Sunday, December 2, 2007
Mitt Romney is pathetic.
While running for Massachusetts senator in 1994, and then for governor in 2002, Mitt Romney repeatedly announced his firm conviction that abortion had to be kept "safe and legal" in the United States, and vowed to do everything he could to ensure that it did (see here).
Romney even went so far as to reveal that "he became committed to legalized abortion after a relative died during an illegal abortion, and that the abortion made him see 'that regardless of one's beliefs about choice, you would hope it would be safe and legal'." (source: Boston Herald, 10/26/1994).
No wonder, then, that in 2002, he wrote the following in response to a National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) questionnaire:
“I respect and will protect a woman’s right to choose…Women should be free to choose based on their own beliefs, not mine and not the government’s.”
And he responded, in a signed statement, to a 2002 Planned Parenthood questionnaire in this way:
"Do you support the substance of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade? YES
"Do you support state funding of abortion services through Medicaid for low-income women? YES
"In 1998 the FDA approved the first packaging of emergency contraception, also known as the 'morning after pill'. Emergency contraception is a high dose combination of oral contraceptives that if taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, can prevent a pregnancy from occurring. Do you support efforts to increase access to emergency contraception? YES"
(Note that Romney didn't just support abortion - he thought it was fine to forcibly take money from citizens to pay for other people's abortions.)
And believe me, there is a lot more where this all came from...The truth is that Mitt Romney, from 2003 to 2007, was a boldly pro-choice governor. His own running mate, Kerry Healey, noted that there wasn't a "dime's worth of difference" between Romney's abortion position, and that of his NARAL-supported Democratic opponent Shannon O'Brien.
In short, throughout his 2002 campaign for Massachusetts governor and well into his term, Mitt Romney sounded exactly like Barbara Boxer on abortion.
As his term came to a close, however, and Romney began to prepare for his run at the GOP presidential nomination, he suddenly sounded exactly like Jerry Falwell on abortion; and today, at any Romney speech, with the kind of unblinking smile you can see on the face of anyone without a conscience or moral core, you will hear him announce that he is "firmly pro-life".
And you may also hear the story about how he changed his mind. According to Romney, he changed his mind about abortion rights upon hearing that stem cell research, of which he had been an enthusiastic public supporter for years ("I am in favor of stem cell research. I will work and fight for stem cell research"), required the termination of 14 day old embryos. But how could a guy who'd given speeches supporting stem cell research and promised to lobby Bush about it, not have known the most basic thing about it? It's absurd.
Even nuttier is the idea that using a clump of 14 day old stem cells for research moved Romney, whereas 35 years of dismembering and scorching to death tens of millions of fetuses, almost all of whom were well on their way to full viability (and some already beyond it), and then tossing their remains into the trash, never moved him at all. I mean, if that is true, Romney's an awfully weird guy. And if it's not true - well, what am I saying? Of course it's not true. What IS true is that if Romney had decided in 2004 to run for a second term as governor of Massachusetts instead of for the GOP nomination for president, he would still be "firmly pro-choice", and no one would have ever heard his ridiculous conversion story, since there wouldn't have been a "conversion" to begin with. Indeed, the only thing that Romney's career indicates he is truly "converted" to is saying or doing whatever it takes to satisfy a desire for wealth, status, and power. Not even his own religion's longstanding official position against abortion induced him to convert to being pro-life. No - it took his desire for more political power to do that.
Even more embarrassing is that Romney is still flip-flopping on this issue. Specifically, on his website clip and in at least one interview I know of, he says that he believes that states, not courts, should have jurisdiction over abortion. And he specifically objects to a "one size fits all" abortion law for the whole country. Yet just a few days ago during the CNN Republican debate, Romney announced that his preferred solution would NOT be to allow states to handle the issue, but rather, to have Congress make a single law prohibiting abortion except for in extreme cases!
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank sums up Romney this way:
"The real Romney is clearly an extraordinarily ambitious man with no perceivable political principle whatsover. He is the most intellectually dishonest human being in the history of politics.” (http://www.boston.com/partners/worldnow/necn/landingpage.html?clipId=1507003&topVideoCatNo=80780)
Romney must resent this kind of language, but I'm not sure who is more to blame for it than Romney himself. That's just what brazen flip-flopping on matters of life and death, merely for purposes of political expediency, does.