An Open Letter to the Editors of National Review
from 22 Conservatives:
June 1, 2007
We wish to thank NR for consistently pointing out that Mitt Romney is basically a "manager" or "CEO." That is precisely what worries informed conservatives about him. Governor Jimmy Carter portrayed himself as a brilliant manager -- and had a resume to support that boast. Carter was among the most incompetent presidents in American history. "Management expertise" is NOT what America needs from a president, particularly in a time of moral and social crisis, sweeping cultural change and international turmoil. "Management" is what a good professional staff is supposed to do. Leadership is something else entirely, and vision is even less related to "mere management." We find the attempt to confuse "management" with the higher virtues of leadership to be patronizing, unserious and insulting to Americans' intelligence. America needs leadership based on an inflexibly constitutionalist and minimum-government worldview. America also needs leaders who know who they are and what they believe and who did not find these things out the day before yesterday.
It is obvious that throughout Mitt Romney's political career, he has valued mere management -- even in matters of life and death -- over the substance of whatever he's managing. For Romney it is about the process , not the destination. Purported "excellence" in management cannot substitute for moral vision, worldview or character. A first-rate manager might be proud of having done a magnificent job of carrying out the vision of a Mao, a Hitler or a Lenin. Indeed, the holocaust, the gulag system and the starvation of tens of millions Ukrainians and (later) Chinese, were marvelously "managed."
Mitt Romney's contribution to history is his -- still largely untold -- constitutional bungling of the homosexual "marriage" issue while he was governor. Professor of jurisprudence Hadley Arkes was quite correct when he described on the pages of National Review how Romney managed the crisis as a weak-kneed political pragmatist. In fact, Romney "managed" the crisis so well that his subversion of the world's oldest functioning constitution remains unknown to most Americans.
The facts are not seriously disputed: Romney ignored emphatic legal advice from numerous authoritative sources that he was constitutionally obliged to ignore the Goodridge decision, which neither sought nor anticipated any action whatever from the executive branch , unless the Legislature first acted to legalize homosexual marriage, which is the sole avenue to legalization that the state Constitution allows. His highest duty as governor was to uphold the exceptionally clear and strict separation of powers defined in the Massachusetts Constitution:
"The power of suspending the laws, or (suspending) the execution of the laws, ought never to be exercised but by the legislature..."
Mitt Romney illegally suspended the marriage laws and subjected the people to a constitutionally void opinion by judges who were fully conscious they were powerless to get their fanatical social agenda enacted. He ordered public officials to ignore marriage statutes properly ratified by the legislative body and still constitutionally binding -- statutes which the Goodridge ruling acknowledged prohibit homosexual "marriage."
He claimed that the court had changed the law, imputing power to Massachusetts judges that the state constitution explicitly denies them -- and which Massachusetts courts have repeatedly admitted they do not have. As the Massachusetts Constitution states:
"[T]he people of this commonwealth are not controllable by any other laws than those to which their constitutional representative body have given their consent."
Romney's "managerial" choices in that crisis were the choices of a weak and craven political creature, incapable by nature of defending a constitution he had sworn solemnly to uphold. By granting to militant homosexual activists and the editors of the Boston Globe a special dispensation for extra-constitutional indulgences, he "managed" the crisis, it might be said. His loud protestations against "activist judges" notwithstanding, the actual outcome of the crisis was apparently of little concern to Romney, who had both publicly and privately assured Massachusetts' infamous homosexual Bolsheviks that he would not stand in the way of their grand agenda.
Under Governor Mitt Romney the ratchet of history and government turned one huge twist to the left -- away from constitutionalism by any conceivable definition -- and toward ad hoc "management" of fundamental legal issues without regard to constitutional lines of authority. Tragically, much of the conservative "elite" were in a fatal rush for a deeply uncomfortable issue to be swept, only temporarily, of course, under a rug. They remain loathe to revisit Romney's manifold subversions of the Massachusetts state constitution, regardless of the cost of this surreal denial.
