Sunday, February 25, 2007

Howler of the week if not the year: in his kick-off television ad for his almost two year long presidential campaign, Mitt Romney is actually having himself described as "the Republican governor who turned around a Democratic state." This ad is playing frequently right here in Massachusetts, from whose governorship Romney actually suffered the political equivalent of being ridden out of town on a rail.

Voters, the legislature and the Judiciary in this state put into law and into practice everything Romney loathed, same-sex marriage at the forefront. He was such political poison that he was required to stay completely away from his Lieutenant Governor's run for governor in the last election until the very end, and then watched her go down to a humiliating defeat. The state became more Democratic and less conservative-friendly than ever when every candidate Romney DID get to endorse went down to defeat. So what's with these people? They apparently think we have no memory, no ability to think for oursel . . . oh, right, America elected Bozo to a second term.

There was a delightful item on CBS news today. As Romney moves around the country campaigning, the media did some research, uncovering the fact that Mr. "Marriage-is-one-man-and-one-woman" had a great-great grandfather with twelve wives and a great-grandfather with five. While he was governor here in Massachusetts, the press generally gave Romney a pass on polygamy in the family. Why is it so important that this issue become better known?

Romney has made the cornerstone of his anti-gay campaign "the 3000 year (sometimes it's the 4000 year, he's not quite sure of which) recorded history of marriage" as being between one man and one woman. During that lengthy history, polygamy flourished in many cultures (Biblical King Solomon maintained a large harem) and there was an approximately 600 year history of Christianity performing union ceremonies for same-sex couples (see John Boswell: Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe). Romney is ignorant of, or actively suppresses these documented facts. He needs to be called on his hypocrisy, and his family's advocacy for polygamy into the 20th century needs to be pointed out to the Baptist majority in the hierarchy of the Republican Party. They're already very suspicious of Mormons (considering Mormonism a cult, not a Christian religion) and, while I object to religion ever being a part of politics or government, ANYTHING that can be done to stop Romney's presidential ambitions must be done in my opinion.

Here's the history: Great-grandfather Miles Park Romney married wife #5 in 1897, a little over six years AFTER the Mormon Church itself banned polygamy and more than thirty years AFTER the United States government banned it by law and told Utah that it would not be admitted to the Union if polygamy was allowed to continue. Great-great grandfather Parley Pratt was the one with the harem of twelve; his preacher brother Orson declared polygamy to be a direct revelation from God. It has been pointed out that the Romney family as a whole retained the practice of polygamy longer and made it more important within the family than a great many other Mormons. The tradition of polygamy among Romneys was only broken by Mitt's grandfather.

A number of splinter sects of the Church of Latter Day Saints still engage in polygamy and there have been scuffles with the law over that fact, but the practice goes on.

It was also announced that the family of the late Senator Strom Thermond has released records and documents showing that the Senator's ancestors once owned the family of Rev. Al Sharpton. Think about that one for a minute--it's a real mind-boggler

We had a low-key but accomplishful weekend. Saturday morning we took in a home show at Rockingham Park race track in Salem, New Hampshire. We stayed about an hour, managing to get a lot of info and business cards for things we'll need for the new house, especially sheds and gazebos (one of each I want as outbuildings to the main house); solar powered exterior lighting; kitchen cabinets; and Solatube skylights, small clear bubbles placed on your roof with highly reflective pipe ducts that flood interior spaces with natural sun- or moonlight. I have no doubt we'll be doing business with this company since Fritz developed an instant case of the hots for the cute young president/CEO, spending the rest of the weekend suggesting yet more and more places in the house that desperately need natural light brought in through these devices.

Saturday night we caught up with the movie "Cold Mountain" via DVD. Fritz doesn't like violence in his movies and there certainly was a lot of it in "Cold Mountain." I focused more, I think, on the visual beauty of a lot of it, and the coming together of two women to form and maintain a new family structure during the fratricidal chaos of the American Civil War.

Signs of spring: I was leaving Fritz's this afternoon our attention was caught by a lot of movement on the ground at the feet of the huge old maple trees that surround the Center and its parking lot on the north and east. Not one or two, but a large flock of robins was checking out the grub and worm life among the damp autumn leaves on the floor of the woods. A woodpecker was working one of the dead branches. Fritz commented that as it was a very warm afternoon and the nights are below freezing, meaning that it's time to tap the trees for maple sap. We agreed to get the boiler out of the barn next weekend and begin to make syrup.

This came from a friend of ours. It's a billboard in New Zealand, and is offered without further comment.

As usual, a thought provoking post! Love the billboard!

Having grown up with the politics of Louisiana as my education - I get surprised by so little of what politicians do - in LA the right hand NEVER knew what the left hand was doing and a good politician was one who could successfully convince you as to why his brother killing his sister in law was a justifiable murder... well, maybe not but CLOSE!

Romney sounds a bit bizarre for even mid america (please!)

those solartubes sound great! hope you don't punch too many holes in your roof though as tempting as it may be ;o
I love the Solatube skylights idea. And Chris & I keep commenting to each other about the weather and spring. Hasn't the weather been great?
This is extremely rude but have you noticed the family resemblences to the former governor?

