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    October 04, 2007

    The ad with the missing flip-flop

    Posted by: Chris

    I have been accused, and fairly so, of too often seeing the glass as half-empty. Hell -- if the glass is only short 1/100th, I've found myself completely exorcised about that missing sip.  So perhaps I should just be thankful that the Log Cabin Republicans have awoken from their loooooong slumber since the departure of Patrick Guerriero as executive director more than a year ago.

    Today Log Cabin released a television ad to be aired in Iowa and on national cable that does a devastating job of using Mitt Romney's own words to show what a politically craven flip-flopper he is.  Take a look at the ad, and then tell me if you notice anything, er, missing…

    Abortion? Check.  Roe v. Wade? Check. Gun control? Check. No return to Reagan-Bush? Check. Massachusetts values? Check.

    Romneylcrletter_2 But what about the gays? What about the letter (click to enlarge) that candidate Mitt Romney sent to these very same Log Cabin Republicans during his 1994 challenge to Sen. Ted Kennedy? Romney famously wrote, "For some voters, it might be enough to simply match my opponent’s record in this area. But I believe we can and must do better. If we are to achieve the goals we share, we must make equality for gays and lesbians a mainstream concern. My opponent cannot do this. I can and will."

    Romneyprideflyer What about that hot-pink Happy Pride! flyer distributed by the Romney for governor campaign?

    Or even some choice quotes from Romney's response to a questionnaire from the Boston gay paper Bay Windows just five short years ago, in which Romney compares the gay rights movement to Martin Luther King and the necessity of protecting Roe v. Wade:

    BW: When did you become aware that civil rights for gays and lesbians was an issue?

    MR: At a very young age, my parents taught me important lessons about tolerance and respect. I have carried these lessons with me throughout my life and will bring them with me if I am fortunate enough to be elected governor. My dad, George Romney, was a three-term governor of Michigan. He walked the streets of Detroit with Martin Luther King in support of civil rights. And my mother, Lenore, ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970 and advocated a woman's right to choose when abortion was still a crime, before the days of Roe vs. Wade. If elected Governor of Massachusetts, I will not tolerate discrimination of any form in Massachusetts.

    For the life of me I can't figure out why Log Cabin would miss the opportunity to let voters know about Romney's previously big gay flip-flop. Not only would it have reinforced the point the ad makes on abortion and gun control, but it reminds Republicans that many GOP politicians support gay rights. Perhaps LCR-ers find it anathema to compare gay rights to abortion and gun control.  Who knows?

    I've never agreed with criticism of Log Cabin or gay Republicans generally as self-loathing or still wounded from years in the closet.  But for many gays, the ad with the missing flip-flop will only reinforce those notions.



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    1. KipEsquire on Oct 4, 2007 2:44:51 PM:

      There is no better boost for a Republican candidate than to be lambasted by LCR.

      Romney is probably grinning very widely right now.

    1. Robbie on Oct 4, 2007 3:05:51 PM:

      I think you're slightly misreading the intent of the ad. It isn't merely about flip-flopping. It's about saying, "Romney is not a true conservative in his heart. This is all pandering during an election."

      Abortion and gun control issues are ways of noting his suspect conservative credentials, but an organization like LCR isn't going to say, "He used to be for gay rights. That's how unconservative he really is." For fairly obvious reasons.

      I think they should do another ad on gay issues in regards to Romney. It's a discussion the Republican Party needs to have. But in that ad, in the context they were using, I think the gay issue would have been out of place.

      Although, if you allow for a liberal reading of the ad, you could read Massachusettes values as code for gay in the same way San Francisco values is currently used by some Republicans.

    1. Double T on Oct 4, 2007 6:37:57 PM:

      Wasn't Larry Craig on Team Romney? Hmmm, wonder what's he's doing now that he resigned.

      say what?!!!

    1. Wayne on Oct 4, 2007 6:43:00 PM:

      I think your criticism is a little harsh. It looks to me to be taking the most effective points to hurt Romney with Republicans and putting them out there. The fact that they didn't use the gay issue makes it that much smarter.

      I would guess the omission is highly intentional.

    1. Tim C on Oct 5, 2007 7:30:54 AM:

      Admission: I'm an LCR member and have been for years. Putting all the political eggs in one basket has never been a recipe for success. I wonder what LCR management saw.

      I can't figure out why LCR has spent their/our/my money on producing and promoting this ad. Romney has never been more than a trailing third place and is having to put more and more of his own money into the campaign coffers to have enough money to stay visible. Currently he's more than 10 points behind the top two candidates. He thought, with his position changes, that he could become the candidate of the social conservatives, but between his previous positions, which are well known, and his Mormon religion (I'm going to be judged by some guy named Joseph Smith when I die?), he hasn't developed any traction with them. I don't see a threat worth spending money on.

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