Monday, November 5, 2012

A Glimpse Behind The Bland Mask of Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney could not even contain his rage when he needed his best campaign face for the debates. 
What kind of Commander-in-Chief would he be in tense situations behind closed doors?

More interesting - and infinitely more worrying - was Romney's agitation over what he seemed to think was the implication that he was not a faithful, orthodox Mormon.

Voters concerned that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan might not be able to separate their religious beliefs from their duties as public servants will not be reassured by this video. Romney's uncharacteristic loss of self-control and his anger over being asked anything about his notoriously secretive church rightly rings alarm bells in many Americans' minds.

More interesting and infinitely more worrying was his agitation over what he seemed to think was the implication that he might not be a faithful, orthodox Mormon. The interviewer's questions were attempting to pinpoint how Romney arrived at his various (and variable) opinions on some issues, but Romney seemed fixated on interpreting everything as an attack on his own personal commitment to his religious faith.

Is Mitt Romney afraid of the Mormon Church?
“I have not done anything that in any way violates the principles of my church in that regard. I made other mistakes, but in not that regard...I don’t like coming on the air and having you go after my church,” Romney said. He added, “You’re trying to tell me that I’m not a faithful Mormon...I’m not running to talk about Mormonism,” 

His almost obsessive insistence on the sincerity of his Mormon faith - and the almost childish insistence that he had done nothing wrong in the eyes of his church - suggests an unhealthy level of anxiety around his religious identity - and perhaps even a fear of his church's hierarchy. Is it possible that Mitt Romney has a guilty conscience and is afraid not of the American people but of his own religious sect? Could it be that Romney has refused to reveal his tax history not only because he has contempt for the American people's right to know what kind of man he is, but because he fears what it would reveal to the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints? The rigid authoritarianism of the Mormon Church is similar to many other churches, but the secrecy, wealth and political reach of the LDS hierarchy is unprecedented even in the gods-soaked USA.

“In this instance, Romney used the tax-exempt status of a charity — the Mormon Church, according to a 2007 filing — to defer taxes for more than 15 years,” Bloomberg’s Jesse Drucker explained. “At the same time he is benefitting, the trust will probably leave the church with less than what current law requires.”
Estates lawyer Jonathan Blattmachr told Bloomberg that Romney’s trust benefits from the Mormon church’s exempt status because charities don’t pay capital gains taxes when they make a profit from the sale of assets.
“The main benefit from a charitable remainder trust is the renting from your favorite charity of its exemption from taxation,” Blattmachr said, adding that the charitable contribution “is just a throwaway” and the church would receive little if any financial benefit from the trust.
“I used to structure them so the value dedicated to charity was as close to zero as possible without being zero,” he pointed out.

Forget the United States of America
or even the Christian United States of America. 
How does the Mormon United States of America sound? 
Salt Lake City thinks that has kind of a nice ring to it! 
The downside of denying that the founders had very good reasons for creating a wall of separation between church and state, is that opportunistic groups will always try to use that denial as an opening through which to insert their own theocratic agendas into American society. Romney is running under the banner of the party which has been screaming that there is not/should not be any separation of church and state - largely to serve the theocratic ambitions of the Evangelical Protestant Christian movement - but if he is elected, things might not go quite as his party "base" may be expecting.

I am glad this video is going viral. I hope Mitt Romney's supporters are paying attention to it.

Mitt Romney Mormon Video Goes Viral, Katie Glueck, Politico, November 5, 2012.

“I became intense in confronting what he had said,” Romney said, according to a transcript from CBS. “And we went back and forth. Unbeknownst to me, he had a hidden camera on the console. So this then popped up on the Internet - as our exchange. And I was intense. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t out of control. But I was intense.”
A producer of the show told POLITICO that Romney made those remarks soon after being interviewed by Mickelson, but that the camera in question was in plain sight.
“The next day when that aired, I think it’s a fair word to say that it stung us,” said Ross Peterson, the producer for Mickelson’s show. “We felt that it was dishonest…the camera was absolutely in plain sight, feet from where he was sitting.”

Video revives debate over Mitt Romney's Mormon faith, Peter Wallsten and Jason Horowitz, The Washington Post, November 4, 2012.

The issue came up in the 2007 interview when Mickelson asked Romney why his past support for abortion rights had not violated Mormonism. The question prompted a visibly angry Romney to argue that the church prohibits abortions but does not bar members from supporting the rights of others to make their own choices.
Romney did not point out that he had contended with the political implications of the church’s abortion views in the past. A former aide to Romney from his time as a leader in the Boston church would later recall that Romney had visited Salt Lake City shortly before his 1994 Senate bid, polling in hand, to show members of the church hierarchy that it was impossible to win in Massachusetts without supporting abortion rights. At the time, Romney told the aide, Ron Scott, that he had “left a few bridges burning, or at least smoldering.”

"I was governor four years. I had a number of pieces of legislation that came to my desk that dealt with abortion, abstinence education, RU486 and so forth. I vetoed any bill if it was in favor of choice. I was entirely consistent in favor of "life". So it's not just my word here. Look at my record." Mitt Romney.

1 comment:

  1. Amazing !!! What a volatile character! I'm not running as a MORMON????