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“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread on LI get so heated and nasty”

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a thread on LI get so heated and nasty”

That was the reaction of more than one reader in response to the comments on the post Saturday Night Card Game (How nasty will the general election race card get? This nasty).  I agree.

I’m not sure at what point lines get crossed, but I certainly don’t want to see the comment section here turn into anti-[insert name of religion].  I hate to police things, and I don’t think it’s been a problem before, but I will if need be.

I have plenty of issues with Mitt Romney, but the comment section here will not serve as a home for anti-Mormon comments.


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Henry Hawkins | January 16, 2012 at 4:23 pm

This Pastafarian appreciates and supports the sentiment.

Professor, perhaps you should delineate what constitutes “anti-Mormon” comments.

If I quote the Koran’s goal of Jewish annihiliation, is that anti-Islamic? So, if the tenents of Mormanism are actually quoted (words dictated by Joseph Smith) is that anti-Mormon?

Perimeters need to be defined.

    Browndog in reply to retire05. | January 16, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    “heated and nasty”

    Sounds like parameters to me.

    If you feel you need those defined, I think that is being disingenuous.

      Astroman in reply to Browndog. | January 16, 2012 at 5:31 pm

      Except people merely quoting or pointing out what Mormonism teaches is deemed by some as being mean and nasty.

      Sometimes, the bare truth is “mean and nasty.” “Slay the infidel” is mean and nasty, but it is the truth. So is the fact that Mormonism was officially racist until 1978.

      If pointing out stuff like that is “mean and nasty,” lemme know and I’ll never return here.

        Milhouse in reply to Astroman. | January 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        Buh-bye. You won’t be missed.

          Astroman in reply to Milhouse. | January 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm

          Thank you, Milhouse, you just proved my point. What did I say that was “mean and nasty”? Nothing.

          I expect this kind of stuff from the left, where any criticism of Obama, no matter how legit and factual, is shouted down as “racist.”

          So pointing out actual, indisputable racism is deemed too mean and nasty to be acceptable solely because it has to do with a religious group? It doesn’t matter that it was completely on topic, I just can’t go there? So I’m racist, mean, nasty, bigoted, etc.? If that’s the way you roll, then I’ll take that endorsement.

        andcar in reply to Astroman. | January 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm

        “the fact that Mormonism was officially racist until 1978.”

        And the United States was officially a slaveholding nation until 1865. The official response of the Christian church to heresy was burning until a few hundred years ago. Organizations change.

          janitor in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

          Slavery was economically motivated. The Christian churches were in the forefront in the abolitionist movement.

          Milhouse in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm

          Some Christian churches. Others supported slavery, since the Bible clearly does.

          Milhouse in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm

          And the point is not that organisations change, but that it’s unamerican to go after someone for his religion.

          janitor in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm

          It is “un-American” to discuss or debate religion?

          It is odd then, that freedom of religion is in the same First Amendment as freedom of speech.

          For myself, I am not “going after” the religion. I simply want to understand what are Romney’s beliefs, values and principles. I do not see any in his secular life that would explain the enormous effort he has put in to running for office.

          Mitt Romney is not merely a Mormon, but a leader and minister in his church. His church is not a beleaguered powerless minority, but an enormously wealthy institution (largest landowner in the U.S.), that has been less than forthcoming about its beliefs and practices. Why?

          When it comes to our president, we have a long history of inquiry about the person’s finances, education, family history, medical issues, sex lives, psychological issues and other private concerns. What, then, renders untouchable the future decision-maker’s underlying belief system?

    Henry Hawkins in reply to retire05. | January 16, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    “I’m not sure at what point lines get crossed…”

    The good professor states he isn’t exactly sure where the lines get crossed. Who is or could be? A lawyerly codeification of the precise location of lines won’t help – folks’ll just get heated and nasty about them.

    As for me, given that I am a guest in the Legal Insurrection living room, not my own, I won’t get near the line, fuzzy as it necessarily is, because I refuse to place our host in the position of having to decide whether to step in.

      LukeHandCool in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 16, 2012 at 7:58 pm

      I’m gonna agree with you Henry … just this one time!

        Henry Hawkins in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm

        See how it works, people? Henry the Pastafarian and Luke the Slartibartfastarian, arm in arm, differences happily set aside, trodding the road to bipartisan irreverance. Would that our political elites took notice!

In the General Election, Obama’s surrogates in the media will bring every available weapon to bear against whomever the Republicans nominate. If a Catholic is nominated (Gingrich or Santorum), we’ll hear all about child abuse scandals and everything controversial the pope ever said or did. If an evangelical is nominated by some miracle (Perry), then we’ll hear all about the alleged anti-gay, anti-mormon bigotry of evangelicals. If a Mormon is nominated, we’ll hear about every controversial thing ever associated with the LDS church. It’s how they play the game.

That being said, beyond pointing out the inevitable attacks coming in the fall, I don’t think this is the place to rehash all the differences among the various faiths of those running for the nomination.

My only concern is what the nominee will do in office once they are there. My primary issue with Romney is that the only thing I really believe him about is his position on RomneyCare and the alleged “conservative” nature of the individual mandate. The kind of justices he might nominate for the Supreme Court given those kinds of convictions is the stuff of nightmares.

He’s not running, but I think I read somewhere that even the near-sainted Paul Ryan was in favor of SOPA?!?!?!?!

    angela in reply to OCBill. | January 16, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    From what I understand he is now against it after considerable pressure. I like him well enough but he seems like your typical career politician in many ways. It’s a bummer because he speaks well, he’s smart, and he’s personable and could be a viable leader if he stepped away from the party cronyism and developed a solid, independent, and inspirational conservative vision.

BannedbytheGuardian | January 16, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Not at all Professor. I really don’t know what a Mormon is & today I am none the wiser . I had fun.

I think this is a conversation Americans have had voiced low on porches across the country since 1850.

I am taking Janitors theory that a century plus of very selective breeding creates very nice lookers. Eugenics is due for a comeback.

The Chariots of The Gods would not go astray either.

DINORightMarie | January 16, 2012 at 5:18 pm

I agree somewhat with your view, that there is a fine line and that it perhaps was crossed. However, you gave the readers of your blog a great opportunity to “discuss” this issue, and hopefully were edified in the process. (I also note it had probably the most comments of any post thread I’ve seen since you started your blog.)

Heated discussion, when civil, should not be discouraged, IMHO. And, as @retire05 mentions, there needs to be a clear and concise definition of where that line is drawn.

Also, from what I’ve seen on other blogs, this was VERY civil and restrained – AoSHQ, along with many others, get really, REALLY lively and ribald at times. This one, not so bad, all things considered. Also, I’ve noticed Hot Air is getting pretty hot and nasty, too. So, I would say, don’t change things too much!!

OT, but related – I am wondering who made that video on Romney and the Mormon church. The thread never went onto that topic, so I didn’t comment on it, but…….who gets the “credit” for that video? Anyone know?

You know, Glenn Beck and his wife too, I believe, were both raised Catholics and later became Mormons. For conservatives, at least, he’s done more for this country (and for boosting Judeo/Christian values) than almost anyone.

“By their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matt. 7:20.)

If someone is spreading hate about Mormons, their fruits are poison.

I was baptized Presbyterian, later in an evangelical church, and then converted to Catholicism–similar to Ann Barnhardt–and I think that is between me and God and no one else (I feel the same way about gays and the Christian church: forget hate, it’s about love, and it’s between them and God…although I think marriage should only be–legally and in practice-between a man and a woman).

I enjoy interesting debates about these things in relevant contexts (doctrine, theology and such)…but I can well understand why crossing the line will not be tolerated here.

There are lots of reasons to dislike Romney. It’s a waste of breath to oppose him over LDS, it’s not relevant. We are debating about whether he will do a good job as president. I say he would be terrible. That’s it.

    Astroman in reply to imfine. | January 16, 2012 at 5:38 pm

    Dude, you can claim whatever you want as being “relevant” or “irrelevant,” but the facts are the facts. And the fact is, the American people DO take religion into consideration.

    Why do you think Obama puts up the pretense of being a Christian, rather than admitting that he is really an atheist? It is because Obama knows he will lose X number of votes if he were to come out of the atheist closet. That is why Obama went to Trinity United in the first place, to boost his political career.

    There is a segment of Americans who won’t vote for a Mormon. You can cry all you want, but it is a REAL factor, and you’re not going to persuade them otherwise with some “not relevant” speech.

