The Phony Campaign

2012-05-27 Update

[phony baloney]

President Obama continues to expand his phony lead over Mitt Romney this week:

Query String Hit Count Change Since
"Barack Obama" phony 23,100,000 +500,000
"Mitt Romney" phony 1,070,000 +30,000
"Gary Johnson" phony 337,000 +24,000

As always, there are stories behind all the phoniness:

  • Michael Crowley of Time derides what (according to the headline) he sees as "The Phony War: Obama and Romney Are Debating Character, Not Policy".
    More than five months from Election Day, the back-and-forth about Mitt Romney's record at Bain already feels played out. Unfortunately, there's good reason to expect the campaign continues in this vein indefinitely. Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney are terribly interested in dwelling on policy platforms. Romney's plan to slash spending and keep taxes low on the wealthy isn't especially popular, at least not at any level of detail beyond a blithe promise to shrink the deficit. Meanwhile, Obama's signature first-term achievements, like health care, the stimulus and Wall Street reform, are all unpopular or tricky to sell. (The Dodd-Frank bill is the most popular of these, but hyping it means offending wealthy donors.) So what we're getting instead is a superficial duel about character-and, worse, one that's based on the largely false premise that the better man can better "manage" the economy back to health.
    While Crowley bemoans debates about "character, not policy", Time's cover this week hypes the story "Raising Romney", picturing young Mitt with his mother, Lenore, apparently in a hotel room working out strategy for Lenore's 1970 run for US Senate.

    It's not just the candidates that are phony this year.

  • President Obama has invented yet another way you, Good Citizen, can report on other Americans who dare "attack" his policies. You can join the Truth Team! There's a handy online form where you can fill in your e-mail address, zip code, the "content of the attack", its source (e.g., a "Website/Blog"), and a provide a link (e.g., and even upload an image.

    There's even a spiffy logo:

    Truth Team!

    I wonder: if you turn in a certain number of Enemies of the State for making "attacks", can you get a little badge with a "T" on it? I really think the Obama campaign should look into doing that.

  • Hey, you know who we've been ignoring? Gary Johnson! Libertarian Brian Doherty was interviewed in support of his new book about Ron Paul, concentrating on the relationship between Paul and Johnson.

    I couldn't make this up if I tried:

    Asked whether one could look at the differences between the two politicians as Ron Paul having an ontological view of libertarianism while Gary Johnson has more of a consequentialist view, Doherty readily replied, "I think that's very correct. Yes."
    Now there's an issue that wasn't sufficiently covered during the primary season!

Last Modified 2014-12-01 2:55 PM EDT