Today in embarrassing moments for Mitt Romney

I admit I’ve had a few good laughs at poor Mitt Romney’s expense these last few weeks — killing Big Bird, binders of women, bayonets and battleships, but today came something that must sting coming from the Mormonest place on earth.

JT pointed me the direction of the Salt Lake Tribune which just endorsed… Barack Obama.  Now, to be fair, the paper endorsed Obama four years ago and was formed as the Mormon Tribune in order to criticize the LDS church.  That said, Mitt Romney helped organize the 2002 Olympics and is a Mormon. He should have gotten at least a nod or a thank you in such ostensibly friendly territory.

That is not what happened.

If this portrait of a Romney willing to say anything to get elected seems harsh, we need only revisit his branding of 47 percent of Americans as freeloaders who pay no taxes, yet feel victimized and entitled to government assistance. His job, he told a group of wealthy donors, “is not to worry about those people. I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”

Where, we ask, is the pragmatic, inclusive Romney, the Massachusetts governor who left the state with a model health care plan in place, the Romney who led Utah to Olympic glory? That Romney skedaddled and is nowhere to be found.

Perhaps Jon Huntsman will have the opportunity to run more successfully in 4 years time.  He is a man that Utah and Mormons and even the Salt Lake Tribune can be proud of, even if he is a Republican.

Releasing the Prop 8 Videos

 

People in an open society do not demand infallibility in their institutions, but it is difficult for them to accept what they are prohibited from observing – Chief Justice Berger

Former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who presided over the Prop 8 trial, recently used some of the video that was taken during the case as part of a lecture.  The Proponents, aka supporters of Prop 8/opposers of gay marriage, immediately took great offense and sent what was essentially a cease and desist order that demanded the return of all the copies of the tapes, Walker's and anyone else who had them.

 
In response, Ted Olson and David Boies, the legal tour de force trying to lift the gay marriage ban, filed a request that the tapes be unsealed and released to the public.  After all, the trial is a matter of public record and the transcripts are freely available.
 
Originally, the trial was going to be broadcast live, but the Proponents felt like this might scare some of their witnesses away, and so they demanded that it not be broadcast.  Judge Walker taped it, but didn't release the tapes, to the great disappointment of the men and women across the country who wanted to see the greatest trial of the greatest civil rights battle of our time.

No one can really blame the Proponents for not wanting to have video footage of just how appallingly awful their defense of Prop 8 was.  They want to continue to play the victim here — they want to sell the idea that gay marriage is somehow a violation of religious liberty, rather than being completely the other way round.  The video of their disastrous performance would only reveal that they are driven solely by religion and bigotry — and that they aren't even capable of hiding that fact.

Some things that they don't want you to see on television, things that their own anti-equality witnesses did: a witness saying that DADT and DOMA were "Official Discrimination"; that same witness then saying Prop 8 was also discriminatory; Mr. Blankenhorn, their chief witness saying, "I believe that adoption of same sex marriage would be likely to improve the well-being of gay and lesbian households and their children"; Blankenhorn also saying, "We would be more American on the day we legalized gay marriage than the day before".

Well, I mean, no wonder, right?  But that's exactly why these things need to be released.  People need the opportunity to see how feeble the defense was and to really understand how motivated by religion the campaign against equality was.  Not everyone is as nerdy as me and reads trial transcripts because they find them so compelling — video is the medium of our lives, and well do the religious know that since it is the medium through which they sold their hate.

The vast majority of the money and on-the-ground support for the Prop 8 campaign came from the Mormon church, supplemented by the Catholic church.  This isn't even money from California, and it's certainly money that ought to take away their tax exempt status.  People need to be shown the kind of lies they were telling to get people to vote against marriage equality, the emotional manipulation about children and families, things so blatantly false they might be defended with the disclaimer: "not intended to be a factual statement."

Gay marriage doesn't destroy families, it doesn't destroy children, it really doesn't do much except make some people very happy and give them access to rights that the rest of us take for granted.  The trial provided an overwhelming amount of evidence that refusing marriage rights not only hurt gay people, but also hurt the thousands of children of LGBT parents.  It hurts these children irreparably, immeasurably, forever.  This wasn't in question, gay marriage opponents agreed.

These tapes shouldn't just be released, they should be broadcast on every news channel for weeks to expose just how rotten the argument is against gay marriage.  If you've ever questioned why church-state separation is so important, this is why.  If conservative Christians (and I include the LDS) hadn't funded the gay marriage ban, it wouldn't be in place, and even they couldn't create enough money to make credible witnesses or a real argument against gay marriage.  The monstrous unfairness of the church taking over, infiltrating, and outright buying the political process only to then lie to the public to get their way has got to stop.  Not only is it immoral, it is un-American.

Proponents motion for return of videos http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-338
Vaughn Walker's response: http://www.scribd.com/doc/53041973/CA9Doc-339-Letter-from-Vaughn-R-Walker
Olson and Boies request for unsealing of videos: http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-340
San Francisco's feisty response: http://www.scribd.com/doc/52945974/CA9Doc-341

 

Spiderman, Twilight, Potter, Buffy

Robert Pattinson may be taking over Tobey Maguire’s role as superhero Spider-Man.

1. I hated Spiderman.  87% of the reason was Kirsten Dunst and her terrible hair (which did get better in subsequent films), and the rest was the fact that I hate Spiderman.  There is only one good Superhero and his name is Batman and, ignoring the films of the 90s but definitely accepting the animation of the 90s, he is awesome.  Spiderman is a whiny little emo kid, to Batman’s insane and bipolar, do-gooder freak.  Cheer up emo kid.

2. I hate Twilight, though I don’t hate Twihards.  I get it, I really do.  I just, as a feminist, and as a person who is creeped out my Mormonism, don’t really approve of the creepy female hating/stalking is cool messaging in the book.  And let’s face it, it’s no Harry Potter.  Or Buffy for that matter.

3. I didn’t even like Roberto in HP4, though I was just generally not a fan of HP4.  Let’s face it, he’s no Sean Biggerstaff.  Real name.

4. If you want Vampires done right, you watch Buffy.  Here is why: