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Mitt Romney on Porn

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Mitt Romney on Porn

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Mitt Romney may be publicly waving off social issues in favor of stump speeches on the economy and ill-advised missives on the Middle East, but he’s managed to find some time to meet with the anti-pornography group Morality in Media, to whom he’s pledged to crack down on porn if elected president.
 
This isn’t the first time porn has gotten Mitt Romney hot and bothered. During his 2007 bid for president, he vowed to put a porn filter on every computer. He’s cut ties with companies that fund or enable pornography, like the Marriott Hotels (although he happily took a campaign donation from the owner of several hardcore porn sites). Along with Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, he signed Morality in Media’s pledge to commit to strict enforcement of obscenity laws back in January.
 
And three months ago, the Romney campaign held multiple meetings with the same anti-porn organization, which formed two years ago in response to Barack Obama’s non-enforcement of obscenity laws. According to Patrick Trueman, a former head of the Justice Department's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section and now the head of Morality in Media, he was quietly promised that combating porn will be a top priority in the Romney White House.
 
Though some pornographers are up in arms, it isn’t likely that Romney will make a dent in pornography regulation if he's victorious in November. Federal obscenity laws, which cite a nebulous adherence to "community standards," are notoriously difficult to enforce, especially since the Internet made porn crackdowns the equivalent of trying to put toothpaste back into the tube. For Romney, this extracurricular porn crusade is a political move: It will fly under the radar of the mainstream voter, while catching the attention of diehard social conservatives.
 
Mostly, it reveals how bendy Romney is when it comes to political motivations, and it only underlines the contrast between his public platform and his private appeals. My advice to Romney: It didn’t work back in the Bush-Ashcroft days. Your constituents consume it on the regular, and some porn stars are even voting for you. So pick your battles wisely.

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