Walter Kirn dismisses critics of this year's campaign for failing to discern the distinction between "theater" and "drama." This error leads them to believe deep arguments are shallow, fascinating arguments are dull retreads, and that differences between candidates are not as important as they appear.
A particularly intriguing excerpt comes when he links Romney/Obama to Kennedy/Nixon.
Not since John F. Kennedy faced Richard Nixon, a golden boy pitted against a five o’clock shadow, has U.S. presidential politics united such constitutionally different beings. One man is singularly literate, the other exceptionally numerate. One educated himself by reading books, the other by scrutinizing balance sheets. They’re further divided by what they have in common. Both are outsiders, heirs to persecution, one because of the color of his skin, one because of the nature of his faith. (And both are descended, strangely, from polygamists.) Both have an overdeveloped sense of duty, one because he came from nothing much, the other because he was born with everything.