    And you better believe it will matter that Romney was part of an officially racist organization, religious or otherwise, for much of his life. If there is one thing the left and the media (but I repeat myself) love to do, it is to cry and harp on racism. Only in this case, they’ll have a legitimate point.

      imfine in reply to Astroman. | January 16, 2012 at 6:14 pm

      Whether some idiot would vote for a what I believe is Communist because his opponent is a Mormon is nothing I care to discuss. Communism is far more offensive than anything anyone has said about Mormonism at its worst. That being said I don’t think Mormonism will be the source of anything offensive from a Romney administration, so I don’t care. Liberal judges, Romney care, public funded abortions on demand, crony capitalism, etc, I care about that. Stop wasting my time with this nonsense.

      janitor in reply to Astroman. | January 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm

      A person’s beliefs, religious or otherwise, color his decision-making and motivations. They inform us regarding his values, and in cases of difficult decisions, where he might come down. These beliefs therefore can be relevant when we do not have a consistent track record — or any track record — to go by. And when beliefs are kept hidden or are misrepresented, that of course is another data point.

        andcar in reply to janitor. | January 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm

        Explain how your point has any bearing on the question of a Mormon’s serving in political office. Please enumerate the LDS doctrines that will push an official away from conservative governance.

        Regurgitation of the “racist until 1978” line won’t play. That’s not what they believe. It was in the past, and they changed. If you still insist on holding every living Mormon responsible for doctrines laid down by Joseph Smith 150 years ago, then you’d better be ready to hold every member of every other existing organization culpable for historical, superseded positions. Otherwise you’re simply a bigot.

        Listing off their heterodox metaphysical and eschatological beliefs won’t play either. A person’s belief about the nature of God and the afterlife has no bearing on their capacity to govern conservatively, unless that belief encourages barbaric behavior in this life. An example would be Wahhabi Islam’s encouragement of murder and martyrdom. Mormonism has absolutely nothing like that. If you disqualify practitioners of a religion from holding office simply because their positions appear bizarre to you when there’s no question of their beliefs leading them to abhorrent actions, then you are a bigot.

        (BTW, my post here is not motivated by support of Mittens. Like the Professor, I’m a Gingrich guy. This is about sliming a whole group of people who are notably hardworking, family-oriented and patriotic, either out of base prejudice or from a desire to take down a candidate who happens to be one of them.)

          janitor in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 9:08 pm

          For example: does Romney believe that all men are created equal in God’s eyes, and thus entitled to, not merely equality under the law, but also equal opportunity? Or does he believe that some people (and I’m not referring merely to race here) are in fact inherently superior by reason of something other than their talents and efforts, and because of that destined and entitled to be leaders or live better lives? And that others are destined to live in misery. Could a belief in this regard could inform a person’s decision-making.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to andcar. | January 16, 2012 at 11:19 pm

          Mormonism has absolutely nothing like that. If you disqualify practitioners of a religion from holding office simply because their positions appear bizarre to you when there’s no question of their beliefs leading them to abhorrent actions, then you are a bigot.”

          No I’m not! And asking for clarification is not disqualification .. but secrecy and refusal to answer might be.

          We already have a detached congress, that doesn’t care that their approval rating is 9%. They are Gods. Obama was portrayed as a God, and seems to have taken on that persona.

          Romney seems to think he is beyond reproach …. questioning him is sacrilegious … do you hate capitalism? are you a bigot?

          His deep religious beliefs are off grounds unless he would be a mass murderer? Should Obama’s black theology beliefs have been off grounds too? (though those were more political than religious for Obama, probably)

          If we could just remove the term “religious” from “religious belief” it would be much clearer that every detail of how a candidate thinks is important.

          Now putting “religious” back in indicates it might not be just a rational belief, but something he believes beyond rationality, and will adhere to out of “faith”. I hold this for any Christian faith. But if that faith is “bizarre”, all the more reason to get clarification.

          In a courtroom … wouldn’t bizarre behavior be scrutinized? Removal of all the hard drives is most bizarre, but Newt has to answer for his bizarre marriages and bizarre “anger”. I think police can forcibly enter if there is something “bizarre” enough to arouse reasonable suspicion. What is the real standard for asking questions of a candidate?

          andcar in reply to andcar. | January 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

          In matters of religion, “bizarre” is a very relative term. I’m a Protestant Christian in a mainstream denomination. Like other members of my faith, I eat my God’s flesh and drink His blood. Were I Catholic or Orthodox, I would believe this to be literal. See?

