Dueling Aphorisms

There’s so much delicious about Mitt Romney’s making donations to conservative nonprofits that he hopes will endorse him that it’s hard to know where to begin the commentary. 

  • Gosh, I certainly hope the funds he gave to, among others, The Federalist Society and Massachusetts Citizens for Life (is that, like, a sentence?  You have to be a citizen of Massachusetts for life?) came in the form of general operating support.  Otherwise, his foundation might accidentally be funding–gasp!–advocacy!  Will all the legislators who are so concerned about the revolutionary political tendencies of charities please confirm that Mr. Romney’s foundation shouldn’t be the subject of Congressional hearings and then lose its tax-favored status?   
  • Several of his beneficiaries have already begun revising their views of the ex-Governor’s campaign for president.  If I give pro-lifers $25K, will they revise their views to be in favor of keeping abortion safe and legal?  If so, consider this a pledge.
  • So this guy made a lot of money and thinks that entitles him to political power in a democracy.  And, whaddyaknow, it’s true!  Just funnel the money through opinion-making nonprofits.  And it’s a two-fer: not only do you get to tell people less well-off than you what to think, you also get a tax break so you pay a smaller percentage of your income than people less well-off than you. 

So which aphorism is appropriate: the one where the offended recipient of a proposition asks, "What kind of girl do you think I am?" and the man who’d offered her first $1 million and then $1 responds, "We’ve settled that, we’re just arguing about the price;" or the one where the veteran pol says, "If you can’t take their money, drink their liquor and still vote against ’em, you don’t belong in politics"? 

I know the Nonprofiteer is always going on and on about how nonprofits should steer clear of funds from people or organizations whose agendas might distort or interfere with the recipient’s mission.  But if you can’t take their money and still refuse to endorse them for President, you don’t belong in the nonprofit sector.


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