If Mitt Romney manages to win the GOP nomination, then we need to hope he is far better-prepared to handle the liberals’ anti-Mormon slime machine than he was prepared to handle intra-party jabs at his Bain record, his tax returns, and his flip-flopping.
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I would be quite dishonest if I said that I wasn’t worried about what the liberals and their lackeys in the press will do to defame the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in their win-at-any-cost zeal to re-elect Barack Obama. Mitt Romney’s religious faith is likely to be mocked, sensationalized, disparaged, and dragged through the media gutters. It could even be uglier than the fanning of racial tensions and demonization of the wealthy, also projects pushed by the Obama machine.
If that were not bad enough, moderate, not-particularly-religious voters in the general election may well be susceptible to the filth. That prospect is looming like the big, fat, completely unacknowledged elephant in the nomination room. Republicans seem to believe that if they don’t talk about it, then neither will the Democrats.
That’s just more than a little naïve, in my opinion.
Here’s a clue for the GOP ostrich-class. When Barack Obama and his surrogates slyly played the race card against the wife of the “First Black President” to jujitsu the Clinton machine, your country-club blinders should have hit the dustbin with sentient ferocity.
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And just because the GOP establishment ruled Jeremiah Wright and his un-Christian black liberation theology out of bounds, they may be now thinking Barack Obama’s super PACs wouldn’t dare — would not dare — to use Mitt’s Mormonism to attack him.
What an adorable fantasy that is. Almost too cute for words.
And far too naïve for shrewd Republican primary voters to indulge.
The only way to beat off an attack you know is coming is to prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best. I’ve seen no sign, so far, that Mitt Romney has adequately prepared for any of the easily predictable attacks against him, which is a glaring deficit in his managerial competence credentials.
So, how might the liberal slime machine work to instill fear of the first LDS president among the fence-sitting moderate and not-particularly-religious independent voters?
Well, here’s one clue from Slate in 2006. Jacob Weisberg, then chief editor at Slate (a Washington Post company), wasn’t the least bit reticent in this piece, titled “A Mormon president? No way.” While acknowledging that some might call him a “religious bigot,” Weisberg nevertheless came out blasting — not against Mormonism’s “cult” status among mainline Christians, but against “the founding whoppers of Mormonism.”
The LDS church holds that Joseph Smith, directed by the angel Moroni, unearthed a book of golden plates buried in a hillside in Western New York in 1827. The plates were inscribed in “reformed” Egyptian hieroglyphics – a nonexistent version of the ancient language that had yet to be decoded. [Snip] Smith was able to dictate his “translation” of the Book of Mormon first by looking through diamond-encrusted decoder glasses and then by burying his face in a hat with a brown rock at the bottom of it. He was an obvious con man. Romney has every right to believe in con men, but I want to know if he does, and if so, I don’t want him running the country.
Weisberg’s was a withering attack, aimed not at righteousness, but at the non-religious twin jugulars of reason and intelligence.
Christopher Hitchens, outright foe of all religions, saved some of his most virulent intellectual attacks for Islam and the Latter-Day Saints:
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