          Getting into the metaphysics and cosmology of a religion will just lead to an endless round of fingerpointing- if you say something they believe is bizarre, they can fire right back with something equally strange in your own belief. It only looks normal to you because it’s what you’re accustomed to, or because you’re in a majority position in society.

          What that leaves us with is the actions a person’s religion may lead them to. Whether my faith leads me to strap a bomb to my chest and blow up a bus is a valid question for voters to ask.

I bailed out before it was done, so it may have eventually gone over the line. That’s your call. But my takeaway is the GOP is ill-prepared to rehabilitate WMR’s fast-fading “electability” reputation, but will love him to pieces anyway – even when he loses by a whisker in November. Because it will be the “right” [correct] candidate that lost, rather than the “wrong” candidate who might win.

Sick, sick, sick, sick.

Actually, I thought the thread quite edifying insofar as it explained several of your commenters stance vis-a-vis Romney.

“but the comment section here will not serve as a home for anti-Mormon comments.”

Excellent intention but given some of the posts on that thread some may not share your understanding of what constitutes anti-religious comments.

Are you going to apply this same principle to commenters who criticize tenents of other religions or does this only apply to LDS? Quite a few social conservatives dislike principles of Islam as well as some perceived “liberal” tenents of reform Judaism and mainline Protestant religions and aren’t shy about sharing those opinions on conservative boards such as Hot Air.

I am not a Mormon nor do I support its theology but can we agree that there is a time and place for everything? A cliche? Yes. But so true. Why do so many people on the internet think that because they have an opinion and can use a keyboard, they then have a right to attack others at all times and in all places? Can we all just grow up?

Didn’t we get this out of our systems with Kennedy?

The worst thing about Mormons is their anti-alcohol, anti-caffeine, anti-nicotine ways.

Outside of that, I have a soft spot in my heart for Mormons … the eight Mormon missionaries that lived around the corner from me the year I lived in Ube, Japan, were very kind to me … even after I made it politely clear they weren’t going to make any conversion inroads on me.

Good people whom I enjoyed running into daily on the main drag in town. We had a lot of laughs together … and I saw them much, much more as fellow Americans than I did as Mormons, apart from me.

LukeHandCool (whose personal rule of thumb is it’s best to keep a sense of humor about our differences).

    Having lived in and near LDS population centers for a while, I have not heard many Mormon proselytize against tobacco, alcohol or caffeine. Even when our college team traveled to BYU for ski meets, or when their recruited Scandinavian members came to our post-race parties – with chaperones nacht.

    Milhouse in reply to LukeHandCool. | January 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    They’re not anti-caffeine, just against coffee and tea. Coke and Mountain Dew are just fine with them, so long as you don’t drink enough to get addicted.

      redsweater in reply to Milhouse. | January 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm

      Yes and no. Caffeine is one of those things where one is not commanded to refrain from it in any official doctrine or publication that I’m aware of, but some extemporaneous speakings from leaders have implied (or explicitly stated?) it’s not good. Various members interpret it differently. It gets a little difficult sometimes to separate doctrine from cultural convention, and leaders’ dicates from speculations and opinions.

        It is not cut and dried. Several decades ago, the Mormon Church got in quite a pickle when it was revealed that while the elders were disparaging caffeine, they were heavily invested in Coca-Cola. That was why some of my friends and I, on our yearly trip to Provo, would lurk on the BYU campus trying to hawk Cokes and Coffee. I am much less of an A-Hole now…

Midwest Rhino | January 16, 2012 at 7:28 pm

Lines were crossed, but no one knows what those lines were?

South Park did a revealing episode on Scientology … yet I don’t know that Scientologists pose any threat. A Christian group I was with long ago even joined with their lawyers in a suit over deprogramming (or was that the Unification church, I forget … same problem). Still, if a Scientologist was to run for president, I’d want to examine details of their belief.

Most religions have some objectionable aspects when you get down to their core beliefs. If a Christian ran for president swearing God had called him, and that he would make decisions based on audible voices from God … could he win the election? I hope not, even if his name was Moses or Peter.

