Understanding Mitt Romney’s Gay Politics Like ‘Kremlinology’

FrostyRomneyWith the back-and-forth between Mitt Romney's campaign and the Log Cabin Republicans on ENDA and the gay group's endorsement of the GOP presidential hopeful, Ben Adler reminds readers of the essential truth about Romney's LGBT politics: they're contortionistic. Or, put another way, he's blowing smoke.

In an article at The Nation called "Romney Flails on Gay Rights", Adler writes, "Given how Romney is trying to carefully balance appeals to social moderates by presenting himself as opposed to discrimination without taking a stand on any actual legislation, figuring out his position on ENDA is turning into Kremlinology", the art of reading the USSR's Cold War policies.

The politics of gay rights are forcing Romney to perform these feats of contortion. Put broadly, his religious right base opposes civil rights for gays across the board, while a majority of the public supports them, except for marriage, on which the public is roughly evenly divided. As a general election candidate that makes Romney’s optimal position supportive of all gay rights except marriage. But that would alienate his base. (Since Romney has virtually no known actual principles on anything, the only relevant factors here are his political incentives.)

On a related note — Romney's relationship with a "minority" group, in this case women: the former Massachusetts governor has caught up with President Obama among that coveted group. The president once had a 16-point lead, but now Romney has 47% of likely female voters and Obama has only 45%.


  1. jason says

    While it’s true that Obama signed DADT repeal into law, I recall quite vividly how unenthusiastic he was in the lead up. It took the gumption of Democrat Congressional members and Joe Liebermann to actually bring it to the President’s desk. Up to that point, the President was NOT enthusiastic.

    Will Romney be better for us than Obama? Personally, I think so. Romney WILL get ENDA through, something Obama has failed to do. Keep in mind that Obama was completely unenthusiastic about enacting ENDA. His involvement was non-existent. We already have a record of his complete lack of interest.

  2. jason says

    Disgusted American,

    I have absolutely no time for gays who put party politics before their rights. I’d like to tell them where to go.

    I’ve witnessed this bizarre surrender of gays to Obama and the Democrats. It’s like witnessing cloned zombies nodding their heads in agreement with whatever they are told. It’s sad to see a once great community lose credibility like this.

    I will never surrender to the notion that party politics trumps our rights. I put rights before political affiliation.

  3. says

    No one who puts rights before political affiliation supports Republicans, unless that person is deliberately or unintentionally mentally incapacitated. As for the Log Cabin Republicans, their slogan should be: Ineffective since 1977. They’ve allegedly been working for 35 years to make the Republican party more gay-friendly, and it’s more anti-gay than ever. Fail, again.

  4. Patric says

    It’s hardly a surprise that Jason is here spouting the same enthusiasm for all things Republican which he regularly does.

    It’s also hardly surprising that, as always, he makes grand pronouncements about the President’s emotions and psychology without offering a single citation or other evidence. I suppose it was the President’s lack of enthusiasm on DADT repeal, as observed by Jason, which led him to successfully orchestrate the delicate and daunting task of securing the support of the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs head for repeal.

    And of course we need only wait for Romney to ride in as the white knight for gay rights. Never mind that Romney is a man who has referred to homosexuality http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2011/11/16/368369/romney-flashback-homosexuality-is-perverse-and-reprehensible/?mobile=ncas “perverse”- , supports placing anti-gay discrimination in our federal Constitution and has recently donated tens of thousands of dollars to anti-gay groups, including at least one which promotes conversion therapy. http://www.advocate.com/news/daily-news/2012/01/24/mitt-romney-discloses-contributions-antigay-groups No doubt if we can just elect Romney, then despite the fact that almost every Republican Senator is on record as opposing ENDA and Romney has said repeatedly that he would appoint Supreme Court Justices in the mold of Antonin Scalia, it will be a bright new day for gay rights. http://www.mittromney.com/issues/courts-constitution

  5. David says

    I think it’s amusing that I don’t read Towleroad that much and have never commented before… but even I’m tired of Jason’s antics. He has this same line to spew on pretty much every single article.

    Obama advocated repealing DADT in his 2008 campaign and continued to advocate it throughout his Presidency until it was indeed repealed. The idea that he was “unenthusiastic about it” is ridiculous – he brought it up in the 2010 SOTU address. You can certainly quibble with gay marriage or ENDA but Obama clearly is the main person responsible for ending DADT, and for you to insist he hindered it is quite frankly just putting your partisan bias on your sleeve.

  6. Caliban says

    @Diogenes Arktos

    Damned if I know. You’d think they’d know that no matter what Romney/Ryan SAY, they do indeed have designs on women’s rights, if not directly then via their SCOTUS appointments.

    There was a recent article about Romney’s actions as a Mormon bishop vis a vis women’s rights: trying to force a woman bot to have an abortion despite the fact her doctors told her that carrying the baby to term would likely kill her AND Romney’s church superior had approved the procedure. In another incident threatened to excommunicate a single mother if she didn’t give up her baby for adoption by a “Mormon couple in good standing.”


    “Scott, who is also a Mormon, interviewed Sheldon’s [the lady who aborted to save her life] 90-year-old father, Phil Hilton, who remembered the incident quite vividly. “I have never been so upset about anything in my life,” he told Scott. “[Romney] is an authoritative type fellow who thinks he is in charge of the world.” “

  7. Modern Meet says

    Make no mistake, Jason is one of many Republican operatives and shills commenting here on Towleroad. Gratefully, it seems that most Towleroad readers are on to Jason and his ilk.

  8. andrew says

    Jayson does think that republican senate candidate Mourdock is ‘too religious for his own good.” Just like the Taliban, the Republican wingnuts and fundamentalists are just too religious.

  9. ArkArk says

    Folks should just ignore JASON. I know I will from here on out.

    Seriously. I beg of you.

    Don’t respond to any of his comments. JASON has contributed little that is useful, smart, constructive and even compassionate in most of the comments he has posted here on Towleroad. Some of his comments make little rational sense (yet many times he thinks he is onto something that NO ONE else is) and there is quite a heavy line of hatred (both of the self and of others) throughout many of his comments. And certainly compassion is not one of his strong suits.

    I thought at one point that JASON’s comments were just a joke but sadly, I’ve concluded that his comments are no joke. It is hard to consistently exhibit that much lack of compassion of hatred.

    Towleroad is simply a place where he can really say how he feels because I have a hard time he would repeat even an 1/8th of the hateful things he has posted here to his friends or family. And if so, I can’t imagine he’d have a lot of friends or family (unless, of course, they are Rethugs).

    So it’s time to simply move on from this truly sad and pathetic (and perhaps disturbed?)individual.

    That is all. Thank you.

  10. Marc Paige says

    Stop wasting time talking about “Jason”. Get all you friends, all your family members, and everybody you love and who loves you, and vote – early! Then, volunteer to drive people to the polls. Romney is now claiming to be the candidate of change, and on LGBT rights, he will be. And NOT in a good way. And in terms of the Supreme Court, Romney would change our nation horribly for a generation. Think back alley abortions in Miami, Houston, and Birmingham.

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