What Would Pres. Monson Ask Pres. Romney To Do?

By: hawkgrrrl
January 24, 2012

Critics of Romney have worried that his Mormonism will affect him in his office as President of the United States.  This concern has been raised from several different angles, and becomes an even bigger question as his tax records reveal his tithing contributions.  To those who lack the context, donating 10% of your income to a church sounds like Scientology (to those who view us as foolish) or cronyism (to those who view us as shrewd).  The question was raised before the call for Romney to reveal his tax records, though.  What is behind it?

First of all, the idea that Romney would take orders from Salt Lake is interesting.  This concern could be raised about any candidate of any faith.  It’s partly behind the right-wing freak-out about Obama’s father being Muslim or him being raised in a Muslim country (“Will his loyalties be divided?  Will he try to make us all Muslim?”).  When it comes to the influence of Mormonism on Romney, I see 3 concerns about candidates’ religion:

  1. Undue Influence.  This is the question about taking orders from Church HQ.  To Mormons, it always begs the question, what exactly would Pres. Monson ask him to do?  To most of us, it sounds like a ludicrous idea.  Would they ask him to oppose gay marriage?  Irrelevant:  the GOP has already forced Romney’s reluctant hand on this one, and Obama is also on record as not supporting it.  Would they ask him to support the right of churches to ministerial exception?  Irrelevant:  already done!  Plus, it’s a judicial question, not executive.  To outsiders, the question is really about who leads the president, a valid question for any candidate.  This is why people look closely at a candidate’s wife, his or her donors, and how much influence his or her church and party have on him or her as an individual.  The real question is “Is Romney his own man?” and if he’s not (I have doubts, frankly**) then “Whose man is he?”  Personally, I feel confident enough in Romney’s pragmatic nature that he would not take undue influence from Salt Lake during his tenure as POTUS, nor would they be foolish enough to attempt to compromise him.  He might go so far as to ask the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (or better choice – Gladys Knight) to sing at the inauguration.  That’s not much influence, IMO
  2. Values Alignment.  This is primarily a concern of evangelicals and other social conservatives who want to vote for a candidate with the same values they have.  They want to know:  “Does this person feel the same way about traditional family values?  Are they pro-life enough?  Are they against contraception?  Do they also see stem cell research as the travesty I do?”  In the current GOP primary, since the evangelicals haven’t had a credible candidate of their own, they are looking around for someone who magically has the same exact values they do without having the same religion:  a tall order.  For those who see these social issues as core, they will not like a candidate who is not a social conservative.  However, unless voters really expect the President to overturn Roe v. Wade, these issues seem a little irrelevant to that office.
    • “POTUS Like Me.”  Underlying this is the idea that the President needs to be relatable, a guy you can drink a beer with.  Clearly, Mitt’s not that guy for a couple reasons:  1) he doesn’t drink, and 2) he is rich.  For many, they want the President to be just a regular guy like they are.  This is a mentality I don’t really comprehend.  I’m not smart enough to run the country; if the candidate isn’t smarter than me, they aren’t getting my vote.  I have never met anyone at a backyard barbecue that I thought should be President.
  3. Fundamental Flaw in Thinking.  This is the 3rd concern about Romney’s Mormonism that is out there:  “How could any rational person believe this stuff?”  These critics fall into two categories:  hypocrits (who haven’t taken a good look at the preposterousness of their own religion’s claims) and atheists (who are hardly objective about it).  Those two groups are strange bedfellows indeed.  This concern is usually expressed in the form of mockery.  Unless we want to become an atheist nation or only elect atheists to office, this concern has nowhere to go.
    • Legitimizing Mormonism.  Underlying this one is a fear that by having a Mormon President in office, Mormonism will be legitimized and accepted.  This is a threat to those religions that fear losing congregants (and their donations) to our aggressively proselyting church.  Should they feel threatened?  I believe this political criticism is the byproduct of an entitled group (evangelical Republicans) fearing the loss of their unwarranted entitlement (preferential treatment in the GOP).

Do you think these concerns are valid?  What do you think Monson would ask Romney to do, president to president? 

Or do you think it’s a moot point anyway after the South Carolina loss?  What do you think will happen in Florida and beyond?  (my predictions:  Florida he wins, but it’s a squeaker; after that he’d be on a roll to the nomination.)  Discuss.

**When I say I don’t think he’s his own man, I see him as someone who solves problems based on complex factors in the current situation rather than exclusively on ideologies.  Pretty much, he would toss ideology out the window to achieve his aims.  I call that pragmatism.  Others call it being a flip flopper, panderer or worse.  But others are running against him for the highest office in the land.  And I’ve pandered once or twice myself.

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103 Responses to What Would Pres. Monson Ask Pres. Romney To Do?

  1. Stephen Marsh on January 24, 2012 at 5:10 AM

    He is really a technocrat in a county where you can’t run for office on that — though people run for office and are elected in Europe on that basis all the time.

    He should have switched parties when governor and then run for president as a Democrat. He would have lost to Obama, but he would be running as an insurgent now, against a sitting president who is vastly unpopular.

    With a consistent history.

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  2. Stephen Marsh on January 24, 2012 at 5:12 AM

    The terrible thing is that I’m not much of a fan of his, but the attacks on him have really not made me happy. /Sigh. Guess I’m human.

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  3. Bob on January 24, 2012 at 5:13 AM

    For me, the question is how will Mormons act if Romney is President? It’s clear THEY think they have a dog in the fight. What will “average’ Mormons expect of him? What power do they think it adds to the Church/or them?

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  4. Paul on January 24, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    Bob raises an interesting question — will Mormons who help elect him (if he wins) be disappointed in the way he governs? Would they have supported his choices during his tenure as a governor in Mass?

    The next week will be great theatre in Florida to be sure.

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  5. Last Lemming on January 24, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    If I were President Monson, I would ask one thing of Romney: remain temple-worthy throughout your presidency (or in crasser terms, keep your pants zipped and your hands out of the cookie jar).

    Will Mormons be disappointed in the way he governs? The short answer is “yes.” But if all they care about is the economy, it is entirely possible that it could recover on his watch (as it would on just about anybody’s watch unless Europe goes in the tank) and they would be satisfied. But if they expect a world with a balanced budget and without abortion, same-sex marriage, the Federal Reserve, the U.N., food stamps, and illegal immigrants they are going to be very disappointed.

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  6. KLC on January 24, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    He would ask him to do his home teaching and not look at porn.

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  7. Jeff Spector on January 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    OK, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that President Monson will not ask him to do anything he wouldn’t ask of any good member of the Church.

    Do you suppose he asked anything of Harry Reid? Like stop being a liberal? I doubt it. Or how about asking Jason Chaffetz to stop being an idiot? I doubt that as well.

    I will say that if the average Member is dumb enough to be a conservative Republican then they are dumb enough to think having a Mormon president means anything more than a guy got elected President based on winning the Electoral College vote.

    The truthfulness of the Gospel or the Church is not proved if Romney gets elected…..

    Controversial! What do you think? Thumb up 10

  8. Course Correction on January 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Hawkgrrrl,

    You’ve identified what may be the biggest reason behind the evangelical reluctance to support Mitt: fearing the loss of their unwarranted entitlement (preferential treatment in the GOP).”

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  9. Clean Cut on January 24, 2012 at 11:49 AM

    “What do you think Monson would ask Romney to do, president to president?”

    Absolutely nothing.

    Romney, and each of us, are free agents, not authoritarian controlled puppets.

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  10. Ray on January 24, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    #6 FTW!

