NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

October 11, 2012

Judge a cover by its book

Forget right vs. left and conservative vs. liberal, the real divide in Election 2012 is superficial vs. in-depth.

Mitt Romney proved he understands this by preparing “zingers” to win last week’s debate.

Clever nonsense such as “trickle-down government” colored his aggressive delivery against an incumbent who seems to have forgotten that television does not favor calm and substance.

No matter that cost estimates made Romney’s claims for his never-specified health and economic plans sound like an ad campaign for Foxwoods Casino.

Ditto the gross but relishing “only backs losers” regarding federal green energy investments, 23 of 26 of which are successful.

Much like the auto industry Romney said we should let go bankrupt in 2008 — but now takes credit for saving.

As his campaign openly states, they won’t let “fact-checkers” spoil their recipe.

With the coded banner of “liberal media” to dismiss any source that offers context, superficiality wins.

Asked to name a cooperative Republican senator, Elizabeth Warren recalled numerous congressional committee appearances to testify for reform of Wall Street and quickly named Richard Lugar.

Moderator David Gregory interjected that Lugar lost Indiana’s primary and wouldn’t be a U.S. senator in January. Warren froze. Scott Brown’s supporters laughed derisively.

That superficial exchange became a highlight of the week’s press coverage.

Past the surface? Like many other moderate Republicans in primaries for both houses of Congress, Lugar lost to a tea party extremist whose foremost campaign pledge was to never compromise with Democrats.

Or, for that matter, with whatever few moderate Republicans have survived the tea party’s extremist purge since 2009.

Hence, Warren was ridiculed for an inability to find compromise in a party that refuses to compromise.

Worse, she is attacked for having represented two large corporations in lawsuits filed by victims of asbestos poisoning.

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