Thursday, May 10, 2012
Making Romney fight on Obama's turf
In 1982, performance artist/comedian Andy Kaufman performed as a wrestling "heel" in a storyline with Jerry "The King" Lawler. In the above video, Kaufman repeatedly runs out of the ring to avoid fighting Lawler. Eventually, Lawler offers to start the match by allowing Kaufman to start with a headlock. Even though this might temporarily give Kaufman an advantage, it was worth it (assuming, you know, that any of this weren't staged) for Lawler to get Kaufman in the ring, where he then supposedly injured Kaufman badly enough that he was carried out on a stretcher. Note: Starting around 6:00-6:30 would catch most of the action, though the buildup is fun.
Mitt Romney's entire candidacy is based on his ability as a businessman. When he tries to talk about social issues, he fails miserably, particularly when he tries to go off script. He spent most of the primary campaign trying to "jump out of the ring" like Kaufman on social issues.
While Romney is by all accounts a mediocre spokesman for conservative social issues, Obama is the closest thing the left has ever had to Ronald Reagan when it comes to oratorical gifts. He is offering Romney a "free headlock" by raising an issue which by electoral history should be a win for Romney, particularly in swing states. But given the gulf between the candidates in their ability to articulate his side of the argument, should this election consist to any significant degree of a discussion of gay marriage or any other social issue, Romney would be "carried out on a stretcher".
And it's not like Romney could refuse the fight. If he doesn't attack Obama on this, conservative evangelicals, who are wary of Romney to begin with, might rebel, which would doom Romney's chances. So he's stuck going into a fight he's ill-equipped to handle.