    I’ll be laughing and repeating that one for a long time, I think.

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  11. Douglas on January 24, 2012 at 1:26 PM

    Last Lemming and Jeff fairly well covered it. Methinks that Mitt already has an active relationship with the Savior and a happy marriage that was solemnized in the Temple. What, indeed, could President Monson add that would justify “Tommy Boy” chipping in his two cents worth?
    Assuming that Newt’s surge Peters out as did all the previous, I’d say that Mitt has always conducted his business as he sees fit and as POTUS that will continue.

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  12. Nick Literski on January 24, 2012 at 2:27 PM

    #7:
    OK, I’ll go out on a limb here and say that President Monson will not ask him to do anything he wouldn’t ask of any good member of the Church.

    Okay, so you’re saying Monson would ask Romney to “do all that he can with his time and means” (“means” includes power or influence, not just money) to make sure that marriage equality is prohibited. Good, honest answer!

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  13. Jake on January 24, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    I think Pres. Monson would call him up and have an interview with him about how God has a great work for him to do, and how he is a light to the world; how he is probably the one who will save the constitution of US when it hangs on a thread. Something along those lines, along with encouraging him to stay close to the spirit and remember the whole world is watching him. Likely, also say that he was called in the pre-existence to be POTUS at this time when the world needs moral leaders and then leave Romney to do whatever he wants.

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  14. Jake on January 24, 2012 at 2:45 PM

    Oh I forgot Monson may also tell Romney a story about a one-eyed pigeon, and/or a widow, and relate it in a vague way to being president of the USA.

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  15. Nick Literski on January 24, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Considering Joseph Smith was ordained “King over Israel and All the World” by the Council of Fifty in his day, I wonder whether Romney would get a “special priesthood blessing” from Monson in the event that he was elected.

    After all, we’re talking about an obedient servant who consulted Gordon Hinckley about whether he should run in the first place, back in 2008.

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  16. Paul on January 24, 2012 at 3:17 PM

    It’s a near certainty that Romeny and President Monson would meet during Romney’s tenure, were he elected. After all, Presidents have been meeting with LDS church leaders for years. Wasn’t it Lyndon Johnson who sought counsel from David O. McKay?

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  17. FireTag on January 24, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Nick:

    What exactly do you think Monson has asked Harry Reid to do in the past? If you can point to something, please do so. Otherwise, stop treating liberals differently from conservatives. Obama hasn’t exactly shown courage toward gay marriage, either. Is cold political calculation as justification for placing other parts of his coalition ahead of gays somehow morally superior than principled (even if tragically wrong) opposition to gay marriage?

    I don’t think so. After all, isn’t the complaint that Romney is a flip-flopper exactly the charge that too much political expediency explains his “pragmatism”.

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  18. hawkgrrrl on January 24, 2012 at 3:53 PM

    Jake 14, FTW!

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  19. Nick Literski on January 24, 2012 at 4:25 PM

    FireTag, so far as I know, Romney is the only national-level politician in modern times who has publicly indicated that he consulted the sitting LDS president before deciding whether he should run for political office. That, in itself, makes him different, regardless of whether he’s conservative or liberal.

    That said, a recent Deseret News article on this very topic pointed out that former Senator Bennett (a conservative, notwithstanding the Tea Angry Mob’s rants otherwise) drafted and submitted national legislation specifically at the “request” of LDS leaders. While I don’t have information regarding what “requests” LDS leaders have made of Senator Reid, I don’t see how that means I’m treating conservatives differently than liberals.

    Frankly, I find it a bit humorous that anyone thinks that LDS leaders would be upfront and public about their “requests” directed at LDS politicians. Their track record for secrecy in political activism (even to the point of being found guilty of violating campaign finance laws) is quite well established.

    Controversial! What do you think? Thumb up 3

  20. Ray on January 24, 2012 at 5:19 PM

    Citations, Nick. You know the rules for things like that. (not saying you’re wrong, just saying citations are necessary with things like that)

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  21. Ray on January 24, 2012 at 5:23 PM

    Oh, and fwiw, I have no problem with Brother Romney consulting with Pres. Monson about a run for the POTUS. Obama certainly consulted with religous leaders, as did Jummy Carter and lots of other candidates. To single out Romney for talking with a Mormon President . . . Would we expect a non-Mormon to consult a Mormon President?

    Um, Nick, that’s nothing more than complaining that he’s Mormon and knows the leadership.

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  22. Henry on January 24, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    Push for a federal amendment limiting marriage to one man and one woman.

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  23. Stephen Marsh on January 24, 2012 at 7:05 PM

    I so want to see a John Stewart on this … ;)

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  24. NewlyHousewife on January 24, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    Probably the usual “Hey can you pick up some sausage on your way to General Conference? Packer isn’t dead yet.”

    Would the weekends of General Conference be considered a federal holiday, giving us the Friday before and Monday after off work?

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  25. Will on January 24, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    First off, Romney won’t be president. Either one of two things is going to happen: 1) The most annoying human being on earth will win the GOP nomination. Really, close your eyes and imagine Newt and Callista Gingrich as president and first lady. Can there be more horrible thought? 2) He will get the GOP nomination. If he wins next Tuesday (which he is way behind in the polls) he will be the nomination. After getting the nomination, he will lose to Obama as he will lose in the key state of Florida in the general election and thus loose the general election.

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  26. Will on January 24, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    A perfect description of Newt:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/87/Nydailynews_newt.jpg

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  27. MH on January 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM

    I have real mixed feelings about Mitt. Of the candidates left, he’s by far the best (I’m a Huntsman fan). But I wonder how the public will react to his tax records.

    Mitt did a good job of turning around the SLC Olympics, and deserves credit for that. (I was an employee then), and I was also one the the employees let go when Bain Capital acquired our company, so that doesn’t exactly taste very good. It does feel like Vulture Capitalism to me, so I’m not really a fan of Bain. I was told that my boss wanted a raise. The way to get the raise was to lay off staff. Is that how Pres Monson (or Jesus) would run a company? Sure it’s profitable, but is it Christ-like? (And no my company wasn’t poorly run–it always made a profit, but the profits improved under Bain.) After all, if Bain doesn’t double their money, it’s seen as a below expectations.

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  28. hawkgrrrl on January 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Well, my view of Bain is that they didn’t cause the problems. Those companies would have gone bust if not for Bain’s intervention. Did Bain profit from their misfortunes? Yes. Did they cause those misfortunes? No. And did they make things better? They did save some companies that couldn’t save themselves.

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  29. MH on January 24, 2012 at 11:19 PM

    Hawk, I don’t dispute that may have been the case in some companies, and let me give my personal experience with Bain. They bought the company I worked for because the owner simply didn’t want to own the company any more. The company was making money–we weren’t in trouble at all, and were doing quite well.

    Bain then went on to create a conglomerate of companies. One of the companies they bought was a competitor of ours. However, due to an earthquake in California, the company simply couldn’t survive. In that sense, Bain came to the rescue and bought the company at pennies on the dollar. They have continued to buy competitors and suppliers in the industry–some in trouble–some not. In fact, I remember Bain buying one of our suppliers and being excited that we might be able to resolve some issues with our suppliers.

    Once again, I view Bain with mixed feelings. At first, they eliminated my position and gave me another position. From there I migrated to a position I liked. But a month before the Sept 11 attacks (crashing the economy), I was out on the street as I indicated in comment 27. Yes they make money. Yes they are not always looking out for their employees. Yes, I would call them Vulture Capitalists.

