JESUSLAND—On Monday, the pro-censorship organization Morality in Media (MiM) announced that it had received assurances from three Republican presidential candidates—Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich—that if elected, they would direct the U.S. Department of Justice to "prosecute violations of the bans on hardcore pornography," a term which the organization regularly uses as a synonym for "obscenity," even though the two terms have different meanings under the law.
Indeed, MiM has even set up a website dedicated to browbeating the 2012 presidential candidates, including the incumbent Barack Obama (who's listed twice for contact), to "enforce the law."
"Will your next president defend women and children from sexual exploitation and enforce the laws?" a banner on the site asks, apparently without the realization that child pornography is already a heavily-prosecuted crime, and that all of the explicit sexual content released by the adult entertainment industry contains only women who volunteer to appear in the material.
"Vigorous prosecution of those who violate our nation's obscenity laws is critical now," MIM President Patrick Trueman claimed in a written statement. "Our nation is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography that is readily available—even to children on the internet and in other venues... Addiction among adults and even children is now widespread. Pornography is a common cause of the destruction of marriage. It leads to misogyny and violence against women and is a contributing factor in sexual trafficking."
"Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced," said former Sen. Rick Santorum, who's recently come out against birth control in addition to his long-standing opposition to women's abortion rights. "If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so. Limited Justice Department resources should be used to protect children and women from predators, not limited by state boundaries rather than to sue border states," he added incoherently.
Indeed, in 2005, Santorum was lauded by GOP computer hacker Manny Miranda for his activism on behalf of conservative judicial nominees.
"No Republican senator has done more to make the confirmation of John Roberts possible, because no Republican senator is more responsible for making the judiciary issue a national electoral winner for Republicans, or for making colleagues understand its significance to constituents," Miranda said as chairman of the Third Branch Conference, a conservative judicial activist group. "No GOP senator did more to lay the groundwork for … effectively ending the Democratic filibusters.… The end result of Mr. Santorum's strategy was a net GOP gain of six seats in two elections."
But Santorum's conservative judicial street creds pale in comparison to those of former Gov. Willard "Mitt" Romney, who selected as the co-chair of his campaign's Romney Justice Advisory Committee one Robert Bork, a former federal appeals court judge for the District of Columbia Circuit who was nominated to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left by retiring Justice Lewis Powell by none other than conservative god (and President) Ronald Reagan.
"Robert Bork's America is a land in which women would be forced into back-alley abortions, blacks would sit at segregated lunch counters, rogue police could break down citizens' doors in midnight raids, school children could not be taught about evolution, writers and artists could be censored at the whim of the government, and the doors of the federal courts would be shut on the fingers of millions of citizens for whom the judiciary is—and is often the only—protector of the individual rights that are the heart of our democracy," said the late Sen. Ted Kennedy on the floor of the Senate after Bork's nomination was announced.
Though Bork disputed Kennedy's clearly accurate accusations, it's well-known that he considers himself a constitutional "originalist," and believes that the Constitution does not contain a general "right to privacy," making it almost a given that were he seated on the high court, he would do his best to overturn Roe v. Wade, which recognized women's right to abortion.
Whether Romney sees Bork as a possible Supreme Court nominee or as his Attorney General is not clear, but these committee chairships usually lead to some position of power in the candidate's administration, if he's elected.
But that's not all. Included in the 62 other members of his advisory committee, which lists such familiar names from the Bush administration as Steven Bradbury, Michael Chertoff, Jay Stephens and H. Christopher Bartolomucci, is Harvard law professor Mary Ann Glendon, whom Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com described as "a pro-life heroine who is a former ambassador to the Vatican and well-respected by the Catholic community."
"After participating in a searching no-holds-barred conversation among Mitt, his wife, Anne and a group of pro-life activists in March 2007," Glendon said, "I was completely convinced of his sincerity on the life issues. The pro-life movement has staked so much on the confidence that people's minds can be changed that it would be strange to accuse a person of 'flip-flopping' when, as in Mitt's case, his mind and heart have brought him to respect the dignity of human life from conception to natural death."
And finally, there's former Speaker of the House (before he was ousted over ethics violations) Newt Gingrich, who goes a few steps further than either of his compatriots.
Besides announcing during a telephone conference in mid-December that he would ignore Supreme Court decisions that conflicted with his powers as commander in chief, that he would have no problem calling judges before Congress to explain some of their rulings, and suggesting impeachment as one course of action for judges who are not in line with "American values" as Gingrich sees them, Gingrich went a step further on December 18 on CBS's Face the Nation, telling host Bob Schieffer that as far as he's concerned, the Supreme Court doesn't have the last word in interpreting the Constitution—a power that has rarely been questioned since the high court's seminal 1803 decision in Marbury v. Madison.
"It’s always two out of three," Gingrich fantasized. "If the president and the Congress say the court’s wrong, in the end the court would lose. If the Congress and the court say the president’s wrong, in the end the president would lose. And if the president and the court agreed, Congress would lose. The Founding Fathers designed the Constitution… to have a balance of power, not to have a dictatorship by any one of the three branches."
Under such a judicial theory, all a conservative president and Congress would have to do to undo any person's constitutional rights—like the right to abortion, the right to vote or even the right to view sexually explicit material—would be to perform some sort of extra-judicial veto on any Supreme Court ruling.
Yep, those are the folks Morality in Media would consider supporting for president. Just thought you'd want to know!