Sad, But True
OK, I admit it: David Horsey is a bit more fair than I would have been on the issue. The Democrats really did set themselves up for the "turn-about is fair play" move by the Republicans when it comes to quoting the candidates out of context in his latest column and cartoon.
Get used to hearing the phrases “out of touch” and “out of context” in the coming days as the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns try to paint each other from the same can of ugly-colored paint. ...
...could anyone really expect the Republicans to be any more fair-minded than the Democrats who ripped out of context some of Romney’s so-called gaffes?
The answer is, “Not in a million years.” We are at the stage in this campaign when both sides are fervently engaged in the task of creating a negative image of the opposing candidate. Whether that image is accurate or false is beside the point. This is how the game is played in 21st century U.S. politics. The odd twist this time is that each campaign has latched onto the same point of attack: “This guy is out of touch!” [Emphasis added]
Some of Romney's "gaffes" have indeed been ripped out of context, just as the latest attack ads against Obama have been. Romney's statement that he "likes to fire people" came within the context of a government which is not delivering what it promises, even though it is being paid to do so. Of course, Mr. Romney has given the Democrats plenty of ammunition for such tactics, given his relationship with Bain, his wife's love of very expensive dressage horses, and his multiple dwellings with car elevators, but still, Roosevelt was wealthy, as was John F. Kennedy. Both had enormous family wealth which allowed them to successfully run for public office. Both had multiple dwellings which were not exactly one-room apartments or even single family dwellings. Both men are still liberal icons.
That said, I just wish David Horsey had made explicit which I suspect was vaguely implicit in his column: this is where democracy depends on a free press which takes its job seriously. The White House mouthpiece who suggested that the press should have taken note of the context of the speech was on the money. When this kind of negative attack is made (if not before,but even I am not naive enough to believe that our current press is willing to make the effort),we should see articles that traces back the comment to the entire speech in which it appears. Shame may not resonate with the principals, but it still does with a lot of people.
It's going to be a long slog to November, and I don't think popcorn is going to cover it.