Embracing the Evolution of Mitt Romney

Besides his religion, what’s the number one reason people are opposed to Mitt Romney? Is it his “slick, salesman-like demeanor”? His too-perfect hair? His record as Governor of Massachusetts?

Ironically enough, the number one problem people have with Mitt Romney is his conservative positions…and how he arrived at them.

Whether it be on abortion, gay rights, gun control or signing tax pledges, many of Romney’s critics are quick to call him a “flip-flopper,” a term synonymous with John Kerry in 2004.

There’s no doubt that Romney has changed his positions. Romney himself has admitted that. But typically when I think of the term “flip-flopper,” I think of someone who changes back and forth, not simply in one direction. And in the case of Mitt Romney, his evolution has progressed in the conservative direction.

One of the first attacks I ever heard on Romney was that back in 1994, he was pro-choice as a candidate for U.S. Senator. Of course, it was true. His critics will gladly show you that infamous YouTube video where he claims that he will support the establishment of Roe v. Wade.

But in 2005, Romney claims to have changed his mind when faced with a decision on human cloning. At that point, he said he became pro-life. However, the common critique of his conversion is that it was for political gain, instead of being based on a change of heart.

Along with that, in his U.S. Senate race against Ted Kennedy in 1994, Romney said he would be more of a champion for gay rights than his opponent. But now, Romney is running on a platform of supporting an amendment that would outlaw gay marriage on a federal level.

Also as a Senatorial candidate in 1994, Romney said that he didn’t “line up with the NRA,” in the area of gun control. But in August 2006, Romney became a lifetime member of the NRA.

In 2002, Romney refused to sign a “no new tax” pledge as governor of Massachussetts. But in 2007, Romney signed a similar pledge as a candidate for President. Keep in mind that one was for Massachussetts, the other is for the nation. However, some have pointed to this as a change in position.

Note the common thread in all these changes. Romney has become more conservative on all of them. He hasn’t gone back and forth as the “flip-flopper” label would indicate. Instead it was always the flip, never the flop.

As conservatives, if we don’t embrace people who are willing to share in our values, then we are declaring defeat in our attempt to change the hearts and minds of those who do not agree with us. We are surrendering to liberalism if we won’t accept those who have converted to conservativism.

And before I hear another “back in 1994,” comment, I’d like to point out some changes in myself and in America since 1994:

In early 1994, people thought that Kurt Cobain was going to be the biggest rock icon since John Lennon. And he may have been, had it not been for his death that year.

In 1994, Ace of Base was my favorite band. Needless to say, things change.

In 1994, there were less than 40 million users on the Internet. Let’s just say the amount of users has increased since then.

In 1994, a major attack on U.S. soil was over 50 years ago. In September of 2001, America changed.

In 1994, we had a Democratic president, but the Republicans won back Congress.

Folks, things change. People change. America has changed. This is something we have to understand. But in case you’re still not convinced, let me politicians who have been able to change with very little opposition.

Al Gore, Dick Gephardt, and Jesse Jackson were all once pro-life.

Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Henry Hyde were all once pro-choice.

And we know how they all turned out. Did they ever revert to their original positions? I don’t think so. Do people still criticize them for their old positions? No, unless you consider this to be criticism.

When it comes to Mitt Romney, I’m glad he has changed his positions. He has changed them so that they match mine, along with a lot of other conservatives out there. With each issue, he becomes more and more conservative, which I think is wonderful. Who am I to criticize that? Why should I feel the need to complain that he is developing the same values that I am?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t feel the least bit alarmed by the fact that Mitt Romney has become more conservative. I invite his relatively newfound conservativism. And I will gladly embrace anyone else who is willing to share my conservative values. If you’re going to harp on Mitt Romney, find something else besides his so-called “flip-flopping.” That monacre just won’t stick with me.

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14 Responses to Embracing the Evolution of Mitt Romney

  1. Verla Swords says:

    Thank you for this nice article. I feel exactely the same way. I think Mitt has changed his mind on a few things but as long as it is for the better, what does that matter. I am a 75 year and I have certainly changed my mind on alot of things. Mitt would be the best thing that could happen to our Country. I do beleive he is the only one that could give us back our beautiful America.