    I don’t like Newt, but this is one area I agree with him. The fact of the matter is that Mitt should be paying more taxes than he is–14% is a joke on the $20 million he makes per year, when most of the readers on the blog pay a much higher percentage. The tax law needs to be regulated better, and we need to listen to Warren Buffett. The top 1% are not paying their fair share, and Mitt is the poster boy for bad tax policy.

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  30. John Mansfield on January 25, 2012 at 5:42 AM

    My memory on this is a bit vague, but there was some interview with Harry Reid some years ago where he said something about the importance of there being Mormons in both parties. He said something like, “When the Church needed help when Pres. Clinton was in office, do you think they sent Orrin Hatch?” I had the idea he was referring mostly to missionary type problems. A missionary is sitting in a jail cell in Eastern Europe, American missionaries are having trouble getting visas to some South American country, missionaries from some African country are having trouble getting visas to the U.S., etc. It could have application also to the various muddles that might need to get straightened out between say, a storehouse cannery and the USDA, or a church historical site and the Department of the Interior.

    So, it’s an interesting question how Pres. Monson would use connection with a Pres. Romney. Having Pres. Romney move the wheels of government along on behalf of the church seems problematic in a way that having Sen. Gordon Smith approach George W. Bush doesn’t. One is a special inside track, and the other is routine lobbying.

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  31. Henry on January 25, 2012 at 6:13 AM

    Will:
    You don’t know if Romney will lose. It seems like Hilary Clinton had the nomination wrapped up but Obama comes from behind and takes the nomination. You never know.

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  32. Nick Literski on January 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    #20:
    Citations, Nick. You know the rules for things like that.

    Ray, if you’re referring to the issue of Romney consulting Hinckley about whether he should run for POTUS, that was published in several papers on the day of Hinckley’s funeral (which was the occasion of Romney being interviewed–go figure).

    If you’re referring to the issue of Bennett being “requested” to draft and submit legislation by LDS leaders, sorry but I was slightly mistaken—it was the SL Trib, not the Deseret News:

    “The former senator from Utah said it wasn’t uncommon for him to speak with foreign officials in places like Russia and Ecuador on matters involving missionaries or LDS land disputes. He also authored at least one bill at the request of the LDS Church that expressly removed any legal liability for churches when their ‘religious volunteers’ turn out to be undocumented immigrants.”

    http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home2/53185712-183/church-lds-romney-hatch.html.csp?page=1

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  33. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    MH:

    Last night Obama called for a 30% tax rate on “millionaires”. Romney already gives 30% combined to taxes and charity. Did I hear correctly that Obama’s charitable giving was 1% in the commentary after the speech last night? (Sorry, I was busy watching the Hershey Bears rise up and beat the Boston Bears last night during the speech! Who’d have thunk it! :D)

    So Romney is giving the money already. Here’s the difference. Romney is giving HIS money to others in the way HE believes is best. Obama is giving OUR money to others in the way HE believes is best, and it looks invariably like the way HE believes is best is the way that always extends and enhances the power of HIM and his political machine.

    Obama may be self-absorbed enough to think that what’s good for him MUST be good for the country. But altruism doesn’t have a good track record in rising out of Chicago politics, does it? So altruism would not be my favored hypothesis.

    It isn’t about how much the rich should pay; it’s about who decides who they pay it to, and about who gets paid a big cut for doing the “service” of deciding.

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  34. Jeff Spector on January 25, 2012 at 10:14 AM

    You have to laugh at the consternation over the issue of the influence the leaders of the LDS Church might have over a President Romney.

    When Norman Vincent Peale, Billy Graham, Jerry Falwell, Jessie Jackson or other religious leaders were invited to the White House or were consulted over the phone by Presidents, past and present, did anyone cry undue influence? I don’t think so.

    Why now? The answer of course is obvious.

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  35. Jeff Spector on January 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    Firetag,

    ” Obama is giving OUR money to others in the way HE believes is best, and it looks invariably like the way HE believes is best is the way that always extends and enhances the power of HIM and his political machine.”

    You need to get real on this. Obama CANNOT give away any money to anyone except out of his own pocket.

    “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

    Who does that law-making and appropriation?

    The Congress of the United States of America. Who controls the House now? I think they are called republicans, no?

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  36. Paul on January 25, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    I would simply hope that President Monson doesn’t ask anything of him. That would go against everything that the church espouses with regards to politics.

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  37. MH on January 25, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    FireTag, Romney giving money to the church isn’t going to balance the federal deficit. And if we take out Romney for a moment, how many non-Mormon Vulture Capitalists are there that should be paying more taxes? Are you disputing what Warren Buffet said that Warren should pay more taxes?

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  38. Bob on January 25, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    #33: FireTag,
    I don’t believe Romney has given 30% of his money to taxes and charity.
    What Romney has done is find a way to take millions of dollars out of our Society without working for it. I want it back! (….And FireTag, if you have millions__I want those back too.

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  39. Nick Literski on January 25, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    #34:
    When…other religious leaders were invited to the White House or were consulted over the phone by Presidents, past and present, did anyone cry undue influence? I don’t think so. Why now? The answer of course is obvious.

    Yes, the answer is obvious to anyone who isn’t blinded by their own partisan loyalty to LDS, Inc. When the other religious leaders you mentioned give their advice, they don’t have canonized scripture declaring that their adherents must receive their words as if from the mouth of deity himself. They don’t have a “denied in official teachings but quite blatant in actual practice” doctrine of infalibility. Their church members aren’t deemed “rebellious” or “apostates” at any time they disagree with their counsel.

    Believe it or not, not every opinion that contradicts the LDS Public Relations Department is the result of blind anti-LDS prejudice, Jeff.

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  40. Nick Literski on January 25, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    #36:
    I would simply hope that President Monson doesn’t ask anything of him. That would go against everything that the church espouses with regards to politics.

    Actually, Paul, they just declare “moral issue” anytime they want to exert political influence. “Moral issue” is the great escape clause to their oft-alleged political neutrality.

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  41. Jeff Spector on January 25, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Nick,

    “Believe it or not, not every opinion that contradicts the LDS Public Relations Department is the result of blind anti-LDS prejudice, Jeff.”

    But, in your case, Nick?????

    Also, how do you know what those religious leaders spoke about, asked of the Presidents, etc.

    The answer is: You don’t. Your own prejudice is showing.

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  42. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    MH and Bob:

    I’ll call your Romney and raise you a Solyndra.

    For that matter, why is getting paid for running a business not “working” for it while running a government agency or university IS “working” for it? In fact, if you actually “work” with the Federal government, you will realize that they have more business and university contractor employees than they have Federal employees, with the possible, but no means certain, exception of DoD.

    The Romney tax returns and estimates are up online as of yesterday, Bob. It’s about 15% in taxes, 10% to the church, and 5% to other charities, from what I understand. I dread looking through my own tax returns, so I didn’t want to wade through the 200 pages of Romney’s. Knock yourself out if you do.

    Our problem with the deficit is not a problem with too little taxes. Our budget deficit is growing in excess of $4 billion dollars per day. After you’ve confiscated 100% of the wealth of a Romney, you’ve bought yourself about an hour and a half of deficit reduction.

    As I wrote here:

    http://www.wheatandtares.org/2011/08/06/by-the-numbers-sorting-out-equality-when-the-debt-expands/

    the inequality we have to stop is the inequality of those who wish to be paid in POLITICAL power rather than ECONOMIC power. They will spend as much as they can for as long as they can on BUYING political power. They will borrow as much as possible for as long as possible on BUYING political power. They will tax as much as they can hide for as long as possible on BUYING political power. And their three priorities are clearly in that order.

