National Commentary

Anything But Straight: Panderers and Philanderers

Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor and Republican presidential candidate, is the king of crass, the maven of craven and the show pony of phony. He switches positions quicker than a porn star and is more slippery than an okra plate dipped in country butter. I never thought the religious right would be gullible enough to buy Romney’s eleventh hour conversion, but apparently he can buy theirs. According to an article in Sunday’s New York Times, the ultra-wealthy Romney is desperately funneling cash to right wing organizations and literally banking on their support.

The Times revealed that a foundation of Romney’s recently made $10,000-$15,000 contributions to the anti-abortion Massachusetts Citizens for Life, Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation and the Massachusetts Family Institute. Moneybags Mitt also funneled $10,000 to a non-profit organization tied to the National Review magazine; he slipped $35,000 to the Federalist Society; and pumped $25,000 into the coffers of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.

Some of these American Mullahs were critical of Romney until he showed them the moolah. In a comic, if unintentional, slip, Citizens for Life praised Romney as one of Massachusetts “strongest assets.” Yeah, I guess an estimated net-worth of $500 million would qualify as such. Not surprisingly, these “values” groups claim that their recent inclinations to support Romney had nothing to do with his donations and that their sudden helping hand is not a quid pro quo for his handouts.

Amazing how these protectors of the family don’t question why their new Daddy Warbucks hadn’t bought them so much as a Starbucks coffee before he started running for president. Personally, I don’t believe that any of these organizations truly support Romney. I just think he has given them so many hundred dollar bills that they have begun to confuse him with Ben Franklin.

In the most shamelessly transparent move yet, Romney even joined the National Rifle Association giving new meaning to the term “soldier of fortune.” There are still concerns in Evangelical circles about Romney’s Mormon religion, but it seems his affiliation with the LDS will matter less if he becomes an ATM. The almighty dollar is the right wing’s equivalent of an ecumenical prayer.

Perhaps, the gay movement should embark upon a new strategy. Instead of spending millions of dollars on lobbying, we should just buy off our opponents at a fraction of the cost. I suspect we could get a hate crimes law for under a million. Marriage would cost a bit more, but we could sweeten the deal by throwing in free passes to the Holy Land Experience amusement park in Orlando.

On an equally troubling note for religious purists, the Southern Baptist Convention is redefining Sin to accommodate Republican presidential candidates. The SBC’s Richard Land intimated in the Times that some divorces are more troubling than others, calling John McCain’s divorce a “molehill” compared to Giuliani’s “mountain.”

On MSNBC’s Hardball, Land even said that Evangelicals would likely accept two marriages – but three brought up character and trust issues. With this shifting moral landscape among “absolutists,” can acceptance of Republican homosexuals be far behind?

It is amazing how the right wing creates Biblical loopholes when it fits their political needs. The Bible, if Land has read it, does not say that Giuliani’s latest divorce was worse because he announced it at a press conference before he informed his wife. According to the Good Book – all divorce and remarriage is equally sinful.

Speaking of the Republican Marriage-Go-Round, Newt Gingrich told Focus on the Family’s James Dobson that he was having an affair with a younger woman while he was working to impeach Bill Clinton for his affair with Monica. If this wasn’t bad enough, America was reminded that in 1981, while his first wife Jackie Gingrich was recovering in the hospital from cancer surgery, Gingrich discussed divorce terms. Newt now claims that he does not remember the incident.

To most people, serving divorce papers to your wife in her sick bed would be a pretty seminal moment. If Newt can’t recall this event, he must opt out of the presidential race because he can’t be trusted with state secrets. In the meantime, I hope he finds a good neurosurgeon and I wish him a speedy recovery from his bout with nuptial amnesia.

The mere thought of a group that calls itself the Moral Majority endorsing any of these reprobate panderers and philanderers is perplexing and shows that they stand for nothing but money and power. On the brink of the next presidential election, the right is either looking for Romney’s Brinks truck or spinning the sinning of Republican favorites, while labeling Democrats, who actually kept their families intact, anti-family.