Additional Reporting by Michael Livingston
Realizing that attempts to invoke the legacy of Ronald Reagan had fallen flat with Republican voters, Romney tried to align himself with a more contemporary religious GOP icon -- George Bush. Unfortunately, Romney's not-too-subtle Mormon codes came off as gaffes to most and as terrible, earth-shattering admissions to orthodox LDS elders.
In context of the debate, Romney blurted out the term "binders full of women" in an ostensibly ill-conceived attempt to show that he had been seeking qualified women to fill cabinet posts during his time as governor. But the binders kept by reclusive Mormon elders -- who prefer to shelter themselves from monogamous society in rural compounds full of sister-wives-- are used to seek qualified women for less savory positions. Romney spilled the most carefully guarded can of proverbial beans in the tabernacle. In fact, his own family had emigrated to Mexico when the practice of polygamy was outlawed in the United States by God-hating fascists.
Even more distressing, "binders full of women" refers not only to the ledgers that track potential 13-year-old brides, but also to the pens in which they are "bound" until marriage.
Romney also succeeded in leaking a few other uncomfortable truths, which could explain the sudden interest in Utah by federal agents.
During his discussion of gun control, for example, Romney confessed the Mormon practice of training the sons of single mothers to be skilled sharp shooters who are required to carry firearms at all times.
He also divulged the five-point plan that prophesies the conversion of the Mormon Church to Islam: statehood, missionary expansion, political and economic wealth, plutocracy and the revelation of Joseph Smith as the Prophet Muhammad.
To civil rights activists, however, the most offensive Mormon code was "in the rose garden," a term used to indicate the presence of "an unfriendly colored."
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