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, October 11, 2012

The Sorrow And The Pity

I just read two things over at TPM.

I think this also goes along with the SNL take (I haven't seen it) where they lampoon Chris Matthews' epic freakout the night of the debate.  Similarly, Andrew Sullivan needs to be on 24 hour suicide watch.

What is fascinating is something that seems much more prevalent among liberals than conservatives: the overwhelming sense that this is all about THEM.  This is not a blanket statement about all liberals.  Objectively Obama has not done much for me personally, as I am not a woman, gay or without health insurance.  I have a good, well paying job.  But, like the second piece, I acknowledge that Obama has done a great deal that I consider laudatory.

And for me it ends there.  I like what he does.  I like what I think he will do.  I will vote for him.

But there is a part of the liberal constituency - and to be fair to them, they are probably the ones canvassing and phone banking and writing oh-so-critical blog posts - who looked at Obama in Charlotte and Denver and said, "I want you to win, do YOU want you to win?"

Which I think is fundamentally a weird way to look at things.

At Charlotte, I thought Obama decided it would be in bad taste to appear personally triumphant in the midst of 8% unemployment.  And given the large and sustained bounce, I think he struck the right chord.

At Denver, his apparent contempt for the debates led to a poor performance.  But that performance was not NEARLY as bad as his own allies said it was.  Yes, Obama left a ton of meatballs out over the plate.  But read the transcript.  His answers were substantive and on point.  He failed to engage Romney and instead engaged Jim Lehrer.  That's not nearly the same category and Ford saying the Soviets aren't in Eastern Europe or Dan Quayle comparing himself to JFK.

The polls are starting to recede from the bounce just in time for another debate.  Biden is a better debater than people give him credit for.  Plus, Scranton Joe will cut a fool.

But if Obama shows up and engages the audience and Romney at the Town Hall (and I think he will) then maybe all those Manic Progressives who are freaking out over a polling bounce will calm down.

(BTW, Obama still leads Ohio comfortably.  No Republican has ever won the White House without winning Ohio.)

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