Indeed, Romney "managed" the crisis and successfully presented himself as a "conservative" hero to "conservatives" and "constitutionalists" who were in too much of a rush to examine the state constitution. Conservatives and self-proclaimed constitutionalist libertarians must face honestly the rape of the Massachusetts Constitution that Romney's management entailed. Decades of relevant court opinions also reveal Romney's management of the "gay marriage" crisis as illegal in the most fundamental way. Every American constitutionalist, every conservative ought to read the following document sent by dozens of reputable and prominent conservatives to Romney in the closing days of his administration: http://www.massresistance.com/docs/marriage/romney/dec_letter/letter.pdf
(for some reason never reported to the readers of the National Review).
In treating the state constitution as irrelevant to a constitutional crisis, Romney cynically sidestepped an historic opportunity to restore a semblance of constitutionalism in a state in which supposedly binding separation of powers are routinely violated by the political and legal elite. His characteristic substitution of mere "management" expertise for more solemn duties and obligations is also evident in his health care plan in which he was so consumed with managing an alleged health care "crisis" in a way that would pad his political resume, that he somehow forgot his alleged pro-life "conversion." His health plan yielded to Planned Parenthood a prominent and permanent role in the public governance of health care -- and taxpayers will now subsidize far more abortions in Massachusetts than ever before.
When militant homosexual activists approached Romney seeking more vigorous state support for pro-homosexuality curricula in Massachusetts public schools, he deftly managed this request by adding hundreds of thousands of taxpayers' dollars to fund outrageous programs all in the name of fighting "hate." He funded pro-gay textbooks, gay speakers, and gay dances that in some cases were obscene and in all cases constituted a frontal assault on parental rights and a grand redefinition of the mission and scope of public education. This is management, Romney-style -- minus worldview and moral compass.
When Massachusetts was short on revenue, Romney substantially raised taxes and fees on corporations twice, thereby devastating job growth during the Romney years. Sure, he "managed" the fiscal crisis short-term by (rather discretely) raising taxes and fees paid to government but didn't seem to notice that his policies made things worse by destroying jobs. Another superficially useful resume item for an aw-shucks governor with his eye on the White House.
If any conservative thinks Romney's "management skills" qualify him to run a nation in need of moral vision, clear worldview and the other higher virtues of leadership exhibited, for example, by Winston Churchill and Ronald Reagan, they have a lot to learn about Romney's history and the history of "management" presidencies such as that of Jimmy Carter.
Mitt Romney is unrecognizable as a conservative, a constitutionalist or as anything but a managerialist. Funny, isn't it, how all the big issues just seem to go away if you manage them well enough?
Surely, our memories tell us, there was a time, a long time, during which the National Review would never, could never have given the likes of Mitt Romney a helping hand toward the presidency.
Sandy Rios, President, Culture Campaign
Dr. Scott Lively, Esq, Defend the Family International (signing as a private citizen)
Larry Cirignano, Esq. (former Executive Director, Catholic Vote)
Dr. William Greene, President, RightMarch.com PAC
Linda Harvey, Founder, Mission America
Peter LaBarbera, President, Americans for Truth-Action (signing as a private citizen)
Gary Glenn, Chairman, Campaign for Michigan Families
Michael S. Heath, Executive Director, Christian Civic League of Maine
Rev. Ted Pike, National Prayer Network
C. J. Doyle, Director, Catholic Action League (Massachusetts)
Brian Camenker, President, MassResistance
Diane Gramley, President, American Family Association of Pennsylvania, (signing as a private citizen)
Ray Neary, Director, Pro-Life Massachusetts/Project Parent (former President, Massachusetts Citizens for Life)
John Haskins, Parents' Rights Coalition
William Cotter, President, Operation Rescue, Boston
John Russo, Marriage and Family, Massachusetts
Carol McKinley, Co-Founder, Faithful Voice, veteran Massachusetts political activist
Mark Charalambous, Spokesman, The Fatherhood Coalition (Massachusetts)
Guy Adams, Dir., ValuesUSA (signing as a private citizen)
Rev. Roger Anghis, President, RestoreFreeSpeech.org
Linda Kimball, Patriots And Liberty
Nedd Kareiva, Director, Stop the ACLU Coalition
(Some or all of the above signers have sent this open letter as private citizens and not necessarily in their official capacities on behalf of the organizations they represent.)
[This letter was sent to National Review on June 1. NR has not responded.]