… when he called me “one of the nicest people you’ll ever know,” in this post, which is a response to mine called “David Brody Gets it Wrong.”
Seriously, we’ve been chatting back and forth on the issue of traditional marriage, and which candidate will champion that cause if elected. In my post, I said that the other candidates have done nothing but talk about promoting traditional marriage, which is actually wrong. Apparently, Gov. Huckabee really promoted the covenant marriage concept in Arkansas, which makes it more difficult to get divorced. I’m not sure how I missed that, but I did. Sorry!
My point to David is that Gov. Romney cannot be limited to one label — fiscal conservative — since he’s done so much on the battleground of social issues as well. (Tony Perkins also commits this error in his recent e-mail to members of the Family Research Council — I would quote it, but I’ve misplaced it in my files.)
But they’re overlooking something important. No one — including President Bush — has fought harder for traditional marriage than Gov. Romney, and at great personal cost.
David (a Harvard Law School grad and a Christian defender of free speech) wrote this before he went to Iraq:
From the moment the activist judges in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down their breathtakingly arrogant decision in Goodrich v. Department of Public Health, he took decisive action to make sure Massachusetts would not grant marriage licenses to out-of-state couples, thereby guaranteeing that Massachusetts would not become the “Las Vegas of gay marriage” and trigger a constitutional crisis as couples returned to their home states with Massachusetts licenses. He also initiated and led an effort to amend the Massachusetts constitution by referendum and has gone so far as to file suit against the Commonwealth’s own legislature after they took action to prevent the people of Massachusetts from voting on that amendment. Critically, he has become a leading national advocate for marriage, with his optimistic and uplifting message dominating the public debate. Rather than casting the debate as one over adult rights, the Governor has made the best possible case for marriage: noting what we all should know but too often forget (at great cultural cost) — marriage does not exist for the convenience and enjoyment of adults but as the best possible way of raising and nurturing children. The credible defenders of marriage in Massachusetts all agree: Mitt Romney has been an invaluable supporter and advocate.
Rather than becoming what the media would undoubtedly call the “George Wallace of gay marriage” by standing in the courthouse door and barring couples from receiving marriage licenses, the Governor chose legal means to resist the court’s decision. And his decision was correct. It is now clear that the Goodrich decision represented not the beginning of the end of traditional marriage but instead the high-water mark of the same-sex marriage movement. Since that decision, homosexual marriage activists have been on the defensive virtually everywhere, losing referenda and losing court decisions. Had Governor Romney not offered a principled and effective defense of marriage, the outcome may very well have been quite different.
I like to say Gov. Romney threw his body between Massachusetts activist judges and the rest of America. So, yes, Gov. Huckabee would be a champion of traditional marriage — no doubt about it — and his rhetoric matches that. Is Gov. Romney most known for his economic prowess? Sure. However, he’s done more, fought harder, and paid a higher cost than any of the other candidates for standing up for marriage in Massachusetts.
That’s something to think about, and thanks to David Brody for getting the conversation going.
CHARLES adds: Nancy, here’s Perkins:
Somehow or other, if the conservative coalition is to re-form, these three legs need their favorites to unite around the strongest themes of each, to wit: 1) the surge worked, and it is no longer business as usual against radical Islamic terrorism – we will take the fight to them and win for our values (McCain); 2) the government is run with all the efficiency of a barroom brawl where the sailors are bad enough but it’s actually the drunken captains doing the damage, and someone with business acumen has to clean it up (Romney); and 3) moral values are indispensable to a free nation that hopes to have and keep small government, and we can’t get there without some Old-Time Religion, and those old-timers, our nation’s almost uniformly Christian founders, knew it (Huckabee).
First of all, whatever he said about Governor Romney really doesn’t make any sense to me — the sailors, the drunk captains, etc. But I guess he’s trying to say Governor Romney is The Economics Candidate. Secondly, how can he say Governor Huckabee is the only candidate who really understands the role religion has played in our nation’s success? Did he not see the College Station speech? Even if he wants to throw out every single thing Governor Romney did to defend marriage, for instance, in office — which would be wrong, but which many social conservatives are doing — the case Governor Romney made for, as he put it, faith in America was way beyond anything any other candidate has ever said.