Archive for May 8th, 2012

Game On

by lizard

In a not-very-productive conversation I’ve been having, the person I’ve been mixing it up with took issue with how I referred to politics as a game, like it was some ad hominem attack. Campaigns are contests, and contests have winners and losers, right? Yeah, a game.

The ultimate political game is the presidential race, and to win that game it seems any semblance of common sense constraint gets tossed out the window with the ends justifying the means method of political combat.

In order to become the titular figure head of America, there have been some serious accusations leveled at past victors, like Ronald Reagan. The term October Surprise became associated with the theory that the Iranian hostage situation was prolonged by Reagan, who supposedly cut a secret deal to embarrass Carter and ultimately win the election.

With that in mind, it seems the reckless right, driven by the scary-crazy social conservative wing, may be willing to exploit a blind Chinese dissident to score political points against Obama.

Regardless of that level of speculation, Mitt Romney decided to idiotically insert himself into a sensitive diplomatic matter. Here’s the gist of what he said:

Mitt Romney condemned the Obama administration’s handling of blind Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng, calling the episode “a dark day for freedom” and “a day of shame” for President Obama if, he couched, reports are true that American officials communicated threats to Chen’s family.

Romney’s comments are dangerous, because at the very least it shows how willing he is to exploit a sensitive diplomatic tight-rope walk for short-term political gain. When it comes to playing games, this would be called “playing dirty”.

I read an article last month by Andrew Levine that was interesting, but kind of alarmist and overly speculative, imho. Here’s how it starts:

Will Mitt Romney and Benjamin Netanyahu concoct a war with Iran? Not if they have a tenth of the sense they were born with. But that’s not much consolation when we’re dealing, on the one hand, with a vulture capitalist and one time Mormon bishop whose flip flopping gives opportunism a bad name and, on the other, with a fascistically inclined ethnocratic zealot on a mission from God.

To pivot from national politics to local politics, M. Storin at Intelligent Discontent is accusing the Pam Bucy campaign of illegal robo calls and soliciting readers for evidence. We’ll see how that goes.

It makes one wonder, if the end is winning at any cost, then is the means whatever you can get away with?

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