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October 2, 2012

Anger Replaced Passion

Roy Meachum

Four years ago Barack Obama swept into the White House on a flood of passion. This fall most noticeable of all is anger, which actually started on January 20, 2009, the date Mr. Obama was sworn in.


Wednesday evening, promptly at nine in our time zone, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney debates on his behalf for the next four years against the current president. They will argue their campaign positions from Denver before many and assorted TV cameras; not all. The Pew Research Center found only 41 percent watched all the posturing in 2008; some 80 percent turned in now and then. I was not among the number.


“Gotcha” politics have never appealed.


After all, now presidential elections seem to stretch for years; as I said, this one begun on January 21, 2009. What I hear from many people amounts to campaign fatigue. After all, a lot of emotions and work went into sorting out the main Republican “probables,” never mind the also-rans. Seemingly on his own wound-up rubber-band, Texas Congressman Ron Paul has not bowed to the GOP-Romney tidal wave. His backers now salute him as a third party candidate. In any event, Mr. Paul will not be present on the stage Wednesday.


From all the national huffing and puffing, from left and right and any place between, Mitt Romney has – to quote an AP headline – “his best chance to gain momentum.” His failure to capitalize from all Tampa’s glitter and shouting at the Republican convention largely may be attributed to his oral mistakes, gleefully picked up by the all-too willing media. There have been lollapaloozas, including his famous quote about “the 47 percent.”


When I watched the first televised debate in 1960, I was very much enthralled with President “Ike” Eisenhower. Richard Nixon was his chosen successor. I knew little about Sen. Jack Kennedy, but he had a good-looking wife who had worked for the Times-Herald newspaper. I watched the vice presidential wilt and was impressed with the “young guy.” I still voted for Mr. Nixon, which was wasted in 1960; I was registered in Cook County, Illinois – Mayor Richard J. Daley “stole” the county for fellow Catholic Kennedy, so I later heard.


Are all journalists born liberal? Not this year. The Republican Tea Party element has branded such respected New York and Washington publications as the “main stream media,” always accompanied by a wink and a nudge. But since Mr. Obama moved into the Oval Office, there’s been an explosion in the journalists who say “no” to any and all he proposes, led by Fox News and conservative stalwarts like Rush Limbaugh.


Despite all the anger daily heaped on the public’s head, the GOP ticket is not faring well in the polls, which is why the headline quoted earlier; not even Republican-favorable dare print anything else. Most of all, I’ve read Mitt Romney is hoping for a “1980 miracle.” President Jimmy Carter was the odds-on favorite against Ronald Reagan that early September, but lost going-away.


The best hope for the GOP ticket lies not in the debates, but something tantamount to the 1980 public stupidity of attempting to rescue hostages held in the middle of a major Muslim metropolis, Teheran. I switched, voting for the actor.


Barack Obama is not that dumb, despite all the provocative angry taunts.


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