Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 GOP Primaries: A Knock-Out Season

So, things have been pretty serious around here.  From murders to political mudslinging to government scandals, the bloggers here at TUP have had to cover quite a few gloomy subjects.  Because of the cloud hanging over national politics and the media these days, I decided to do something a little fun.  

Ok, for our 30 and up readers, you  may remember the Nintendo game, "Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!"  For our younger readers, you can find this game at your local retro game store.  Though it started off as a typical boxing game, this game became super popular because of the lovable characters, Little Mac, Bald Bull, and Soda Popinksi, just to name a few.  Additionally, if you mastered your boxing skills, you could get a shot at the then undefeated and undisputed heavyweight boxing champ of the world, Iron Mike Tyson.    
What does this have to do with politics?  Glad you asked.  In my effort to cheer things up just a bit before the general elections roar in full blast, I decided to chart the cast of characters from this years GOP primary leading up to the match-up between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.  Now if you remember the game, you'd remember that each of the characters had certain weaknesses and that once you learned to exploit them, you could easily knock out that opponent.  I noticed some of Punch Out's characters had similar characteristics to this year's GOP crew, so I decided to compare them and see how similar they are. I didn't cover all of the candidates, just my favorites.  Feel free to comment about others in the comment section.  Here we go!

Ok, so we'll start with Mitt Romney as Little Mac.  Like Little Mac, Romney has had to duck, bob, weave, and throw the occasional uppercut to earn his shot at the Dream Bout for the Presidency. Though Little Mac is likable to his fans, and Mitt Romney is rather scorned by his base, I think there is enough of the general public that likes him  for him to be compared with the diminutive boxer.  Besides, Mac had a fighting chance in the game and I think it's fair to say Romney has a fighting chance at winning the presidency.  Here's what he faced to get the Republican nomination. 
First up was Glass Joe.  I think without me saying, you could probably figure out that this is Governor Rick Perry.  Although Rick Perry is governor of the great state of Texas, most considered him a political journeyman.  Just like Glass Joe in the ring, at debates Perry always looked bored, sleepy and uninspired.  In addition, the wild and goofy gaffes he made on the campaign trial were pretty similar to Glass Joe's wild, goofy punches. (Remember Perry forgetting the third Federal Agency he would terminate as President?)  However, like Glass Joe, who could knock out Little Mac with weak punches if he hit him enough, Perry could have beaten Mitt Romney if he just had more intellectual strength. However, Glass Joe didn't have many combinations and his upper cut was like getting hit by a first grade girl.  Pretty much like Perry's debating skills.  Romney easily won this round.

Next up was Don Flamengo aka Michelle Bachmann. Now our boy Don (Juan) Flamengo is a pure pretty boy and loves to look at himself.  Sorta like Bachmann, who is beloved in Minnesota and simply loves to see and hear herself.  Once in the ring, Don throws one uppercut after another until he tires himself out.  Trust and believe that if Mac gets caught up in that barrage of punches,  he goes down hard.   That was pretty much Bachmann's strategy this election.  She unleashed a whole bunch of nothing about Romney and Obama until she tired, then she was done.  She could have finished Romney if he had gotten mixed up in her mudslinging.  But he didn't and once she had nothing left, Romney quickly dispatched her.

Our next opponent was none other than King Hippo, known in some circles as, Herman "9-9-9" Cain. Now Mr. Hippo, known for his insatiable appetite, causes quite a headache for Little Mac.  It is impossible to beat this dude with regular punches, though he looks like an easy opponent.  I think you remember how unbeatable Cain, also a man with an insatiable appetite, looked in October 2011.  This was even though he seemed to be an inferior, political, bantam weight.  In fact, Cain's talk of 9,9,9 made Romney change his strategy in an attempt to counter his popularity.  Now, in Punch-Out, the only way to beat King Hippo is to wait until his trunks fall, then punch him in the mouth and finish him with body blows.  He's actually easier to beat than Glass Joe once you know his weakness.  That's pretty much what happened to Herman "Playa Playa" Cain.  He got caught with his pants down when two former mistresses outed him, which caused him to shut his big mouth.  The media did the rest with below the belt coverage (no pun intended).  Cain then quit the race. Romney scored an easy TKO here.

