Why Is The Media Treating Mitt Romney As The Incumbent?
At Breitbart, Joel Pollak notes the success the left and their friends in the media have had at turning this election from a referendum on President Obama’s performance over these last four years into a referendum on Mitt Romney as the representation of everything the left hates:
Romney’s so-called “gaffes” have one thing in common: they are all statements of fact. He is being held to a presidential standard–for presidents should know better than to tell all–while Obama’s outright lies to the nation (on Libya, the debt, etc.) are ignored by the media.
Obama’s failures as the actual incumbent are also passed over–or spun into positives. We reached 2,000 dead in Afghanistan? Hey, Obama “ended the war.” Unemployment still above 8 percent? Oh, that jobs report was “better than expected.” We were attacked by Al Qaeda on 9/11, and Obama lied about it? Don’t worry, “bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.” Growth down to 1.3%? Say–“No one could have done it better.”
That last canard came to us courtesy of former President Bill Clinton, who returned to the political scene to disown his own political legacy after Obama had spent the past four years destroying it, and his entire political career fighting it. The expansion of the welfare state, the proliferation of opaque regulations, and the explosion of debt were all things Clinton resisted. No longer–not when 2016 may be a new opportunity for Hillary.
Romney is also the incumbent in a cultural sense–he is the old, rich, white guy that 45 years of higher education and Hollywood have inveighed against. He has a stake in the system and values that two successive generations of elites have been taught to hate. And so an election that ought to have been a referendum on Obama, and which Obama hoped to turn into a choice between him and Romney, is now a referendum on Romney alone.
The left is very, very good at eschewing the issues in favor of divisive political tropes. We are to hate Mitt Romney for who he is – rich, white, etc. – not because of what he stands for.
And we can debate about what he really does stand for. While an improvement over Obama, Romney is no savior for what ails America. Yet it’s sad to see this campaign come down to who Romney is rather than what he is, and what he believes and what policies he might implement.Tags: Barack Obama, election 2012, mitt romney