I once had an economics professor who had a plan for how to get Congress to stop passing all of those awful laws. When they took their oath of office, they'd be supplied with cash, drugs and prostitutes. This, he figured, would keep them too busy to muck up our country.
I thought of that when reading this New York Times column by Timothy Egan that worries about Mitt Romney's religious opposition to drinking. Now, it's probably true that what we have here is just the latest mainstream media attempt to remind voters that Romney is Mormon. What do you think of this argument?
Jimmy Carter was a teetotaler, and he earned his one-term status. Were the two connected? Can’t say. But his temperance (though he now drinks wine) was much harder on White House visitors than the White House occupant.
“You’d arrive at 6 or 6:30 p.m., and the first thing you would be reminded of, in case you needed reminding, was that he and Rosalynn had removed all the liquor from the White House,” Teddy Kennedy lamented in his memoir, “True Compass.”
Carter’s arid receptions give Romney something to consider. Would guests be more inclined to listen while he droned on about the European debt crisis, knowing that the presidential liquor cabinet held hope of a promising end to the evening?
Doctrinally, I disagree with Mormonism's ban on alcohol. But of all the things in the world to worry about with a given candidate, I can't get worked up much about whether their religion permits a glass of wine or a beer at the ballpark. But this does sort of damage Romney's chances on the whole presidential litmus test question of "Who would you rather have a beer with?"
How should that question be rebranded for the coming months?