We had forgotten how to watch.
Whether manifested by not seeing danger for the cozy security of a culture of mass self-hypnosis, or the decay of the republic for the promise of some eventual trickling down, or the humanity of the great number of under- and unserved for pride in the "best health care system in the world," or by many other measures, we had forgotten how to watch. The 2008 results may have been about the man Obama, but I can't discount a brief period of clarity about the longstanding Republican agenda.
This week, Crossroads GPS has an ad buy worth two first class metropolitan high schools promoting the notion that removing obstacles for the privileged class should be job one; all else depends on it.
Television ads, YouTube versions, ginned up news stories about the latest GPS ad buy; you know the drill. "Hypnopædia" should be up on their war room walls.
Aren't we meant to know obscenity when we see it? Similarly, aren't we supposed to know make believe?
The challenger's side wrassled like two sumos amongst themselves over the semantics and nomenclature of affordable healthcare.
The policy won't change one tick, so the debate over "tax" vs. "penalty" must signal the meat and potatoes of some future push of negative ads. Hang on; I think I just heard one. That was quick.
President Obama, say what you will about any of the gripes voiced by the base, has been taught and has willingly embraced those critical thinking skills which act as innoculation for Frank Luntz speak and which help face down demagoguery.
And that's all Romney's been serving up so far.
In our state, a former representative ('97-'08) who left her post to lose the party's senate nod in 2008 is running for her old seat. According to Crossroads GPS, she's back as a fighter for the people, fed up with politics as usual from both the left and the right, described by the narrator as an "independent voice for change," though evidently unwilling to run as an independent.
Heather Wilson may already be known to you as that nice Air Force lady whose loyalty prompted her to become the one (halfway beyond figuratively) to turn out the lights on the McCain campaign, when all but the war hero and the mama grizzly had abandoned ship.
A closer examination of her voting record reveals a rash of anything but change's independent champion, acting more as a go-along to get-along party line (90%) voter on Iraq, "not torture" and all that neo-con hooey, and as a serial indemnifier of criminal polluters with names sometimes more recognizable as current big-time donors to the likes of Crossroads GPS.
For both Bush terms, we had forgotten how to watch. We can whine but we can't have the AG sue over MTBE ever again, forever.
Thanks to then Rep. Wilson's cohort.
We had forgotten how to watch, but we may have lucked out.
We had a moment where even the most shell shocked of the Stockholm syndrome sufferers among us got it.
Bush was a puppet of the oligarchs, not some good old boy you could have a beer with after all.
It still wasn't trickling down. In fact all around it was exploding. Obama carried a surprising number of once red states.
2010 was our Patty Hearst year.
Dick Armey in a carnival cowboy hat became the public face of those cheerleading for the demise of government, even though what he meant in his heart of hearts was returning the recently disgraced Republicans to power. A prime example of equal employment opportunism. And to masquerade as populism, chutzpah of the highest order.
Paint me with the broad brush of cynicism if you want, but I use the rule that anything from the opposition which sounds remotely bottom-up, freedom-y, or "constitutional" just might be a lie.
The opposition, from the pulpit of the candidate's microphone to the echo chamber of the talking pointy faithful, have learned and are practicing the not-so-fine art of jerking our collective chain.
President Obama, say what you will, has not forgotten how to watch.
Mitt Romney and his fellow down-ticket candidates are counting on the fact that we once again have.