Tag Archives: Presidential Primary

Heavenly Polygamy

A few right-wingers came out with predictable fake outrage last week, when Brian Schweitzer suggested that Mitt Romney might be squeamish about talking openly about his Mexican heritage due to the presence of polygamists in his line of ancestors.

The talking point fashioned by Montana Republicans is that Schweitzer was being bigoted.  Schweitzer has said he was simply stating a political reality, which is that Romney will stay away from the topic.

The line goes “You can’t choose your ancestors.” This is true, which is why Romney should not shy away from talking openly about having polygamist ancestors, just as Obama has spoken, and written, extensively on his own ancestors including his polygamous father.

But Romney will probably shy away from it, and will thus prove Schweitzer’s point.

And alas, the Mormon church is not entirely clean on this subject of polygamy.  For though the Church forbids polygamy on earth, polygamy is still permitted, and encouraged, in heaven.

The LDS church teaches that in heaven, a polygamous existence is awaiting all men who were married multiple times on earth. So let’s say a widower gets married upon the death of his first wife.  When this man and his second wife are all dead, there is a threesome awaiting him in heaven.  He will be married, in the afterlife, to both wives, forever.

Do women get the same “sweet” deal?  Heavens no.  Heavenly Mormon Polygamy is reserved only for men.

So, this is a small but crucial example of a Mormon tenet that is both sexist and supportive of polygamy.  To be sure, all of the major religions, or portions of them, have sexism which needs to be rooted out.  Catholic priests are a male-only club, and the Catholic church condemns women who want to decide for themselves when and whether to have children.   Certain branches of Judaism likewise forbid women from becoming rabbis, and also force women to sit in the back of the synagogue in a walled-off room during services. And Islam treats women as inferior in many respects, including the practice of  “honor killings” of female relatives who disgrace the family by having premarital sex. These practices aren’t relegated to some tiny tribal sects either: 90 perent of women in modern Egypt were victims of genital mutilation.

So it’s not like Mormonism is breaking any new ground in these matters. But, it is a small but pertinent fact: When it outlawed polygamy on earth, the LDS Church kept it legal in heaven.

Political Quick Hits

 Pass the Caviar, Congressman Hill

We know that former GOP Congressman Rick Hill’s campaign for Governor has made some questionable expenditures. But champagne, really?

If this is how the campaign spends money, I’d hate to see what they do with our tax dollars.


Rehberg fails to stop himself from blocking Montana jobs

Rehberg sent out a press release recently claiming that Tester had “Failed to stop his liberal allies and donors from blocking Montana jobs.  Here’s the screenshot:

The problem is,  as Montanans for Tester points out, Congressman Rehberg is the only member of Montana’s congressional delegation who has voted against the Keystone XL pipeline. 

In other words, he failed to stop himself from blocking Montana jobs.


Another Santorum grossout

Another weird detail involving Republicans and birth has come to light. This time, it isn’t birtherism. At issue is the fact that Rick Santorum’s wife Karen was actually delivered by a man that later became her live-in boyfriend.

Was he thinking “Hey, I bet this baby is going to turn out to be really hot one day”? The lovers weren’t married.  Oh, and the guy, who is now 92, was an abortion doc.  Santorum is running on hardline opposition to abortion and premarital sex for Americans, but I guess it’s different when it comes to his own wife’s past.

“Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband”

A series of events this week highlights the ways that Newt Gingrich’s campaign to be the Republicans’ presidential pick will reveal how GOP primary voters will react to a candidate with extramarital affairs.

First, Newt Gingrich penned a letter to an Iowa family values group pledging that he wouldn’t cheat on his current wife.  (We aren’t supposed to remember that he did cheat with her on his former wife I guess).  He wrote the letter in lieu of signing an official pledge that he would not cheat, as the other candidates did.  The value of such a promise is dubious, given that Gingrich’s pledges of “I do” to his former wives have all ended with his infidelity.

At the same time he was hoping to assure the GOP faithful that he would keep it in his pants if they would just please just vote for him, the GOP opinion-maker news magazine the National Review came out with an editorial urging conservatives against a vote for Gingrich:

Very few people with a personal history like his — two divorces, two marriages to former mistresses — have ever tried running for president.

The editorial points out that Gingrich’s weaknesses include the fact that he “has not run for anything since 1998,” and that he was ousted by his own party “who had lost confidence in him.” The GOP was “right to bring his tenure to an end,” the National Review continued, because, among other things,”again and again he put his own interests above those of the causes he championed in public.”

As I read the opinion, I was struck by how easily the same could be written about Montana GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Hill.

Hill also has a past full of baggage, including an affair with a cocktail waitress at the Sip ‘N Dip Lounge and mermaid pool in Great Falls.   Hill, like Gingrich, is establishment to the bone.  Like Gingrich, Hill has not run for office in over a decade.  And, like Gingrich, Hill was ousted by his own party.  In Hill’s case, he was edged out of the race so that Rehberg could run instead, after it became evident that Hill had too many problems to be electable.  In an attempt to save face, Hill was forced to claim “poor eyesight” forced him to drop out, since the typical excuse of “dropping out to spend more time with the family” was out of the question after Hill’s affair and subsequent divorce.

