Article VI Blog

"Religion, Politics, the Presidency: Commentary by a Mormon, an Evangelical, and an Orthodox Christian"

United States Constitution — Article VI:

"No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."

  • We Need Romney

    Posted by: JMReynolds at 11:17 pm, May 6th 2012     &mdash      3 Comments »

    France voted to spend more money.

    Greece voted to spend more money.

    The European Union is so obnoxious that any smack at the arrogant Brussels bureaucrats has some value, but both votes are disasters.

    Smart economists keep telling simpletons like me not to panic. Don’t buy gold. Don’t hide in a compound in Idaho. Everything will be fine.

    I cannot afford gold, so will have to trust God, and as for compounds, they weird me out.

    Still how is the news from Europe anything but bad?

    French socialists have no money to spend, but will try to spend it. When they cannot do so, they will be face a reaction so great that one fears for the fascists on the far-right and the communists on the left finding power.

    Greece is not so different. There the establishment has utterly failed the Greek people. When almost twenty percent of the nation votes for communists and Nazis, there is a serious problem. Call me a simpleton, but any party that has a banner that looks like Hitler’s is bad and significant number of Greeks just did so.

    Some more complex thinkers will argue that the Greeks don’t want Nazis, they just voted to protest impotent mainstream parties. Sadly, Nazis are like roaches . . .inviting one for any reason infests the whole house.

    I cannot justify even my beloved Greeks if they vote for a Nazi.

    As MItt Romney might say: “Gosh darn the experts to heck.”

    The brightest and best of both parties steered us over a cliff in the last Bush and first Obama years. Big government and big business have been cozy in the Obama years and a second term would mean more spending.

    Sound familiar?

    But if France spends more, Greece spends more, and we spend more from whence will the money come? China is tottering and anybody who believes their government produced numbers is probably an expert. . . so I don’t count on the Chinese to fund Western folly.

    Will France get Germany, the EU by another name, to print more money?

    If so, the Germans will have forgotten their own history: more money means less money. If the Germans are not stupid, and they are not stupid, this will mean impasse and a second recession.

    It is for those reasons, conservatives and moderates need to unite and elect Mitt Romney. Romney will spend less than Obama, if only because his election will come with a GOP Congress. Romney will spend less, but he will not slash and burn: it is not in his nature. When President Obama let the Democratic Congress write his spending and health bill, he gave up the middle. President Romney will not repeat that mistake.

    If Mitt Romney is anything, he is a man for sound money. He will not send a thrill up the leg of any MSNBC commentator, but he will balance the books. It is in his nature.

    You don’t have to like Mitt Romney. I have friends who do not, but they are wise enough to know we need him. We just finished with a term of a messianic expectations: It failed me, how did it work for you? It didn’t do much for my California real estate.

    The French turned to socialism. The Greeks turned to chaos. Europe seems determined to live in interesting times, but we need not emulate them: the US can vote for Mitt Romney and normalcy.

    Or you could start building that compound . . .




    Posted in Policy | 3 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    Perry’s Implausibility – The Latest

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 06:52 am, October 8th 2011     &mdash      7 Comments »

    A couple of new facts have emerged since last night’s post.

    NYTimes Caucus blog got Perry himself, not just his campaign, on record regarding the incident:

    As he left the room at the Johnson County Republican Dinner here, Mr. Perry was asked by a reporter whether he agreed with the comments of Mr. Jeffress about the Mormon Church being a cult.

    “No,” he replied.

    Asked by another reporter whether he repudiated the remarks, he said, “I’ve already answered your question.”

    With that, aides ushered Mr. Perry away from reporters and out of the room.

    Does that qualify as a “repudiation?”  Disagreement no doubt, but repudiation?  More in a minute.

    Slate, of all places, got some “clarification” from Jeffress:

    After the speeches, Jeffress walked through the hotel doing interview after interview about his take on Mormonism.”Article 6 of the Constitution says government can impose no religious tests,” he said. “But private citizens can impose all the tests they like!”

    In the scrum, I asked if he’d expressed these concerns to Perry. “No. He is not aware of my views on Mormonism,” he said, “nor am I aware of his.”

    Well, that certainly seems to put more distance between Perry and Jeffress than anything Perry said.  With these new facts, the picture that is emerging is one in which Jeffress did not so much slip his leash as he did his muzzle, to continue with the analogy from last night.

    Let’s reset just a little.  If Team Perry was unaware of who Jeffress was and what he stood for on this issue, then I think it fair to say that Team Perry is as ill-prepared for the campaign as Perry himself is for the debates.  If they knew about Jeffress, but felt powerless to influence the FRC as to who was going to make the introduction, then they are clueless about a whole lot more than just one person.  In either case, do you want this group of people running the country?  If this is how they handle a PAC during the campaign, how are they going to do with negotiations on trade policy or terrorism?

