September 18, 2012 | by Kevin Naff
Romney woefully ill suited to be president

This week may be remembered as the turning point in the presidential election — the moment when the narrative that Obama supporters have advanced about Mitt Romney’s out-of-touch privilege was crudely confirmed and masses of independent voters were alienated.

Romney — just a day after embarking on a campaign “reset” — was seen on a hidden video speaking to a group of wealthy donors talking derisively and cynically about half of American voters.

“There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what,” Romney said. “There are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it, that that’s an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. … These are people who pay no income tax.”

He added that it would be helpful to his election prospects if he were Latino, because, you know, we’ve had so many presidents who were people of color that it’s really hard for a rich white guy to get elected in this country.

What are the Republicans thinking? It’s hard to fathom a more wrong-headed choice for president or a candidate more ill suited to the times than Mitt Romney. At a time of Occupy protests and real, genuine concerns about income and wealth disparities, the GOP has nominated a man so wealthy that he hides hundreds of millions in off-shore accounts where they are safe from U.S. taxes. As the part owner of a small business that pays exorbitant taxes, it infuriates me that someone of such wealth and privilege who aspires to be president of us all can get away with dodging his tax obligations and do it with a clear, entitled conscience. His tax schemes may not be illegal, but they certainly are not ethical.

We’ve gone from Bill Clinton feeling our pain to Mitt Romney openly admitting he doesn’t give a shit about anyone in pain. He’s better suited to be president of an all-white country club.

If Romney would take a closer look at those 47 percent or so of American households that pay no federal income taxes, he’d see that they consist of poor people and the elderly. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, in a New York Times report, notes as an example: “A couple with two children earning less than $26,400 a year: The household would pay no federal income tax because its standard deduction and other exemptions would simply erase its liability.”

Meanwhile, the National Log Cabin Republicans remain conspicuously silent on the matter of endorsing this insufferable jerk. It’s time for Log Cabin to get off the sidelines and do the right thing by withholding an endorsement. The arguments about Obama’s allegedly reckless stewardship of the economy don’t hold water given that Romney espouses many of the same policies that led to the economic meltdown. No one was going to fix George Bush’s colossal, epic mess in four years.

And on LGBT issues, of course, there simply is no comparison. Romney and the Republican Party seek to turn back the clock on myriad advances made under Obama’s first term. Romney, who once billed himself as a gay rights supporter, now backs an effort to ban marriage equality in the U.S. Constitution and supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

In 2004, Log Cabin declined to endorse then-President George W. Bush in his bid for re-election largely over his support for the Federal Marriage Amendment. In an op-ed published in 2004, then-Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero explained why his organization withheld its endorsement, noting disappointment with the 2004 GOP platform.

“Even as we saw the GOP’s future highlighted with fair-minded prime-time convention speakers, we saw the passage of an extremist party platform that opposes any basic protections for gay and lesbian families,” Guerriero wrote. “The incongruity between the party’s platform and its list of prime-time speakers symbolizes a wider battle for the GOP’s heart and soul.”

That battle continues today. Log Cabin members are not self-loathing closet cases more concerned with their bank accounts than their basic civil rights. They are smart, thoughtful people working thanklessly for change within a party whose leadership disdains them. Withholding a Romney endorsement isn’t an easy decision and would certainly cost Log Cabin access to Romney. But let’s face it: Romney can’t win this thing. Sure, national polls are close, but in the handful of swing states that really matter, Romney would have to run the board of states all won by Obama in 2008 to prevail. Given his endless gaffes, sloppy and disorganized campaign, tone-deaf messaging and inability to connect with average voters, Romney is a deeply flawed and doomed candidate.

Log Cabin should withhold its endorsement and continue working to change Republican hearts and minds with an eye on eliminating the anti-LGBT rhetoric in 2016.

Kevin Naff is editor of the Washington Blade. Reach him at knaff@washblade.com.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

10 Comments
  • Obama shouldn’t be President either,he’s just like Mitt,both are corrupt.This year people should vote for a third party candidate.Gary Johnson is running and he puts Obama and Mitt to shame.Obama and Mitt are to scared to have him in their debates.Check out his twitter page @GovGaryJohnson People need to understand they have more choices.Don’t think you have to vote for the lesser of two evils because you don’t.

