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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Johnny Come Early

Here we are little more than five months from the November mid-term elections and the political press corps is hard at work vetting the 2008 Democratic presidential race. And the 2012 GOP field.

I guess beat reporters and the punditocracy have already played Decider and came to the conclusion the GOP revolution will end with a whimper. How else can you explain, in one week, the New York Times focusing on John Kerry's continuing (and by all accounts more energetic) effort to restore his Swift-boated reputation; examine the Clinton marriage; and opine whether Al Gore can stage a Nixonian-like comeback (subscription required).

As a recovering political reporter, I played the same poll-driven game. News consumers don't want to know about issues, we were told. Politics as personality, whether it is about who's (not) sleeping with who or the sad state of political consultancy will attract more readers. Issues? Bah humbug.

That abdication of responsibility has led to the current sorry state of American politics, where Karl "Boy Genius" or is that "Turd Blossom" Rove employs the time-honored GOP campaign tactic to "scrape the bark off the little bastard" in order to get his failed candidate elected.

Some quick observations:
  • John, spare me. The time to have defended your reputation was in 2004, when the attacks were fresh and you had a chance to actually show some leadership against Atwater strategy. It's too late now. Sit down before I decide not to vote for your re-election to the Senate in 2008.
  • Hillary, if you really want to show leadership, put your not-so-well-hidden ambitions on hold for now. What we need in 2008 is a referendum on a GOP executive and Congress that has shamed the United States at home and around the world in Iraq, New Orleans and points in between. We don't need that race overshadowed by the bark-stripping smears of the aptly named vast right-wing conspiracy.
  • Al, make your actions match your words. Keep your promise to focus on global warming and don't back off from your promise not to run.
As for the press corps -- stop going on book leaves, get your noses out of the gutter and start focusing on the issues that are tearing this country apart and dishonoring us in the eyes of the world.

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