Regardless, I may be pessimistic but this man has an excellent chance of making progress in the Republican primaries and should not be dismissed. This guy is in it to win and will do anything possible to ensure that, including jeopardizing the health of his wife.
Greg, I agree entirely. He's ruthless, changes his positions to suit the particular political contest or area he's targeting, lies through his teeth and is extremely dangerous. I don't dismiss him at all. My fear is that complacency or confusion in the electorate will assist his advancement.
I'm glad to hear you agree Will. I also think that his wife is even more ruthless than he even with her health problems. I don't trust her.

Hopefully McCain or Guliani can keep their momentum. They are certainly not my choices for president but they are far more desirable that Mitt.
clarification - my source says Miles Park Romney was a great-gradfather. Mitt's grandfather was Gaskell Romney who appears not to have been a polygamist.

If my source is incorrect, PLEASE clarify.

Thanks, Greg--I went back to my source article, an Associated Press report picked up by the ABC News site and discovered that you are absolutely correct--I omitted a great before grandfather for Miles Park Romney. I probably did this while taking written notes. I appreciate your letting me know and by the time you read this, the missing great should be in place.
I arrived in MA at the tail end of Romney's debacle of an administration. What always amazes me is that he is running a presidential campaign based on how much he hated the state (and people) that he governed. Jerk.
Great billboard. Can I get that in a t-shirt?
i've heard of this billboard; two matters were most striking; #1 was the arguments against were mostly that Bush is a Godly man who would NEVER go to hell and
#2 it was taken down on a tech problem.

Thanks for the information on Romney. The homophobic right never ceases to amaze in its bizarreness! But you're right about not discounting or trivializing the threat he poses. Here in Italy we have the divorced and allegedly sexually promiscuous Mr.Berlusconi who has the total support of the Church.

BTW, be careful in using Boswell's book as evidence. As a former medievalist, I was not particularly convinced by his arguments and his work has not been generally accepted. Will, we have a very good case in terms of social justice against the Church. We don't neet to bolster it with shakey historical evidence. It would, of course, be nice if Boswell's claims were true, but I'm afraid it's all a bit unconvincing.
I haven't seen those ads at all. Amazing how he can twist his failures in Massachusetts to be successes for the rest of the country.

I always did find it hypocritical about him complaining about marriage rules being changed NOW after his own family has a history of non-traditional marriage.
PLEASE remember that this guy is smart. He will gain momentum and could very well shape the race for 2008.

He will tell you and he already is that he has been married to the same person for 40 years and to only that person.

BEWARE of him. He is more dangerous than George W Bush.
"They apparently think we have no memory, no ability to think for oursel . . . oh, right, America elected Bozo to a second term."

In the U.S.'s defense, I think 2004 was still a little too close to the fear of 9/11 for people to think strai...err, properly about what was going on. And typically, while Democrats are seen as good for equality, historically Republicans have been the party of safety and security - this usually in cases in which safety and security are actually in question and not ploys to gain power.

However, for Mr. Romney's blindness at what became of the state of Mass., I can't really think what could cause it, except for the new brand of sickness called Bushitis, in which politicians don't connect what they do and their policies with the real world around them.
But, J.P. I think that for anyone with his or her eyes open, by 2004 I think it was obvious that safety and security WERE being used to gain or, in this case, retain power. We had already had the reports form the U.S. Government itslef that there had never been a Al Qaeda connection in Iraq and that there had never been weapons of mass destruction there, either. We knew it was all fiction.

I have often felt that if that dreadful disaster had to be visited on the innocent people of New Orleans, why couldn't it have happened BEFORE the 2004 election exposeing his uncaring and incompetence to the voters before it was too late?
Hee...regarding that sign, I have a vintage political button that depicts Bush Sr. and where his name should be it says "SHIT HAPPENS."

As for Romney, his biggest asset is that he looks Cary Grant handsome, and that's enough for some people. It's frightening. I always thought Kerry, who was a very handsome man, would have won if it weren't for the doctored picture utilized by the sleazy Swiftboat crowd that our ridiculous Prada-shoe press was eager to disseminate widely.

My biggest fear is that the Republican nominee is going to come out of nowhere, like Hagel or Gingrich.

And... Rockingham Park. That stretch of Route 28 is rather dreadful. That strip-mall hell ruined what was once a thriving small city of Lawrence's downtown. The car was the worst invention, ever.
Loving the billboard....but the smile on it, where's that from...he NEVEr smiles! And that Romney dude.....woah. I'd like to hook a 50-pound-bag of concrete around his left ankle and chuck him off the pier. Oh, and that's the good version.
Some interesting stuff on the polygamy issue with the Church of Latter Day this post has fascinated me.....

Many of the Mormons migrated to Mexico during the late 1800's because of the polygamy issue and it was practiced for quite some time in Mexico after it was outlawed in the States. Many of these men faced jail sentences if they returned to the States.

Many of these men did not have the means to support these vast families and in many cases women were left to fend for themselves. In many cases women divorced their husbands and these men just kep marrying women.

Some sense of family values.......also, remember that the Romney family includes SO many extensions it's mind boggling. For a sense of family life, read the website of Orson Pratt Brown's family. This man fathered 35 children and certainly was an absentee father for a number of years....even more interesting is the number of women who chose divorce rather than submit to polygamy.
hell pizza is really, really good. They also do great billboards that *really* get noticed.
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