    So the picture that is emerging needs a little refinement.  Reintroducing a couple of more facts, not directly related to this event.  The grand search for the “not Romney” concluded just this week with not-running announcements from Chris Christie and Sarah Palin.  Perry, despite his far less than spectacular debate performances, is now the only viable “not Romney” in the campaign.  Perry, after his dismal debates, needs to re-consolidate the “not Romney” forces, and the VVS is one of the bigger gatherings of the “not Romney” crowd.  Not to mention the fact that despite the protestations of my co-bloggers, anti-Mormon sentiment is strong amongst the “not Romney” group.  (Yes, if Romney is the nominee, they’ll come around, but this is now.)  So, Perry had an opportunity this weekend.

    An introduction by Jeffress would, provided Jeffress played it cool, serve as a “dog whistle” to the anti-Mormon subset of the “not Romney” bloc.

    The problem with that idea is that Jeffress, and anybody that knows about him knows this, is about as subtle as a nuclear weapon.  Jeffress probably thought he was being subtle when he said in the introduction, “Do we want a candidate who is a good, moral person, or one who is a born-again follower of the Lord Jesus Christ?” (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.  Know what I mean mate?)  Of course, that statement was red meat to a press that had showed up looking for anti-Mormon stuff.  It was the VVS just before Iowa last time where the Huckabee support began to coalesce.  Jeffress probably also thinks that his denial of having exchanged views with Perry builds sufficient distance – not too bright this guy.

    But you have to ask yourself why is Jeffress distancing himself from Perry more than Perry is distancing himself from Jeffress?  It seems to me the answer is that Perry really needs the dog whistle Jeffress represents, he just does not need the overt anti-Mormon stuff.  That puts him in a pretty tight spot at the moment.

    So, what are we left with – an attempt by the Perry campaign to appeal to the anti-Mormon vote that has backfired – an awful, unconscionable appeal poorly executed.  Either that or more ill-prepared flat-footedness by Team Perry.  Neither option instills much confidence.

    Can Perry rescue this?  Yep.  Romney speaks to the VVS just about the time this post goes up.  If Perry stuck his head in and shook hands in front of that crowd, this incident is done.  If Perry apologizes to Romney at the next debate, this incident ends.   But don’t look for either.  I said a long time ago, Perry does not strike me as someone that likes to lose.  The MSM is almost done with this story now and will be for certain unless Romney does something to reignite it in his address, and that is highly unlikely.  The MSM wants a feud, and Perry has his dog whistle, even if clumsily executed.  My guess is Perry just guaranteed a win in Iowa.

    What’s sad is that if Romney is the nominee, and that continues to be the most likely outcome, this weakens the party.  It will be that much harder for the “not Romney” crowd to come around in the general having been energized in this fashion.  Against a stronger incumbent, or if the Dems wise up and try to primary Obama, something like this could even be fatal to the party’s chances.

    This maneuver is both morally repugnant and politically unwise.  Bad combination.

    Post-Script a few moments later: Way to go Bill Bennett!

    Bennett responded today by exhorting the crowd, “Do not give voice to bigotry.”  Furthermore, Bennett addressed his comments to Jeffress directly, saying. “You did Perry no good, sir,” and accused him of stepping on the other candidates as well.


    Posted in News Media Bias, Policy, Political Strategy, Religious Bigotry, Religious Freedom, Understanding Religion | 7 Comments » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    A MORMON Pushed The ‘Nuclear Option’ Button Last Night!

    Posted by: John Schroeder at 07:05 am, October 7th 2011     &mdash      Comment on this post »

    That’s right!  The very same Mormon that so opposed the use of the so-called “nuclear option” in the Senate just a few years ago when Republicans wanted to use it to break the gridlock on judicial nominees used it just last night.  It is precisely these kinds of radical swings in policy that we so have to fear from those wacky Mormons.

    Was this a personal vision or did he get a call from Thomas Monson?  (Call Damon Linker for a comment.)  Where does the White Horse Prophecy fit in?  Somebody needs to do a quick scan of the Book of Mormon for the term “nuclear option.”  Is Jacob Weisberg concerned about the “founding whoppers of the Senate?”  Get some quick polling broken down by religious demographics.  Get that imbecilic “Internet Evangelist” out of Florida on the horn – see if Satan is involved.  Call Mike Huckabee, see if he thinks Beelzebub’s third-cousin-twice-removed is lurking around a corner anywhere.  What does Richard Land think?  Franklin Graham?  James Dobson?  I know, call Joel Belz, he’ll have a whopper of a quote for this one.  Send a reporter to Salt Lake City – get some Mormon-on-the-street reaction.

    Editors everywhere need to know this stuff!

    Or do they?


    Posted in News Media Bias, Policy | Comment on this post » | Print this post Print this post | Email This Post Email This Post

    « So – NOW They Want To Talk About It?  |  Rick Perry’s Plausible Deniability Is Not Plausible »