Stoffa: GOP ‘Mortal Kombat’ shapes up

Gabriel Stoffa

It has begun! (Cue “Mortal Kombat” theme music.)

That’s right, the gnarly battle for who can face off against big bad Barack Obama is underway. The field of Republican hopefuls sport similar super-combat moves to wow onlookers and avoid answering questions while attempting to appear more appealing than one another.

Mitt Romney has returned to combat after trying his hand four years ago. Romney shares the special move, along with his fellow combatants, of verbally assaulting Obama with rhetoric faulting the current president for everything under the sun. The tricky bit for Romney, though, comes from being able to slightly alter his statements and stances enough to keep potential voters from realizing he is willing to pander. Basically, Romney is the combo breaker with his moderate siding and potential to appeal to independents, making him the front-runner and likely to stay that way.

Michele Bachmann emerged triumphant after the essentially irrelevant Ames Straw Poll over her in-state rival Tim Pawlenty to hold the power of declaring “Make Obama a one-term president” with more vim and vigor than all others. Her mind-numbing special moves include the ability to regularly mistake history — look into John Wayne versus John Wayne Gacy, and Elvis’ birthday versus death — and create convoluted explanations to questions because she really doesn’t have well-founded answers. Bachmann sets the fire under followers, but should ultimately be extinguished because she just isn’t presidential material.

Ron Paul and his league of assorted followers continue their crusade to make a dent in the entire process of American politics. From his ability to entrance followers through rhetoric to legalize drugs, to his applauding a state’s option to secede, Paul can gain and lose a flock of supporters with a mere two-minute outburst of his platform despite explaining his support for the “regular” Republican views. Watch closely for his more youthful support — think college age — which makes him appear to be more of a contender; though we all know youth don’t really vote when it comes down to it. Likely Paul will be left in the dust due to his wild, shake-em-up views when the last pairings occur.

Rick Perry is the newest fighter to jump into the arena, and his presence shook up the combat scene more than any other. Perry’s special moves are almost all offensive, as he has a never-back-down methodology. He carries a political background akin to the Bush we recently knew, but without the general loathing associated with our last Bush’s damage to the country’s finances and war situations. Perry stands to be the real contender for Romney to be the “hero of the day,” because as soon as Bachmann receives the final blow, he gains her supporters easily.

Word is still out on the other side characters — Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain — as they seem to want to continue testing their might for a lead role. Even Donald Trump remains a voice, despite being relegated to the same extras character status with Newt Gingrich, Thad McCotter and Gary Johnson; Johnson being the bloke I wish could make it to the main event because he supports online poker.

Alongside all this is the apparent desire to ignore that teensie, tiny little bit in the Constitution about separation of church and state, because, from what I can gather, the candidates cannot deliver speeches without stressing how the Almighty’s word trumps our government. At least that’s what I have gathered.

Now, all of this is hardly a fair assessment of the potential Republican ticket, but it isn’t meant to be. The shape of the current Republican ticket is really a field of nearly similar ideas, with a hellbent focus on bashing Obama.

The speeches given to the public by the combatants currently contain the following similarities: make a constitutional amendment to make abortion illegal and marriage defined as between a man and a woman; quash the Environmental Protection Agency and drill the Earth like John Holmes with Marilyn Chambers in “Insatiable”; raise no taxes while still creating more money in order to stimulate the economy and balance the budget, even to the tune of constitutional amendments; deny military support to all but those that would be termed as “friends,” which is still an ambiguous term; and destroy anything and everything concerning Obamacare.

Will one of these presidential hopefuls summon the might to topple the Great Black Hype? I don’t know. I do know that I was not intending to vote for Obama come election time, but depending on which of these potentials makes it into the final arena to battle our current American endboss, I might have to flip sides because some of the candidates would simply be rotten presidents.

Regardless, this should shape up to be an interesting game when it all boils down to the final two. Until then, I’m looking forward to all of the finishing moves.