Romney and the Chick-fil-A Battle

Conservative Talk Radio icon Barry Farber, in a column appearing Aug. 8 on World Net Daily, predicts a landslide victory for Romney, or rather a landslide against Obama.

Barry bases his prediction on the massive nationwide turnout of some twenty-one million Americans for Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day, which he says was "a cultural-and-religious Normandy Invasion with hundreds of Omaha Beaches."

He sees it as a sign that America's "inner forces" are coalescing, united in their traditional (albeit currently unfashionable) concept of marriage, and having had quite enough of the Left's suppression of free speech through intimidation while issuing one-way demands for "tolerance".

He sees these forces as gathering into a "tsunami" with the potential to sweep Obama from office (and thus sweep Romney in).

I'm as inspired by this as Barry Farber is. Or at least I was until Romney made his own position known.

Mitt Romney, The Great Disappointer, wants no part of that "movement".

Asked to comment about "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day", it's reported that Romney said, "That issue is not part of my campaign", or words to that effect. He said he wants his campaign to "stay focused on the economy".

So, a man -- whose own faith supposedly makes him a paragon of morality -- sees a huge, ever-growing parade of Americans marching down the street, carrying banners extolling that same morality; those in the parade call out to him to not only join them but to run to the front of the parade and be its drum major on its path to glory, and the man decides instead to sit this one out.

He wouldn't have even had to comment on the "gay" aspect; the whole Chick-fil-A affair was as much about free speech and the Left's hypocrisy on "tolerance."  Romney could have, along with twenty-one million Americans, stood up for the First Amendment, which protects unpopular speech no matter who finds it unpopular.

"Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Romney has just squandered the opportunity to have greatness thrust upon him.

Our "champion" thus reveals himself to be neither a leader nor an inspiration, but we are nevertheless stuck with him, because we have once again let the media and the pundits anoint our candidate.

And so, just as (to those who voted for him) one of Barack Obama's greatest qualifications was that he was not George W. Bush, so Romney's is merely that he is not Barack Obama. Let's hope that's enough to get him elected, because one way or another Obama must be defeated. Like Barry Farber, I think we have the potential for a landslide. But, win or lose, if we're looking to Romney for moral leadership, he's already a colossal disappointment.

Thomas Lifson responds:

Romney is playing by targeting persuadable voters in various demographic segments. He probably saw a potential downside from stepping into the controversy, and frankly, he assumes that he already has the support of the CfA backers.

He is not -- or maybe just not yet -- laying out the big issues that separate him from Obama. I certainly hope that after the convention, when he will have big bucks to spend, he starts laying out lawlessness as one big problem of the Obama administration.  He should raise the behavior of the former WH chief of staff Rahm with CfA, as an example of how lawlessness is spreading. From his standpoint, that would be much safer than stepping into a heated controversy, and then facing questions from reporters about the details of his thinking on the subject.

I know that a lot of conservatives ache to have an advocate of their passions at the head of the ticket, crusading for their values. But we have Romney, not Reagan. We may not like it, but we need to get used to it, and consider the consequences of the alternative to full throated support of the presumptive GOP nominee.

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