Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Holy Distractions, Batman

There are two BIG stories this week apparently.

Potential breakthrough in negotiations with Iran?  No.

The Facebook IPO SNAFU?  Hell, no.

Orange Julius (Boehner) saying he'll create another debt crisis?  Nope.

No, the two big stories are that Cory Booker undercut Obama's assault on Romney's time at Bain Capital and now Larry Flynt did something gross.

The Booker thing shows that despite his tremendous personal story and magnetism, Booker is still a pol who looks out for himself first.  As mayor of notorious hellhole Newark, he has to keep Wall Street happy, as he has enlisted them in certain efforts to make his notorious hellhole slightly less brimstoney.  I'm sure Booker IS troubled by Obama attacking the lessons that R-Money learned at Bain.  And he should probably keep it to his damned self when he acts as a surrogate for Obama.

While this is a messaging problem, it hardly rises to the level of a problem, the way that - for instance - Romney speaking to Latino businessmen at the Chamber of Commerce and not mentioning anything to do with Latino interests does.  Outreach!

As for the Larry Flynt thing, the right wing wurlitzer is asking us to believe that Hustler's degrading photoshop of a female conservative columnist is exactly the same as what Rush Limbaugh said about Sandra Fluke.

The problem with this analogy is that Larry Flynt is a creepy cretinous lecher who no politician (outside of a drunken John Edwards) would be caught within a mile of.  Limbaugh has been the de facto voice of the GOP for years.  Limbaugh was made an honorary member of Congress by the GOP.  When he speaks, GOP leaders fall in line.

As Booman put it, liberals defense of Flynt extends entirely to the fact that he has a right to publish his filthy magazine and people have a right to buy it or not.  They extend the same rights to the publisher of the Turner Diaries, too.

Politics inevitably seizes on little moments and small acts.  So much of a politician's life is scripted and controlled that these tiny glimpses of real humanity are what matter.  It's why Mitt's dog on the roof and his wife's battle with MS are important in figuring out who the guy really is.  My read is that Mitt cares a great deal about the people close to him, but doesn't really give a damn about people in general.  Maybe that's wrong, but that's the sense I get from him.

Meanwhile, you have this:

A young boy wanted to know if the President of the United States hair felt like his.  And for the first time in 220 years, it did.  And the President asked him to touch it.

Does this matter when it comes to figuring out which man will do a better job getting the economy going?  No.  But little things like this do matter in assessing which person you trust with the job.

This nonsense noise about Booker and Flynt and whatever else will come down the pike... not so much.

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