From “Hope and Change” to Believe Nothing

I don’t expect to see much I like in this election.  Just a war of attrition with the  presidential candidate whom the public dislikes a bit less than the other to win.

I know this election campaign is more like watching a wrestling match than a contest between ideas despite both camps frequently mouthing the big differences between them and how this decision will shape America’s future.  I expect both camps to portray the opposition in the least favorable light.

What I didn’t expect is for the Democrats to dive deeper into the gutter than the Republicans AND feign innocence in the process.   I’m speaking about a Super PAC ad this week that has Joe Soptic telling of his wife’s death of cancer after he was layed off from a Bain Capital controlled company.    As the Chicago Tribute states in an editorial:  “What’s implied: Romney, who led Bain in the 1990s, is partly to blame for her death.”  The ad is shameful, made more so in contrast to the tenor set by Obama in the last election.   Even more shameful is the administration’s failure to disown it.  They seem to have decided that in this election Limbo dance, the’ll vie for how low can you go.

I  know, I know.  We could list a host of ads run by the Romney campaign as well as its Super PACS that include lies, but none quite reach the sewer level of accusing the candidate of being virtually guilty of participation in manslaughter.  Yes, the Republicans have been reprehensible in portraying Obama as foreign, un-American, a detached egg head who doesn’t understand our economy, etc. etc.

But what would you expect from a party that cringes whenever radio demagogue Rush Limbaugh takes one of them to task for not being sufficiently Limbau-esque? And,  in addition to the lying Donald Trump and the half-wits who refuse to believe Obama could really be an American, we’ve seen Republican party leaders  willing to keep the “debate” going with statements like “as far as I know he was born in Hawaii.”  Anything that can trump up disrespect for the President has been fine with most of them.

I still prefer Barack Obama to a Mitt Romney, who seems willing to campaign as the stealth candidate, given his three major credentials – Bain Capital, being governor and being a devout Mormon leader – are things he’d prefer not to talk about.   I could add the Winter Olympics of 2oo2, but he has already managed to turn that into a foreign policy faux pas.  He apparently is hoping that things will get just bad enough in the economy for him to be chosen as our hope for the future.

So, yes, I still prefer Obama, but if the Joe Soptic ad becomes a Democratic habit I might just get so sick of it all that I won’t bother to vote.  No big deal, I know, unless there are many other independents out there who feel as I do.

4 responses to “From “Hope and Change” to Believe Nothing

  1. As always, I do like your writing and thinking. However, I think your visceral reaction to the Joe Soptic ad may be over-reactive. One would think that after George W. Bush and his inability to think, it would be easy for the Democrats to just sit back and let Romney, through his own words and actions, bring himself down to his own level of incompetency, such as to make voters see clearly his ineptitude. But, this Presidential race is not about competency. As you know, it is about racism. Oh yes, voters say Obama is ruining America with his policies. But we know it is really about saying they don’t want a n***** as President. Unfortunately the polls clearly show that Romney is not far behind, meaning that ineptitude really doesn’t count. I didn’t think the Joe Soptic ad blamed Romney/Bain for the death of Soptic’s wife as much as it highlighted Romney’s insensitivity to human beings and their plight at his corporate doings. In other words, Soptic represents real people with real needs versus corporate insensitivity. Romney, like so many corporate executives, cares solely for himself and the corporate shareholders, not at all for the people who work for a living. As a former Marketing Professor, it seems to me that the Democrats have to fight hard to expose the fact that Romney just doesn’t care about anyone but himself and that would be a bad trait for a President.

    • Thanks for the thoughtful response, even though I disagree. I think the Democrats were doing fine painting Romney as out of touch without having to go a step further and just plain lie. The death of Soptic’s wife of cancer, which came some six years after the layoff and when she had her own insurance, had nothing to do with Bain Capital. The ad clearly implies it did. Each of us draws a line somewhere as being “beyond the pale”. If this isn’t it, where is it? I think the Republicans have crossed that line often, but I expect a little bit more from the Democrats, not a lot more at this point, but…..not this. Not if they want my vote and those of others like me.

  2. Dick

    Coincidentally, I was watching CNN late last night and saw a fact-checking programme that looked at this and a few other ads from both Romney and Obama camps. All had strayed some distance from the facts.

    The Olympics here are coming to a close, and a lot of people will be depressed. For myself, I’m looking forward to the start of football.


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