    • DEAR JEFFERY:

      If Gary Johnson had a chance of winning the Presidential Election, you might have a case. But he doesn’t. He’s not going to be in the debates. Most people people don’t even know who he is. I’m not going to throw my vote away on someone like that. It’s either going to be Romney or Obama, and a Romney Presidency scares the crap out of me, especially considering what sorts of people he would appoint to the Supreme Court.

  • Your logic is flawless Kevin, but a lot of this depends on the sway Clarke Cooper has over the LCR Board. There are only three members from the 2004 group who refused to endorse Bush. In my view the maturity and strategic thinking skills of the other members is clearly open to debate.

    One thing that is clear and that is it will be a personal failure for Cooper if the LCR Board does not endorse. Clarke has gone all in with Reince Preibus and the RNC. He longs to be a part of the club and he has shown that there is little that he won’t say or do to curry their favor. An LCR endorsement means little to Romney chances for election, but it means everything to Cooper’s credibility and his being seen as a player and the viability of his career in the political arena. I wouldn’t be surprised if Cooper pulls out the “I will resign” card if LCR’s Board fails to endorse. They are terrified of being without an ED again, even if some LCR members are privately not enamored with Cooper.

    Cooper will try to convince the Board that they have no choice but to hold their nose and do it. He will make the argument that if Romney wins and LCR didn’t stand with him then they will be nobodies. Clarke will argue that if Romney loses, LCR is no worse off since at least LCR can show that they are good soldiers willing to stand in the face of adversity for their belief in republican principals. Cooper has already shown himself to be unconcerned about his standing in the LGBT community. Has he dragged the entire LCR Board down to his level. They seem to have a very strange agenda of desiring to sit at the table regardless of what is being served.

    Perhaps as you say Kevin, the LCR Board is a well meaning group of people. It will be interesting to see what happens this week. Hopefully they will find their integrity and Cooper will find his way to a corner to pout. He, Ric Grennell and Ken Mehlman can commiserate over a glass of wine how nobody in the gay community appreciates their genius.

  • Excellent, Kevin.

    As for LCR, it’s up to them. But because Romney–unlike John McCain four years ago–has chosen to endorse the federal marriage amendment, Romney himself has created a “red line” for LCR. If they endorse Romney under these circumstances, they will have chosen to forfeit their standing in the gay community.

    There is no proposition more fundamental in our community that this one: We do not endorse anyone who supports amending the U.S. Constitution to render us second-class citizens forever. PLENTY OF US who are Democrats have refused to support Democrats who have endorsed that contemptible piece of bigotry. And PLENTY OF US who are Democrats have ignored private winks and nods intimating that maybe they don’t really mean it. There can be NO ambiguity on the federal marriage amendment. Period.

    LCR endorses at its own peril.

  • So said the Kapos in the German concentration camps. Hitler isn’t really a megalomaniacal, genocidal, racist, misgoynist, homophobic prick. We should continue to work with these gentlemen while they eliminatie all the Jews, Romani, gays, disabled, disaffected and political opponents.

  • I don’t really get the importance of whether the Log Cabin Republicans endorse Romney or don’t officially endorse him.

    Whether they decide to recommend or not recommend a vote for Romney isn’t really going to have an impact on the 30% or so of our community who will make that decision on their own. It certainly won’t influence Obama supporters.

    Most people have already made up their minds.

    • I tells us all whether LCR holds even opposition to the federal marriage amendment as a non-negotiable core conviction, and to that extent, it tells us whether LCR merits respect and inclusion by the broader gay community.

  • And if Romney were a great candidate — except for being deeply anti-gay — you would have them endorse him?

    What an idiot.

  • Or, you know, you could just vote for someone who has actually made progress in the area of lgbt rights and fiscal growth. The cognitive dissonance within the LCR/GOProud clique is astounding. Get off the cross, honey. Your “thankless” work isn’t needed in the party of corporatism.

  • Romney was, and has always been, his own adversary. Every wound inflicted has come from himself. Every word that has ruined him, has came from his own mouth. Every unexpected assault came from him letting down his guard… He has proven that he is everything a President should not be. He can’t even trust himself.

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