Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Reality TV Romney


I'm not a fan of reality TV, and I've been told that it's annoying to share a couch with me if such a show is being watched.  I just can't seem to ignore the ridiculous premise that most of those shows follow.  Jersey Shore, The Real Housewives of wherever...these are not representative of any truth whatsoever.  The exceptions to my rule against reality TV are few and far between, but the ones that squeeze through all fit the requirement that some veritable talent or thoughtful strategy be exhibited.  So my guilty pleasures are Survivor and American Idol while I fold laundry.  

I actually had planned on folding laundry during last week's presidential debate (I have three kids and the requisite laundry), but I was never able to pull myself away from the train wreck unfolding before my eyes long enough to pull it from the dryer.  Lucky for me, there's a tumble cycle to release those wrinkles.  Hopefully Obama has a similar cycle to reverse the unforeseen wrinkles in his campaign created by his dismal performance at that debate.  I won't mince words when it comes to his debate performance- he lost and it was painful to watch.  

But I think its premature for Romney supporters to be dancing in the street.  This election cycle reminds me of a bad reality show, with actual policy explained by actual numbers playing a cameo role, at best.  I can blink the absence of sunscreen on Survivor, and cheer when the winner (free from sun-damage) gets a million dollars.  But what I can't ignore, and I don't think I'm alone on this couch, is the blatant way Romney is backpedaling on his published positions.  For months, dating back to the GOP primary debates, Romney has been pushing for an across-the-board 20% tax cut.  But, lo and behold, at last week's debate, he peered into the camera and promised to not reduce the share of taxes paid by the wealthy.  Similarly, he accused the president of raiding Medicare benefits by $716 Billion, a claim that has been debunked by fact-checkers for months.  Perhaps he should run that number by his running mate, as the same cut, with nearly unanimous support from House Republicans, is present in the 2012 Ryan budget blueprint.  Politicians are inherently shape-shifters, but Romney's position fluidity represents an all-new low.  Nobama is the only fixed policy coming out of the Romney camp.  '

Suspension of disbelief is one of the only concepts I readily recall from a 'TV and The American Family' elective course I took years ago in college.  It refers to viewers' dismissal of incongruity in the details of a TV program.  Like when a guy pops the question on The Bachelor.  The viewer has to forget about the other 20 girls he was making out with 2 weeks prior.  I'm OK with disbelief being suspended in the case of fictional TV programs, but when it comes to national policy and political discourse, I'm not at all OK.  I'm not about to forget the 1% that Romney was canoodling with when he made his infamous 47% remark.  

You can bet I'll be watching the vice presidential debate Thursday night, laundry basket at my feet,  and it had better not play out like more bad reality TV.  Biden and Ryan have to supply congruent facts and numbers to make this voter suspend her disbelief.