Nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism. Supported by readers.


Stu Rothenberg: ‘Even I am offended’ by the current level of politics and journalism

Stu Rothenberg: “Even I am offended” by the current level of politics and journalism
By Eric Black

Stu Rothenberg of the Rothenberg Political Report decided not to wait for the results to unload his analysis, and it contains a level of disgust I’ve not seen from the usually phlegmatic veteran political analyst.

You should read the whole thing. It’s short and pithy and makes several points without any shilly-shallying. But for those who don’t click through, here are a few excerpts:

  • “Democrats never succeeded in changing the trajectory of the election cycle that developed roughly midway through last year. Once voters decided President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats weren’t the answer, the election cycle was set.”
  • “Democrats wanted to blame President George W. Bush and make the midterm elections a referendum on the last Republican president and the last Republican Congress. But while voters agreed that Obama inherited an economic mess from his predecessor, they saw the 2010 election as an opportunity to tell Obama how he was doing, not as a time to repeat their previous verdicts on Bush. Democrats insisted that the election was a choice, not a referendum. It certainly didn’t turn out that way. When one party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House, the election is always a referendum.”
  • “The first time you hear some idiot talking head on TV arguing Democrats lost because they compromised too much with Republicans during the past two years, turn the TV off. Yes, you will hear that case made, but it is inane and delusional. The Democrats’ biggest problem is not that their most liberal supporters stayed home.”
  • “Don’t read long-term trends into this election or any other.”
  • “GOP Congressional leaders surely understand that this election wasn’t about them and their party, and that they have no particular mandate. … Anyone who thinks this election is a mandate to repeal the entire Obama health care bill or abolish the Department of Education or repeal any amendment to the Constitution is somebody who truly doesn’t understand public opinion or elections.”
  • “Politics and political coverage has deteriorated to such a point that even I am offended by it — and I’m about as cynical as anyone. … Prime-time programming decisions by senior executives at Fox News and MSNBC apparently make financial sense, but they have undermined civility and divided the country. The country would be better off if starting at 4 p.m., the two networks ran test patterns for the rest of the night.”
  • “America’s celebrity culture has spilled over into politics. Today it is Sarah Palin. Tomorrow it will be someone else. People are so desperate to get their faces on TV that they will talk about anything.”
  • “Tomorrow, it will all begin again.”



Article continues after advertisement