Mitt has made some pretty strong comments about his religion, without expounding on questions … it is the faith of his fathers. Those beliefs are outside the norm, as the video on blacks portrayed. It is as reasonable to question Romney on those beliefs as it is to question him on Bain.

But if a video on Mormons excluding blacks is presented … maybe bloggers should have some idea of what the lines are. I’d be happy to do business with a Mormon that thought her family would get their own planet someday … as strange as that may seem. It seems that would mean they strive to live an ideal life now. But for a my president, I’d like to know some details on what they believe about their opinion on the standing of others that are not Mormon. I’d wonder the same about my Baptist relatives that think I’m going to hell for not being fully submersed, or a Muslim that believed in Sharia law.

I don’t hate Mormons or Baptists or my old theological classmates that are sure I’ve gone astray … but questions about business and faith are not out of line. If they are out of line in this blog, that’s OK, just please define the line.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    I might add that Obama got elected stating that he would consult with audible voices from union leaders before making presidential decisions … and we certainly should have questioned THAT more vociferously.

    Milhouse in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Scientology is not a religion, it’s an organised crime syndicate. It uses fraud, violence, and intimidation to control people and to separate them from their money. So if a scientologist were to run for president I’d want them scrutinised carefully to make sure they were only superficially involved.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Milhouse. | January 16, 2012 at 9:27 pm

      well, the same might be said for any “group”, at a certain level.

      Sorry … I’ve been trying to get a grip on Reinhold Niebuhr lately … “Moral Man and Immoral Society”

      As soon as you get a group together, they advocate for their own cause … generally NOT the common good … A decent argument for separation of powers. Of course some groups are better than others … and NOT grouping is really not an option.

        Milhouse in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 17, 2012 at 2:16 am

        I’m not talking “at a certain level”, I mean what I wrote literally.

        Scientology is not a religion at all. It calls itself a religion only in order to take advantage of the legal privileges religions enjoy, and of the very shield against religious bigotry that we’re discussing here. It should not be allowed to get away with the deception.

        Scientology is literally a crime syndicate, just like the Gambinos or the Yakuza. It engages in fraud and intimidation, not in any metaphorical sense but literally.

Between a communist & a Morman, I am absolutely going with the Morman. Obama is the bottom of the barrel and must be ousted. Nobama 2012.

In my 2008 experience over the Mormon issue when I defended Romney’s Mormonism, I found myself arguing mostly with Southern Baptists who also had problem with us “papists”. It left me with a very bad taste in my mouth about Southern Baptists, particularly those affiliated with the Dallas HQ.

On the other hand, Romney did after all bring this down on himself by kicking off his 2008 campaign by publishing his book “A Mormon in the White House”. Imagine Nixon kicking off his presidential campaign with a book called “A Quaker in the White House”. I wonder if his being a Mormon would have been an issue had he not made it one.

After all, JFK’s Catholicism was a much bigger problem for much of America in 1960 than Mormonism is today yet he dealt with it very deftly as a side issue. Anti-Catholicism in mid-twentieth century was very ugly across much of America. Not so of anti-Mormonism.

There is something about Romney that just never rings true. He has no discernible vision of America driving him that would advance a clearly defined set of core principles. He seems to be driven by nothing more than a personal need to achieve. His supposed core principles when he ran for MA governor were distinctly different from when he ran for the Senate against Ted Kennedy which were against diametrically different from those he is running on today.

The achievement was his becoming governor, not what he would accomplish once elected. That also explains his bizarre campaign against Ted Kennedy. And now that he is running for the White House, it again seems to be the main driver of his ambition. He will say anything to win because winning IS the achievement. He is not about being but about becoming.

Mormonism has nothing to do with what is wrong with Romney.

    Midwest Rhino in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Good points … though I’d say ANY religion could be a problem, if they adhere too closely. We recognize radical Islam, and much of Islam is pretty radical. Hints that Nancy Reagan consulted a spiritualist rightfully raised suspicion. Perry or Bush hints that they were called by God should rightfully be revealed in detail. It is part of the résumé … especially when they claim to be guided “spiritually”. That puts us ALL under that “spirit”.

