America’s fascinatingly boring 2012 election
I’m by no means the first to note a curious thing about the 2012 American presidential election race: namely, the near-total absence of curious things.
“Is this the most boring election ever?” wonders Matt Taibbi, on his blog at Rolling Stone (even as Rolling Stone puts Barack Obama on this month’s cover). The campaign, Taibbi predicts, “will be disappointing, embarrassing, and over very quickly, like a hand job in a Bangkok bathhouse. And everybody knows it.”
Except, of course, that it won’t really be over very quickly: there are still six more months to go.
It’s not that important issues aren’t at stake: they are. But those issues are sufficiently divisive that it’s in neither candidate’s interest to focus on them much – a choice that meshes nicely with the media’s preference for storm-in-a-teacup feuds and micro-scandals. High-minded types might argue that this situation is bad for democracy, but election campaigns often trundle along quite happily for months on such fare, just as long as there’s a John McCain, say, or a Herman Cain, to provide them.
What’s becoming alarmingly clear now is that we’re entering a very different phase. Between the hyper-caution of Obama and the probable robot status of Mitt Romney, the supply of comedy distractions is running dangerously low. Most political news stories don’t matter – but when they don’t matter and they’re not entertaining, you’ve got problems.
One of the fascinating (no, really!) things about this all-pervading dullness is that the presidential candidates – the two people who indubitably care, even if others don’t – seem to be feeling it, too. OK, so perhaps I’m just imagining deep boredom in the expression Obama is wearing in his Rolling Stone photoshoot. (Or perhaps he’s just bored of the photoshoot.)
But as this Atlantic Wire photo compilation makes clear, I’m certainly not imagining it
You can read the rest of this article at:: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/09/fascinatingly-boring-american-election?newsfeed=true
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