  2. Stefano Picciotto says:

    Romney is indeed a seasoned and accomplished flip-flopper.

    During his campaign for Governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney promised judicial reform for Massachusetts. The reality is he left the system more broken than it was before his term in office. Judge Tuttman is not an isolated incident. Governor Romney also nominated and pushed for the confirmation of Judge Mitchel J. Sikora to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals. When Romney did this, he was made personally aware by me that Judge Sikora had a track record of “outrageous” leniency toward violent criminals. By way of example only, prior to the judicial confirmation hearing, members of the public made Governor Romney personally aware that Judge Sikora had:

     Acquitted the man who killed Jacqueline O’ Donald finding that, giving her the date-rape drug GBL was not “reckless or wanton” enough to sustain the charge of manslaughter because Dolan “did not know the drug was dangerous to the point of grave bodily harm.” (See Boston Globe article dated December 31, 2003, “Plymouth Man, 34 Cleared in Death”)

     Released a rapist from the Treatment Center for the Sexually Dangerous in Bridgewater, over the strenuous objections of the Department of Corrections. Governor Cellucci called Sikora’s decision “outrageous.” Shortly after Judge Sikora released him, the rapist/pedophile was arrested for stalking girls with a rope, rock, and knife in his car, – his weapons of choice. (See Boston Herald article dated March 12, 1999, “Freed Mass. Rapist Arrested in UConn Stalking Incidents”)

     Conducted Monty-Python type trials complete with jurors dressed in Halloween costumes. (See Boston Herald article dated October 31, 2004, “Judges Trick No Treat for Litigants”)

    The above are merely a few examples of the abhorrent behavior of Judge Mitchel Sikora. The public documents that Judge Sikora was untruthful during his confirmation hearing. In spite of his personal knowledge all that kind of record, Governor Romney elevated Judge Sikora to a higher court. If Romney becomes president of America, we will see a callous disregard for the quality of the federal judicial appointments and the protection of the public.

    Stefano Picciotto

    (978) 741-0218

  3. Braden says:

    All are examples of that particular judge, not of Romney himself. He didn’t recommend these judges himself. They were recommended to him.

    Besides this has nothing to do with “flip-flopping.” If this is all you have on him, you might want to dig a bit deeper.

  4. Max P4wnage says:

    1. His flip-flopping is a serious issue. Romney did not merely have a “change of mind” or “change of heart.” He goes from being fairly socially liberal to being a hardcore socially conservative nut. From endorsing abortion rights to wanting to ban abortion nation wide. All of a sudden he wants to amend the constitution to define marriage! The guy started out fairly moderate, center-left on social issues, to turning into a fascist theocrat overnight. Check out his position on the Political Compass and the Nolan Chart. His transformation into a theocratic fascist is not a simple change of mind or change of heart. It is PANDERING to a socially authoritarian base. Nobody, whether they are extremely pro-choice or extremely pro-life, can trust him.

    2. His Mormonism is still a problem. (Ironically, the Mormons expanded the definition of marriage to allow a man more than one wife, but the Mormon candidate is the most vehement proponent of a constitutional amendment defining marriage to be between a man and a woman!) The American electorate is reluctant to elect a Jew for president. Mormons may technically be Christians, but to Evangelicals, Mormons are worse than Jews because they view the LDS as pretenders.

    (some issues you did not mention):

    3. Mitt Romney is a corporate shark. He started out as the kind of investor who buys out corporations, liquidates them, and sells off the assets. Is that the kind of man you want running this country. He mentions that people like Hillary spent all their lives in politics and will therefore be pro-big government. What he means is that he would run this nation as a corporation. Mitt Romney is not a fiscal conservative, he is a corporatist.

    4. Mittens is a prepackaged candidate marketed by the mainstream media (liberal CNN because they know he would lose in the election if nominated, neocon FAUXNews to pretend the neocon GOP cares about its socially conservative base) with no real appeal. Ron Paul to liberals, libertarians, and conservatives. Rudy to moderates. Liberals and libertarians don’t like Romney because he is a fascist. Conservatives don’t like him because he is a flip-flopper. Evangelicals don’t like him because he is a Mormon. The media LOVES him because he is a neocon billionaire, and being a crook makes a wonderful politician. The GOP hope to land another neocon Bush clone in office, and are willing to market Romney.

