Friday, October 15, 2010

Quote Of The Day

As I've mentioned a time or two, I'm not interested all that much in watching political debates. I'm also not interested in most post-debate analysis. Steve Benen puts his finger on part of the reason in this quote:
But, really, what do these debate watchers expect? Was there any real chance that Sharron Angle would take the stage last night, pull out a machine gun, and start threatening to kill gay immigrants who used to work for ACORN?

We seem to have developed a depressing checklist: (a) did the candidate show up; (b) did the candidate speak English; (c) did the candidate remember the talking points drilled into his/her head by handlers from Washington; (d) did the candidate repeat the poll-tested zinger; (e) did the candidate avoid some kind of mental breakdown.

If most of the list gets a check mark, then the candidate is necessarily deemed credible enough for service.

Soft Bigotry, Low Expectations
We seem to live in a political environment filled with such things. I don't know what the solution is, because I'm not even sure when that era began. It was certainly in full force by the time Ronald Reagan was elected President. The man could say utter nonsense and be taken seriously by half of the country. Some criticism of his predecessor, Jimmy Carter, was equally vacuous. So, it's clearly been a fact of life for as long as I've been adult enough to understand logic.

Still, it's sad to watch spectacles like this, where that environment is so clearly on display. That's a big part of the reason I don't.

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