Last night on his show, Piers Morgan hosted Michele Bachmann for the full hour and, in one segment, tried pointedly to elicit her reaction to recent controversial comments from actor Kirk Cameron.
Last week, Cameron told Morgan he thinks homosexuality is “unnatural and … detrimental and … ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.” Cameron’s remarks shocked not only Morgan, but also the online universe: The exchange trended on Twitter for about 36 hours.
Perhaps in an effort to repeat that PR success (what good free pub for Piers!), Morgan last night again and again asked Bachmann about her views on gay marriage. Bachmann initially attempted to deflect the subject entirely with a simple statement: “I’m here as a member of Congress; I’m not here as anybody’s judge.”
That statement was certainly uncharacteristic of candidate Bachmann, who willingly engaged on any issue, but not necessarily uncharacteristic of Congresswoman Bachmann, who, at various points in her career, has demonstrated a remarkable ability to stay focused on a particular issue of passion. Her role in the fight against Obamacare is proof enough of that. Last night, she clearly wanted most to talk about the security threats that face the nation and about jobs and the economy — and she saw the gay marriage debate as a distraction.
Still, Piers persisted, suggesting that Bachmann has been “judgmental” in the past, to which Bachmann took offense. Eventually, the show host evoked a bit of fire from the congressw0man. She brought up the double standard against advocates of “traditional values” and submitted that rhetoric is more heated against the religious than it is against gays.
Shortly thereafter, Bachmann declined to engage further. “I think I’ve had enough of this conversation,” she said, still smiling. “We’ve beaten this horse to death.”A few thoughts:
- This interview reminds me why I love Michele Bachmann. She’s well-spoken but still lively. She might maintain eye contact for unnaturally long spans of time, as Saturday Night Live’s Kristen Wiig portrays her, but she never sounds like a robot. She always sounds human and projects warmth and integrity.
- The interview is also a nice piece of evidence that it’s not GOPers who are obsessed with social issues. Fact is, folks like Rick Santorum and Michele Bachmann can’t not engage on social issues because (a) MSM interviewers will never not bring them up and (b) MSM interviewers won’t just let conservative opinions stand; they’ll push for an explanation. When’s the last time you’ve seen an interview like this in reverse — a show host pushing a lib for an explanation as to why they support gay marriage?
- Given No. 2, GOPers might be better served to just engage on social issues without shame. These are debates conservatives could and should own — in part by turning them around. They say it’s bad TV form to ask questions of the interviewer, but that might be what we conservatives need to begin to do. “Tell me, Piers, why do you think the definition of marriage is malleable? What about homosexual relationships is the same as heterosexual relationships? What’s different?” We don’t need to ask “gotcha” questions, either; we just need to ensure that we don’t debate an issue until the two sides establish their underlying assumptions.