The Left Makes Trouble, Prop 8 Backwash, General Presidential Politics and Stuff We Find Interesting
The Left’s First Mormon Strike of 2012?
…Could very well be this Salon piece.
If you’re a resident of one of nine seemingly randomly selected mid-sized (mostly) non-coastal American cities, you’re the lucky audience for a new series of commercials advertising… Mormons. They are not quite explicitly ads for the Church of Latter-day Saints, they are just ads for Mormons, themselves. They are about how Mormons are regular people who enjoy things like surfing and riding motorcycles.
Mormons, obviously, want to prove that they are regular people, just like us, and some of them are even cool, young, attractive people who ride skateboards.
But… are Mormons just trying to convince Americans that Mormons are “normal,” so that in 2012 they’ll consider voting for Mormon King Mitt Romney? (These ads are running in four or five potential swing states, after all.)
They do go on to report that the CJCLDS refutes the claim but as they say, the bell has rung. There was reaction in The Washington Independent, a Pittsburgh TV station and the Mormon Times. EFM passed it on, and seemed to get in some hot water – please people do not be so sensitive – EFM are the good guys.
I think we are beginning to see the Mormon meme developing as the left will likely deploy it. Straight religious attack (“the founding whoppers of Mormonism”) is not going to play this time – it’s been delegitimized on both sides of the aisle. However, with the passage of Prop 8 and the ensuing “blame the Mormons” cries that arose from the left, they have come to think of the CJCLDS as some sort of conspiratorial organization and the hidden hand of right wing forces.
We have seen the “Mormon Mafia” pieces in the business pubs recently. Dan Brown’s completely fictitious novels (The DaVinci Code) have produced images of religious institutions as conspiratorial organizations bent on promulgating deceit and cover ups. Watch this space, “Mormons as bilderbergers” may be the meme of choice for 2012.
And while we are on the subject, this letter to the SLTrib concerning moves in talk radio in the local market is not at all helpful:
At a time when stellar and faithful Mormon Mitt Romney needs every ear, now is not the time to cancel his strong supporter, Sean Hannity.
If you are Mormon, do not vote for Romney because he is Mormon, any more than an Evangelical should vote against him because he is a Mormon. And if you do support him for the right reasons, saying that in a public forum is just not helpful.
Prop 8 Ruling Continues to Roil…
An emailer poses a hypothetical:
…imagine this scenario: Judge Vaughn Walker is the proud father of seven children, grandfather of eight, happily married for 42 years and a former LDS stake president. He hears and carefully evaluates the same evidence presented in the trial and writes a 12 page opinion validating the will of the people. Do you think the media would dismiss his LDS and family views as inconsequential to the result, much as they have discounted Judge Vaughn’s homosexuality? I am convinced, given the well known impartiality of the media, that they would ignore his background.
The emailer is, of course, being sarcastic. And of course, it need not be a Mormon – if it were little ‘ol Presbyterian me, the point would hold just as well. If the “shoe were on the other foot,” as it were, the media would have been all over the ruling like white on rice. And the media is bad enough, but I am concerned legally about this. Any right leaning judge with as much personally at stake in a case as Walker had in this one would have recused him (or her) self. Walker’s ruling is, as best as I can tell, two things unprecedented in American national history:
- a blatant attack on religion as a moral force in our nation by the power of government, and
- an attempt to rule by straightforward fiat on a level easily comparable to our days as a colony.
As reaction, I thought this piece by William McGurn was on point.
The effect this will have on the forthcoming elections is difficult to measure. Dan Balz seems to think the focus will remain on the economy. Looks like Glenn Beck does too. (So much for Mormon conspiracies!)
Here’s my analysis – As an issue, same sex marriage is likely to stay on the back-burner. However, the effect of this ruling will be highly significant in an indirect fashion. There is enormous resentment building in this nation against the currently empowered left as they are moving too far, too fast, and doing so by force without the overwhelming consent of the governed. Walker’s ruling is indeed the most strident, direct and effrontive of those moves. People flat out will not stand for it.
The next couple of election cycles are likely to transcend issues, they are going to be about tone, attitudes and the very definition of democracy. Successful candidates are going to figure that out and ride that wave. People that get too focused on issues are gong to miss the boat electorally. The First Thoughts post I linked to above on Beck is trying to hammer Beck because they see abortion and marriage as the preeminent issues. On the other end of the spectrum is our old pal Fred Karger who has finally attracted some big time political press.
If Karger makes it on stage in those debates, he’ll join a line of single-issue candidates that have had some degree of success over the years.
There will be no room for “single issue candidates” this time around. There is too much at stake. The very heart of what it is the be the United States of America is in play.
Which brings me to…
You can look at the emerging GOP 2012 field this way: the establishment (Romney, Barbour), the new faces (Pawlenty, Daniels, Thune), the evangelicals (Huckabee and Santorum), and the cable TV personas (Palin and Gingrich).
There is a lot of sorting to do before this gets serious, but that is a taxonomy that might prove useful. Some of those folks are going to the Iowa State fair, and some are not. There is more strategy buried in who is and who is not than you might think. Clearly Haley Barbour is making forays into Iowa, but is he dropping the forty pounds? Romney and Palin are the clear leaders, but I still do not think Palin is going to run.
There are some unsmart things happening. Politico wonders in “offbeat” candidates are going to hurt Republicans this time around. I do think the very high levels of resentment out there are going to result in some unusual choices. The party is going to have to tread very lightly as it works its way through this minefield of resentment. Not all the candidates Politico is attempting to cast as “offbeat” are that bad, and they are preferable to the Democrat mainstream, but it is going to be interesting.
An influential group of religious conservatives said Monday it would sit out the fall gubernatorial election as promised after candidates it favored lost in last week’s Republican primary.
And thus the fallacies of “one issue” are revealed. They don’t get what they want and so they don’t get anything at all. In politics there are lots of battles, and as we have seen here, when we only fight a few, we lose the bigger picture.
This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.
Let’s see how much he reminds his supporters of that should his 2012 opponent be a Mormon.