    So with a rather unique religion like Mormonism, I don’t think it wise to totally dismiss the religious portion of Mitt’s life, just to be fully politically correct. Why can’t we look at the whole man? And his religion is a large part of his life, as far as I can tell. Is it really totally divorced from his political life?

      I understand but there is a distinction between Islam, Mormonism, Judaism and Christianity in general. All but Islam accept the US Constitution as the Supreme Law of The Land.

      Although it is informative as to the character of a man that he belong to a certain religion, we only use that to measure the actions of the man. We are looking for virtue and used to have a broad consensus about what virtues we were looking for and they were not specific to any religion.

      Antisemitism is just outright ignorant bigotry rooted in hate. Anti-Catholicism is rooted to this day on an antiquated notion that we all march to the orders of the Pope. When was that EVER true?

      Islam, on the other hand, has been co-opted by ignorant cave-dwelling fanatics who have transformed it into an all-encompassing way of life that sees the world as those who dwell in the “land of Islam” and those who dwell in the “land of war”. The latter are declared to be fair game for killing.

        Midwest Rhino in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

        People can have different reasons for being anti any certain religion … I think most religion is good, when it doesn’t impose itself on others by force.

        I admire the thousands of years of history of the Jewish traditions, which is fundamental to most of Christianity. But I don’t think the world was covered in water just 5000 years ago. Still, I see in the Bible good long standing developed traditions that have served man well.

        Islam concerns me more, having started with a warring leader … Mormonism is very young and rather strange.

        It is from a “separate from religion” view that I question a leader coming from a rather “strange” set of core beliefs. I’d like clarification on obscurities about Bain, Mormonism, hidden hard drives, and those tax forms. There is a pattern of secrecy and deception, as I see it.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 16, 2012 at 10:04 pm

          The BBC states this “strangeness”, lest I’m accused of being bigoted or hateful toward a certain religion:

          God the Father is a being called Elohim, who was once a man like present day human beings, but who lived on another planet.

          Over time this man made himself perfect and became God, with a knowledge of everything, and the power to do anything.

          Mormons apparently believe (in their core beliefs) they can become the same as God. I might like that in a neighbor … but can’t I question how that might work in a president, who is very devoted to this faith?

      BTW, I have always been leery and distrustful of “bible-thumpers”. I don’t like being lectured on how I would be a better person, like them actually, if I were to follow their path of righteousness. SHOW me the virtue. Save the bible-thumping for the flock.

      Midwest Rhino in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm

      but to clarify .. there is plenty to observe wrong with Romney, and no definitive reason to attribute it to his religion. But I can’t declare it has nothing to do with his religion … it is conceivable it has everything to do with his religion.

      As with Bain … I don’t know the details, but can’t say Bain has nothing to do with Romney’s candidacy. Bain and Mormonism are “fair game”. Having left religion behind, I don’t see bigotry in those asking questions .. but rather in saying questions are out of bounds. The videos on Bain and on the blacks in Mormonism had a rather hateful tone … but I just want to know where Mitt stands … without being told those questions mean I hate America or I’m bigoted.

        Milhouse in reply to Midwest Rhino. | January 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

        Bain is certainly fair game if it did anything wrong, but so far all that it seems to have done is be a successful business, and to attack it for that is to attack capitalism itself.

          Midwest Rhino in reply to Milhouse. | January 16, 2012 at 9:00 pm

          if Bain mostly leveraged companies up with the intent of “capitalizing” on fees and dividends … then Mitt just “decapitalized” companies and left behind a world of debt.

          That is what is WRONG with our current economic situation. Unless Romney has secretly seen the light on the road to DamasCus, he might just be leading U.S. into more debt.

          Milhouse in reply to Milhouse. | January 17, 2012 at 2:18 am

          No, that’s not what Bain did. So it’s OK then.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Pasadena Phil. | January 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm

    Mitt Romney was very successful as executive decider for the Utah Winter Olympics.

    Anyone who has ever organized /headchopped in that environment as some serious credentials.

    atlanta was a bomb. Sydney a success & the executives & movers & shakers went on to exec for Beijing & London .Romney went on to Gov of Mass.

    If Romney had headed Chicago’s bid & not Obama then they may not have come last.

    At the very least Romney could intervene as president in the wonderful world of American ice skating. Perhaps he could tone down the see through net & diamonte costumes on male & females. It is getting bizarre.

