believe that the pill is an “abortifacient” and believe it should be banned. Still other believe, as Rick Santorum does, that sex must be procreative regardless.

Now, it’s true that the vast majority of Americans don’t agree with this and use birth control without any thoughts to these issues, but Mitt’s still trying to get the votes of the GOP base and I would think that was seen as a slap in the face — a disregard of their very serious beliefs on this issue.

Maybe it won’t matter, but church goers are the foot soldiers in any Republican election. He may have to distance himself from them to appeal to the middle, but it’s odd for him to blatantly insult them in a GOP debate. Frankly, from what I saw, it was a genuine lack of understanding about this, not a political calculation. He’s just not tuned into his base. Which explains why they can’t stand him.

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