At Religion Dispatches, Joanna Brooks explains why Mitt Romney’s wealthy Mormon donors have exploited SuperPacs to remain out of the spotlight. According to Brooks, such campaign donation anonymity fits into broader Mormon cultural norms about wealth and philanthropy. “Wealth means status in the world of Mormonism, as it does just about everywhere else,” Brooks writes. But in Mormon communities there are “no plaques bearing donor names affixed to Mormon chapels or temples … People may know who the big givers are in Mormon communities, but it would be a breach of cultural etiquette to advertise one’s own contributions.”
Commentary‘s Jonathan S. Tobin wonders if all the “pandering” to the “cool kids” will be the winning strategy it was for Obama’s first presidential campaign. Romney, by contrast, is seeking the adult vote. “That’s a good idea,” writes Tobin, “because although Obama may not be as cool as he or his idolaters think he is, the incredibly square Romney isn’t likely to convince anyone that he is hip. The real question is whether coolness will matter as much in 2012 as it did in 2008.”
Last Thursday at Georgetown University, GOP congressman and chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan (R-WI), responded to his Catholic critics. Lately, some of Ryan’s co-religionists have condemned the congressman’s attempt to apply his brand of Catholicism to the U.S. federal budget. Before the lecture, members of the Georgetown faculty sent a letter to Ryan, criticizing him for his “continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.” Citing Pope Benedict XVI, Ryan declared that governments amassing huge debts are “living in untruth.” Ryan also called for greater “civil public dialogue” on these issues.
Mitt Romney’s oldest son, Tagg Romney does some exposé Tweeting. This past Sunday, Tagg posted a photo of his father checking out his Twitter feed during Sunday school. Perhaps Tagg shouldn’t throw the first Tweet here. If he was snapping pics of his dad scrolling his feed, he must not have been following the gospel lesson too closely either.