My Hair Is Not On Fire
A confession: this post is written before the debate. Since I don't have television, I won't be watching it, and it's entirely possible I won't listen to it on NPR and check in on the internet to see what folks are saying about it. I am that tired of the campaign.
But David Horsey's cartoon and column did get my attention, if only because it addressed one of my profound peeves about politics in this country. To be fair, Horsey does raise some good points about Mr. Etcha-A-Sketch and his campaign. Obama missed a lot of easy opportunities in the last debate, and apparently it has cost him.
The Republican nominee came prepared to disavow his own nasty comments about the allegedly government-dependent 47% of Americans, but President Obama failed to bring it up, so Romney had to do the disavowing on his own the next day. Perhaps Obama's failure to fully engage in the debate can be ascribed to the shock of seeing Romney abandon his entire campaign persona with such ease.Like I said, Horsey's point is well-taken, up to a point.
And Romney has been rewarded for it. Apparently, undecided voters admire a candidate who can turn on a dime and abandon yesterday's convictions in favor of today's more convenient ones. But what happens if Romney has run out of convictions to abandon? Is there anything left, any small principle to which he still clings?
Well, there is one.
In tonight's debate, look for yesterday's Mormon to show up as a guy who can't remember ever visiting Salt Lake City.
Quite frankly, I don't care if Mitt Romney is a Mormon, just like I didn't care that Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were Southern Baptists or John Kennedy was a Catholic. I know, I know, this should be fair game because Obama keeps getting smeared by the Reich Wing as a Muslim. But I wouldn't care if he were, just like I don't care that Rep. Ellison (DFL-Minnesota) is, or, in a non-political arena, Maher Hatout is. Professed religion should not be a touchstone for public office or for a public voice.
I don't even have to raise the "our founders" argument and their expressions in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. I can go back further. The people from England and Europe who initially settled this country were, to a large extent, driven here by those in the old country who couldn't abide their religious beliefs and who were making life so difficult that folks like the Puritans came to this country just to exist. While I'm not a huge fan of the Puritans, I do appreciate the troubles they faced, and I don't want that repeated now.
And it's not like we don't have the mechanisms to check any untoward intrusions into our rights by a zealot of any stripe. We just have to have the ovaries to invoke them.
So, maybe tonight will be enlightening for those who still haven't made up their minds or those who are wavering. I suppose that's a good thing. I just hope I can get through the next three weeks without taking a hostage.
Oh, and all that popcorn I have on hand? I've donated to the nice young man next door who is a NY Giant fan. I think he'll make better use of it.