Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mutating Mitt

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.” (

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.

Pretty pathetic.

See ya




Melissah said...

I think Tal Bachman has gone Mad, too. I freely admit that I don't have he time to let thoughts form into words, so Im just going to let my impressions spill out:

You just ranted about how our president has no real power, nor do we as american voters, now you try to point your finger accusingly at a GOP "candidate"? so what? Even if he is a loser it would't be the first presidential looser that we had *cough* *hack*

It is understandable that you would criticie an alreay elected President, though we will just support him, but what's the point before we have elected him if you sqelsh our belief in elections.

Perhaps you are falling prey to the idea that any publicity is good publicity, or something like "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink." I don't know just somethig seems fishy about attacking someone for any reason, but I guess that's why people choose to be in the limelight.

Tal said...


I don't know about "limelight" - as far as I can tell, there are like four people reading this blog. But anyway, a couple of points:

1.) The American president does have power - it is just that he does not have the sort of legislative power many people believe him to have;

2.) American voters also have power - just not (legally) the kind that many imagine;

3.) I suggest that if the American system of government is worth having faith in, then it - IT - is worth having faith in, not some fictionalized version which exists only in imagination;

4.) I haven't "attacked" Mitt Romney for "any reason"; I wrote a post suggesting that his "conversion story" is absurd and unbelievable - which by the way, is exactly what nearly everyone already recognizes, including prominent conservative commentators like Rich Lowry and Rammesh Ponnuru - and that Romney's own actions suggest a disturbing lack of moral principle, or self-awareness, or both. If that's what you're looking for in a potential commander-in-chief and president, by all means root for him. I guess I expect guys to have some greater reason for changing profound moral convictions than their own aggrandizement, but maybe you're right, and that is far too much to expect...

anne said...

I find it interesting in hearing and/or reading about the views from persons from countries voicing their opions about who is in office. Not to try to stir the reactions of others but since when is it a bad thing to express discontent with our government when Americans are supposedly free enough to have freedom of speech. I don't necessary think any country should be silenced when they are feeling something is awry with the way any government or monarchy is managed. In American, my forefathers fought for freedom of speech and now to hear anything bad about ridiculous rules and changes in policy (such as raising propery taxes and not raising minimum wage, just as an example) is often deemed unAmerican and can sometimes become subjected to an onslaught of fanatics raging that I would not be supportive our of troups. (Coincidentaly most of my family are in the military and are fighting for the very liberties that are often silenced by the media. I think many politicians, not all, are money hungry publicity seeking elitists who couldn't relate to the common blue collar worker if they sewed name on the shirts themselves.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that you would respect others right to change their mind. Sometimes there are personal reasons as well as political for a change of heart. Must be time to go back to school, with all those opinions and your righteous indignation. Tally when you were a young man I respected your open mind most of all and your ability to overlook your position of privilege as a middle class white male born and bred in North America. I am losing faith. What can you share from the heart....perhaps your music is the best outlet for that. Keep it real. Judi

Melissah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Melissah said...

let me clarify "lime light" though it is somewhat pointless, it will fill sometime while I wit for Heroes to come on NBC.

While I was in Florida Visiting "The Villiages" Mitt Rommney came and visited, He was unable to make any comments because he was heckled so badly. I was upset at first and then it occured to me that People who choose that path have to know that there will be times that no one will listen, and shouts of others will be louder.

My formed theory was then that He had to be aware of the path he chose, and not worry too much about facing the papparatsi as it is a part of life for the politician as is gaurding you comments and tinking before we speak a litte luxry we are allowed is to change our mind without having a press coference to explain the reason for our "Conversion".

I think it is wrong to be shifty and unsettled if you choose to the "the voice" of the public, but Mostly, I'm just glad Mitt has stated an opinion and makes it clear what he intends if elected. IF even nominated. my dad really hates Romney, something about Michigan, but I don't pay close enough attention.

One thing for sure though is that the press cannot be trusted for "News" or an accurate descrition on real things. which is why I was so quick to accept schools as being "drive-by" or agenda-filled.

My brother was recently interviwed by fox News for his Triathalon Website. he and my father shared intresting stories where plagerism and coplete falsehoods were portrayed by the media. My dad told about how he had to go see the horrible riots in Detriot that he "Saw" on the news, so they nust be. Empericle evidence, right?

WRONG! Dad drove all over looking for the riots that were burning the city down. but couldn't find them. Likewise, the fair and ballanced people not only msquoted my brother, but plagerised every point he made in their concise article, bwhat kind of dropout does something like that? without citing a source.

I used to watch C-span alot til my husband told me not to anymore because It only made me upset, then I found a few articles online where Americans figured out that the Goverment lacked integrity. crap. was there ever a question? Corruption naturally follows power, it is a greedy little parasite. Not a suprise, just unmwelcome by those who choose to be idealistic.

