Candid Camera: The Truth About Political Campaigns
Mitt Romney had a tough week. He spent most of last week responding to the Mother Jones video of him talking to a crowd at a $50,000 a plate dinner about how nearly half of Americans are dependent on the government, among other things. A couple of days later, Romney was charged with dying his face brown, ahead of an appearance on Univision, in an effort to connect with Latino voters. This all seems incredibly absurd to me. Every last bit of it looks like the latest crappy movie from an SNL alum. Yet it is apparently real. So real that folks have spent a lot of time in the interim discussing whether or not the release of the Romney video has essentially toasted his bid for president. It seems that this most damning of revelations about the Republican nominee for president will be the iceberg that sinks this ship. Obama will be re-coronated and we can all stop threatening to move to Canada. This video is the latest smoking gun, the evidence that Democrats needed. It’s the proof that will either compel folks on the fence to trend BHO, convert conservatives or just proof that they are racist, stupid–or both.
But political campaigns aren’t about truth. And the gesture to add this video to some liberal arsenal of truth not only seems pointless to me, but incredibly hypocritical. After all, both sets of supporters have invested in their own set of illusions about their candidate. And the effort by some Obama supporters to furiously expose all the dumb stuff the other side believes, to make it their daily goal to Facebook post and retweet the latest reason(s) why Romney MUST. BE. STOPPED. at all costs, is also an attempt to ignore all of the alarming things their beloved president does from his seat in the Oval Office. And what is so frustrating about this entire campaign, from my view from the sidelines, isn’t the (sometimes) veiled racism/classism/sexism of the right, but the way in which the Romney video seems to confirm for Obama supporters that they’ve chosen the right candidate and distract some of them from doing the real sobering work of confronting the actual policies of the POTUS.
Let’s be honest. D.L. Hughley can chastise Lupe all he wants, but this president is playing Game of Drones, and those drones aren’t only falling on anonymous “insurgents.” The soundtrack to The DREAM Act is Sean Paul’s “Deport Them,” and it ain’t The Firm that got your phone tapped. The Chicago teachers’ strike, as I so long-windedly argued last week, should serve as a warning for what this administration intends to do when it comes to education and labor. As my friend reminded me, remember when being pro-labor was some basic Democratic party tenet? With this president? Not so much.
The Romney video has become the crown jewel in the regalia of a royal effort to show conservatives how stupid and racist they are. But more importantly, it’s nearly an hour of time folks don’t have to spend thinking about how rejecting the “lesser of two evils” argument as a method of justification for their support of Obama would be so much more revolutionary than Michelle Obama’s press and curl. It’s nearly an hour for folks not to wonder about what an unguarded Obama caught on videotape might say. It’s nearly an hour of not considering if there’s another way, if voting elephant or donkey is a mirage of a civic duty. It’s an hour of not questioning what kind of political policy Hope was and asking just where Forward will take you.