Peggy Noonan observes that everybody knows that the country is in a bad way and that we desperately need inspired political leadership. But the Obama-Romney contest seems like a choice between warm Pepsi or warm Coke on a hot day. Excerpt:
Anyway, the next president will have to do that sort of thing, and it will take deep political gifts. We have not seen that genius in Mr. Obama. Whether you will vote for him or not, you know you haven’t seen it. He seems to view politics as his weary duty, something he had to do on his way to greatness.
When he goes over the heads of Congress to the people, it’s like he threw a dead fish over the transom—it lands with a “Thwap!” and makes a mess, and people run away. As for Mr. Romney, it is a commonplace in punditry to implore him to speak clearly of where he’ll go and how and why we should follow.
Well, she’s right. I had to go back the other day into a few months’ worth of postings on my old Beliefnet blog, from 2008 and 2009, looking for a specific post. I was startled by how much more political I was then, by how much more I cared about this stuff. And by how much more anxious I was. It turns out that the world didn’t end. We’re just muddling through, unhappily and uneasily. This boiling frog of a crisis is the new normal. PM David Cameron says that the UK will live with austerity through at least 2020, and Europe and America will continue to have to slog through the endless delevering.
Welcome to the hangover that never seems to end. I see Romney bumper stickers popping up ever so often around town, urging me to “Believe In America.” Oh, I believe in America, Mitt; I just don’t believe in you. Which is not to say I’m not considering voting for you. I don’t believe in the other guy either.