[…] It hasn’t been pretty and it’s gonna get uglier – and we’re not talking about Barack and Michelle Obama in the morning. […]

Henry Hawkins | January 16, 2012 at 8:42 pm

The portions of the thread in question that many found ‘heated and nasty’ weren’t addressing Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, they were anti-Mormon categorically, attacking any and all Mormons for holding the ‘wrong’ beliefs.

Virtually all of us disbelieve in all Gods save one, while a few of us disbelieve in all Gods period, and yet, despite all the disbelief, we see ourselves as great believers.

By my way of thinking, Mitt Romney’s Mormonism is reviewable only if there exists evidence or signs that it had negatively affected his practice of governance in Massachusetts or his actions as a businessman. To my knowledge, no such evidence exists, therefore, I could care less about Romney’s Mormonism.

    HH, isn’t Romney not merely a Mormon but also an LDS leader and minister? (Also, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that they believe that there are many gods, although only one “God” to be worshipped rules over each planet.)

      Milhouse in reply to janitor. | January 17, 2012 at 2:22 am

      isn’t Romney not merely a Mormon but also an LDS leader and minister?

      No more than any other Mormon man.

      And yes, Mormons are polytheists. Of course from an outside perspective all trinitarian Christians appear to be polytheists too, but Mormons are way beyond that.

    Also — and this is strictly a hypothetical — if a person believed that it were of primary importance in advancing his destiny in the afterlife that he become a leader on Earth, and that it were unimportant, therefore, to be truthful about his positions or fair in his dealings to those over whom he needed to attain leadership — would that be important to you?

      Henry Hawkins in reply to janitor. | January 16, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      I’ll repeat myself:

      The portions of the thread in question that many found ‘heated and nasty’ weren’t addressing Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, ***they were anti-Mormon categorically, attacking any and all Mormons for holding the ‘wrong’ beliefs.***

      That is, the complaint and the crime is not in discussing Romney’s Mormonism and how it might possibly affect his governance, the complaints were about posters attacking Mormonism as a whole because it happens to differ from the attackers’ religious beliefs.

    Browndog in reply to Henry Hawkins. | January 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    What Henry said…

    It is my view that others know exactly what the Professor is talking about, yet try to defend it with some nuanced justifications.

Professor, OT but maybe relevant. On most posts the “reply” feature to individual comments serves a useful function, IMO. On the ones that could be touchy – and that would be YOUR call – disabling that feature might speed things along and mitigate the civility.

If Romney is the nominee the media will try to portray him as a theocrat eager to wage a holy war. It is the template too many journalists have used for decades for any non-liberal candidate.

In this campaign already there has been paranoid talk among journalists about “Dominionism” and how Perry and Bachman allegedly are the would-be leadership of a secret Christianist theocracy. I predict the media will employ a similar line of attack against Romney’s Mormon faith. In the eyes of many journalists, conservative and liberal Christians and Jews are just a bunch of Bible thumpin’ bigots ignorant of modern science, and who would not be tolerated in a proper society.

(BTW: I am no supporter of Romney, and will not vote for him if he is the nominee. Romney is a nanny-state liberal technocrat who will make the budget situation in Washington worse, not better.)

I am not going to address the dangers of Mitt Romney’s belief system here, however there are real concerns that anyone who cares this country should be aware of. If you care to know about rituals and oaths performed by Mitt and his co-religionist and how those oaths may affect Mitt’s governing you should check out this link.

theduchessofkitty | January 17, 2012 at 1:02 am

Isn’t placing a religious test upon a candidate for political office un-Constitutional?

Because that’s what’s being done here to Romney.

    Voters are free to put whatever tests they like. It’s not unconstitutional, just un-American.

      theduchessofkitty in reply to Milhouse. | January 17, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Constitution of the United States, Article VI, Section 3:

      The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      I rest my case.

      Voters are NOT FREE to put any religious test on a candidate for office. That is Un-Constitutional and Un-American.

        You are wrong. Voters are absolutely free to apply any test they like, religious or otherwise. If you think the piece you bolded says otherwise, then you’re illiterate.

        PS: If that’s how you read the Religious Test clause, I shudder to think how you read the Republican Guarantee clause! I suppose you think it outlaws the Democratic Party!