    I dislike “vulture capitalists”, but they openly acknowledge they’re working for themselves. I dislike “vulture politicians” even more, because they PRETEND to be working for US long after they’ve stopped doing that.

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  43. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    Nick:

    Are you old enough to remember when the exact same arguments were made about John Kennedy because of his Catholicism? I am.

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  44. Ray on January 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

    #39 – You know I love you, Nick, really, but that one simply is stupid. What you’re saying is that anyone but a Mormon can consult religious leaders – or, more accurately, anyone who won’t consult a religous leader who is likely to give advice / make a request with which you disagree vehemently.

    I truly hope that’s not what you actually believe.

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  45. Will on January 25, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    Bob,

    “What Romney has done is find a way to take millions of dollars out of our Society without working for it’

    Romney had the nomination locked up, but then fumbled over his taxes and Bain and it will probably cost him the election. Here is what he should have said and he would be our next President:

    “My administration will do exactly to the federal government what we did at Bain capital – eliminate unnecessary departments that are on their death bed and strengthen the private sector. I will make the responsible decisions in the federal government that should have been made years ago. By way of comparison, I will act as the CEO like I did at Bain; the general public will be stake holders and investors; and, the government entities and departments on life support will be the companies that we took over.

    Just like these companies that were outdated and bloated that we bought at Bain, my team (and I will use the same team I had at Bain) will pull the plug on all those entities on their death bed. I didn’t put them on life support, they did this to themselves or were victims of circumstance just like a person on life support suffering from a disease they have no control over and a disease we have no cure for. We don’t need a President that gets queasy like Newt or Rick over this concept; we need someone that is willing to pull the plug. These entities are on their death bed—they are on life support and keeping them alive isn’t doing anyone any good, it is just increasing our collective bill – a bill that we can no longer afford.

    As for my comment about being happy firing people, I will happily fire Obama and his administration that are ruining this country. An administration that has put more on our Country’s credit card than all of the administrations from George to George (43) combined.

    As for my success, it will be a win-win situation for our country, just as it was a win-win for me and our investors at Bain. Both of us will thrive. This nation will once again thrive.“

    It is pretty clear what happened, Romney
    started waffling over these issues and his poll numbers plummeted. Gingrich, on the other hand started to thrive when he spoke with boldness and made no apologies for his positions or past. Had Romney said what I just said, he would have won South Carolina and he would be the official nominee and everyone but Ron Paul would have dropped out of the race. Ron Paul, who is by the way, saying much the same thing as I just said above and has the most energetic crowds.

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  46. Nick Literski on January 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    #41:
    But, in your case, Nick?????
    Also, how do you know what those religious leaders spoke about, asked of the Presidents, etc.
    The answer is: You don’t. Your own prejudice is showing.

    Jeff, you’re so determined to accuse me of “prejudice,” that you’re missing the point entirely. It’s not about what any particular religious leader asked, it’s about what level of influence they were able to exert on the sitting POTUS. When George W. Bush pretended to think twice before launching a war in 2001, he brought in leaders of several religious groups, including Gordon Hinckley. In Bush’s case, however, Hinckley had no more “clout” than Billy Graham, or any of the other religious leaders called upon at the time. Why? Because George W. Bush wasn’t LDS, and didn’t have the pressure of a lifetime of belief that the sitting LDS prophet literally speaks the mind, will and words of deity. Nor, for that matter, did any of the religious figures that Bush consulted have that kind of status with him. Accordingly, you don’t see me objecting in any way to him consulting any of them, including Hinckley. If I held the prejudice you accuse me of, I’d be saying it was okay for Bush to consult everyone except Hinckley—something I’m not saying at all.

    In the case of Romney, however, we have a very different situation, because the sitting LDS president has a very unique status in the eyes of faithful, believing LDS members. Add to this the fact that Romney has already publicly spoken about consulting Hinckley about “whether or not it would be a good idea” for him to run for POTUS, and you have a situation that causes justifiable concern for any voter who doesn’t happen to share the belief that Monson’s words are to be accepted as if from the mouth of deity. If you weren’t coming from a place of prejudice yourself, I think you’d admit that a very significant percentage of Romney’s LDS supporters are actuall excited at the prospect of having a POTUS who would (as they see it) “follow the prophet.”

    #43:
    Are you old enough to remember when the exact same arguments were made about John Kennedy because of his Catholicism?

    No, Firetag, I was born just barely too late for that, but I do think I understand the history. I also think there are differences in circumstance between Kennedy and Romney. We have no evidence that Kennedy consulted the sitting Pope about whether or not he should run for POTUS, for example. When Kennedy made a state visit to the Vatican, he went so far as to make his non-religious role clear, in that he didn’t bow, kiss the papal ring, etc. I’m curious, in addition, to whether 1960s American Catholics had the same view toward papal infalibility that many more modern American Catholics do, i.e. feeling quite free to ignore him. You’ve heard the joke, I’m sure, that the difference between Catholics and Mormons is “the Catholics teach that the Pope is infallible but don’t believe it, while the Mormons teach that the prophet is fallible but don’t believe it.”

    #44:
    Ray, I think you know that neither of those statements reflect what I’m saying. Rather, I’m voicing legitimate concern over a POTUS being influenced by a man who that POTUS literally believes speaks on behalf of deity, with all the authority and gravitas that implies.

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  47. MH on January 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    FireTag,

    Let me reiterate once again that I am not a fan of Newt. I predict that he will implode again, as he has done so many times.

    However, I think Newt does deserve credit along with Bill Clinton for working together to create a budget surplus. If elected (and I hold my nose when I say that), I hope Newt (or Mitt for that matter) will be as pragmatic about the budget as Newt was in 1994. They cut spending and raised taxes. That’s the best and fastest solution out of the problem, period–I dare ANYONE to contradict that.

    Yes we have a spending problem. Yes we need to cut spending. But the fastest way to solve the problem is to simultaneously raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans while we cut domestic programs (that will invariably hurt the poor, and the rich don’t utilize many of these programs anyway). All Americans need to share the pain, and the rich (like Mitt and Newt for that matter) should at least pay the same rate as most Americans. It’s only fair. Otherwise, I want to be taxed at 15% as well.

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  48. Will on January 25, 2012 at 1:08 PM

    MH,

    That 15 percent argument is just silly. It is NOT earned income, it is investment income. He is being double taxed – he was taxed when he earned it and is now being taxed for being smart and investing his money. Had he spent it all, we would have NO tax. A final note, most of the people complaining about him paying 15 percent pay NO federal income tax.

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  49. Jeff Spector on January 25, 2012 at 1:24 PM

    Nick,

    “Jeff, you’re so determined to accuse me of “prejudice,” that you’re missing the point entirely.”

    You are prejudiced and bitter and we all know why. it’s OK.

    “In Bush’s case, however, Hinckley had no more “clout” than Billy Graham, or any of the other religious leaders called upon at the time.”

    How do you know who had clout and sho did not. How do you know that Graham didn’t tell GWB to go to war and that is why he did? since you do not know this, you cannot possibly know what a Romney might do.

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  50. mh on January 25, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    will, if it’s so silly, why is warren buffet advocating that capital gains be taxed as regular income?

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  51. Nick Literski on January 25, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Jeff, if you consider it reasonable to think that George W. Bush felt the same impetus to obey the request/advice/counsel/etc. of a sitting LDS president that Romney would feel, then I think we’ve pretty much gone beyond any productive discussion. It’s now reached the level of childish challenges, on the order of “Well how do YOU know it’s Wednesday today? Just because the CALENDAR says so, doesn’t mean it’s true!”

