Welcome to the first real chapter of the silly season, otherwise known as the 2012 presidential election.
The recent Obama campaign ad about killing bin Laden and saving General Motors has created the latest emotional conflicts we would normally only find during junior high. I even think episodes of Glee are beyond this.
This is another truly stupid argument fomented by both camps to raise money and emotions. Look at the responses. This one is from the crazies at the NYPost Editorial board. (Yes, crazies at NYPost editorial board is redundant.) The responses on both sides are loud while offering nothing to us as news consumers. The media bias only ratchets it up. Fox News has their GOP talking points. MSNBC has the Obama responses.
My advice to you: stay out of this political gamesmanship. This argument does nothing to help the country. There are better fights to pick.
To avoid such fights, here is the Informed Not Inflamed way to break down the argument. We’ll use two things:
- The rules of politics
- The rules of common sense.
When someone is arguing their side, make them distinguish if they’re more concerned about politics or helping inform people honestly.
The rules of politics are simple. My friend Jack “Jake the Weasel” McCarty said it best: “Politics is a full contact sport. You don’t like it. Tough. Then get out.” The other rule: always answer an attack.
Obama has every right to brag about killing bin Laden on his watch while showing a statement Romney made about not wanting to go after bin Laden. Obama’s camp is historically astute. In 2004, George W. Bush brilliantly turned John Kerrey’s exemplary war record into a negative even though President Bush seemed to side-step going to Vietnam because of his family connections. And Obama’s camp saw that Bush’s dad – GHWB — failed to celebrate his victory in Desert Storm in 1992 – and got beat by Bill Clinton.
But Romney has every right to attack the snide aside in the Obama ad. Respond to every attack and respond hard.
So, go at it, boys. Now let’s look at common sense.
First, Obama has the advantage of incumbency – and this huge success that excited and pleased the nation. So, does the GOP want him to ignore it? If that mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan had failed, the GOP would be loud and proud to trumpet the defeat or disaster of bin Laden getting away or whatever calamity might have happened. And the Democrats, in turn, would be scorning the GOP for taking a military disaster and turning it into political gain.
Second, we can’t assume what Mitt Romney would have done in that situation. To quote T.S. Eliot: “What could have been, what might have been, are merely abstractions.” We will never know because he will never be in that exact situation. Chances are Romney, if elected, will be like Obama: green on foreign policy; and he will learn on the job.
Avoid getting into the fray of the silly season. Both sides are right – and tainted. It’s all a game. Why should you lose friends or dignity for something as cheap as a political game?
Stay informed, my friends, and tell them both sides.