Candidates Should Harp on My Pet Causes, Not Yours

Media disappointment in the failure of Obama and Romney to address issues of particular importance.

With only a few days to go before the Nov. 6 election, the question on the mind of every thinking American today is simple: What do the candidates have to say about the international Basel Committee on Banking Supervision?

Well, OK—perhaps not every American. Some of them may want to know how Obama and Romney view the legacy of the late Albanian dictator Enver Hoxha. Others might wonder what they plan to do about legalizing industrial hemp.

Anyhow, it's clear that a great many Americans—read: "members of the press"—have been sorely disappointed by the failure of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to address the issues of most pressing importance to them personally.

For example: climate change. After the third presidential debate, on foreign policy, The Washington Post's Stephen Stromberg lamented that Obama and Romney "spent exactly no time on one of the greatest challenges the world's governments must face.... This challenge is climate change." He isn't alone. Back in August, The Post's Eugene Robinson wrote that he would "like to hear President Obama and Mitt Romney talk about the future of the planet." A few days ago, he grumbled that "not a word has been said" about it.

The Post's Ezra Klein also has been perturbed by "how climate change disappeared from the debates." Klein was inspired by The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert: "You might have thought that with the Arctic melting," she groused, "at least one of the candidates would feel compelled to speak out about the issue." Nope, wrong again.

Elsewhere, you'll find The New York Times furrowing its brow because the candidates are ignoring gun control. It has been a "phantom issue," the paper complained in an editorial—which former editorial page editor Gail Collins soon echoed in a column on "how regularly this topic fails to come up."

Why might that be? The editorial offered one subtle clue: "The current campaign," it points out, "is now focused on a handful of states where mention of gun control is considered politically toxic." Yet despite this, Obama and Romney stubbornly refuse to bring the subject up. Talk about riddles wrapped in enigmas.

Meanwhile, it is the considered opinion of National Public Radio that the candidates are ignoring poverty. But NPR isn't about to! No, NPR is going to be the guy at the cocktail party who backs you into a corner while he holds forth on his favorite subject for half an hour and then grabs your arm when you try to slip away because he isn't finished yet.

"Both political parties virtually ignore the issue of poverty," NPR says ("Smiley, West: Poverty is a Political Issue" — Sept. 13). And: "Poverty wasn't mentioned at all" ("What Obama and Romney Left Out in the First Debate" — Oct. 4). And: "On the campaign trail, the issue of poverty has received surprisingly little attention" ("Candidates' Views on Poverty Get Little Attention" — Oct. 15). And: The candidates have talked about the middle class, but "haven't spent nearly as much time talking about the poor" ("Are Candidates Ignoring the Poor?" — Oct. 19). And so on.

If you didn't know better, you'd almost think NPR was trying to push some kind of agenda or something. Of course, the candidates do talk about poverty—whenever they talk about revving up the economy or creating jobs. Nothing like a steady paycheck to keep you out of the poorhouse. (To be fair, this might not have occurred to NPR.)

Right-wingers also are irked that certain issues near and dear to them haven't been front and center, either. A piece in The Daily Caller teed off on third-debate moderator Bob Schieffer for failing to ask about border security and (not making this up!) Operation Fast and Furious. The nerve of Schieffer, to shut out the crucial conspiracy-minded-Class-2-Federal-Firearms-License-Holder demographic like that.

There's a lot more the candidates have ignored, according to other sources: the environment (columnist Bonnie Erbe); children's issues (the Child and Family Policy Center); the "impending senior boom and its dramatic impact on society" (the Alliance for Aging Research); poverty again (The Nation); and the "expensive catastrophe" of the war on drugs (Cato Institute).

It's no great mystery why the candidates ignore such issues. They are trying to win over undecided voters, and the campaigns have done oodles of research to find out what those voters care about. That's why Obama and Romney keep saying things like: Strength abroad "begins with a strong economy here at home." Undecided voters want to hear about jobs, not the validity of Japanese claims on the Senkaku Islands.

Still, it's a darn shame the candidates have given short shrift to so many issues of great importance to people who think Ralph Nader is a corporate sellout. Especially the one about Enver Hoxha. That could swing the entire election.

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  • Ken Shultz||

    Most of you know that I think global warming is a real problem--and some of you may have gotten it through your skulls that I think the best solution is capitalism...

    These people who are complaining about Obama not making global warming a campaign issue, some of them have contributed significantly to the fact that if Obama ran on global warming as an issue, he would lose the election miserably.

    And that's because all they've proposed to combat global warming is government intervention, etc., actions that will almost certainly hurt the economy terribly. Nobody wants to hear about global warming because they're convinced the only solution is to hurt our own standard of living.

