by Benjamin J. Kirby
Good week, but exhausting. Lot happening at home, lot happening at work. Very, very glad it's Friday.
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You know, I hate the goddam debates. If the elections bring out the worst in us -- and this one has been particularly bitter; the Balloon-Juice post from Soonergrunt was particularly poingant on this issue -- then the debates just make it worse.
Romney told lie after lie in the first debate, and was still somehow declared the winner. Romney actually changed major positions during the debate, and now he's leading Obama nationally. How is this even possible?
Nobody cares, of course. Somehow, despite being a lying sack of shit, Romney is now more "presidential".
Of course, Biden took Paul Ryan to school on international affairs, and then the economy, but once again, nobody cares. It's fun to be able to change the rules in the middle of the game, right? See, Biden "lost points" (there aren't any actual points scored in debates, if you didn't know, which you might not because it sure as fuck is reported that way) for "being mean" to moderator Martha Raddatz.
Look, the point of the debates is to give the media a tool to change the narrative. That's exactly what they did with the first one. These folks need to sell newspapers, TV ad time, space on website.
They haven't decided about the second one -- CNN's Wolf Blitzer apparently called it a "tie" after it ended, which means that either Wolf Blitzer hit his head and probably needs to seek medical attention, or he's as skanky a media prostitute as they come. Maybe both.
So I hate the debates.
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You didn't need me to prove it -- that campaigns rip us all apart, and make us bitter and angry -- but some asshole took shots at the Obama office in Denver.
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For the record, I'm actually more optimistic about the future than not. I don't think Romney's going to win. It'll be close, but I don't think he'll win.
And even if he did, somehow, I'd still be pretty optimistic, mostly because I'm a closet optimist. But also because I have kids now, and they're worth fighting for.
I don't know if our political process is. This isn't about being down on the election or politics in a tough election year. It's about the larger process and the direction it is taking. I don't really like it.
There's something fundamentally broken, and I think I know how to fix it -- well, how to get started fixing it -- but it's too big a problem for one person (and no one reads this blog; seriously, no one).
Money. We need to take money out of politics. Campaigns need to be state-run affairs. They'd last about ten weeks, maybe. Nothing getting started before the Fourth of July, certainly.
Matt Taibbi had a similar notion at one point. We turn these campaigns into neverending affairs and they just beat the hell out of you mentally.
I downloaded the TPM PollTracker app, and I freak out every time I get an alert, which is many times a day. Who's up? Who's down?
Christ, who cares.
If I can remember that it's just politics and there's not a damn thing I can do about it, it's actually kind of a cool app. Fun, even. But if you think about a million -- or whatever -- people using it freaking out every time they see Obama down two in Virginia, it is actually a problem they way we run campaigns.
We should probably actually just do away with polls. Or figure out a way to make them either private, or only published three or four times over the course of the abbreviated campaign.
Anyway, watch for Democrats to keep the Senate, probably not take the House, probably have a mixed night across the country.
And then watch for someone to talk about who's on deck for 2016...
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Thanks to my friends at Progress Florida for the Best of the Blogs nod for my post about stories and, timely enough, Joe Biden.
You guys are doing amazing, important work. Keep it up.
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It's finally Friday.