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  52. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    MH:

    Major tax increases (conveniently, to be incurred only AFTER the 2012 election) are already baked into the cake as a result of legislation passed before the 2010 election when Democrats held the House. There are no actual spending CUTS in any of the Obama proposals. When Washington talks about $2 trillion in CUTS they mean only increasing spending by $7 trillion instead of $9 trillion.

    There WILL be tax increases. There will NOT be spending cuts. There WILL be increased borrowing, and still more calls to increase taxes. And then, when the Chinese get tired of paying for our excesses and start paying for their own population’s improved health care, pensions, and higher education, there will be the proverbial “weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth” here — especially among the poor and the middle class. The politically and economically rich will be grabbing the seats on the lifeboats.

    So if you want to see BOTH an increase in taxes and a decrease in spending, it’s the spending side on which you’ve got to focus, and not fall for the misdirection of talking about taxes.

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  53. hawkgrrrl on January 25, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    Even if you taxed the wealthiest 1% to the teeth, you won’t touch the deficit. We are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

    Firetag, according to Time, the Obamas paid 14% to charity in 2010, on par with Romney, all to charities and none to a church as they didn’t join one in Washington DC. They also paid higher taxes due solely to the fact that Obama draws a salary while Romney doesn’t. Biden was the cheapskate mentioned – paying less than $1K to charity. Newt was also extremely low at only 2.6% to charity, but the article pointed out that it was even lower when you net out the payments his current wife receives to sing in the church choir, closer to the 1% mark.

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  54. MH on January 25, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    FireTag, can you tell me how Gingrich and Clinton got us surpluses?

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  55. AndrewJDavis on January 25, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    Nick — I agree with you that there is a difference between most religions regarding the relationship with our leaders. However, I think you are overestimating the influence his opinions have, even on faithful active members. Perhaps you felt, when you were a member, that what the Prophet said was Law, end of story. If you did, you wouldn’t be alone.

    But I’ve seen just the opposite amongst my friends (probable bias: we’re all under 30, and more more ‘modern’ in many beliefs, even going against that letter you quoted in your first few comments). Many of us active members are quite willing to allow for a prophet who, as Joseph said, is a prophet ONLY when he is acting as one. Now, will Mitt do that? I don’t know. I don’t know him, and I’m living overseas now anyways, with my voting registration in a state (not Utah) where what I vote will make no difference. So I haven’t been paying attention all that much. But my point is: not all active Mormons (and I think in certain demographics) believe/act/think that the Prophet is a Prophet all the time.

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  56. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 4:38 PM

    Hawk:

    Thanks for the correction. Biden. However, the game in tax increases is to buy political power, and if you are willing to raise $1 billion for a reelection campaign, clearly the office is worth a lot more to you than paying some few thousands in increased taxes yourself.

    MH:

    I’ll have to check whether Federal spending went DOWN in the Gingrich/Clinton era; but the big “cuts”, if they happened, would have been in welfare reform, by requiring an end to payments in the absence of taking work, wouldn’t they.

    By comparison, are there any comparable spending cuts in the total Federal budget on tap today?

    WSJ has some data today that make Hawk’s point more clearly about how much of the problem HAS to be solved on the spending side or in taxing the middle class:

    “But it won’t be enough for Mr. Romney merely to point that out, or the fact that the average effective middle-class tax rate is 8.2%. This tax-return uproar may even be healthy if it convinces him to turn around his message, which rarely extends beyond invoking his resume and then rehearsing the seven habits of highly successful businessmen.

    “Mr. Romney could begin by pointing out that the rich aren’t nearly rich enough to pay for Mr. Obama’s agenda, let alone the government we have. According to IRS data, only 8,273 taxpayers other than Mr. Romney made more than $10 million in 2009. Since the U.S. already has one of the most progressive tax codes in the world, Mr. Obama will need to target middle-income earners of far less means than Mr. Romney. And as ObamaCare’s bills come due, he will.”

    Even if you took $10 million a year from everyone of those 8,274 taxpayers, you delay reaching the same total deficit by about 3 weeks. And then, the next year, you have a lot fewer than 8,274 taxpayers with $10 million to shear, and a lot fewer corporate profits to tax, I suspect.

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  57. FireTag on January 25, 2012 at 4:47 PM
  58. Bryan on January 25, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    I’d ask President Romney to leave a federal government smaller than he found it.

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  59. hawkgrrrl on January 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM

    Nick, you make Romney sound like the Manchurian Candidate, just waiting for some code word from SLC to turn on his robotic programming and do their nefarious bidding. While the question of influence is always there, the practical reality (IMO) is that TSM would at worst ask him to do things the GOP is already pressuring him to do and that he frankly might be inclined to do.

    I think what’s really behind the question is the fear of evangelicals that a Mormon president will legitimize the religion they’ve spent so much time and energy making illegitimate and untouchable. From an ex-Mo friend’s FB page: “A friend and colleague of mine says her evangelical friends oppose Romney because they’re afraid a Mormon president would legitimize the religion too much, make it too normal and mainstream. She says the same friends say that Mormons are nice and admirable and such — they just don’t want the religion to become too normalized.”

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  60. Jeff Spector on January 26, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    BNick,

    Since I consider GWB to be a dunce, I’d expect him to take orders from a minster just like he did Dick Cheney.

    I think Romney is much smarter than to let the LDS Church leaders tell him how to run the country. He will already have plenty of people to do that for him.

    BTW, it’s Thursday!

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  61. annegb on January 26, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Our church leaders are too smart to try to tell the president how to run the country.

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  62. Clean Cut on January 26, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    “Our church leaders are too smart to try to tell the president how to run the country.”

    Agreed. This is another way of stating my terse #9.

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  63. Nick Literski on January 26, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    “Our church leaders are too smart to try to tell the president how to run the country.”

    Of course they are! At least since the days of Wilford Woodruff, LDS leaders have recognized the importance of plausible deniability. As such, they would never “try to tell the president how to run the country.” They would “request,” “invite,” or “share their views in an open dialogue to promote communication.” ;-)

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  64. Jeff Spector on January 26, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Nick,

    Bitter sarcasm…

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  65. Nick Literski on January 26, 2012 at 3:18 PM

    Jeff,

    Accurate history. Study up on Wilford Woodruff’s tactical strategy WRT post-manifesto plural marriages.

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  66. Rigel Hawthorne on January 26, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    As I recall the “consultation” went something like this:

    Romney: “I just wanted to let you know that I have decided to run for POTUS”.

    Hinckley: “Well, it will be an interesting experience if you win, and it will be an interesting experience if you lose.”

    That exchange doesn’t leave me worried that Romney’s politics or campaigning style were influenced by the “consultation”. Rather I see it as a personal courtesy from a former Stake President to the Prophet that Mormonism would be thrust into the spotlight and the Prophet would be among the first to know this. It provided a moment prior to the media onslaught so that prophetic guidance related to the members of the church could be sought. If personal encouragement privately took place, then that’s between a man and his prophet. His decision to run was made before he walked into the COB.

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  67. Nick Literski on January 26, 2012 at 11:03 PM

    Rigel, you have Hinckley’s alleged reply correct, but Romney specifically said that he spoke with Hinckley about whether or not it would be “a good idea” for him to run for POTUS. He was not, as you suggest, merely advising Hinckley that he was going to run.

