Secret Romney Pact With Gay Republicans
[UPDATE: At the bottom of this post I have an update from Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, a lead religious right group. They not very happy with Uncle Mitt. They’re demanding a “flat, empathic, unemphatic, unambiguous denial from Romney himself. Please clarify for us all, Governor. Bottom line: we still need a clear, unambiguous, no loophole denial from Gov. Romney that he will support ENDA as president.”]
Oh, Mitty, there you go again.
Ben Adler reports in the Nation today the remarkable news that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney apparently secured the endorsement of the lead gay Republican group, the Log Cabin Republicans, by privately promising them that he would support passage of a major piece of gay rights legislation, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
It is currently legal under federal law, and in a number of states, to fire, not hire, and not promote someone because they’re gay or trans. ENDA bans that discrimination under federal law.
Romney has previously opposed ENDA, Paul Ryan previously supported it, then got beaten up by his own party and voted to kill it, and now refuses to say where he stands on the legislation.
Adler thought it odd that Log Cabin thought, per their statement endorsing Romney, that they could work with him to pass major gay rights legislation, so he called up Log Cabin’s executive director, R. Clark Cooper, to find out. Cooper, apparently, spilled the beans.
Romney’s greatest asset as a politician is his total lack of integrity, honesty or consistency. He is perfectly willing to go before the religious right one day and pledge fealty to them, and the Log Cabin Republicans the next day to do the same. And, apparently, that is what he has done, in private.
Cooper asserted repeatedly that, “With a President Romney we’re confident we can work with him [on ENDA].” But when asked why, Cooper offered only reasons that Romney should work with them: that discrimination is a form of economic inefficiency and impediment to job growth. But you could make the same argument to any president.
The question is what Romney has said that gives them such confidence. Cooper says, “Romney been clear in his opposition to workplace discrimination.” He also seemed to conflate private conversations with LCR representatives and his public pronouncements, saying such things as, “[Romney] is acutely aware of the problem of the patchwork of discrimination,” meaning that it creates problems for businesses that some states ban anti-gay discrimination and others do not.
Later, clearly referencing private communications with the campaign, Cooper said, “Based on our work with the campaign and Gov. Romney, I’m confident [that he will support anti-discrimination legislation].” Cooper was coy and vague about what exactly Romney said to inspire such confidence; he says Romney “has been adamant” in opposition to discrimination. Romney is clearly quite a salesman.
As I’ve written before, Romney has spoken of his personal preference not to practice discrimination, but he has not actually publicly called for outlawing workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Cooper said he would e-mail me Romney quotes I may have missed that do call for such legislation, but as of this writing he had not done so.
As I continued to press this point and suggested that LCR may be factually wrong about Romney’s position, Cooper blurted out, rhetorically, “Have you met with Romney’s domestic policy team?” Cooper’s implication was abundantly clear: Romney’s domestic policy team has privately told LCR what they wanted to hear. And therein lies the answer to how Romney secured LCR’s endorsement. But Romney so fears the wrath of the religious right that he will not adopt this position in public, (Although ENDA polls very well, major social conservative groups, such as the American Family Association, continue to oppose it and demand that Romney do the same.)
Given that Romney is a reflexive liar, the question then becomes why LCR chooses to believe Romney. For that, I have no answer other than wishful thinking on their part.
How Long Until Romney Flip-flops Again?
Get ready for Romney’s promise to help get ENDA passed to go the way of former Romney spokesman Rick Grenell, who was unceremoniously self-deported from the Romney campaign after the religious right got vewy vewy angwy with Master Mitt.
Just guess what the religious right is going to do when they find out that Mitt Romney has promised to pass the most significant piece of gay and trans rights legislation in the history of America.
Keep in mind that up until recently, Romney used to love the gays. Romney once even promised that he was more pro-gay than Ted Kennedy. Then he wanted to be president, and he realized that he needed to become a neanderthal to run as a Republican, so suddenly Romney was anti-gay, and like his opposition to withdrawal from Afghanistan, past promises went down the memory hole, another victim of Romnesia.
Let’s all count down together to how long it will take for Romney to issue a statement revoking his secret pact to support ENDA: 3, 2, 1…
UPDATE: Here’s the American Family Association’s response – none too pleased with Uncle Waffle: