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Hullabaloo


Sunday, November 27, 2011

 
Fairnbalanced boilerplate

by digby

Oh dear God, do they have a machine that cranks this stuff out?

[Republican presidential candidates'] specific contortions and distortions are no more worrisome than the backdrop against which this campaign unfolds, one of toxic partisanship and breathless hyperbole.
[...]
IS all of this hot air part of a broader climate of unprincipled hucksterism? As a country we’ve shifted emphasis from goods to services, manufacturing to marketing, and everyone natters on about the importance of brand rather than the quality of product — about the sell rather than the substance.

I think politics has followed suit, and politicians, stuck in a sclerotic system that renders real accomplishment difficult, lavish more energy on words than on elusive deeds. What matters is what they can convince voters of and how voters are left feeling about them — and their foes — as a result.

Look at the deficit-reduction supercommittee. As it sputtered to the finish line, how did its members spend the final days? Not with a last-ditch stab at compromise, according to many news reports, but with separate discussions among Republicans and Democrats about how to emerge from the debacle looking better than the other side. The endgame wasn’t about outcomes. It was about positioning.
[...]
Many Democrats say privately that the Republican nominee will need to be savaged for the president to prevail. And the Web site Politico asserted in an article last summer that Obama’s allies were prepared, should Romney be the nominee, to stress his weirdness, which sounds an awful lot like a proxy putdown for his being Mormon. The White House denied any such strategy.

Whatever the case, candidates clearly don’t envision much of a penalty on Election Day for having slung mud and tortured the truth in attacking opponents. I bet Romney’s aides expected — and saw an upside to — the charges of foul play prompted by their ad. The coverage of it reached many more voters than the ad itself did, and that attention ultimately underscored Romney’s overarching assertion that Obama should be ashamed of his economic performance. If Romney came across as shifty in the process, well, that was apparently a small price to pay.

But there’s a larger cost, borne not just by the candidates but, sadly, by the rest of us, too. Campaigns waged with lies presage governments racked by distrust. The sclerosis starts there. And I don’t think this country can endure much more of it without profound, lasting damage.


So candidates viciously attack one another in campaigns with lies. Shocking news.

Interestingly, he fails to note that we have an institution designed for the purpose of sorting this all out for the people. It's called the press. Unfortunately, it's overly populated by reporters who are so excited at being given affectionate nicknames by the candidates that they lose all ability to report accurately.


.