The next time folks start complaining about the rotten tone of American political reporting, don't forget this link, which is filled with sadness of a very particular sort. It's the sort of sadness I feel whenever I see hapless partisans descend into terror at disappointment over their own candidate, whether its's someone running for president or best in show at a Star Trek convention costume contest.
Here's Michael Tomasky of The Daily Beast, recently seen counseling presidential adviser David Axelrod to "nonperson" Newark Mayor Cory Booker (who "is not entitled to his own views" on Bain Capital), telling Barack Obama to "Grow a Pair." Obama's main offense – besides his various policy choices that have not helped the country's economy or standing in the world – is that he did a Father's Day event rather than likening his GOP rival Mitt Romney to murderous thugs.
What's needed here isn't soul-searching. It's gut-punching, as in, get out there and do some. Of course, it helps if they act like they're on the same team, which they didn't during Bain week. But they ought to be able to do it on the questions of stewardship of the economy and Romney's dreams to lift every boat of the top 1 percent of the country. A candidate who's tossing out zingers and on the offensive and looking like he's having fun is a candidate who'll energize everyone in his party.
There's no doubt the race has tightened up some in the last two weeks. I say it hasn't tightened up because of the May jobs numbers or this Fed report or anything else like that. Those have obviously dinged Obama, but it's really tightened up because only one candidate is campaigning—only one is punching. I'm a father myself, so I've nothing against Father's Day. I just hope Sasha and Malia get him a spine.
Cuz make no mistake, Romney isn't just a guy who envisons a federal government that spends a lot more than the we do today. He's a guy who has signed on to a budget plan that would increase annual spending by a $1 trillion more than it is today. But a $1 trillion less than Obama would like to spend in 10 years. Romney, you see, is "a candidate to whom the word 'vague' applies roughly as 'mean' applied to Pol Pot."
Does anyone else expect a little more from a guy whose Daily Beast byline says he's also editor of Democracy: A Journal of Ideas? At the very least, I'd expect the dig at Romney to be wittier, more biting, or maybe even a little bit funny.
More fun with Tomasky, where he inveighs not just against the crime against humanity that is Mountain Dew: Code Red but the objectively bourgeois horror of large servings of meat: "Eight- and ten-ounce burgers are sick things."
Hey, it's Friday and as long as we're talking about Pol Pot, let's take a Holiday in Cambodia with the Dead Kennedys: