Jewish World Review Oct. 13, 2009 5 Mar-Cheshvan, 5771
Don't Worry, 2016 Is Just Around the Corner
By Roger Simon
Wait. No? Election Day is not for three more weeks? We are going to get three more weeks of minute-by-minute, wall-to-wall, poll-to-poll coverage of the midterm elections?
I can't believe we are going to have to wait that long to cast a ballot on Barack Obama.
His name is on the ballot, isn't it?
It is my sincere belief that hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans are going to enter polling booths on Nov. 2, expecting to see President Obama's name on the ballot.
And they may feel disappointed and betrayed when they find out it is not there. Though all politics is local, this election it is so local it is only about 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Will Obama get the car out of the ditch only to have the Republicans grab the keys from his hand? This is what he says the election is about. (If the car is a Toyota, however, it may start up and drive off at 100 mph without the key.)
Obama says the election is not a referendum on him, but on whether we give control of Congress back to the people who drove our economy into the ditch in the first place — i.e., the Republicans.
For much of Obama's term in office, the press has attacked him for being too passive, detached and professorial, the no-drama-Obama that lost him the election in 2008. No, wait. He won the election in 2008 while exhibiting all those traits.
No matter. The press finds those traits unspeakably dull and wants passion, drama and aggression. So when Obama recently began attacking independent groups friendly to Republicans for using foreign funds, the press naturally attacked Obama for being hot-headed and irresponsible.
Further, the lead story on the front page of The Washington Post on Monday said there now was "a political environment in which Democrats are in danger of losing control of both the House and Senate."
Yes, the Senate, too. The Senate was thought to be safe, but not anymore. All Obama's campaigning has been for naught.
As to groups spending funds from foreign corporations, deep in the Post story was the admission by a White House aide that "the White House has no specific evidence" that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups allegedly using such funds, is actually doing so.
To which I say, so what? When Ronald Reagan said, "Trees cause more pollution than automobiles do," was this taken as the absolute truth or as a warning that woody material might be endangering the nation?
The press now seems to be growing bored with the story, having already grown bored with last week's story that, according to Bob Woodward, it was "on the table" for Obama to replace Joe Biden with Hillary Clinton for his 2012 re-election run.
The White House pushed back hard against the story; Hillary supporters were not enthusiastic about it; and Woodward was left to parse what "on the table" meant.
He said the Hillary-for-Biden switch was "on the table" in the sense that "any legitimate vote-getting strategy is always on the table in politics."
Actually, an idea is "on the table" in politics when it is the subject of active discussion, which this idea is not, for the very good reason that it makes no sense.
But it does show that the press is so bored with 2010, it does not mind indulging in fantasies, however brief and however wacky, about 2012.
And just as soon as these midterms are over, we can get to 2016. What a relief.
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© 2009, Creators Syndicate