    A hundred years from now, people may look back and say that nobody did more to destroy the environment than the environmentalists who advocated solutions that would necessarily harm people's standard of living.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I am not convinced that global warming is a real problem, or even real at all. But yes, capitalism is the answer to the perceived problem. It is the only system with the capacity for true innovation. Unfortunately, we get a lot of statist solutions, requiring central planning, graft, etc.

  • 0x90||

    If you want to talk shoulds, here's one: Candidates Should Not Be in a Position Where Harping on a Pet Cause Makes Any Sense.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    David Gregory: Why aren't the candidates talking about GUN VIOLENCE? Why why why?

  • T||

    Candidates aren't talking about thE possibility of alien squids subverting our institutions for their own nefarious ends! tHEY MUST BE IN ON IT!

  • db||

    Only 8.4803 days left.

  • db||

    Fuck. I forgot DST conversion. Add an hour.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Are Unavision viewers part of the "conspiracy minded Class 2 Federal Firearms License Holder demographic demographic?" Because they did a news report about F&F. Maybe they're just oversensitive.

  • Old Bull Lee||

    As I recall that story was broken by the gun nuts over at CBS News.

  • ||

    Yeah, who other than a gun nut would be interested in the department of justice, at best, bungling a gun operation that let untraced guns wind up in the hands of cartels where they were used to murder American border agents or, at worst, conspiring to bungle a gun operation that let untraced guns wind up in the hands of cartels where they were used to murder American border agents in order to gin up support for new "assault weapons" legislation?

    Fuck you Hinkle. What a twat

  • SIV||

    The nerve of Schieffer, to shut out the crucial conspiracy-minded-Class-2-Federal-Firearms-License Holder demographic like that.

    So asking the President about his "secret" policy of deliberately transferring weapons from civilian retailers to organized criminals another country in order to gin up the case for abrogating the second amendment is a "pet cause"?

  • Pound. Head. On. Desk.||

    I feel silly... by "Pet Causes" I thought this was going to be something about animal rights.

  • Paul.||

    Back in August, The Post's Eugene Robinson wrote that he would "like to hear President Obama and Mitt Romney talk about the future of the planet." A few days ago, he grumbled that "not a word has been said" about it.

    I said it before, I'll say it again, the one thing I appreciate about Obama is he utterly destroyed the Global Warming industry. They have been shoved to the back of the bus.

  • SugarFree||

    Think of the damage he could do if we re-relected him!

    Paid for by Dipshits for Obama 2012 and viewers like you

  • Paul.||

    If you didn't know better, you'd almost think NPR was trying to push some kind of agenda or something.

    Trust me they are. I remember right after the financial collapse of 2007? 2008? Whatever--- anyway, I remember that during that time NPR became the 24x7 Paul Krugman News Hour, sort of like how MTV became Dennis Rodman TV back in the 90s.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Am I the only one who first thought the headline meant literal pet issues, as in political issues involving companion animal ownership?

  • SugarFree||

    I've often thought about getting one of those diabetes dogs so I could have a dog a hang out with me at work all day.

  • 0x90||

    A Saint Bernard with an orange juice cask?

  • SugarFree||

    No, they actually train dogs that can alert you when your blood sugar is too high or too low.

  • db||

    Who the fuck trains a dog to sit there while you piss on it every 1/2 hour? That's just sick.

  • T||

    I would so totally do that if I could. But I'm only 'pre-diabetic', so I guess I'd have to get fatter.

  • SugarFree||

    "Eat around the banana, Homer. It's just empty vitamins."

  • tagtann||

    I am NO fan of Obama, but one thing I know for sure, If Romneys lips are moving, he is lying lol.

    www.Anon-Easy.tk

  • ||

    Anonbot is making improvement every day.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I've often thought about getting one of those diabetes dogs so I could have a dog a hang out with me at work all day.

    You just want somebody there to take the bullet for you, that's what you want.

    You fiend.

  • SugarFree||

    Bah. I'll have an armored safe room for SugarPuppy to retreat into.

  • hotsy totsy||

    Facebook seems to be full of female grad students who warn that the biggest issue is NOT the economy, but the FACT that Romney and the Republicans are going to make abortion and contraception illegal, and also at the same time LEGALIZE RAPE! That's what's really at stake!!!

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    Hey, their bodies, their choice!

    Unless it's Four Loko. Or "sexualizing" Halloween costumes. Or Fanta.*

    *Racists!

  • Thane of Whiterun||

    What about my license to kill the poors for sport? No candidate has mentioned that, not even GJ!

  • sohbet siteleri||

    What do the candidates have to say about the international Basel Committee on Banking SupervisionSohbet - Chat

  • sohbet siteleri||

    NPR is going to be the guy at the cocktail party who backs you into a corner whileSohbet - Sohbet Odaları

  • sohbet siteleri||

    For example: climate change. Sohbet Siteleri - Chat Siteleri

  • sohbet siteleri||

    It is the only system with the capacity for true innovation. Güzel Sözler - Şarkı Sözleri

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