Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Is 2012 An Ultimate Political Acquiescence or Inevitable Real Conflict?

As I begin to reach a saturation point from multiple political pundits this month, I have also had the opportunity to be party to multiple conversations providing copious perspectives. Nothing however compared to this past weekend. Republican friends of mine, particularly Caucasian males in their twenties (and even their sixties) who, (although vehemently anti-gay), seemed almost homosexually orgasmic with the Vice President choice of Paul Ryan. The next day, another colleague of mine, was more than slightly amused by the nomination noting, “If the Republican contributors get even a hint that Ryan could be put to the top of the ticket, Romney may want to hire a food tester over the next few months!”

While Republicans appear in high spirits about Ryan, The Democratic Party still seems buoyant rather than anxious about Romney. They seem happy with him as an adversary and some even personally ecstatic regarding the constant favors he seems to bestow upon Jim Messina, David Axelrod and Jay Carney with alarming regularity. They keep receiving metaphoric manna from heaven from Romney through his trying to constantly distance himself from Bain Capital. Rather than standing up to his critics and noting that his job was to gain profit for his investors, he keeps enabling them to slant it on him and doesn’t seem to realize that.  If Romney would get a little more comfortable with himself, he’d do better.  He could have taken on the Bain attacks head-on using a tag-line like: “If America becomes my client, they will profit from that.” Instead, Romney continues the democratic gravy train by allowing his lack of diplomatic prowess to provide gourmet fodder not just for not just for his wife Ann’s horse Rafalca (who ultimately barely reached the top 20 in the Olympic dressage competition); but for Obama’s Campaign staff and policy team as well. When Romney’s lack of tact caused our ally Prime Minister David Cameron to begin commenting on how uncomplicated an Olympics can be; “if you hold an Olympic Games in the middle of nowhere;” it is not hard to develop an added arsenal for his opponents. Neither is his method of in one fell swoop having our least popular ally Israel amused at our expense while requiring Hillary Clinton’s team to burn up hours on phone lines and email to provide diplomatically triage to the angry Palestinians and numerous others. Whenever Romney (or any other Republican candidate), causes GOP strategist Karl Rove to despondently note, “You have to shake your head," he is going to be having causing misgivings with not only opponents but also supporters. The choice Romney made this weekend is a vice presidential candidate who not only has a more dynamic personality but also is more comfortable inside his own skin. This is not particularly helpful for Romney overall.  In fact, 24 hours later Ryan began to make Romney seem even more stiff and awkward than before Ryan.  
Romney’s campaign manager Matt Rhoades is certainly intelligent and tactical enough to realize that there was no scenario where Ryan’s role of chairman of the House Budget Committee and an economic plan directly accredited to him would not unswervingly encroach upon any discussion of Romney as President. However often Romney wants to claim that he has his own economic plan, until the media and the citizens see some real specifics, they do not generally believe him. Public perspective by and large on political figures and policies is: when they can’t see it, it does not automatically exist. When a candidate cannot at least provide basic talking points with one or two specifics then the man behind the curtain will absolutely be noticed.  A Republican ticket which, to quote POTUS, would “end Medicare as we know it,” but that his own would experience complete nirvana if it could somehow move Ryan into the top of the ticket. Republicans may be assuming that the overall interest in Bain Capital or in the Ryan Plan will die down and they will move back to the economy but they need to be a bit more introspective and more honest with themselves.
Introspection is not merely absent on the Republican side however.  Democrats’ talking points generally assume that Obamacare will solve a great deal of the country’s current problems and in all scenarios improve the economy overall—however slow the progress (and even if in the drips and drabs), the economy currently is (theoretically) moving in the right direction. 
A better question for both of them may be whether any current elected officials understand that their role is officially advocating for the people of their city/state/country who elected them. Do they realize that? Or is election to an office simply the door to entrenching their friends and their own financial future or possibly a simple hunger for power without responsibility? While I hope that Candy Crowley, Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer and Martha Raddatz will take the necessary steps to encourage both sides to put their cards on the table on October 16, I’ve held my breath before and nearly suffocated in the past. Maybe if they have been sneaking over to HBO on occasion and considering  potential methods conceived of by Aaron Sorkin and used by Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy trying to re-define the role Americans have generally perceived the First Amendment to not only provide the media rights, but also responsibilities. 
Simply put, Media's relevance is reduced further every time editors, management and CEOs of broadcast, cable, print, on-line or even blogs like this one fail to base their choices on maintaining their long-term integrity and potential survival rather than looking at merely their short-term cash flow and direct profit. This year that goal should be significantly easier to achieve than in previous elections for any and all journalists; all bloggers and, in fact, all media worldwide. Especially when they consider the multiple income portals and extreme levels of Super-PAC funds and massive increases in marketing profit and insane cash flow they have experienced in a post-Citizens’ United world that has been so momentous that the majority of beltway think tanks are rarely willing to even attempt speculation on what amount of money will ultimately be made in the advertising for all local, state; and yes, the presidential election of 2012. So overall, journalism venues will hopefully become liquid enough to actually enable their anchors, writers and copy editors to revisit being apolitical. At least, they should be able to relax on the obsession for short-term profit for their investors just a bit.





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