Mitt Romney seems to vacillate on every single topic except his taxes. On the subject of his taxes, he stands firm. It just makes you wonder –
I’m wondering, do you see much difference between these two statements:
U.S. Embassy in Egypt:
The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions. Today, the 11th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans are honoring our patriots and those who serve our nation as the fitting response to the enemies of democracy. Respect for religious beliefs is a cornerstone of American democracy. We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others.
Romney to ABC:
MITT ROMNEY: Well, I haven’t seen the film. I don’t intend to see it. I, you know, I think it’s dispiriting sometimes to see some of the awful things people say. And the idea of using something that some people consider sacred and then parading that out a negative way is simply inappropriate and wrong. And I wish people wouldn’t do it. Of course, we have a First Amendment. And under the First Amendment, people are allowed to do what they feel they want to do. They have the right to do that, but it’s not right to do things that are of the nature of what was done by, apparently this film.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’ve seen General Martin Dempsey call Pastor Jones to say, “Please don’t promote this film.” You think that’s a good idea?
MITT ROMNEY: I think the whole film is a terrible idea. I think him making it, promoting it showing it is disrespectful to people of other faiths. I don’t think that should happen. I think people should have the common courtesy and judgment- the good judgment- not to be- not to offend other peoples’ faiths. It’s a very bad thing, I think, this guy’s doing.
A week ago, Emma Sullivan was simply another high school student in Topeka, Kansas. She had her circle of friends and family like all high school students. She was attending a Kansas Youth in Government program where Governor Sam Brownback addressed her and her fellow students. Sometime during this conference she tweeted: Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot. Okay, no big deal, just a high school student expressing herself. Then, somebody from the governor’s office called the principal of her school. Let’s just think about this just for second. A high school student says something to the governor. As far as I know, she hasn’t broken any laws and hasn’t violated any code of conduct that I know of. Why would somebody from the governor’s office run whining to the principal’s office? Why would the principal’s office pay any attention to it? According to Emma Sullivan, the high school student, she was ordered by the principal to write letters of apology to Governor Brownback, the school’s Youth in Government sponsor and several other recipients.
This morning Emma tweeted “I’ve decided not to write the letter but I hope this opens the door for average citizens to voice their opinion & to be heard! #goingstrong.” Would you or would you not agree that we should all have the right to criticize our political leaders? She does not have the right to be rude, but she does have the right to express herself in a way that does not disrupt the class or the learning activity. If she’s able to do this, there’s no reason for the governor’s office to be offended. There’s no reason for the principal’s office to get involved.
Update: Finally, some common sense (and I didn’t think that Governor Brownback had any!)
In the uproar over a Prairie Village teenager’s tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback during a school trip, it is the governor who is apologizing. “My staff over-reacted to this tweet, and for that, I apologize. Freedom of speech is among our most treasured freedoms,” said a statement from Brownback’s office.
Overreacted, indeed. Ya think?
So let’s see. A teenager tweeted that her governor sucks. He does in fact suck, as is evidenced by his staff obsessively compiling an enemies list of teenage girls who don’t like him on Twitter. His staff complains, the school principal freaks out, probably correctly figuring that Brownback’s office will use it as excuse to cut their pencil budget again, this time down to one pencil per thirty kids, and tells the teenage girl she has to apologize. The wider world finds out about it, floods all parties with messages of support for the teenager in question and suddenly everybody remembers the First Amendment again.
Yesterday, in a coordinated effort, many of the #Occupy movements were “closed down.” From California to New York, police moved in and cleared out encampments. Now, I think it is critically important for us to review what the #Occupy Wall Street movement is all about. To me, this movement is about Us. Our democracy has stopped working for Us. Over the last 30-40 years the scales have been tipped in favor of the rich and corporations. Politicians have stopped listening to Us. Instead, they listen to corporate lobbyists and the very rich.
If you don’t believe this and you don’t believe that the system has been unfairly rigged, all you have to do is look at the financial meltdown. Whether you understand or believe the cause of the financial meltdown is not important. Basically, our financial system was on the brink of collapse. Every single firm on Wall Street was in jeopardy of going under. The ripple effect from the massive uncertainty and huge losses was felt all over the country. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. Hundreds of thousands lost their homes. Now, the smoke has cleared. Wall Street is raking in record profits. Corporations that were on the brink of bankruptcy are now sitting pretty. The American people, on the other hand, continue to struggle. The unemployment rate remains unacceptably high. Wages are stagnant. Congress is arguing over cutting the meager benefits, which are keeping millions of Americans out of poverty.
The #Occupy movement is about restoring the balance. I support the right of Americans to peaceably assemble. I support Americans who want the right to free speech. I support Americans who believe that Congress needs to work for Us and not for corporations. I support hard-working Americans who want a living wage for a hard day’s work. I support #Occupy Wall Street.