Newt Gingrich fits Great Tiger to a T.  Great Tiger is definitely one of the better fighters on the game.  He is lighting quick and his punches take a lot of Mac's energy.  But his most damaging power is the fact that he disappears and then reappears and hits you over and over and over until you are knocked out.  That pretty much sums up old Newty Newt.  He is an intellectual giant, he knows politics, he understands legislation, and he is a foreign policy wonk.  But most damaging is the fact that he disappears after a spell, then reappears and brings havoc to that ass.  I mean look, he's still officially in the race and hasn't announced when he will quit.  Now the way to beat Great Tiger is to dodge his spinning punches, wait till he appears and then stops, watch for his turban to light up, then punch him in the mouth.  Same thing with Newt, let him reappear, dodge his insults and mindless banter until he stops, wait until he shows a sign of weakness, and then punch him in the mouth with genuine, thought out, substantive issues.  Like Great Tiger, where even if you know how to beat him he's still a challenge, Newt is a pretty tough opponent even with his flaws, and with the enormous Super Pac bankrolls funding him, he plans to stick around until he has had his fun.

Ok, next is the fight before the Dream Bout.  My main man, Ron Paul, makes his fighting debut as Super Macho Man. Now Super Macho Man is the ultimate fighter: quick, powerful, tough, and intelligent.  However, he has a chip on his shoulder and since this is Mike Tyson's game, we know he'll never win it all.  Same with Paul, he is quick witted, he's powerful, he's a tough competitor at debates and he's smart enough to hold his own against the other candidates.  However, he loses too many votes when he says the federal government should have never gotten involved and ended Jim Crow and when he talks about dissolving the Department of Education.  There is really no reason why Super Macho Man shouldn't be the champ, other that the fact that Iron Mike Tyson was a freak of nature.  The same with Paul.  I could totally see him as President, and a pretty reasonable one at that (save for his silly talk about federal intervention and ending certain federal agencies).  The only problem is President Barack Obama, who is formidable to say the least.  So, with no fanfare, Little Mac (Mitt Romney) moves past this guy.

And now the Dream Bout.  This fight represents the general election for the President of the United States where Mitt Romney faces Barack "Iron Mike Tyson"Obama.  Now, in Mike Tyson's Punch-Out, you could play this game until  your finger pads fell off but Little Mac seemed too small, too slow and, too weak to beat Tyson.  For starters, Tyson enters the ring at 31-0, he could drop you with one punch, he dodged everything you threw, and he laughed at you while he did it. Mac's little punches can't do much to him, so forget knocking him out with a basic uppercut.   Additionally, when you lose to him, you can't refight him.  You have to face Super Macho Man again. The only way to beat him is to feel the tempo of the game, practice, practice, practice, and when you get to Tyson,  you have to bring your "A" Game and make sure each punch counts.

This is a good analogy for President Barack Obama and the force of his grass-roots supporters.  Obama has a superior intellect, an unmatched oratory, a laser-like focus, a campaign logistics juggernaut, and the awesome power of the bully pulpit.  He has a swelled war chest for the general election and he also touts the successes of his first term.  In addition, Obama understands that the best defense is a good offense.  Say one word out of line, and his legion of supporters swarm on you and help take you down.  Bottom line: Obama is the current champ and he will not be easy to beat.   Romney comes in off a tough primary, he is the wrong religion, he waffles back and forth with the political win, and his base might not rally around him. To win this election, Romney must be sharp, focused, on message and refrain from too much mudslinging. He must bring his "A" game each day on the general election trial and understand that he can't knock out Obama with one hit.  He must be prepared and have the resources to fight over the long haul and he must feel the tempo of the American people.  Romney will get one chance at this and if he loses, he might not make it to the Dream Bout again.  Obama is not impossible to beat, but he is going to extremely difficult to take down.  This is going to be a close one.  Romney must understand this if he is to have a chance to have the title of President of the United States.


Feel free to relate any other presidential candidate to another character in this game.  Knock yourself out!!

blog comments powered by Disqus