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  68. Nick Literski on January 26, 2012 at 11:04 PM

    Oh—and he wouldn’t have “walked into the COB” to speak with Hinckley, either. The offices of the FP and 12 are not in the COB.

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  69. Jeff Spector on January 27, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Nick,

    “Rigel, you have Hinckley’s alleged reply correct.”

    Oh, I see, this is alleged but Woodruff’s action are the absolute truth?

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  70. Nick Literski on January 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Jeff, the only account we have of Hinckley’s reply is the report given by Romney on the day of Hinckley’s funeral. Hinckley wasn’t available to refute it, thus it’s ultimately heresay. For all we know, Hinckley may have sternly rebuked Romney for daring to mix politics and religion—something Romney would have been unlikely to report. Whether or not this was a complete and accurate reflection of Hinckley’s reply rests entirely on whether Romney reported it truthfully.

    As for Wilford Woodruff’s actions, they are well-documented in a wide variety of historical documents, such as letters, journals, etc. Several reliable historians (both faithful LDS and otherwise) have demonstrated from these documents that Woodruff insulated himself from the issue by seeing that any requests for plural marriage sealings were directed to his counsellors in the first presidency. The counsellors, when they felt it was warranted, provided the requesters with letters of introduction to patriarchs in Mexico and Canada who were authorized to perform sealings. These letters used vague language, asking the sealer/patriarch to accomodate the parties’ requests (keeping in mind that the Manifesto was not initially understood as applying to sealings performed outside the United States). By having all such requests directed to his counsellors, Woodruff was able to deny any personal knowledge of sealings being authorized—what we call “plausible deniability.” Mind you, I don’t fault Woodruff for his handling of the issue at all. I still think that U.S. v. Reynolds was an unsound legal decision on the part of the SCOTUS, motivated by religious animus.

    I apologize, of course, if my explanation doesn’t accord with your predetermined narrative of “Nick’s making things up because he hates Mormons.”

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  71. Jeff Spector on January 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Nick,

    I don’t doubt what Woodruff and the Church did during that time of polygamy limbo. I totally believe you on that.

    but Romney’s explanation is just as plausible as historians account of any event. Check out the Bagley versus Turley view on MMM.

    And, I don’t think you hate Mormons, I just think you’re bitter. And that isn’t predetermined, it’s historical and backed up by evidence. :)

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  72. Ray on January 27, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Nick, seriously, dude? I mean, seriously?!

    You’re the one who brought up the “consultation”, and now you are the one questioning the content of the reported meeting? “The meeting was reported, so it obviously happened – but I don’t believe the report accurately depicts the content of the consultation.”

    Seriously?!

    “I’m thinking of running. Do you think that’s a good idea?” or “I’m thinking about running. You’re smart and I consider you to be a prophet. Do you have any advice for me?” or “I’m thinking of running. Do you think my candidacy will hurt the Church in ways I can’t envision?” or any number of other scenarios really boil down to the same thing. He told a religious leader he was thinking of running and asked for advice.

    If he wasn’t Mormon but instead attended a liberal, Protestant church that supported gay marriage, and if he “consulted” with the pastor of that church as an inspired / enlightened religious leader, you’d have no problem whatsoever with it.

    At least admit that this is a Mormon-specific issue for you, that probably is the same as Santorum or Gingrich consulting with a group of evangelical ministers, as has happened. At least, I hope it’s the same – or the whole thing is hyperbolic hypocrisy. I don’t believe you are hyporcritical in that manner, so I believe it’s issue and denomination specific.

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  73. Nick Literski on January 27, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    You’re the one who brought up the “consultation”, and now you are the one questioning the content of the reported meeting?

    No, Ray, I’m not. As I’ve repeatedly explained now, I’m only acknowledging that because the event was reported after Hinckley’s death, all we have to go on is Romney’s description. While I don’t think it’s at all likely, it’s even possible that no such meeting took place, and Romney was lying altogether in order to impress LDS campaign donors. Keep in mind that as the campaign moves forward, several questions are being raised about Romney’s veracity. It’s not reasonable to take Romney’s word as the absolute, unquestionable truth.

    At least admit that this is a Mormon-specific issue for you, that probably is the same as Santorum or Gingrich consulting with a group of evangelical ministers, as has happened.

    Ray, you know full well that Romney consulting the president of the LDS church is nothing like two Catholic candidates consulting with evangelical ministers. While LDS teaching specifically denies infallibility on the part of their president, you and I both know that many faithful LDS members (including some who comment in this blog on a regular basis) treat their church president’s words very nearly as if they were infalliable. That social and ecclesiastical dynamic makes Romney’s situation qualitatively different than the scenarios you suggest. It’s unfair and offensive for you and Jeff to pretend I’m making this up out of thin air.

    Now, if either Gingrich or Santorum met with the Pope, asking him “whether it was a good idea” for them to run, I’d have just as much concern, due to that church’s official doctrine of papal infalliability (although it’s rather well known that American Catholics don’t hold very well to that). If Kennedy had met with the Pope for such a consultation, nobody would have believed him when he flatly denied that he would allow the Vatican to dictate policy to him, and he wouldn’t have been elected.

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  74. Jeff Spector on January 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

    Nick,

    ” It’s unfair and offensive for you and Jeff to pretend I’m making this up out of thin air.”

    Naw, I don’t think you are making anything up, but your are assuming that Romney had the same blind alliegance toward President Hinckley as you assume that some members do. or that he was untruthful about what happened at the meeting between the two.

    And I doubt the Pope would come anywhere near Newt Gingrich!!!!

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  75. Nick Literski on January 27, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    I’m not assuming anything, Jeff. Rather, I’m expressing concern, based on the information I have available to me about Romney and his interactions with LDS leadership up to the present. Your evaluation of the available information may vary. Likewise, I’m not assuming that Romney was untruthful about what happened during the meeting he claims to have had with Hinckley, but I’m aware that his campaign has not demonstrated him to be a completely truthful person. At the very least, I’m assuming that they each said more than the one sentence Romney reported from each of them. While I certainly could be wrong, I feel pretty secure with that assumption.

    And I doubt the Pope would come anywhere near Newt Gingrich!!!!

    The Pope already has plenty of scandals to keep him busy!

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  76. Jeff Spector on January 27, 2012 at 4:12 PM

    Mick,

    “but I’m aware that his campaign has not demonstrated him to be a completely truthful person. At the very least, I’m assuming that they each said more than the one sentence Romney reported from each of them.”

    Well, you do have a point on that.!

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  77. Douglas on January 28, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    #59 – Hawk, WELL SAID. The so-called “Evangelicos” can’t marginalize the LDS anymore…oh sure, the LDS can vote for Conservative Republicans, but “Gawd” forbid that they actually have a place at the political table! Mitt’s credible quest for the Republican nomination sticks it in their craw…to borrow from the LGBT crowd, “we’re HERE and we ain’t going away…”

    #38 – (A bit lagging in the post, sorry, gang…)..Mitt didn’t EARN his millions? Man, if there could be an objective polling literacy test, you’d supremely flunk for not having a friggin’ clue about the American way! What Mitt did was work SMART and hard…if you’re so clueless that you think that you’re entitled to prosperity for merely showing up to the job site and punching the clock,and doing just enough to keep from getting fired, well…then little wonder that you look with obvious envy on the prosperity of folks like the Romneys. Get over your class envy…as the late John Houseman would put it, Mitt “urrned it”…the same as a goofy, long-haired pot smoking pitcher just inked a $41M contract to re-sign with the ‘Gints. Did Timmy (whom my BYU-attending son proudly wears a T-shirt to be allowed to “smoke”) not also “urrn” the big bucks for playing a freakin’ game? Certainly! Funny, it seems that the ones that decry the wealth AND the tax management skills of the Romneys will yet fawn over how pampered the little girl just born to Beyonce and Jay-Z will have it. Funny how class envy is selective….

