The Static Campaign
September 4, 2012
"The truth is that for all the action-packed, content-free verbiage employed to describe it, the contest between Obama and Romney has been remarkably static." Eugene Robinson, Washington Post, today.
Why should we expect this campaign to be different than the politics it reflects and that it will be followed by? "Static?" Of course it is. The whole point of this election is to short circuit any real change; hence, our two candidates are "Mr. White Bread" and "Mr. Almost White Bread."
Here is another way to judge how static this campaign is. Reflect on the number of “issues” that have arisen that are just not relevant to the state of our union today and those that have not appeared that are. For example, as outlandish as Rep. Akin’s comments on abortion were, there is no real issue there. Anyone who thinks that even a Republican Congress and President will pass an anti-abortion law of the kind that Akin and Ryan claim they want is mistaken. Romney’s religion? Obama’s religion? How these translate into real issues is beyond me. Both Ryan and Obama agree on reducing the monies spent on Medicare and even by the same amount. Could anything convey “statism” more clearly than this? And both parties speak about social security as an “entitlement,” surely a prelude to the taking of our retirement money in order to “save” social security!
And is anyone in a position of power, in either party, talking about Citizens United? Not within my hearing. Jon Huntsman did so on the Colbert Report the other night but then Huntsman is no longer in the race. Coincidence? Not really. Is anyone talking about Afghanistan or even Iran? Again, not within my hearing. And no one, more generally, is saying anything about changing – almost in any way – how we do domestic politics and how we do foreign policy.
You know, more and more, Clint Eastwood’s little thing with the empty chair seems more and more appropriate. This is not only a “static” campaign; it is also an empty one. Coincidence? I don’t think so.