I dated a guy with a cat once. He would purr, rub his ass on my leg and roll around and meow when he was horny (the cat, not the guy).
By Rod McCullom
NEW HAMPSHIRE’S SEASONED and no-nonsense voters have become a challenge to Mitt Romney’s presidential aspirations. First, the obvious: His poll numbers have flat-lined and there is a substantial lack of traction around the former Republican governor from neighboring Massachusetts.
Compare this to the conservative man-crush that has engulfed fellow has-been (and official non-candidate) Fred Thompson. Second — and this is key — Romney’s anti-gay credentials have gained some currency among so-called “values voters” outside of New England. Unfortunately for the airbrushed gazillionaire, the timing couldn’t be worse in New Hampshire, which recently became the first state to approve same-sex civil unions without the threat of a court order.
Case in point: Cynthia Fishi. Last week, when almost everyone else was transfixed by the Paris Hilton three-ring circus, the New Hampshire mother confronted Romney on the campaign trail.
“I am a gay woman and I have children,” the mother of a 6- and 8-year-old tearfully explained. “Your comment sort of invalidates my family. Why, if we are sending our troops over to fight for liberty and justice for all throughout this country, why not for me? Why not for my family?”
Romney flashed his trademark game-show host grin and meandered across the ideological landscape. He congratulated the mom but cautioned marriage is for a man and woman “to raise a child,” but explained “there are other ways to raise kids, that’s fine. Single moms, grandparents raising kids, gay couples raising kids. That’s the American way.”
That circuitous logic illustrates the underlying hypocrisy of Multiple Choice Mitt Romney’s anti-gay positions. He was born into a wealthy, conservative political family (his dad ran American Motors and was the governor of Michigan), headed east, embraced liberal Republican politics and nowadays, who knows? He even contradicts himself.
TAKE A MOMENT and gauge the anti-gay positions of the many other bland, middle-aged white guys competing for the GOP presidential nomination: Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor, is a Southern Baptist minister and most likely a true believer. Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback has turned his hatred of gays into a cottage industry. Reps. Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo are single issue (immigration) politicians and apparently hate any family that doesn’t resemble a Norman Rockwell painting.
And John McCain? Never consistent on anything, much less his gay positions. He opposed the Federal Marriage Amendment but vigorously campaigned for the only state marriage amendment that lost in Arizona. Rudy Giuliani has a strong gay rights history but neutralizes this by criticizing New Hampshire’s civil union legislation and flashing his circumspect anti-terrorism credentials.
Romney’s opposition to marriage equality in Massachusetts has become the trademark of his campaign. To differentiate himself from gay marriage opponents who have made inroads with gay audiences — think Calif. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — Romney gains his street cred by opposing even basic protections such as the Employment Non Discrimination Act and federal hate crimes laws.
ROMNEY’S ANTI-GAY BRANDING is a revisionist coat of varnish on a once close partnership with the gay community: He opposed “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” supported domestic partnerships and non-discrimination laws. He even courted the support of the Log Cabin Republicans, won their blessing and at least two Log Cabin members joined his staff, according to Mass Resistance, one of his fiercest conservative critics. The piece de resistance: Romney’s record on gay rights was once so strong that Human Events, the weekly social conservative magazine, declared Romney the nation’s most pro-gay rights Republican. That history makes his new anti-gay platform all the more disturbing — even Ray Charles could see Romney’s multiple-choice positions are those of expediency, not conviction or ideology.
Multiple Choice Mitt has even presented a revisionist veneer on his Mormonism to court evangelicals. He’s the worst kind of enemy, soulless and without ideology.
The unfortunate by-product of this schizophrenic branding is a failure to recognize the truth.
“I am not anti-gay,” Romney recently declared in an interview. “I know there are some Republicans, or some people in the country who are looking for someone who is anti-gay and that’s not me.”
With friends like Mitt Romney, who needs enemies?