counter statistics

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Republican on Romney v Camenker

On their blog:


It'll be fun to watch Mitt Romney try to wriggle free from the web of contradictions he has crafted in such a short political career. He has not even announced his presidential campaign yet, but a press release issued today shows just how difficult Romney's journey will be.

The release is a response to this news story, which details the criticisms of Brian Camenker, (the anti-gay advocate who knows more about obscure, gay sexual fetishes than most gays do, profiled so well by Ryan Lizza last month).

In the press release (not available online), the Romney campaign charges that "Camenker is not a credible voice and pushes an extreme ideology." Hmm ... more extreme than those of Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell, whom Romney has courted? It also quotes a 2005 Boston Globe story, stating that Camenker is "often lampooned by the local and national media," as if it will warm the hearts of socially conservative Republican primary voters to hear that Romney has joined such a liberal stalwart as The Daily Show in lampooning a genuine, hard-working, pro-family advocate. (The press release even links to this hilarious video from said program mocking Camenker.)

But just whom is the intended audience for Romney's rebuttal? Pro-gay Republican moderates, who might take pleasure in seeing Romney ridicule a right-wing nut? More likely, it's social conservative Republican primary voters, who may start to question Romney's commitment to their issues because of the (distasteful, though accurate) critiques that Camenker has made about Romney's contradictory record. Disagree with Camenker on the issues, but you've got to give the guy credit for so thoroughly documenting the rank opportunism of Mitt Romney's entire, and probably short-lived, political career.

Anyway, if it is the latter group Romney is preening to--which makes the most sense--the presumed presidential candidate with the movie star good looks might have some trouble. Camenker, prejudiced though he may be, is no less outlandish in his views on gays than many Republicans. Indeed, some may sympathize with Camenker's criticism of Romney and take offense that he's gone after one of their activist heroes. Oh, the web he weaves.

Romney is clearly trying to play both sides of this issue - and as a result is making both sides mad.