Supporting vs. Opposing a Ban Against

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I've said before that I think Mitt Romney is the best Republican candidate running for president in the 2008 election. He best represents the positions of the national party among those who I consider important enough candidates to have much chance. That doesn't mean I think he's the most likely to beat whoever the Democratic nominee might be, and it doesn't mean I agree with everything he says. Here is a case where I think he has said the wrong thing. He described Rudy Giuliani as being "pro-gay marriage". Some people have complained that Giuliani has never been in favor of gay marriage but has endorsed civil unions. I think this complaint is fair. That is Giuliani's position.

Evangelicals for Mitt is defending him on this matter, citing a Giuliani quote from 2004 that shows that he then opposed a ban on gay marriage. Given that the ban being proposed by the president in 2004 was a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, this is not support for gay marriage. Not thinking that the U.S. Constitution is the place for a ban on gay marriage does not amount to supporting gay marriage, as Senator Robert Byrd will remind you.

Now it may be that Giuliani doesn't care about the issue very much and won't pursue it vigorously the way Romney will. It may also be that he will support civil unions, and Romney will not. For that reason conservatives on this issue may well prefer Romney as president to Giuliani (other things being equal). But that doesn't mean it's fair to say that someone who opposed a particular attempt to ban gay marriage in a constitutional amendment counts as being in favor of gay marriage. That conclusion simply does not follow, and I think Governor Romney is indeed guilty of misrepresenting Mayor Giuliani's position on this issue. It's nowhere near as bad as Romney's own positions have been misrepresented, but it's something I think he and some of his defenders ought to be more careful about.

5 Comments

Jeremy; how can you seriously say a one-term governor is the best Republican candidate. Based on what experience? Explain to me how he has the military experience and knowledge to address Iraq and the Middle East.

Why does a president need experience in the military? I thought the whole point of a civilian president was to have a distinction between the civilian-elected leadership and the military leaders who work their way up to the top general spots. Now the people can choose to elect a militarily-experienced leader as a civilian, but even in war time I think it's a very bad idea to have a military test for presidential nominees. Presidents have a secretary of defense, a national security adviser, and a secretary of state for that sort of thing anyway, and it would be very easy to put someone in the V.P. spot who did have a background in those matters to complement a presidential nominee weaker in them (e.g. G.W. Bush with Dick Cheney and Ronald Reagan with G.H.W. Bush).

I'm much more concerned about the views of the nominee, and his line up more with mine than any of the other leading candidates. (Well, maybe McCain is closer to me in some ways that Romney isn't, but on the ones I care most about Romney seems to me to be better, and McCain's negatives seem to me to be worse than Romney's.) Certainly when it comes to war on terrorism issues, Romney seems to me to have the best approach.

Jeremy; the President is the commander-in-chief, period. The President is not to simply delegate war to a VP or Secretary of State.

I am not suggesting a military test, but I am emphasizing the need for foreign policy and military experience as we face huge national security and a global war and a mess in Iraq. In my view, Romney simply does not have it.

Why would a president delegate war? What a president does is find experts to surround themselves with, and then they can hear what the experts are saying and make the best decision. That's how the current president has done things, and whatever problems he's had are not a result of that method.

Didn't you just put a post up on your blog saying that you're a Romney-man?

I forgot the quotations on what Barrett said. My shortcoming.

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