With all the drama of the Republican Nomination wrapped up (best reality TV since Survivor premiered!), reporters are starting to realize that it’s a long 6 months until November. Matt Taibbi asks in Rolling Stone “Is This the Most Boring Election Ever?”*
“…this campaign, relatively speaking, will not be fierce or hotly contested. Instead it’ll be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it. It’s just impossible to take Mitt Romney seriously as a presidential candidate. Even the news reporters who are paid to drum up dramatic undertones are having a hard time selling Romney as half of a titanic title bout.”
Ignoring for the fact that Taibbi is trying to steal our writing style (that City Weekly Best of State WILL BE OURS!) he’s quite right. Nobody cares anymore. The drama of the endless debates focusing on everything but the issues (moon bases anyone?) has passed, and good ol’ American style apathy has set in. Turns out picking the lowest common denominator gets you a candidate that, on paper is electable, but he doesn’t really keep the momentum going.
Some argue that having a boring election is good. I think it’s bad. Apathy means a disinterested electorate, which means an election hijacked by special interest groups. With much more than the presidential race at stake in terms of congressional majorities and local elections (that actually have, ya know, consequences), having an apathetic electorate means the SuperPACs and groups like ALEC and the Koch Brothers can more easily influence the outcomes of elections. Obama needs an interested electorate in terms of young people and minorities, but unless he can drum up something it’ll be a harder fight for him.
Regardless, the right and left of the electorate is already locked up. No matter how disappointed progressives are with Obama’s repeated attempts to fellate the right into submission, do you really think any of them will be voting for Mittens? And even though Willard was the grandfather of Obamacare, does anyone on the right really believe they’ll vote for the Kenyan Who Shall Not Be Named? Instead, the next 6 months will see two nearly identical candidates fighting over the pittance of the mysterious independent voter. As if they’re observing a chess match between identical computer programs, the media will gasp and cheer at the back and forth trying to drum up some measure of intrigue. But unless one of the candidates does something worthy of the cover of People magazine, the nation will check out until November.
Mittens seems to agree. Like a child bored with his new toy, Romney just doesn’t feel much like going outside and doing all that stumping. Shouldn’t his money be enough to win him an election? I get that the media is probably taking a thousand frames a second of this guy, but would it kill him to emote once in a while? Surely he could afford some acting classes, or at least an upgrade to his emotion software.
*I opted to read that in a Paris Hilton Valley Girl Falsetto voice to give me sufficient reason to drink to the future of America.