Anyway, that concludes my rant on "limelight". not to be confused with "Spotlight" one is direct and enlightening, the other is just for making hand puppet shadows and such

Tal said...

Getting some weird comments here...!

Melissah - do you mean to suggest that Romney answering and personally signing those Planned Parenthood pamphlet somehow constituted a pro-lifer being misrepresented by "the media"? Very silly.

You write also that you're "just glad Mitt has stated an opinion and makes it clear what he intends if elected". One important point, though, as I noted in my original piece, is that he is still waffling on "what he intends if elected". He has stated, for example, both that he intends to allow the states to make their own abortion laws, AND that his ideal is taking the issue out of state hands and letting Congress pass a single abortion law passed for the entire country. If you don't believe me, why not go watch the recent CNN debate and get back to us?

And of course, there is the more specific question of what Romney might do vis-a-vis abortion if it happens to become politically advantageous as president for him to veer towards abortion rights again - say, to win a second term, or to make deals with a Democratic Congress, etc.

Though you decline to acknowledge it, the truth is that Mitt Romney has already given you good reason to wonder just how firmly he would maintain a pro-life position, or any other of his positions, when it is not in his immediate political interest to do so. Could that be any more obvious? Or do actions and history count for nothing at all with you, with only the latest promise mattering?

Anyway, evidently there is nothing that Mitt Romney could do that would raise any alarms for you, so as I said, you probably ought to go ahead and root for him.

Hodyjo Judi -

I'm not sure how "being suspicious of a flip-flopping politician" ever became equal in your mind to "having a closed mind". That's an interesting position.

And by the way, of course there is no problem per se with changing one's mind in light of new information or experience. I'm just not sure that Romney's "change of mind" can be chalked up to anything other than brazen opportunism - and on a matter of such importance, that seems worrying to me.

Melissah said...

Weird is as Weird does. its like a box of chocolates....

Actually I am not a Romney supporter. I am going to look at the things you mentioned and report what I think to my mother who I currently rely on to make decisions that she deems important or me uncapable of making. It is frustrating, true. but rest assured that My comments don't honestly represent my voting stand, it is not yet been formed.

I just want to state for the record that you don't give yourself enough credit. You must now that more than 4 people read and are influenced by your thoughts. It is one lucky way that you have to influence popular opinion, though you've been granted no Legitimte power, my parents have more because they pay the bills and well, they made me. But I do think about what you say, and hope that I didn't give the impression that I adore Romney. I was shocked to view such things and used any means I knew to try to discredit them in my mind, but ultimately I do fall in favor very strongly with change and forgiveness so I do value his current opinion the most and try to forgive the others, but I recognise the flipfloppiness of his nature is as troubling as Hilary Clinton's and it did cause a big scare among voters, here.

I just always think of all the things that I valued and lost, so I don't much care for making someone stick to something if they have exerienced a change of heart. There is a Rascal Flatts song that is very dear to me called "moving on" that mentions that some people mean well, but never allow you to change, how deplorable! I have always been a huge "Dune" fan it states that "without change something sleeps within us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken!" we must be allowed to change and yet we wouldn't like it if laws like gravity or something just changed. and that is why I figured that Politicians must be a different breed who cannot change because our sanity relies on it.
I don'tbuy into the whole idea that we need firm laws because we are weak, or stupid. Mysister triesvery hard to convince me how foolish it is to trust in things I can't see, but I still do it.

One needs to be decisive and firm, to be a good leader. I think Mitt Romney is a good person, but maybe not a good politician, but if he's the best representation of what we've got, so be it. I'm not saying, nor would it matter, that he is the best, but I like decisiveness and his ability to see the need in change, though I think that is something he should've thought about before and not be influenced by whoever he is trying to please. but it was providence that he got to be in the Spotlight so that we could all scrutinise his behavior.

I cannot fully understand all of this Polotical crap anyway. I just know that I need to make the best descision that I can. But, even with all that "rock the vote" nonsense, I do not believe that it really matters. before or after your first point. I did share it with my mother though and I'm sure it influenced her.

My comment makes me think of that video of you and your dad where you play two endings in "Looking out for Number One", and he jokes about you having to get the last note in. Well, I fell like his is but an attempt to get the last word in. Heh, heh.

Melissah said...

I really liked your organiation pattern, it was easy to understand and follow, you're a good leader.

1) no, I am being taken out of context. I just was stating that it is hard to know who to trust. I was not giving the media he sole blame for any of Mitt Romney's inconsistancies.

2)I will rewatch the CNN exerpt, but will not get back and share any of my political opinions o try to argue them.

