Silly Season Forever

by Benjamin Domenech on 5:23 am August 30, 2010

Obama's silly season


This morning, MSNBC informs us of President Obama’s response to the current economic difficulties:

Look at how we’re doing our infrastructure, so that we can maximize the amount of jobs that are created. So, there are a range of steps that I hope we can get bipartisan support for. But right now, we’re still we’re in the silly season, political season, which means that for the next two months there’s gonna be constantly — a contest in the minds of Members of Congress. And my Republican friends in Congress, between doing what the country needs and what they think may be advantageous … in terms of short term politics.

Obama’s quite a fan of depicting elections as the “silly season” of American politics, and he keeps returning to the idea. He said it in December 2007. He said it in February 2008. He said it in April 2008. The White House said it in September 2009. And now he’s saying it again. Even the press corps is growing tired of it.

In most of these incidents, the president was responding to questions about his supposed “elitism” or some question of inappropriate activity — but the use of the term undercuts the message he’s trying to send. Instead of dealing with the real question, the line suggests that elections are themselves silly, and it’s when those infuriating little people with their rallies, signs and complaints aren’t paying attention (when politicians aren’t earning votes) that the real work gets done.

One might as well complain of how inconvenient it is to live in a political system where you must convince these little people of your rightness. Of course, given trends in poll data, we can reasonably assume President Obama has stopped trying to do that altogether.

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