This may be wishful thinking on the part of us lefties…but the hurricane can only cost Romney the election if people hold him responsible for what he has said, both before and during the storm. In order to do that, the American people must first read or watch the news.
I’ve been taken to task for finding a good subsection of the American voters dumb. It is, of course, impolitic to call voters dumb. You never see the candidates do that – they’ll always praise the voter, because that’s how they get votes out of them.
That being said, lots of voters are dumb.
I can see it coming. People will hear about the storm and say “Oh, isn’t it wonderful how Americans are reaching out and helping those victims” without distinguishing between the useful help the storm’s victims got from government and how useless many of the charity donations were.
Even the representatives of charity groups said so. The Red Cross, as this article points out, was specifically telling people not to donate goods, like cans and consumer items, because what the charity groups really needed was money, which could be applied where the storm victims actually needed it. Mitt Romney, however, went out of his way to be seen sending a whack of canned goods to the storm victims. Take that, Red Cross!
I do fear it – people are dumb enough to accept Romney and Ryan’s baloney photo ops as real efforts to help the storm victims. People only need to see good will demonstrated, either by people possessing of genuine good will, or those who know how to fake it well, and they will be satisfied. The discussion about how government still plays a role that individuals, community groups and the private sector are either too incompetent or too uninterested to play…that discussion is still miles away.
It did help a bit to have prime-time Romney-acting-like-Romney to remind people of what it would be like if he is elected. But it only helps if people are paying attention and cares enough to wisely evaluate what they’ve seen. A good chunk of the country is not. Whether we attribute this to lack of wisdom or lack of caring, they’ve shown again and again that no wise evaluation is forthcoming from them.
Get mad at me, if you will, for my pessimistic outlook on the wisdom of American voters. Fine, it won’t be the first time people have been mad at me.
But consider this…I don’t hope I’m right about this. Indeed, this is one case where I would be delighted to be wrong.