3)i think I already commented on this one it is a button. My standard answer is that I see the need that mankind has or changing.i also want to look up to someone and expect them to not change. I think it is one of his better traits that he is a good man who has a good well-meaning conscience, though I have no clips or definate proof, that is what I have come to expect of him.

Guinevere said...

Quote: I am going to look at the things you mentioned and report what I think to my mother who I currently rely on to make decisions that she deems important or me uncapable of making...

/end quote

Melissah - I believe you're the same Melissah I used to talk to a few years ago. If so, then hi!

Anyway, I truly hope it's sleep deprivation, and the fact that my sole source of conversation during most days are a 2 and 5 yr old, that made me misunderstand you. Did you just say that you let your mother make your decisions, because she doesn't think you're capable of doing it yourself, and because your parents pay your bills? Do you seriously vote for whichever person THEY think is best?

How are they to know who you vote for, or what you really think? Why let someone else make any kind of decision for you?

If I'm way off in my interpretation, I'm sorry.

Melissah said...

hi Guin!

Yes, its me though the years have not been kind to me, I thank you for pointing out the error of my jdgement. I get my mother's opinion on everything not due to the lack of sleep though I get very little with three young children, but it is due to my obvious poor judgement, and mother's obvious sound judgement. I had a brain infection which caused me some serious side effects, but gladly i'm still alive though I lost part of my brain in a biopsy. and I didn't get to raise my infant son because I was in a coma.

But by agreeing to supervision I am able to ahieve some freedom again. atleast I can walk,talk, and don't have to take drugs or see doctors more. side note: I asked my doctor to describe what exactly thedug was going to do to me. I didn't like his answer so I discontinued it. my mother got upset and set me straight saying that thedoctor went to school for years studing, and I should trust his expert opinion. I stilldon't have uch respet for medicine, but if mom tells me to do it, I will ecause I believe that she has my best interest at heart.

I really admire you and I want to point out that I respect my mother's judgement above my own and freely give her power to shape my perceptions, as every good child does. but I enter the voting booth alone.


Verity said...

If Mitt gets well and truly toppled off his pedestal and discredited, do we get to say he was "Jaredite Barged"...? :P

Who is really surprised that a generations-Mormon like Mitt changes his foundational standpoints? The ONE THING a person should be able to count on is the steadfast nature of the creator of the Universe...and that is the one thing that Mitt has never been able to count on. Mitt's religion has historically changed views whenever politically expedient. Truth is fluid, moral convictions are fluid, what's true now will not be true one hundred years from now. Look at the changes made to the Mormon church in his own lifetime. It's almost like he can't help it. He's like a child raised with extreme prejudice -- absolute pop-eyed bunny in the headlights avowel or rebuttal of a previously-held position is as Mormon as Hie To Kolob.

As much as Mitt seems slicky car-salesman to me, and as much as I can't agree with him on very basic ideas of what "truth" is, and wouldn't trust him even if all he said was "Hello.", his continued success and possible GOP nomination would mean one thing that will make me very happy: that in the factors determining a Presidential candidate, his religion does not matter.

Banna said...

I would like to say first of all that I don't plan on voting for Mitt, given the opportunity, nothing personal, I just don't agree with enough of it all. With that out of the way, the major and completely obvious flaw with this ENTIRE post isn't even the subject matter (abortion), which btw isn't even REALLY the real subject matter (Mitt changing his views to fit his political agenda). The problem is that there is a HUGE number of mature, knowledgable, adult Americans (and Canadians) that experience changes in opinions and views at any given time throughout their lives. I myself have changed my own view on abortion in the past 3 years. Don't call me a 'Mitt'. Relgious & non-religious views, political stances, personal ethics and morals, etc. change ALL OF THE TIME. Life changes people, experience changes people, knowledge changes people, among other things. Sometimes your not lying, your just wrong.

Anonymous said...


I know this is old, but I just discovered your blog and decided to give it a look at since you seem like a genuinely intelligent and thoughtful person.

With that said, I'm downright nauseated by the comments on this page... I'm sorry this handful of Americans turned out to be a bunch of loud-mouths, but, I hope you don't think us all to be that way.

I'll simply say that it doesn't take a self-righteous debate on a stranger's blog to realize what a slimeball Romney is-- you can call him "indecisive" and point red herrings at however many political figures you want, but that doesn't change the fact that this man's incompetence and pride are beyond infuriating. He can't even make up his mind on a basic issue, (and that fact alone makes me not want to vote for him) nevermind the fact that he's obviously under-informed about the issues he so loudly promises to devote himself to...

And, yes, due to the fact that this particular issue has to do with life and death, I have VERY low tolerance and respect of for the man.

- Laura