    Folks, go back to the story of the little red hen…contrary to what the soon-to-be-one-term-President would have it say, the Ministry of Social Justice didn’t confiscate the bread that the hen had baked from the flour that she’d ground from the wheat that she’d sown and reaped and give it to the lazy animals that did nothing to produce it; they went HUNGRY while the hen and her chicks enjoyed the fruits of her labors. It is also a teaching of our LORD.

    D&C 42:42 “Thou shalt not be idle; for he that is idle shall not eat the bread nor wear the garments of the laborer.”

    We can thank the regents of Harding College of Searcy, Arkansas (now Harding University) for their PSAs about Americanism. A sample of their work which likely more than a few of the bloggers here have viewed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JriEguBharM

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  78. Bob on January 28, 2012 at 2:18 AM

    #77: Douglas,
    If YOU knew anything about the American way__ you would know it’s not “class envy”__it’s about doing away of an upper class and a lower class. Romney (and others), did not “work smart” for their money, they took advantage of loopholes. I know what it takes to earn a hundred dollars, and what it takes to earn a billion dollars__and it is not about “working smart”!
    I am not worked up about anyone being rich, I am worked up by anyone who says the “earned” it by working hard, or working smart.

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  79. Ray on January 28, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Bob, Mitt Romney worked hard and he worked smart. Given how he earned his money and what he did to obtain his education, to say otherwise simply is ignorant.

    Yes, he was born into relative wealth – but it was his own hard, smart work that produced his current wealth. While he was my Stake President, he was known for being an incredibly hard working person – with an incredible mind and attention to detail.

    Seriously, that line of attack will work with those who hate the uber-wealthy, but it is seriously flawed, because it’s based totally on an incorrect foundation. It just doesn’t work when talking about the actual man. It certainly is true about some of the super-wealthy, but it’s not true about Romney.

    I have no problem with legitimate discussions about the use of that level of wealth or the ethics of wealth accumulation, but using it against Romney really is a result of not knowing the actual man.

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  80. Douglas on January 28, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    #78 – the “doing away” of class distinctions part of the AMERICAN way? In what vision of the Founding Fathers, or of prominent figures (at least up until FDR) did you get THAT from? Bob, the framers of our Constitution could be easily described as “elitist” by todays standards. In fact, practically the only leaders in the American Revolution who could be described as “self-made” (Benjamin Franklin and Sam Adams) never held any significant political office themselves. Interesting that both were the closest that 18th century America could offer as an equivalent to a Bill Gates,Steve Jobs, or Mitt Romney…
    Mitt did NOT take advantage of “loopholes”, he did what most who invest their ALREADY TAXED (for ordinary income, as gains in so-called “qualified plans” do not enjoy the capital gains rate) do when they invest in America…for putting their capital at risk and holding it long-term (which discourages speculative flim-flammery such as “day trading”, “house flipping”, etc.), they enjoy getting taxed at a lower rate. Do keep in mind, Bob, that any long-term holding is subject to the hidden taxation of inflation. Sure, anyone that is in a higher than 15% tax bracket, like myself, would rightfully ask, “hey, what about me?”. PRECISELY the point of the erstwhile candidate Herman Cain and his “9-9-9″ plan! Whatever the workability of the specifics of Mr. Cain’s plan, the principle that no matter how money moves through our economy it should not be penalized with a higher tax burden for taking one form versus another…gee, don’t we have a little thing that the so-called civil rights crowd like to trumpet known as the 14th Amendment, about EQUAL protection under the law?
    Bob, did you actually try the YouTube link about ‘-isms’? Do keep in mind that it was produced in 1948 and cites CLASS ENVY and RACIAL HATRED as tools used to divide and tyrranize America.
    To those that are green with envy at the notion that not only is Mitt “filthy rich” (actually, not only is his wealth not dirty at all, he and his spouse seem to be wealthy in what really matters, a loving marriage, healthy family, and a testimony of the Gospel) but that somehow America is “unfair” because the wealthy aren’t literally plundered to serve the great unwashed envious and self-serving designs…oh that there were a way to keep such cretins from voting. Were it me, I’d say that one should vote in proportion to what one pays in taxes. The current situation, in which half of Americans pay NO income tax at all, does not promote intelligent decision-making at the ballot booth.

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  81. Bob on January 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    #80: Douglas,
    “the “doing away” of class distinctions part of the AMERICAN way? In what vision of the Founding Fathers, or of prominent figures (at least up until FDR) did you get THAT from?” (Douglas).

    ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” (Jefferson).
    Someone on the TV today, said Romney has save 100 Million in US taxes by using off- shore banks. That’s not hard work, or smart work, that’s a loophole.

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  82. Douglas on January 28, 2012 at 2:02 PM

    #81 – Sources. Quoting “someone on the TV” w/o citation is lame and intellectually dishonest. And even if he did, as long as it was legal, WHAT OF IT? No different than each member of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones becoming tax exiles back in the ’70s. As for your Marxist interpretation of that excerpt of the Declaration of Independence, it’s further proof, in your particular case, of your utter lack of qualification to exercise the franchise and definitely to hold ANY public office. Equality of opportunity, due to efforts, talents, and random happenstance, does not translate into equality of result. Again, did the little red hen have to divide up the loaf of bread with the “loafers” in the barnyard?
    In fact, the US is the only G8 nation that taxes foreign holdings of its citizens. If Mitt figured out how to keep our Uncle’s “mitts” (pun intended) off his hard-earned dough, I want to know who his accountant is.
    (Ferengi Rule of Acquisition #255…)

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  83. Ray on January 28, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    “Someone on the TV today, said Romney has save 100 Million in US taxes by using off- shore banks.”

    ROFLMAO!!

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  84. Jeff Spector on January 28, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    bob,

    “” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” (Jefferson).”

    Except at the time, it didn’t apply to women, people of color or anyone who didn’t own land…..

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  85. Bob on January 28, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    #82 & #83:
    “WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney owns investments worth between $7 million and $32 million in offshore-based holdings, which are often used legitimately by private equity firms to attract foreign investors. Such offshore accounts also can enable wealthy investors to defer paying U.S. taxes on some assets, according to tax experts”.
    You can find information on Google just as easy as I do.
    Ray and Douglas__you have both make some very personal attacks on me. I have made none on you (or Rommey). Start playing by the rules of the Blog.

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  86. Bob on January 28, 2012 at 3:47 PM

    #84: Jeff,
    “Except at the time, it didn’t apply to women, people of color or anyone who didn’t own land”.
    Now it does.

