Aaron Sorkin, now working on the far-left HBO political drama The Newsroom, also wrote the screenplay for the movie The American President, in which a liberal president says of a nasty Republican challenger: “Whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Bob Rumson is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who’s to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections.”
It’s as if Sorkin is now writing the script for the Obama campaign and its compliant news media. The entirety of the president’s campaign is to “make you afraid of it and tell you who’s to blame for it.” In short, to demonize the opposition.
That compliant media is, indeed, complying. But as coordinated as they seem to be at times – often using the same obscure words to describe things – they’re a bit disconnected at this point: Within hours last Sunday, Obama campaign senior adviser Robert Gibbs called Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney a “prep school bully” – and Newsweek wrote about Romney’s “Wimp Factor.”
So which is it?
Meanwhile, the media had a field day with Romney’s undiplomatic equivocating on whether Great Britain was ready for the Olympics. While it was an unmitigated trip-up, the media couldn’t help continuing that narrative as Romney continued his trip to Israel and Poland:
“Mitt Romney outraged Palestinians on Monday,” the Associated Press wrote, explaining that he had pointed to cultural differences between Israel and the Palestinian areas as one reason Israel succeeds economically.
Really? It’s news that Palestinians are outraged? Can’t you pretty much accomplish that by ordering breakfast wrong?
Romney certainly could phrase things better. Even Republicans were putting their heads in their hands after his goofy Olympics diplomacy gaffe.
But the Obama campaign and its media minions are hoping that the U.S. election revolves around such silliness – they’re banking on smearing Mr. Romney in order to make Mr. Obama look good. At one point, an Obama campaign manager suggested Gov. Romney might actually be a felon for having his name on some Securities and Exchange Commission documents the Obama aide (but few others) found questionable.
CNN’s David Gergen, The New York Times and the Washington Post’s “Fact Checker” – liberal-leaning, all – debunked the disingenuous Obama campaign attacks on Romney’s business history – with the Post giving the Obama camp “four Pinocchios,” which translates into a “whopper” of a lie.
“I think the idea of trying to demonize Gov. Romney is going to backfire,” publishing magnate and former presidential candidate Steve Forbes told one reporter. “It’s the only thing he can do, given his miserable record on the economy. At the end of the day, it’s going to hurt the president more than it’s going to hurt Gov. Romney, cause they’re attacking people who try to get real things done. I think the idea of trying to demonize Gov. Romney is going to backfire.”
Whether the attempt at character assassination does backfire on the president is debatable. What isn’t debatable is the fact that such a campaign is corrosive to the American political process and injurious to the body politic.
It’s simply no way to elect a president.
We think it’s time Americans demanded that politicians and candidates – national, state and local – stop the politics of personal destruction and run solutions-oriented campaigns.
Don’t make us afraid of the opposition; make us understand what you would do if elected. Tell us how your policies or votes will make things better for America. Show us a plan and how it will play out.
Americans are tired of dirty politics and personal attacks. But it appears that’s going to be the chief avenue of the Obama campaign and its supporters.
There’s even a website called “DogsAgainstRomney.com” – making the case that he’s unfit to be commander-in-chief because he once put the family dog’s carrier on the car roof on vacation.
In fact, there appears to be a campaign to attack even Mr. Romney’s donors. The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel reported earlier this year that an Obama campaign website published the names of, and disparaged, eight Romney donors – and one of them, Idaho CEO Frank VanderSloot, had Democratic functionaries looking for dirt in divorce filings and other matters.
Really? This is what we should base our vote on?
This, from the campaign of hope and change.
Absolutely, let’s hope it changes.