I’ve managed to stay away from discussing campaign controversies & news (more or less) for years now. Granted, mostly because I’ve stopped reading about them. However, the latest round of attacks on Mitt Romney were hard to miss, seeing as they’re on every TV station and news site.
As usual, I’m annoyed at what grabs the news media’s attention. This seems like a stirred up controversy based on a debate over semantics and SEC rules. Quite plainly, it’s dumb. So, of course the news has jumped on it and the Obama campaign, sadly, is trying to press it as hard as they can.
Fred Wilson, who plans on voting for Obama in the fall, tackled how weak this line of argument is. Good post, go read it.
Granted, it’s been funny to see GOPers talking about how this is a “swift boat attack” on their candidate (perhaps they can now admit they lied about Kerry?).
To me, this is going to end up being a missed opportunity. There’s a lot to attack in Romney’s Bain ties that are legitimate, meaningful things. I’m glad, for example, that Romney’s tax returns are back in the news. I don’t envy the man’s wealth, but it will be the first time regular people get to see how the wealthy manage their money. Have a hobby training horses? Make a holding company so you can write off your expenses. Want to escape taxes while still taking home a lot of cash? Base your income around dividends so you get a flat tax on your earnings.
These aren’t bad or evil things, but they’re worthy topics for a national debate.
Ultimately, we’re facing a decision about whether to work together or not in order to better our country. This isn’t about socialism vs. capitalism. It’s about how much and in what ways we want to be neighbors to each other. That’s the schism we’re screaming at each other about. One party says everyone can fend for themselves. Another says we should hold out a helping hand by default.
(Granted, both vote in ways that reinforce systemic biases within the system — go read that if you haven’t, awesome essay. That’s a topic for another day… and probably someone else. I’m already tired, again, about talking about this stuff on this blog.)