Saturday, February 10, 2007

Wall Street Journal: Romney Flip-Flops on "Gay Marriage"

The Wall Street Journal has serious doubts about Mitt Romney. We highlighted their editorial trashing his Massachusetts health insurance plan -- which he was so proud of, until about a month ago. Now, WSJ is voicing hesitation on his free market bona fides:

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts Governor, has had some success exploiting conservative unease with Mr. McCain. He has shown he can win votes in a blue state, and he was successful both as a capitalist and as manager of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics.

However, he too is something of an empty policy slate. The former business consultant made a big deal of the health-care "reform" he steered through the Massachusetts legislature last year, and we suppose he deserves credit for trying. But he oversold the results--to the applause of the national health-care lobby--and imposed an insurance mandate without reforming the state insurance market.

As it unfolds, this law is turning out to be far from a free-market success. And so now Mr. Romney is distancing himself from it--never mind that he upbraided his critics last year for not understanding its virtues. The episode suggests a thin political skin and perhaps a too malleable policy core.

Also, WSJ today noted that Romney's not only a flip-flopper on abortion and gay rights, but also has changed his position on gay marriage ("Election 2008: A Crowded Field Forms Early"):

Mitt Romney
Strengths: The Republican governor from liberal Massachusetts brokered a bipartisan universal health-care initiative last year. The Bain Capital founder's $6.5 million in pledges last month have built early credibility.
Weaknesses: The fact that Mr. Romney is a Mormon could hurt his support among evangelicals. Attempts to woo social conservatives have been hampered by shifting positions on gay marriage and abortion rights.

Hmm... did the WSJ really mean to say this? "Gay marriage" rather than "gay rights"? A big fan of the editorial page told us, "YES -- they have the best editors, and they probably did pay attention to MassResistance's report."

Well, even if it was a slip, here's the truth about Mitt Romney: HE HAS NOT BEEN CONSISTENT ON HIS SUPPORT FOR REAL MARRIAGE. First, in 2001-2, Romney opposed a proposed constitutional amendment in Massachusetts, which would have banned "gay marriage" and also "civil unions". Romney said that was "too extreme". Understand that he thinks we need to respect all citizens, no matter what choices they may make in their lives. So apparently, in 2001-2, Romney supported civil unions. And if that wasn't the basis for opposing the amendment, maybe he just didn't want to ban "gay marriage"? We ask his Mr. Romney to clarify his opposition to the 2002 Mass. marriage amendment. And further, why didn't he make a stink then that the Legislature unconstitutionally threw it into the dustbin? (He became Governor in January 2003, days after that happened.)

Then in 2005-6, suddenly Romney favored the new proposed Mass. marriage amendment, which would NOT ban civil unions, and which would let stand the existing "gay marriages" (since May 2004).

So first he's against a marriage amendment, then he's for one. Is this a flip-flop? Or -- is there some consistency? Romney seems to want to keep open the possibility for civil unions in both instances. Interesting.

Hello, Romney campaign. Please explain!