Monday, April 14, 2008

Political Nonsense of the Day

I thought I would write my first post in response to the able commentary by my good friend and colleague, the aptly named Mr. Bitterness.

Now, I tend to follow politics pretty closely. Not as compulsively, absurdly close as I did in January, but more than I probably should. Right now the only thing driving the news cycle is Bittergate: the uproar surrounding Obama’s explanation as to why some voters feel, well, bitter. Now, I don’t think those comments were terribly well-advised, and coming from a rural background myself, I can see why some people would resent them, coming as they do from a Harvard-educated, cosmopolitan law professor. What I cannot understand is why they’ve caused such widespread hoopla. Whatever problems we have in the States, a lack of issues for presidential candidates to address is not one of them. And in the hierarchy of issues, this one is slightly above how much John Edwards paid for a haircut.

I am reminded once again of why sound bite culture is so depressing. Rather than actually talking about things, we get dragged down into discussing, say, what McCain meant by the now famous “100 years” comment. Is this really any way to pick a president?

Excuse the rant: perhaps I’m just bitter.


John said...

I think the bitterness is well warranted... and welcome to posting, my friend!

The triviality and surface level of so much political debate often seems really troubling. I think often of your remarks around McCain and public financing, and about how often I see the financing issue discussed but rarely with the sort of analysis you offered. I see a lot of people saying McCain is breaking the laws he helped write. Still, I think your analysis is correct, that if he's held accountable for this it will signal the end of any possibility that presidential candidates even consider using public funding as it's currently designed in the future.

As for the bitterness question, it's yet another in a strange parade of non-issue issues. Still, if you scroll down a bit to what I posted on Saturday, you'll see at least (I hope) a glimmer of hope. I was amazed at how handily and uniformly the CNN panel said, basically, "this attack is crap"

Now, clearly, the rest of the talking heads out there haven't exactly agreed with the 4 on CNN in the clip... but there appear to be at least 3 somewhat sane people out there covering this mess... not sure I'd call Wolf Blitzer "sane!"

John said...

Oh shoot... I said your bitterness was well warranted... I must be a commie!

Venice said...

Why don't you just change your name to Mr. Marxinest!

Matthew said...
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Matthew said...

If you really want your head to asplode, try listening to Rush over the next week or so. I listen to him for a couple minutes here or there on my way to meetings mid-day and it schtick is so predictable. It's remarkable that he gets away with boldface lies like the way he now describes Obama telling Pennsylvanians they are "hicks, inbred, etc" none of which he really said. I remember Rush talking a while ago about how Obama had said how much he hated his grandmother for being racist. You wonder where this soundbite fury comes from and then you see how much worse it could be if people like Rush had a larger voice.

Not that I think the whole guns-and-religion "debate" is a good thing, but I'm astounded by how awful things are at either end of the spectrum of political discussion.