Here, you are urged and encouraged to run your mouths about something important.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

De-Coding David Axelrod's Quickly Deleted Mormon tweet

Earlier this week, the Atlantic posted a story about a tweet Obama strategist David Axelrod sent out but very quickly deleted. Did Axelrod mean to send this to a private network and inadvertently broadcast it, ala Anthony Weiner? Hard to say but if it was, it could have told us quite a bit about a strategy of the Obama campaign if Romney is the nominee. The tweet said, "Wring URS. This is the Medicare story." The tweet included a link to a story in the Salt Lake Tribune about menstruating women not being permitted to participate in proxy baptisms, a practice in which deceased non-Mormons are baptized through the baptism of a living Mormon. This fact alone demonstrates that the Obama campaign team is very aware of the practice and is almost certain to encourage the mainstream media to make it an issue if Romney is the Republicans' guy.

The Tribune article is tailor-made for a left wing campaign to keep the "war on women" narrative going if Romney is the nominee as well. By focusing on young women being treated unequally in this case, Axelrod would be able to subtly introduce the bizarre practice of posthumous baptisms while laying the groundwork for another narrative - Mormonism discriminates against women. Romney will eventually have to respond to both, which would be very damaging.

The tweet is a bit cryptic but let's start with the first word, "wring." In every definition, that word carries a negative connotation. Various meanings include, "to twist forcibly," and "to extract or expel by twisting or compression," and "to affect painfully by or as if by some contorting or compressing action."

That leads us to the less discernible and apparent acronym, "URS." Consider the components included in the administration's narrative about the fallacious "war on women" which has included free access to contraception as a central component. That narrative includes "reproductive rights," religion, and health care. Discrimination, while not a central issue there, was certainly implied. Not allowing women to participate in a religious ritual because of menstruation is easily proven to be discriminatory; it also makes pushing a new false narrative, based on that provable fact, much easier.

If "URS" stands for Utah Retirement Systems, Axelrod was referring to an entity that provides benefits to both active and retired Utah public employees. URS also offers a Medicare supplemental plan. If a reality can be manufactured that says URS discriminates against women, would it not be easier to "wring" more benefits out of them?

Though hypothetical, imagine a premise originating with Axelrod that says Mormons discriminate against young women in their baptismal rituals; they consider menstruating women as "unclean." Based on that premise, a logical question can be asked:
"If Mormons discriminate against young women, would they not discriminate against elderly women?"
Taking the next step, one of Axelrod's apparatchiks could float something like:
"If Mormons discriminate against women, is there any Mormon influence on URS?"
Even if the answer to that question is no, when has lying stopped the Democrats? Planting the seed that there is Mormon influence on an entity in the state with the highest Mormon population per capita wouldn't be difficult to do. Democrat operatives would only have to find one example that could be easily exploited based on prohibiting young women from taking part in proxy baptisms. Democrats could then start saying things like:
"Mormons are waging a war against women in both the temples and in the hospitals."
Remember, it doesn't have to be true, just effective. It also calls attention to the Mormon practice that has seen the posthumous baptisms of Adolf Hitler, Anne Frank, Daniel Pearl, and hundreds of thousands of Holocaust victims while appearing to draw attention solely to the issue of women's rights. Additionally, Romney can be identified by the left as someone who practices a sexist religion.

Look, there are three viable candidates in the Republican primary at this point - Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich. The latter two are Catholic and the recent rule from the HHS mandating that Catholic employers must include contraception in their insurance plans for employees was a direct assault on the religion of both Santorum and Gingrich. The subsequent Sandra Fluke controversy highlighted the issue further. So, if the administration is willing to attack Catholicism directly, why would it not be willing to go after the religion of the frontrunner - Mitt Romney?

Here is an excerpt from the Tribune article Axelrod tweeted a link to. Notice the first two words (music to the left's ears):
Mormon feminists recently learned that some young women were wrongly blocked from doing LDS proxy baptisms – which include wearing all-white clothing and being fully immersed in water – because they were menstruating.

Though this was not a consistent prohibition, the women had anecdotal evidence that it was happening in some Mormon temples, including several in Utah.

Trouble is, such a ban is bogus. If temple workers are excluding young women from doing baptismal work while having their periods, church spokesman Scott Trotter said, they are not following LDS policy.

“Performing baptisms in church temples is a sacred ordinance open to all members who are at least 12 years of age and who meet the standards of the church,” Trotter said in a statement. “The decision of whether or not to participate in baptisms during a menstrual cycle is personal and left up to the individual.”
The New York Times has already reported that Romney doesn't want his religion to become an issue in the campaign and declined to offer comment for the story when the Times approached him about it. This could be a way for Axelrod to draw attention to both Romney's religion, which includes an unusual practice (posthumous baptisms), while doing so under the guise of highlighting the fallacious "war on women" meme, which leads back to Axelrod's original tweet.

Commenter "Fuzzy" at Legal Insurrection seems to think "URS" stands for Utah Retirement Systems as well.

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