Issues? Nah, just tell me your story . . .
John noticed two stories that I cannot resist mentioning. In “It’s Not Going to Be About the Issues,” RealClearPolitics’ Tom Bevan observes — accurately, I think — that “[t]his year’s [presidential] contest features two insurgent candidates whose campaigns are built around themes anchored largely in their biographies.”
That only describes the culmination of a campaign in which Mitt Romney was never allowed to escape his biography, particularly his religious biography; Mike Huckabee ran on his denominational biography for awhile, then complained when it was hung around his neck; Rudy Giuliani ran as the hero of 9-11 and not much more; and even Hillary Clinton ran as a Clinton and as a candidate who would take us back to those halcyon times of the 90′s. Bevan:
Every four years the political intelligentsia laments the fact that the presidential race inevitably boils down to “who you’d rather have a beer with.” Guess what? The public is bellying up to the bar to take the measure of these two candidates over the next eight weeks.
Maybe part of Mitt’s problem was that too many people (rightly) couldn’t imagine having a beer with him. Read the whole thing.
Oh-oh, now it’s Sarah Palin who has weird religious beliefs . . .
Michael Medved comments on left-wing alarm over Sarah Palin having grown up in the Assembly of God Church and then, six years ago, joining the Wasilla Bible Church. Supposedly her “‘church speaks in tongues and believes in “rapture” and believes God tells us to build a pipeline . . . . And . . . tries to “cure” gay people.’”
Without getting into whether or not Palin actually believes those things, Medved says it all here:
Of course, a careful examination of any church or any denomination would find plenty of potentially embarrassing or offensive details. Assaults on Mitt Romney’s Mormonism followed the same game plan as the nasty cracks about Palin: take a religion that enriches the lives of millions of good and decent people and focus on its distinctive or unusual aspects to try to discredit the candidate (and, incidentally, the entire faith community).
Every religion looks odd from the outside – very much including my own. I know that it seems weird to non-Jews (and to non-observant Jews) that my observance involves shunning some delicious foods, praying with a contraption of leather straps and wooden boxes every morning, and not riding in a car on Friday night or Saturday. Those unfamiliar with Catholicism might find themselves perplexed by doctrines ranging from transubstantiation, to the virgin birth, to papal infallibility.
All points we’ve made many times here. Again, the whole thing is an excellent read and reminder of where we’ve been during this campaign. I hope we’ve learned something from all that, but I do wonder.