Yet Another Press-Driven Feeding Frenzy

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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you politics in America:

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s baffling decision to propose a $10,000 bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry over a disagreement on health care policy during Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate dominated the after-action analysis of the event.

….The bet then could have a similar effect to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) ordering swiss cheese on his cheesesteak or Martha Coakley suggesting Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan — crystallizing for voters that Romney just isn’t one of them.

“The question for voters is will they see it as a trivial moment in a debate, or does the willingness to bet $10,000 show he’s not like middle class people,” said Republican consultant Dan Hazelwood.

I am willing to bet $10,000 that ordinary viewers barely even noticed Romney’s bet until the punditocracy decided to make it the defining moment of the debate. This whole thing is just a ridiculous media concoction.

No, wait! I didn’t mean that. I meant that I’d bet $10. Honest. I’m just one of the 99%, like all the rest of you. I probably couldn’t scrape up $10,000 even if I sold the log cabin I live in and threw in both the cats. Seriously. Would you like to hear some stories about my deprivations growing up? I’ve got ’em! I had to share a bedroom with my brother. Three of us kids shared a single bathroom. It was like living in the third world, I tell you. But I persevered and look where I am now.

Jeebus. I can’t believe we still have another 11 months of this nonsense to put up with.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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