Mitt Romney: The Rational Republican Candidate?Posted: October 17, 2011
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been painted by many as the more “rational” Republican candidate for President, as compared to religious fanatics like Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and Rick Santorum, and outright crazy men like Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich. But is Mitt really all that rational and reasonable? Not judging by his choice Robert Bork as co-chair of his “Legal Advisory Committee.”
In an interview with Lloyd Grove of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, Bork said that he thinks women are no longer discriminated against.
How about the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment? Does he still think it shouldn’t apply to women?
“Yeah,” he answers. “I think I feel justified by the fact ever since then, the Equal Protection Clause kept expanding in ways that cannot be justified historically, grammatically, or any other way. Women are a majority of the population now—a majority in university classrooms and a majority in all kinds of contexts. It seems to me silly to say, ‘Gee, they’re discriminated against and we need to do something about it.’ They aren’t discriminated against anymore.”
Does Romney agree with that? Here are a couple more examples of Bork’s legal opinions:
I ask Bork if he still disagrees with the high court’s Griswold v. Connecticut ruling that married couples have a constitutional right to the use of contraception?
“Oh, my God, yes!”
And does he still believe that the First Amendment should be limited to political speech and not protect, as he once wrote, “any other form of expression, be it scientific, literary or…pornographic”?
“Oh yes!” he answers enthusiastically. “If you look at what they say, the First Amendment supposedly defines things like child pornography. The Supreme Court said there was a right to it. That’s actually insane.”
In the interview Bork tried to walk back his opinion of the Civil Rights Act:
Bork criticized the legislation on the ground that government coercion of “righteous” behavior is “a principle of unsurpassed ugliness.”
Now he claims that we’ve already made “the transition to a non-discriminatory society,” and he’s happy with how it all turned out.
Back in 1987, Ronald Reagan nominated Bork for the Supreme Court. Fortunately, the nomination failed, and Bork is still angry about it. Grove asked him if he had forgiven Ted Kennedy and Joe Biden kneecapping his nomination:
Even before the confirmation hearings, Ted Kennedy went on the Senate floor to describe “Robert Bork’s America” as “a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens’ doors in midnight raids, schoolchildren could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists would be censored at the whim of government,” and so on and so forth.
I ask Bork if he ever forgave the late Kennedy.
“I’m trying to think of how I could conceivably do that,” says Bork, a convert to Catholicism. “We’re supposed to forgive all kinds of behavior. I shouldn’t deny that I’ve forgiven somebody, or I’ll end up being assigned to the outer circles of Hell. But Ted Kennedy is a test case of the limits of forgiveness.
How about Joe Biden, who chaired his Senate hearing?
“Oh, poor Biden,” Bork says with mock sympathy. “Biden, I think, is not a very thoughtful or intelligent man.”
I think we really need some straight answers from Romney. Does he agree with Bork’s interpretations of the Constitution? If not, why did he drag this crazy man out of his well-deserved obscurity and appoint him as a top legal adviser?