The race for the White House has grown so toxic that it’s become a top topic among reporters and analysts covering the contest - and some are even calling on President Barack Obama and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney to call a truce.On one hand, I am happy to see that finally, after a mere eternity of a primary season in which Mitt Romney systematically destroyed each new rival with a barrage of truly vicious Super PAC-funded negative advertising, after the embrace of Donald Trump and his public conspiracy theories as to the Americanness of the president, and after a season of renewed McCarthyism and "apology tours" and Republican statements blaming Barack Obama personally for the lack of rainfall in the midwest, it has begun to dawn on the national news media that perhaps this campaign season has gotten a bit negative.
On the other hand, this discovery seems to have come only after a Democrat said a mean thing, despite all that other aforementioned shit that has enshittened the landscape for oh so very long, and so you must forgive us poor observers of the national press if we wonder if perhaps this new concern is merely an itchy outbreak of Honorary Broderism, that process whereby every political action suddenly becomes uncouth and uncentrist and slightly barbaric if some fellow you don't particularly like starts to do it too. He hit me back, cries the winsome village lad, and the cocktail glasses begin to tremble in the hands; the green rooms become slightly less comfortable places.
On Fox News, veteran political reporter Brit Hume said the attacks were some of the worst he’s seen since covering politics, a sentiment shared by other experienced correspondents.Remember when a whole group of people appeared on the political scene to say that John Kerry wasn't a war hero after all, but just a big phony, and despite reporters amply proven that those people did not know what they were talking about it continued, unabated, and people wore purple band-aids to the Republican National Convention to mock that person's war injuries, and politics new has a whole new invented phrase, "swiftboating," to describe dishonest personal attacks like that? Well congratulations, you're officially smarter than Brit goddamn Hume, who doesn't remember any of it. But Harry Reid said someone told him Mitt had dodged taxes, and that's the new worstest thing ever.
“This is ugly, this is about as ugly as I’ve seen it get,” Hume said Tuesday night on Fox.
Mark Halperin said Wednesday on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that the contest was among the most toxic he’d ever seen and he suggested that Obama call Romney and negotiate a detente, so the two candidates could then instruct their aides to knock off the brutal attacks and get back on the high road.The inclusions of the phrases "Morning Joe" or "Mark Halperin" do little to advance the credibility of the premise here.
”Both campaigns are expressing not faux outrage, which is mostly what we see , but genuine outrage,” Halperin said.
Joe Scarborough agreed, saying that he thinks this started with last week’s pro-Obama Priorities USA super PAC ad. Critics say the ad suggests that Romney was responsible for the death of a former plant worker’s wife’s death from cancer.The inclusion of the phrase "Joe Scarborough agreed" has never advanced the credibility of any statement, ever. If "Joe Scarborough agreed" that driving a railroad spike into one's right kneecap was a bad idea, it would have absolutely no actual impact on whether or not it was a bad idea. "Joe Scarborough agreed" is among the least relevant three-word statements in the English language, rating even behind such egregious time-wasters as in my opinion and all due respect and fair and balanced and some people say and sources tell me and Newt Gingrich announced. The inclusion of the phrase "Joe Scarborough agreed" in any news report is a bold, unapologetic statement by the reporter in question that readers should consider the entire premise being discussed as something that could have been pulled from Joe Scarborough's ass, if only he had thought of the thing first, which he did not.
No, Brit Hume and Mark Halperin can also vouch for the entirely neutral premise that all of a sudden, just in the last day or week, the presidential campaign has gotten too mean. It was not there before, but it is there now, and the entirety of reasons given why the new tenor of the conversation is unacceptable is that Harry Reid said something snide about someone else's money, and a pro-Obama ad said something mean about Mitt Romney and the layoffs that were the hallmark of how he made those same piles of money. That is when the "Eureka!" moment for the pundit class, according to they themselves, arrived.
So let us turn to Joe Scarborough to put a nice little hat on this maudlin little faux-centrist crap-fest. Because Joe Scarborough wants us to think ... of the children.
“If somebody accused me of killing their wife, I think hate would be a word that I might feel quite comfortable using,” Scarborough said. “Think about it, just think about it. You’re in politics and your children have to see run over and over and over again a man saying that your dad killed his wife. And he doesn’t even care. I’ll just leave that to the audience to answer whether that rises to the level of hate or not.”That would be a noble standard, if it had applied to any other fucking thing ever. Children can be subjected to the accusation that their father is not even American, and it is not remarked on. Children can hear that that their father is possibly in league with terrorists, and that is not too over the top. Children can be told that their own church is a den of unAmerican activities and reverse-racism and that they are bad people for ever having set foot in it that one time or those hundred times, and that is fine. But Tagg might has a sad, and can we, as a village of very shallow people with very shallow thoughts—can we live with ourselves, if that were to happen?
I will be eager to see if this new idea takes hold, and whether or not next week's editorial pages are filled with little tiny printed fainting couches, and whether or not smelling salt futures begin to rise sharply on the village trading floors. I do not think it will, because I would like to think that even the most pompous, civility-obsessed asses of opiniondom would have a little more shame than to do that. For the record, let it be known that of all the nasty things said and done during this campaign season, of all the vicious accusations and claims of un-Americanism and insufficient Anglo-Saxonism and McCarthyism and supposed free welfare checks for everybody provided by the suspiciously black man, the moment when the national press finally started to mutter that things had gone too far is when Harry Reid insulted a man's money. And that, my fellow Americans, is just not done.