Tuesday, October 9, 2012

High Anxiety

It has been said that the 1960 election for President of the United States was decided by a sweaty upper lip. A lip that would live in infamy in a later reincarnation.

The first of the televised presidential debates took place in 1960. Black and white images of a pale Richard Nixon appeared on the screen. Nerves, or at least the appearance of nerves, seemed to pour out of his being. In stark contrast, Senator Kennedy, in makeup and with a head of hair that was an open invitation to seduction, was impossibly perfect. 

In an election, close and hotly contested, Mr. Nixon's beads of sweat may well have been his Achilles heel.

I lay on the couch, joyful in my anticipation. It was to be the beginning of the coronation, a night to follow what had been a succession of unexpectedly  happy occurrences. The first of the 2012 debates was to mark the moment when a monumentally ineffective Republican candidate was to receive the spanking that he had coming to him.

Only it turned out that there were 2 impostors on the stage this night. The first, looking like Mr. Romney, but playing a very different character from the "severe conservative" we've all come to know, spent the evening in full-blown renunciation of himself and, coincidentally, his opponent. The other, masquerading as Barack Obama, decided his task was to be merely a disinterested and disoriented observer. While all hell was breaking loose around him, the stand-in for the President virtually disappeared from sight.

I have been in near depression ever since. The knot in my stomach appears, dissipates and then returns with renewed enthusiasm to taunt me. I sigh the kind of sigh that is reserved for someone weighted down by life's complications. I sleep restlessly in the best of times, but now bedtime and reveille are headed on a collision course. I search for answers that elude me.

I hate poll numbers. Seeming to spring out of thin air minutes after one election ends, the calculations on the next cycle begin. There is analysis of  everyone and everything and each one carries significance, at least until it doesn't. As the days to the vote shorten, the frenetic energy devoted to the study of the percentage of this, and the trend of that only multiplies. When times are good, at least I can rest my head on a feathery cushion of positives. But when events turn ugly and the numbers uglier, there is no respite. I can't count sheep when the big bad wolf is stealing my flock in front of my eyes.

Was Denver Obama's Waterloo? Was it his sweaty lip moment? I want the search party to find the missing President and bring him back immediately.  I want the candidates to appear tomorrow at Fordham University for the next close encounter. I want Obama's thrashing of the bane of his existence to commence now, right now, in full view of the entire nation. I want my stomach to stop hurting. I want to get some sleep.


Anonymous said...

Four years ago I was an excited, energetic, and happy democrat. Today I'm a disappointed, disconcerted, angry and unhappy one. After the debacle in Denver some birdbrain in the Obama campaign lays an egg with a Big Bird ad (the ad even offended Sesame Workshop and they demanded that Obama take it down) instead of focusing on real issues like a plan to fix the economy! This morning I hear about the bungle in Benghazi on GMA which every day looks more and more like a cover-up. I'm getting awful tired of watching the president strut to the podium like a peacock and hear him endlessly talk the same old babble. The polls are reflecting the mood of the country, whose voters are getting impatient too. It may be unnecessary to send a search party, and I don't think it was a masquerade either. What we see is what we got, and it may be time to break out some Tums and sleeping pills, and in your case perhaps some Lexipro too.

Anonymous said...

Four years ago candidate Obama said: "If you don't have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things."
How ironic is that?

Robert said...

Before the debate, the 47% percent man seemingly had nowhere to hide. His party's platform and his pronouncements were so full of holes that he was a sitting duck at target practice. It was not that Romney won the debate for his vision or his honesty. Both of those were absent, and his manipulations of truth were seemingly created out of mile high thin air.

It was that the President, with so much to choose from as points of attack, chose none. Further, the distortions of the President's record by Romney were never countered.

All the President had to do to carry the election and to continue talking about the 47% man from now to November 6 was to show up. And he didn't.

Anonymous said...

Obama stubbornly clung to the left instead of pivoting to the center (as my hero Clinton did to win an election) leaving a vacuum to fill which Romney sneakily and very cleverly filled at the debate leaving Obama flatfooted. Having secured his party's nomination he gambled the Tea Party crackpots would never vote for Obama so it was safe to move center to woo independents, moderate dems, and undecideds. He's even made head-way with women as shown in the latest polls. Now Obama cannot move center without seeming to agree with Romney's new, and as you rightly point out, false positions. He's painted himself in a corner and the ignorant public is buying into Romney's lies and deceit. I think Obama has gotten some pretty poor advice from some of his advisers strategy wise. If he had gone center BEFORE Romney he wins the election and does whatever he damn well pleases in a second term.

Anonymous said...

The art of politics is like a game of chess and lately Team Obama has made some terrible moves and missed some others. As we head into the endgame lets hope he does better because it's not over. Yet.