Obama Seal Gone: Nation’s Sanity Still in Question

The Obama campaign has rather wisely dropped the use of their latest logo, after much mockery.

Me, I’m left saddened and embarrassed for the media commentators who couldn’t resist piling on this story, and the many many people who took this non-issue seriously.

Political commentator Larry Sabato gets it right on the first try:

“The press corps adopts a subtext for each candidate,” Sabato told The Examiner. “Daddy Bush was ‘a nice guy but out of touch.’ Bill Clinton was ‘smart but randy.’ Bob Dole was ‘heroic but too old.’ Gore was ‘brilliant but a fibber and a bore.’ Dubya was ‘pleasant but dumb.’”

He added: “Obama’s subtext is rapidly becoming ‘charismatic but arrogant.’”

None of these characterizations of any of these politicians was built on honest, accurate, or comprehensive appraisal of any of these men. Few of the claimed traits (except maybe for Clinton being “randy” and Dole being “old”) actually seem more characteristic of the men in question than they are for the others. Instead, they’re built out of an accretion of heavily interpreted, and often factually challenged, fluff pieces. Of which this seal case was the perfect, almost paradigmatic, example.

This is one more reason I’m far more cynical about voters (more in the aggregate than any individual) than I am about politicians, or even the media. It’s ultimately voter behavior that drives how politicians act, react, and how they present themselves. It’s voter demand that favors schoolyard psychoanalyzing for their election coverage instead of actual policy debates.

Voters get legitimately frustrated and cynical about our political system. But the political system has just as much cause to be frustrated with voters right back.

Advertisements

2 Responses to Obama Seal Gone: Nation’s Sanity Still in Question

  1. dobeman says:

    I think what you’re missing here while complaining about the media’s shortsighted characterization of candidates, is that it is nearly impossible to characterize a candidate who has no substantitive history.
    While you and I may be fairly knowledgeable about the candidates, and we may understand that a President is actually the sum of his parts (his cabinet and advisors), what the media looks at, is the man–his actions, his press releases, his promises and, often unfortunately, his poor choice of a backdrop.

  2. Bad says:

    I think what you’re missing here while complaining about the media’s shortsighted characterization of candidates, is that it is nearly impossible to characterize a candidate who has no substantitive history.

    I think this is a) a big cop out, because Obama has more than enough of a political history to at least know his politics and b) silly because lack of knowledge doesn’t justify making stuff up based on nothing to compensate.

    There’s plenty of meat coming out of the two campaigns on policy that tells you a heck of a lot more about what they’re about and where they stand than heavily interpreted fluff. A lot of it is pretty damn controversial. I mean, Obama is talking about radically regulating investment markets in a way I think is a really bad idea. How much of that has been covered compared to pure nonsense about baby daddy and who has the prettiest smile?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: