The Master Debaters Round Three: Binders of Women, or, Fifty Shades of Mitt by Gabriel Ricard

One of my favorite professional wrestling promos of all-time is an oldie from the days of World Championship Wrestling. “Mean” Gene Okerlund was interviewing Harlem Heat, Booker T and Stevie Ray, and the late, great Sherri Martel. It’s an interview longtime fans still mention to this day. Mostly for the part where Booker T, who was and still is a great promo guy, roars “Hulk Hogan, we comin’ for you, nigga!”, immediately realizes what he’s just said on live television, and just as quickly wishes he could hide somewhere in Mean Gene’s very smart tuxedo.

That was about fifteen years ago. People are still asking Booker about it.

I love things on television where it takes someone about two seconds to think of ten thousand things they could have said, besides whatever they actually went with. Running into this kind of disaster is just something anyone who speaks before a live audience has to keep in mind.

The point is that Mitt Romney probably didn’t have any of those moments of realization last night. I’m sure Mitt thought every single word that audibly dripped from the sewage treatment center he calls a mouth was just fine and dandy. He smiled with the complete strength of conviction of an individual. Whose concept of reality is so goddamn frightening, I can barely believe it is a part of the reality I exist in. This level of delusion would make for a great Batman villain. It should not have the makings of someone a group of actual people are actually trying to put into public office.

I wouldn’t trust Mitt Romney to run an imaginary post office in an 18th century mental institution, but that’s just me. When Martin Sheen’s character from The Dead Zone strikes you as a sound and reasonable man by comparison, something is severely fucked up.

I’m sure Romney didn’t have a moment of realization, like the one Booker T did all those years ago, when the words “binders full of women” slipped out.

And the fact that he didn’t is something that’s important to keep in mind. Barack Obama is a politician, and politicians are more or less the same, no matter what they believe in. He showed us a more aggressive politician last night, but he didn’t show us anything surprising. What I did take from Obama was a man who, despite being a politician, despite his flaws, at least seems to have some understanding of the world that we live in.

Mitt Romney has an understanding of the world he lives in. Last night proved yet again that it’s not a world that’s terribly interested in women, the middle class, gays, college students, minorities, immigrants, the environment or just about anything else that isn’t rich and white.

I don’t want to see the world as Mitt Romney sees it. It’s probably something along the lines of a David Lynch movie with the occasional unicorn and sugarplum fairy thrown in for the sheer deranged hell of it.

The story of Jill Stein being arrested outside the venue is honestly a lot more interesting to me than anything that happened between The President and Romney. I don’t really care what you think of the Green Party. The fact that this country has repeatedly refused to give any third party an opportunity to at least be heard on a larger stage should be saddening to a lot more people than it currently is.

Obama put Romney in his place repeatedly and beautifully, and he reiterated a message that, once again, at least has the benefit of a reality that doesn’t have circus music playing in the background for all eternity.

Candy Crowley wasn’t intimidated by Romney’s petulant child-bully tactics. She kept things going, and she didn’t sit there like a four-year-old with a severe concussion (Jim, I’m looking at you).

I just feel bad for the empty Waffle House that had to be nearby. Where else did they get those living dead character actors that were passed off as an audience that could contribute something meaningful? I’m not even sure they were real people. Who’s to say they weren’t two or three drunken midgets jammed into some kind of people suit? Why not?

Don’t laugh. It could be true. Especially if you believe in someone like Mitt Romney. Because if you do, then you may as well just imagine that anything, no matter how fucking stupid or breathtakingly incorrect it might be, is possible