Today's Globe has an article entitled Romney is fast rising as a serious contender. In it they claim he's the number two contender for the presidency behind John McCain. This was based largely on a National Journal poll that was released on December 8th.
Among the reasons for his rise cited were the self-destruction of George Allen and Bill Frist, but also his wonderful new conservative credentials:
Now, Romney is widely accepted as a true conservative, to the right of the quirky McCain, by the large GOP punditocracy.
Good for him, he's finally managed to throw off that nasty liberalism of Massachusetts and convince the punditocracy that he's just as bigoted as their favorite sons.
Just one problem...
Between the National Journal's article and today's Globe love-fest the Log Cabin Republicans reared their confused and well-coiffed heads.
First there was a December 8th article in the New York Times. It introduced his 1994 letter (available here as a pdf) to the Log Cabin Republicans and his claim that he'd be a stronger gay rights advocate than Ted Kennedy, who he was running against for Senate at the time.
The religious right doesn't take kindly to such things. From the Times:
“This is quite disturbing,” said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, who had praised Mr. Romney as a champion of traditional values at the group’s conference in late September. “This type of information is going to create a lot of problems for Governor Romney. He is going to have a hard time overcoming this.”
Paul Weyrich, a founder of the modern conservative movement, said: “Unless he comes out with an abject repudiation of this, I think it makes him out to be a hypocrite. And if he totally repudiates this, you have to ask, on what grounds?”
He hasn't repudiated it, of course. He's instead chosen the baffling tactic of claiming that his views haven't changed. Apparently staying the course and looking like a huge liar to everyone is more sensible to him than just saying he had a change of heart. It's worked great for Bush so far, why not try it himself?
The day after the Times article, the Globe itself printed an article entitled New questions on Romney's stance on gays, which dealt with the same issues. It also throws in an added jab at his flip-flopping on abortion issues:
Romney is likely to face similar criticism over his comments on abortion. During the 1994 Senate race, he said, "I believe abortion should be safe and legal." When he ran for governor in 2002, he said he did not support abortion but would "protect the right of a woman to choose" the procedure. In a 2005 Globe op-ed article, he wrote, "I am pro life," and explained to reporters that his position on the issue had evolved.
In a recent posting titled "The Mitt Romney deception" that touches on Romney's gay rights positions, local conservative activist Brian Camenker wrote: "Despite recent statements across the country by Governor Mitt Romney claiming he's pro-life, pro-family and a committed conservative, a broad investigation of his actual statements, actions, and public positions over the years indicates that he has spent his entire career speaking and governing as a liberal."
As a liberal, I have to disagree with the assertion that he's governed as a liberal, but he certainly does say anything he thinks will get him elected. He's pro-gay rights as long as he's talking to gay people. He's pro-choice as long as he's trying to get elected in a heavily pro-choice state. Everyone in Massachusetts already knew he's an abject liar, it's about time the rest of the country caught on.
Today's Globe article ignored all this inconvenient information, of course. Perhaps the reporter was on a bender over the weekend and missed the developments that totally deflate his main point. Good reporting, Globe!
I'll say it again. Romney has no chance in the presidential election. I just hope he stays in the race, because it's just plain fun watching him flail his way to defeat.