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Mitt Romney: Full Meal between Foot and Words

November 19, 2012

Published here on September 17, 2012

I have no idea what Romney thinks sometimes.

In 2006, a group of church members protesting gay rights ruined the funeral of Matthew Snyder, a U.S. Marine killed in Iraq. Members of the Westboro Baptist Church waved signs in the air declaring that “God loves IEDs” and thanking God “for 9/11.”

As you can imagine, their actions were highly criticized across the country. Albert Snyder, Matthew’s father, sued the group. Later, in 2011, Congress proposed the Sanctity of Eternal Rest for Veterans Act, a bill which was intended “to guarantee that military funerals are conducted with dignity and respect.” It did not pass as it was deemed unconstitutional, but it demonstrated the strong disapproval of the church members’ actions.

This was not the first time that a person or group used 9/11 as a means to make a political move or protest some kind of ideology. In 2003, Al Gore criticized George W. Bush for how he handled the tragic event in our nation’s history. In 2009, a bipartisan movement successfully declared Sept. 11 the National Day of Service and Remembrance, but in August of the same year, the American Spectator published a story stating this was “Obama’s plan to desecrate 9/11.” What?

It’s utterly absurd to me that anyone would drop so low as to use the awful events that took place 11 years ago as a means to benefit themselves politically, or even as the basis of a publicity stunt.

9/11 is and will always be an extremely sensitive topic for Americans, as it should be. This past week, when NBC’s Today did not pause the show on the morning of Sept. 11 for a moment of silence, social media exploded with harsh criticism. This was despite the fact that Today has only paused the show once in the last 11 years.

As citizens of the United States, we are taught to value life. It’s something that baffled Japan in World War II, and still baffles some nations today. To us, life is important. I would even go so far as to say that we consider it holy. It’s why we grieved so much on 9/11. It’s why we unite as a nation against people like bin-Laden. It’s a part of who we are.

So, on Tuesday when Mitt Romney released a statement criticizing Obama and his administration for the way in which they handled the shooting in Libya, I was more than confused. Baffled doesn’t even cover it. Almost every major name in the Republican Party (from John Boehner to Herman Cain) released some type of official statement emphasizing their concern for the families and the Libyan government. None of them decided to criticize Obama for how he handled it.

What is the point? What did Romney think he would gain? Brownie points? He has never been good at keeping his foot out of his mouth, but this crosses the line. Four men died for their country. I don’t want to get dramatic here, but I just don’t understand why anyone would decide to use that as a “gotcha” moment — even in the cutthroat world of politics. This flies in the face of our values as Americans, the same values that made the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church so outraging.

In a perfect world, Americans would vote this November based on the candidates’ proposed policies. However, in the real world, the candidate must also be likable and respectable. Romney is struggling already. What was he thinking?

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