Political gaffes, Alison Grimes, and low information America
WASHINGTON, October 15, 2014 — Political language, said George Orwell, “is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable.” But this is America, and American politics is an embarrassingly deranged fun house mirror reflecting the distorted aspirations of a trivial society in collapse. And our politicians are finding themselves to be as trivial as the people that elect them.
Kentucky’s Democratic Senate candidate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, immediately comes to mind. During a meeting with the Louisville Courier-Journal’s editorial board, hoping to win their endorsement, Grimes said she: Supports environmental policies that will doom the state’s coal industry; supports free-speech curtailment in the guise of campaign finance reform; and admitted that although Obamacare is “not perfect,” the president’s dictatorial monstrosity is A-Okay with her.
Then Grimes was blindsided by a tough, gut-wrenching question from the Courier-Journal’s public opinion molders. They asked if she voted for President Obama.
“I respect the sanctity of the ballot box,” is all she would say.
As the Courier-Journal noted, “She continued to dodge the question of whether she voted for Obama, for whom she was a delegate at the 2012 Democratic Convention.”
Grimes would have us entertain the notion that although she was a pledged, nominating delegate for Obama in 2012, she might have secretly voted for Mitt Romney while in the sanctity of the voting booth.
Obama, it’s no mystery, is electoral poison for Democrats this election cycle, and the president’s approval rating in Kentucky stands at just 29 percent.
Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, Grimes’ opponent, not to mention conservative commentators, have had a few laughs at her expense.
“The problem isn’t that one party gets treated more harshly than the other does,” said a perturbed Paul Waldman at the Washington Post. “There are plenty of Republican candidates who have gotten pummeled for their ‘gaffes.’ Rather, the problem is the standard that reporters use, probably unconsciously, to decide which gaffes are worthy of extended discussion and which ones merit only a passing mention.”
That has got to be a first. A columnist at a major national newspaper complains that a tongue-tied Democrat is a victim of low reportorial standards, which is journalism-speak for “media bias.”
Grimes, like the millions of Americans who voted for “hope and change,” is embarrassed by the economic and foreign policy blunders of one Barack Obama.
She can’t pretend the omnipresent administration now taking a sledgehammer to our republic does not exist. Instead, like her fellow Americans, Grimes disassociates herself from the political monster she helped create.
By exalting the authoritarian ambitions of a favored few, Americans have diminished themselves.
Behold the new American solipsism: I don’t think, therefore I ain’t.