What A Boring President Might Achieve

Andrew Sullivan —  Jun 21 2012 @ 1:27pm

Buzzfeed recently demonstrated how Romney creates little buzz. Reihan wonders whether that's a feature rather than a bug:

If, and it’s a big if, Mitt Romney is elected president and he presides over an economic expansion, it would be interesting to see if he could actually succeed in lowering the temperature by being less of a lightning rod. Many of President Obama’s allies and admirers believe that he has only been a lightning rod because of right-wing antipathy grounded in racial anxieties. Conservatives, in contrast, generally believe that the president has been highly ideological. What we can all agree on, however, is that President Obama is a charismatic, larger-than-life figure who attracts considerable attention, and who has had an outsized impact on the national consciousness.

Man I can't stand these false equivalences. Obama's record is so non-ideological he all but screams at you in his pitiless pragmatism. He tried to be boring, he adopted Republican ideas (tax cuts in a recession, the healthcare individual mandate, cap-and-trade) but the right simply cannot tolerate being governed by the other party. At all. When one party essentially nullifies the actions of another and commits solely to defeating the other candidate without any interest in the compromises that are necessary for this system to work, it is emphatically not a reasonable response to reward it, and then claim Romney's a boring bring-people-together pragmatist. His platform is the most rigidly ideological of any candidate since Goldwater.

If you want actual boredom, i.e. an interest in making government work, in reaching compromises with the other party, in trying to find a middle ground while the other side ratchets up its hysteria like a nine year-old … then Obama is the only choice. Electing Romney would vindicate the politics of total war and obstruction. And the results would be anything but boring: massive new debt through huge new military spending and more tax cuts for the very wealthy, while hollowing out America's infrastructure and gutting programs for the sick and poor.