10.28.12 11:50 AM ET
The Des Moines Register's Practical Joke
This Romney endorsement editorial, if you actually bother to read it, is little more than a practical joke. First of all, it has all the hallmarks of having been ordered by the publisher over the objections of the editorial board. Normally, a sentence like "the Register’s editorial board, as it should, had a vigorous debate over this endorsement," translated into blunt English means: "Our idiot publisher forced this tripe down our throats, and we're counting on you the more knowledgeable readers to understand this."
The argument, such as it is, is as substanceless as meringue. Mitt Romney could "forge compromises with Congress" to get the economy rolling again? The first part of that might actually be true, but only because the Democrats in Congress aren't nearly as ideologically hidebound and politically obstreperous as their GOP counterparts.
But the second part, fixing the economy, creating jobs, tackling the deficit? Romney has been ridiculously vague on all these things. The editorial doesn't so much as gesture in that direction. And then bam, the editorial ends. Just when you think it might start mounting such "arguments," it ends. I actually hit the refresh button three times, as I couldn't believe the entire editorial had loaded properly. It's as Potemkin Village-ish a piece of journalistic writing as I've seen in a long time.
Sadly, it probably will make a small difference, although I'm sure the politically inside elite out in Iowa is laughing about this morning. Most polls indicate that Obama has a couple of points to spare in the state. We'll see. You can ask Hillary Clinton how much good the DMR did her in January 2008/
Meanwhile, Obama has been endorsed by: Detroit Free Press, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Miami Herald, Las Vegas Sun, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Raleigh News & Observer. I'll grant that this is more newsworthy because it's a flip since 2008, but that doesn't make it more important in Iowa than the Sun is in Nevada.
Anyway, go read it. You'll see what I mean. It reads like a practical joke, and a half-baked one at that. DMR: You still have time to publish your serious endorsement, you know, the one that lists actual reasons why you support the guy!