Funny, isn’t it, how this campaign, supposed to be entirely about the economy, keeps slipping back to social issues, from contraception to marriage equality. Funny, also, how Obama has gained on Romney during the first part of this year. If this is a choice election, and social issues are salient, then Romney’s in trouble. Every day he loses his economic message, his referendum on Obama gets shunted back a bit. So no surprise that Romney would rather not discuss immigration, gays, or marijuana. The part of the interview where he gets testy:
Allahpundit has two questions:
One: Why is he okay with domestic partnerships but not civil unions? Is there some principled distinction he has in mind or is that purely a minor strategic concession to pro-gay-rights Republicans? Two: Andrew Kaczynski makes a very good catch. Watch to the last seconds of the clip and you’ll hear Romney say, almost offhandedly, that gay marriage and marijuana are state issues. Is that really his official position? Didn’t he sign a pledge supporting a Federal Marriage Amendment?
That’s his first flip-flop against Christianist orthodoxy. He’ll flip back soon enough. But I do think Allahpundit is absolutely right. If Romney is against civil marriage and civil unions, what rights does his view of domestic partnership contain? Or rather some reporter needs to ask: which rights, in Romney’s view, should heterosexual couples have that homosexual couples shouldn’t? Could I be compelled to testify against my husband in court, for example? Would domestic partnership guarantee inheritance rights? Access to hospital rooms? What specific variety of inferiority does Romney propose for gay couples? First Read explains Romney’s caution:
The challenge for Romney in next 48 hours will be making sure that the same thing that happened on contraception doesn’t happen on gay marriage. He doesn’t need the Rush Limbaughs of the world going bonkers on this today and Romney having to defend comments from the rhetorical extremes. That’s Romney’s internal challenge – and one he has little control over — that his party doesn’t go down the rabbit hole on this.