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  87. Douglas on January 28, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    #84 – Not that I would repeal Amendments 13-15 and 20 of the Constitution (contrary to what some of the Freeman Institute may think, even an “inspired” document can be amended)…BUT…please explain HOW the good ol’ USA improved since female “hew-mons”, non-whites, and non-landed individuals voted? I’m just drawing fire there, gang…
    Seriously, the “landed” thing was not intended to be all that exclusionary in a nation that was mostly farmers. Even most city folk of modest means owned SOME property since it and what it could grow (or the native timber it had) were seen as more true wealth than necessarily “money”. As for women, a strawman of an argument, since in in the late 18th century women did not typically have direct political power (good ol’ Catherine the Great being a notable exception when she wasn’t on ‘horseback’). And non-whites? Well, put simply, most had a status about equal with cattle, and last I looked, no one ever considered the civil rights of livestock. Sorry, gang, that was the was it was in those days. Thankfully it’s much different now.
    Bob, “between 7 and 32 million?”. Still but a fraction of the Romney empire, if even the latter figure is correct. The very fact that it’s difficult to be specific doesn’t give the story much credibility. And again, WHAT OF IT? As the quotation pointed out, there is a legitimate purpose to having an offshore account to attract foreign investors. As long as Mitt complied with US law on sending his dough overseas, I don’t see what business it is of anyone’s.
    You did get it spot on about now “equal rights” apply to anyone. Ask Mr. Herman Cain…a black man can make it big in business, and get himself savaged by the jackals in the press as easily as any white boy, especially once he leaves the liberal “plantation”.
    Lastly, dear Bob, “personal” attacks? Au contraire, mon frere. What I’m damning is the ridiculous juxtaposition of an excerpt of the Declaration of Independence to justify redistribution of earnings and/or wealth. Perhaps it was maleducation. Did you learn this drivel in high school “civics”? I’d move to de-certify any school district that taught such nonsense. Look, there’s nothing wrong with charity, which the Church itself is quite involved in, and every month, you can always be generous in your fast offerings and other funds. And by no means should your generosity be limited to what’s on the tithing slip. But putting ‘Uncle’ in charge of ‘charity’ is a terrible oxymoron (in part because it breeds morons). That’s why, even though Mitt is certainly NOT my first choice, IF Ron Paul has dropped out by the CA primary, then it falls to him. I gag at the notion, however, of voting for “Newt”!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzYO0joolR0

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  88. hawkgrrrl on January 29, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Since Romney’s total worth is under $200M, how did he save “hundreds of millions in taxes” through offshore bank accounts? Please. Let’s at least give these outlandish claims a moment of logical thought.

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  89. Jeff Spector on January 29, 2012 at 2:53 PM

    Bob,

    ““Except at the time, it didn’t apply to women, people of color or anyone who didn’t own land”.

    “Now it does.”

    To some extent it is true, but it flies in the face of strict constitutional interpreters always going back to what they think the framers had in mind…..

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  90. Bob on January 29, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    #88:hawkgrrrl,
    “Bain Capital ( founded by Romney-1984) is a Boston-headquartered alternative asset management and financial services company that specializes in private equity, venture capital, credit and public market investments. Bain invests across a broad range of industry sectors and geographic regions. As of the beginning of 2012, the firm manages approximately $66 billion of investor capital across its various investment platforms.” (Bain Capital – Wikipedia)
    I am talking about Romney’s tax write offs from 1984 to whenever.

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  91. Bob on January 29, 2012 at 3:46 PM

    #89: Jeff,
    Those who wrote the Constitution had many things in mind__that’s why it took the 13 years to write it! Even then, they didn’t have it right. It wasn’t until the Bill of Righs was added tha the States would accept it.“
    ” We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” (Jefferson)_
    This idea comes from the the Enlightenment by way of Jefferson, and is outside the thinking of the Constitution. (IMO).

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  92. Ray on January 29, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    Bob, that wasn’t a personal attack. It was me laughing so hard I couldn’t type about something incredibly stupid said by “someone on TV”.

    It’s an outlandish claim. Seriously outlandish. That’s all.

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  93. Bob on January 29, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    #92: Ray:
    Calling me “ignorant” (#79), is personal (IMO).
    Romney does not have 200-350 million dollars today by just getting up early, polishing his shoes and then putting a hard day at a factory. I have never said he is not a good man, not smart, nor does not work hard. I only say you don’t get that rich without using loopholes in the system.

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  94. Ray on January 29, 2012 at 8:22 PM

    Bob, “ignorant” means “lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact” – “unaware” – “uninformed”.

    That’s how I used the word in #79. That’s not a personal attack; it means you don’t know the man and made a statement that was incorrect because of that ignorance (“lack of knowledge or information as to [him]“).

    If I had wanted to make it a personal attack, I wouldn’t have focused on Mitt’s hard work and intelligence. I would have pointed it at you, not the argument you made. I didn’t do that; I commented on the argument being the result of ignorance – which, when you use the meaning above, is about as far from a personal attack as it gets.

    Also, of course you get that rich due in part to loopholes in the system (and due in part of being lucky – being in the right place at the right time) – but you also get that rich by working your ass off and being incredibly intelligent. It’s not a fluke in his case, and it’s not due entirely to the loopholes. He worked hard for his money, and he’s incredibly smart. Nobody who really knows him, and I mean nobody, argues otherwise.

    “Romney (and others), did not “work smart” for their money” is an ignorant statement specifically because he actually did “work smart” for his money – among other fortunate aspects of obtaining it.

    If you doubt that still, consider all of the former multi-millionaires (and even a former billionaire in the news lately) who aren’t millionaires anymore because they invested badly and lost it. There are lots of them – many of them quite famous (especially relatively uneducated athletes and actors, for example), and it would be correct to say they didn’t “work smart”. Romney did – both in the accumulation of his wealth and in the retention of it. To compare him to a hard working manual laborer and blame him for not earning his money in that way is not ignorant; it’s something else entirely.

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  95. Bob on January 30, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    #94: Ray,
    Come on Ray, you know calling someone ignorant is a pejorative, like calling someone stupid.

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  96. Jon on January 30, 2012 at 4:21 AM

    Jeff,

    My bro-in-law always makes the statement, “How can someone be mormon and be a democrat?” I respond, “How can someone be mormon and be a republican?”

    Both are repugnant and antithetical to the teachings of the gospel.

    All,

    I certainly hope that Romney won’t become president, if he does I hope an angel comes down and sets him in the right path. It seems all the presidents we have are war whores (like Bush, Obama, FDR, etc.), I don’t think we need another one in office like Romney has promised to be.

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  97. hawkgrrrl on January 30, 2012 at 6:49 AM

    How can anyone succeed in a job after the grueling process they have to go to in order to even be nominated? No matter who they are, they are damaged goods by the process and the two-party system if they weren’t before.

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  98. Ray on January 30, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    Bob, my answer was sincere. When I use the word “ignorant”, I use it as it is defined. It doesn’t mean “stupid” to me. I’m a parser. I know that makes me weird in this day and age, but all I can say is that I meant my comment exactly how I explained I meant it.

    I wasn’t calling you stupid; I was saying your comment was ignorant – based on a lack of knowledge. There’s a HUGE difference between the two – at least the way I use them.

    Let’s drop this. Please accept my apology for using a word you took to mean something I didn’t intend it to mean. Sometimes, communicating like this (without being able to see each other) really sucks.

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  99. Jeff Spector on January 30, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    Sorry, Jon, I don’t think Moroni is running ths year…. :)

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  100. salt h2o on January 30, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    I’m disappointed that I didn’t see Harry Reid mentioned in the first 25 comments. Is it because Romney is a Republican that you think he’s a better Mormon and would take more direction from SLC than our Senate Majority Leader?

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  101. salt h2o on January 30, 2012 at 2:25 PM

    Side note- I know posts like these are written because you get 100+ comments on them, but I’m sick to death of hearing this crud from the mainstream media- it’s nausiating when it comes from our own people.

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  102. Ray on January 30, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    salt h20, Reid isn’t running for POTUS – and he was mentioned in 3 of the first 25 comments.

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  103. hawkgrrrl on January 30, 2012 at 6:48 PM

    salth20 – we address posts like these specifically to have an insider discussion on what is being said by outsiders.

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