    5. Huckabee, though he has nowhere near the money or exposure, is stealing Romney’s niche. He probably won’t win the nomination either, but would steal Mitt Kerry’s votes. Mike Huckabee is the media’s new darling.

  5. Braden says:

    Behold, a man that can read the hearts of men!

    You have no clue as to what you are talking about. Romney is not a neocon. Dr. Paul has no chance of winning. Embrace your wildest fears and get ready to vote for a real candidate in 2008!

  6. Max P4wnage says:

    OK. Whatever you say… Romney not a neocon? LOL!

    Dr. Paul has NO chance of winning? Why? Because you say so! Are you a time traveler? Psychic?

    I will vote for a real candidate in 2008… Dr. Paul. If not, then hopefully Obama. If it comes down to Hillary versus a Republican who is not Ron Paul, I am moving to Canada!

  7. Braden says:

    Okay so if Paul is not the nominee and Obama is the Democratic nominee, you’d vote for Obama. That makes no sense at all considering that Obama is worse than Giuliani or Mitt could ever dream of being and he’s certainly nothing like Ron Paul.

    You have flushed what little credibility you had down the toilet.

  8. Max P4wnage says:

    I flushed what little credibility I had down the toilet? Maybe to you… But then at least I had credibility. From the beginning, I thought you were a nut. But now I know, you’re not a nut, just a PAWN. You are a peasant to the Straussian neocons.

    And I know, that Obama and Dr. Paul have very little in common. I would not say that they have nothing in common. Obama and Dr. Paul are not fascists, but both Mitt and Rudy are. Dr. Paul is the only real fiscal conservative, equally opposed to both the welfare state and the warfare state. Obama, Giuliani, and Romney are all Keynesians. Obama may support an extensive welfare state, but Rudy and Mittens are no better. Both are even more statist, supporting military corporatism. Their idea of fiscal responsibility is an extensive military-industrial complex. So while Ron Paul is the best (and the only good, the only non-evil), Obama is the lesser of evils, certainly preferable to Hillary or the establishment Republicans.

    In short, expect this to be my last post. Arguing with you is a lost cause. I honestly expect to have a more intelligent discussion with an inanimate object than with you. Have a nice day!

  9. Braden says:

    It’s hard to argue when you present wild conclusions devoid of facts or sources. How are Mitt and Rudy fascists? Just because Dr. Paul voted no on a bunch of spending bills doesn’t mean he’s a fiscal conservative. He has absolutely no experience running a state, city, or anything for that matter. How do Mitt and Rudy support military corporatism? You make wild statements that have no logic, sense, or facts to back them up. How am I supposed to argue with that?

  10. “I saw my Dad march with Martin Luther King Jr.”
    – Mitt Romney

    Never happened. That’s good stuff!

    O.k. I’m off the Huckster’s band-wagon! I wish someone else would pick up the fair-tax torch, but for now I’ll go back to the actor, what was his name? Anyway, that guy.

    Good posts Braden.

  11. Braden says:

    Oh Trae, so quick to hate on Romney. Can’t say I blame you. I really did a number on Huckabee about a week ago. Honestly, I do like Fred Thompson and I think he’s right on all the major issues. I just think he’s a terrible candidate as far as campaigning goes.

    I am not a Fair Tax fan at all. A 23% national sales tax would add to the 10% sales tax I’m already paying in Montgomery for a grand total of 33% on everything I buy! Sure it might, just might, compensate for the taxes we’re already paying but I’d rather not pay one-third in taxes on everything I get at Wal-Mart.

    Romney’s got some good ideas on getting rid of taxes on savings and capital gains. Fred’s flat tax alternative is a good idea too. But no Fair Tax for me. Huckabee was just using it because he didn’t have a plan of his own (which his record shows).

    But to clarify your attack on Romney, I thought I’d present you with this:

    FACT: In The Summer Of 1963, Governor Romney Participated In Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Freedom Marches” In Grosse Pointe, Michigan.

