I’ve always liked Frank Rich, watching him on TV, because he seems like the old-fashioned kind of reporter, who cut his teeth on the beat, and really knows what’s going on – not many of these left any more. And he can write, with that great journalist prose, concise and punchy but full of both ideas and entertainment.
So I highly recommend this article to see what real political writing can be instead of the amateur hour here and on most blogs. There’s no way I can possibly say anything to improve on the piece so I’ll just recap the gist of it as you really should read it for yourself.
Frank did something I could never do. He spent an entire week, during the Repug Convention, only following the right-wing media (my BP would soar and my head would explode). He even managed to listen to Glen Beck and pay him compliments, for comedy since Beck knew Eastwood as a hack the second he opened his mouth.
The basic idea in Rich’s piece is that FauxNews is so in the tank for the Repug establishment they didn’t really report what is going on in rightwingnut land any more than MSNBC or CNN did, but instead stuck to the manicured and bland script of the Romney strategy. So Frank will looking for the real right-wing POV.
The right wants to thunder, it wants to rant, it is sure America is with it, and so it rejects everything Romney is doing, the Etch-A-Sketch slide toward the middle where in theory the swing voters are (this piece was clearly written before Romney’s flubs and the disintegration of his campaign staff). The right is sure a total dose of blood and gore the way they see it is the clear path to victory so naturally they’re disgusted by Mittwit. It’s not just his wooden demeanor, that makes Gore and Kerry look good, but his total lack of both ideas and convictions. In fact, in Eastwood’s piece he could have used Mittens instead of the chair since they’re both devoid of any passion.
Of course of recent we see nothing but all the carping about how awful the campaign is. Naturally the staff is all attacking each other with unattributed quotes. But the staff reflects the candidate and clearly there is just so absolutely no there there in Romney that even Etch-A-Sketch is a compliment. Romney is one and only one thing – pure ambition; he wants President on his resume the way most of the rest of us join clubs in high school to broaden our appeal to college selection committees. Romney wants to be President so he can fly around on Air Force One because even with his money he can’t buy that. So how can any campaign staff build a campaign around a guy who believes absolutely nothing. And how can an intensely ideological political party stand Caspar Milquetoast.
So it’s a great article and I hope Frank Rich stays with this and write a damning book about this campaign as well as all the dissent in the Repugs because it will be a great story. You have to be a great reporter to come out from a week in the slimepit of right wing crazy and then be able to put together sentences. Party on, Frank.