George Packer (New Yorker): In the tenth paragraph of a Times piece, Rick Santorum accuses Barack Obama of engaging in “absolutely un-American activities”. What are they? The article doesn’t say. The quote appears without explanation or comment ….
…. this kind of gutter rhetoric is so routine in the Republican campaign that it’s not worth a political journalist’s time to point it out…. once demagogy and falsehoods become routine, there isn’t much for the political journalist to do ….political journalism long ago stopped being about what is true or important…
The great puzzle of the Republican campaign is that, in an era of unprecedented ideological fervor, the party will almost certainly nominate the candidate who is the blandest …. Romney understands his situation acutely, and he’s telling anyone who will listen that he loves America … hates illegal immigrants as much as the next guy, and thinks that Obama has destroyed this country at home and abroad …. He’s doing a credible job playing an intellectual thug, because that’s the only way to win the nomination.
It would be a mistake, though, to believe that, if he’s elected, Romney could suddenly flip a switch, clear the air of the toxicity left behind by the Republican field, and return to being a cautious centrist whose most reassuring quality is his lack of principles. His party wouldn’t let him …. once a sellout, always a sellout; once a thug, always a thug.
Full article here
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