    In 1963, George Romney Gave The Keynote Address At The Conference That Sparked The Martin Luther King “Freedom Marches” In Detroit. “The establishment of these human relations groups came in the wake of several major events (besides the embarrassing racist practices of such suburbs as Dearborn), which took place in 1963 and helped galvanize interracial support and cooperation for integrated housing. The first event was the Metropolitan Conference on Open Occupancy held in Detroit in January 1963. The second event was the Martin Luther King ‘Freedom’ March in June of the same year, the spinoffs of which were several Detroit NAACP-sponsored interracial marches into Detroit suburbs to dramatize the need for black housing. … Governor George Romney gave the keynote speech at this conference, in which he pledged to use the power of the state to achieve housing equality in Michigan.” (Joe T. Darden, Detroit, Race And Uneven Development, 1987, p. 132)

    Governor Romney Marched In July 1963 In An NAACP-Sponsored March Through Grosse Pointe. “The next couple of NAACP marches into the suburbs were more pleasant. Both Grosse Pointe and Royal Oak Township welcomed the interracial marchers. Close to 500 black and white marchers, including many Grosse Pointers, marched in ‘the Pointes’ that July. Governor George Romney made a surprise appearance in his shirt sleeves and joined the parade leaders.” (Joe T. Darden, Detroit, Race And Uneven Development, 1987, p. 132)

    · Detroit Free Press: “With Gov. Romney a surprise arrival and marching in the front row, more than 500 Negroes and whites staged a peaceful antidiscrimination parade up Grosse Pointe’s Kercheval Avenue Saturday. … ‘the elimination of human inequalities and injustices is our urgent and critical domestic problem,’ the governor said. … [Detroit NAACP President Edward M.] Turner told reporters, ‘I think it is very significant that Governor Romney is here. We are very surprised.’ Romney said, ‘If they want me to lead the parade, I’ll be glad to.'” (“Romney Joins Protest March Of 500 In Grosse Pointe,” Detroit Free Press, 6/29/63)

    · In Their 1967 Book, Stephen Hess And David Broder Wrote That George Romney “Marched With Martin Luther King Through The Exclusive Grosse Point Suburb Of Detroit.” “He has marched with Martin Luther King through the exclusive Grosse Pointe suburb of Detroit and he is on record in support of full-coverage Federal open-housing legislation.” (Stephen Hess And David Broder, The Republican Establishment: The Present And Future Of The G.O.P., 1967, p. 107)

    FACT: As Governor Of Michigan, George Romney Fought For Civil Rights And Marched In Support Of Martin Luther King Jr.

    George Romney Was A Strong Proponent Of Civil Rights And Created Michigan’s First Civil Rights Commission. “The governor’s record was one of supporting civil rights. He helped create the state’s first civil rights commission and marched at the head of a protest parade in Detroit days after violence against civil rights marchers in Selma, Ala., in 1965.” (Todd Sprangler, “Romney Fields Questions On King,” Detroit Free Press, 12/20/07)

    In 1967, George Romney Was Praised At A National Civil Rights Rally For His Leadership. “Michigan Gov. George Romney walked into a Negro Civil Rights rally in the heart of Atlanta to the chants of ‘We Want Romney’ and to hear protests from Negroes about city schools. ‘They had invited me to come and I was interested in hearing things that would give me an insight into Atlanta,’ the Michigan Republican said. Led by Hosea Williams, a top aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the all-Negro rally broke into shouts and song when Romney arrived. ‘We’re tired of Lyndon Baines Johnson,’ Williams said from a pulpit in the Flipper Temple AME Church as Romney sat in a front row pew. ‘Johnson is sending black boys to Vietnam to die for a freedom that never existed,’ Williams said. Pointing to Romney, Williams brought the crowd of 200 to its feet when he said, ‘He may be the fella with a little backbone.’ Williams said Romney could be ‘the next President if he acts right.’ The potential GOP presidential nominee left the rally before it ended.” (“Romney Praised At Civil Rights Rally In Atlanta,” The Chicago Defender, 9/30/67)

    Photograph: “Dr. Martin Luther King speaking to graduate student Laura L. Leichliter (center) and Michigan’s First Lady Mrs. Lenore Romney in February 1965.” (Instructional Media Center Collection At Michigan State University Archives And Historical Collections)

    George Romney Fought Discrimination In Housing. “President Nixon tapped then Governor of Michigan, George Romney, for the post of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. While serving as Governor, Secretary Romney had successfully campaigned for ratification of a state constitutional provision that prohibited discrimination in housing.” (U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development Official Web Site, http://www.hud.gov, Accessed 12/19/07)

    Photograph: “More than 100 angry white protesters balked at efforts by then-Housing Secretary George Romney, in car, to open their new neighborhoods to blacks.” (Gordon Trowbridge and Oralandar Brand-Williams, “A Policy Of Exclusion,” Detroit News, 1/14/02)

    FACT: In 1965, George Romney Led A March In Michigan To Protest Selma.