Gingrich’s flaws bear enough similarities to Rick Hill that the races will likely see similar arcs of peak and decline even though they don’t have much else in common.  Gingrich (at least before his fall) had somewhat of a reputation for leadership and smarts, while Hill…is kind of a nothing-burger.

What happens to Gingrich’s campaign next could easily be in the cards for Hill’s.  Already, Gingrich is becoming somewhat of a pop culture joke.   In fact, a billboard went up this week in Pennsylvania reminding voters of Gingrich’s infidelity.  What’s hilarious is that it wasn’t a political billboard.  The billboard advertisement for an extramarital hookup site. A picture of the billboard, which proclaims Newt Gingrich a “Faithful Republican” but an “unfaithful husband” can be seen here.  

GOP Race for the White House: Season 2012

America no longer cares about Sarah Palin’s Alaska, it appears, as a second season for Palin’s reality show has been cancelled.  Nor are there any takers for her latest reality show idea–this one about her husband Todd’s competitive snowmobiling “career.”

Not that we need more reality shows with the current slate of GOP Presidential candidates.  None of them seem  to know the difference between running for president and auditioning for a slot on “The Apprentice.” This crew of oddballs do, say, and act strangely to attract attention–cameras trailing their every move.  There are affairs, accusations, squabbles, and an utter lack of intelligent dialogue and self-reflection.  In other words, antics of the sort that are the making of reality television gold.   The Republicans don’t seem to care about the damage their Presidential candidates are doing to the party’s credibility, nor how that damage will impact their down ballot candidates.

The network execs, when they saw the people they were dealing with, surely realized that a reality television-style coverage was the best way to present the material.  After all, the format where candidates get together, are quizzed by the host, compete, and are slowly winnowed down at regular intervals is a tried and true one the networks know well.   (Finally, we see the networks’ reasoning for the umpteen thousand debates and the motivation for the eagerness with which Fox News seems to go after Romney–the party’s most “normal” (read boring) candidate.)  And although they must have been heartbroken when Herman Cain dropped out of the race, there are still plenty of hilarious characters still in the running.


Political Quick Hits

TEA Party Republican’s Days May Be Numbered

Tom Burnett is not a good fit for Bozeman.It looks like some Democrats in Gallatin County got together to hold an accountability canvass for TEA Party Republican Rep. Tom Burnett.  The piece highlights Burnett’s vote for a pay raise for himself while voting to increase the tuition bill for students and against local jobs.  Burnett barely won his seat by some 75 votes, and is seen as vulnerable for 2012.  He is an especially poor fit to represent the people of Bozeman, as his wacky writings demonstrate.


Presidential Picks

The Flathead Memo has some interesting predictions up for the GOP presidential primary.  Check them out here.


Medicare Fraud

After voting twice this year to force major cuts to Medicare, Congressman Dennis Rehberg tried to claim to the Lee Newspapers that he was the

“only member of Montana’s delegation who has consistently voted to protect Medicare and Social Security.”

Now he’s poised to hurt Medicare again by supporting a controversial House bill that would pay for a payroll tax holiday by raising Medicare premiums on seniors.

Democrats had alternative plans to extend the payroll tax holiday for middle class families through higher taxes on only millionaires only. But as the AP reports:

“Raising taxes on millionaires may be a non-starter for Republicans, but they seem to have no problem hiking Medicare premiums for retirees making a lot less.”


Bowen Greenwood Craves Santorum‏

The head of the Montana Republican Party has announced his support for Rick Santorum despite the fact that Newt Gingrich is leading all other presidential primary candidates by nearly 30 points in Montana.  GOP Executive Director Bowen Greenwood announced his yearning for Santorum in a recent Tweet. Here’s the screenshot:

Greenwood Santorum Tweet

It is surprising to see a major party figure getting behind a candidate without an official party action—like a primary or caucus.

Perhaps Greenwood feels so comfortable being out there for Santorum because Greenwood believes that Santorum is the most anti-gay candidate in the mix (that hasn’t yet totally imploded anyway.) Last June, the MT Republican party adopted an official platform that keeps a long-held position in support of making it illegal to be gay. Santorum has said publicly that he is the the candidate who is most focused on social issues (as opposed to jobs and the economy–sounds just like the GOP legislature).   It’s hard to deny that Newt Gingrich isn’t the right guy to lead the antigay crowd–he isn’t exactly the poster boy for making anyone want to sign up for “man woman marriage.”


GOP Presidential Race Finally Has a Frontrunner

James Knox is out-of-touch, with reality.Look out Michele Bachmann.  A Montana TEA Party Republican legislator is looking to get in the game.   According to a source close to the candidate, Rep. James Knox (R-Billings) has presidential aspirations.

When a relative of Knox suggested he run for POTUS on Facebook (screenshot), his wife quickly posted

“I lack the fortitude for a national race, I know he will do go though.”

Knox is our generation’s Ronald Reagan, his shady views of people of different ethnicity would secure the sizeable, racist part of the Republican base he needed to wrap up any GOP presidential nomination.

Or maybe he’s our generation’s Eisenhower, surviving the repositioning of his own illegally placed campaign yard signs with grit and spy technology. Or maybe, with his views about women, he’s our generation’s Donald Trump. Whatever. He’s a winner and is certainly better than the others that have so far expressed intentions of considering the possibility of exploring what a run might look like.