Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Camera Obscura

Does anyone know what the numero uno topic will be for November's election? I've completely lost track. Two months ago it was women's health, than it was gay marriage, two weeks ago it was a moratorium on health care reform, now it's shifted (rightfully) back to the economy. The drive of both presidential campaigns has been just as unfocused as the media's attention to the issues. CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC are embarassing themselves more so than ever.

A few days ago, my Facebook friend Ben Douwsma (click here for his blog) pointed out something that I'd been wondering for a few weeks now: this election is 2004 in reverse. Think about it: an weak incumbent against a weak challenger. Said incumbent is beloved by his party and detested by his critics. Said challenger is the former governor of Massachuetts, born into a political family. The challenger also has a history of flip-flopping and pandering, and there's little to fuel his campaign other than "get the other guy out of here." Weirder yet, the challenger was considered the "safe" choice for the party's nomination after a rival imploded during the primaries. The only parallel I can draw is the hot-button issue: in 2004, the incumbent had a strong economic outline and a questionable take on defense; in 2012 it's the opposite. The question now is, can Mitt Romney obviate from the same issues that crushed John Kerry?

Finally, I was somewhat upset to hear that after seven-plus years, might be pulling the plug on user blogs. Worse yet, commenting will be disabled by the end of this week. Even though I "similcast" my musings on Blogspot, to me it seems like CNet is moving forward in their mission to deemphasize the contributors that built this site and turn our little sanctuary into a weird cross between Hulu and Futon Critic. I'm upset, especially because I'm powerless about this profile overhaul. The excuse is that nobody blogs anymore, but in reality CNet scared off half the users on this site and banned the others. Forum traffic is at a fraction of what it was five years ago, and chances are discussion boards will be the next to go. Regardless, I've been contributing and posting on TV Tome/ for nearly a decade now, and if the ship sinks I'm going down with it.

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