    In 1965, George Romney Led A Protest Parade Of Some 10,000 People In Detroit. “Rarely has public opinion reacted so spontaneously and with such fury. In Detroit, Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh and Michigan’s Governor George Romney led a protest parade of 10,000 people.” (“Civil Rights – The Central Point,” Time Magazine, http://www.time.com, 10/5/83)

    · The Days Of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “In Detroit, Governor George Romney and Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh called for a march to protest what had happened in Selma.” (Jim Bishop, The Days Of Martin Luther King, Jr., 1971, p. 385)

    FACT: Martin Luther King Jr. “Spoke Positively” About The Possible Presidential Candidacy Of George Romney.

    In His Pulitzer-Prize Winning Biography Of Dr. King, David Garrow Notes That King “Spoke Positively” About The Possible Presidential Candidacy Of George Romney. “King spoke positively about the possible candidacies of republicans George Romney, Charles Percy, and Nelson Rockefeller. He also stressed the need for greater Afro-American unity, including reaching out to segments of the black community that were not committed to nonviolence.” (David J. Garrow, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, 2006, p. 575)

    FACT: George Romney Attended King’s Funeral In 1968.

    George Romney Attended King’s Funeral In 1968. “Vice President Hubert Humphrey represented the White House. Senator and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy; Mrs. John F. Kennedy; Governor and Mrs. Nelson Rockefeller of New York; the mayor of New York City, John V Lindsay; and Michigan’s governor, George Romney, were present.” (Octavia Vivian, Coretta: The Story of Coretta Scott King, 2006, p. 99)

    · George Romney Joined Other Prominent Americans In Attending King’s Funeral. “Inside was the greatest galaxy of prominent national figures there had ever been in Atlanta at one time: Robert Kennedy, George Romney, Mayor Carl Stokes of Cleveland, Nixon, Rockefeller, Harry Belafonte, and an endless array of others equally as famous. Coretta Scott King, sitting with her family front and center in front of the casket, looked lovely and courageous and dignified in a black mourning veil.” (Franklin Miller Garrett, Atlanta and Environs: A Chronicle of Its People and Events, 1987, p. 517)

    · After King’s Assassination, George Romney Declared An Official Period Of Mourning, Ordered All Flags To Be Flown At Half Staff And Said King’s Death Was “A Great National Tragedy.” “On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated as he stood on a motel balcony in Memphis, Tenn., where he had gone to lead a civil rights march. The following day, Michigan Gov. George Romney declared an official period of mourning for King. The period extended through King’s funeral. Romney ordered all flags on public buildings to be flown at half staff and asked that the same be done on private buildings. Gov. Romney, in an official statement, said: “The assassination of Martin Luther King is a great national tragedy. At a time when we need aggressive nonviolent leadership to peacefully achieve equal rights, equal opportunities and equal responsibilities for all, his leadership will be grievously missed.” (“Rearview Mirror: Detroit Reacts To King’s Assassination,” The Detroit News, 4/4/07)

  12. Braden says:

    Just in case that’s not enough, here’s a link to an article where two witnesses describe seeing George Romney and MLK marching together:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1207/7524.html

    It DID happen. Nice try though.

  13. Got me. It looks to be true. I surrender.
    Man that was a LOOOOOOOOOONG reply.

    If I end up voting for Mitt the Morman I’m gonna do it with my eyes closed, my fingers crossed, and a prayer for forgiveness on my tongue.
    but… but…
    I guess…
    nevermind!

  14. Blue Stater (i.e. sapient humanoid) says:

    I can not think of a greater irony than an embrace of the evolution of Mitt Romney or of anybody or of anything by someone who does not accept evolution!

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