Obama, Romney and gay marriage: It IS a question of character

I agree with the fair criticism of President Obama by A.B. Stoddard in her column today regarding President Obama's winding road to his gay-marriage decision, but I strongly disagree with her conclusion. Barack Obama looks like George Washington and Gen. Patton compared to Mitt Romney, if consistency is the test of character for the presidency. Romney has spent a lifetime double-talking, double-dealing, changing positions, weathervaning and Etch-a-Sketching.

On gay marriage I agree with the president's position. All people should be treated equally. I suspect that politically it will be a wash because I suspect that those who consider gay marriage a voting issue either way will not be changed by Obama's decision. There is a far larger issue of character, though, in Mitt Romney's almost unprecedented vacillations and changes of position.

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Obama made the tough call, in the end, on gay marriage. Romney never makes tough calls. When he makes any calls, he changes his position like clockwork. Romney would not have been reelected as governor, and was so unpopular he did not run, and now he runs away from his own record in the only high-level government post he ever held. His absurd contortions about RomneyCare are legendary.

If consistency is character, Romney was for gay rights, then against it. For gun control, then against it. For abortion rights, then against it. Romney invented the healthchare mandate, then opposed it. Romney has been a liberal, then a moderate, then a conservative. Then he falsely called himself a strong conservative governor. Now he moves away from that.

Speaking of character tests, Romney runs on his father's reputation but now criticizes his father for releasing numerous George Romney tax returns. He now criticizes his father for George Romney's support of housing (Mitt Romney has called for more foreclosures). George Romney stood up to the right, but Mitt Romney spent the primaries kowtowing to the right, and is now moving away from the right.

Regarding character tests, if Mitt Romney believed in what he said that Obama was wrong spending so much effort and resources moving to kill Osama bin Laden, and if Romney believed in what he said when he criticized Obama for saying we should kill bin Laden in Pakistan if possible, than bin Laden would be alive today if Romney had been president.

If consistency is character, and even more, if integrity is character, is there one person who seriously believes that Mitt Romney was telling the truth when he ludicrously claims credit for Obama’s great success saving the auto industry?

It was Republican Rick Perry who called Romney a vulture capitalist, Republican Jon Huntmsan who called Romney a well-lubricated weather vane, Republican Rick Santorum who recently said America would be better off if a Democrat defeated Romney, and Romney's Republican adviser who publicly bragged about Romney's Etch a Sketch strategy, which is a confession of guilt for anyone who believes that consistency is character.

I agree with Obama's final call on gay marriage. I make no claim that Obama has been a great model of perfect consistency. But for anyone who truly believes that consistency is character in qualifications for the presidency, Barack Obama towers above Mitt Romney, and has earned the vote of anyone judging presidents by this question of character.

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