Yet Another Press-Driven Feeding Frenzy

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Ladies and gentlemen, I give you politics in America:

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s baffling decision to propose a $10,000 bet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry over a disagreement on health care policy during Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate dominated the after-action analysis of the event.

….The bet then could have a similar effect to Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) ordering swiss cheese on his cheesesteak or Martha Coakley suggesting Curt Schilling was a Yankees fan — crystallizing for voters that Romney just isn’t one of them.

“The question for voters is will they see it as a trivial moment in a debate, or does the willingness to bet $10,000 show he’s not like middle class people,” said Republican consultant Dan Hazelwood.

I am willing to bet $10,000 that ordinary viewers barely even noticed Romney’s bet until the punditocracy decided to make it the defining moment of the debate. This whole thing is just a ridiculous media concoction.

No, wait! I didn’t mean that. I meant that I’d bet $10. Honest. I’m just one of the 99%, like all the rest of you. I probably couldn’t scrape up $10,000 even if I sold the log cabin I live in and threw in both the cats. Seriously. Would you like to hear some stories about my deprivations growing up? I’ve got ’em! I had to share a bedroom with my brother. Three of us kids shared a single bathroom. It was like living in the third world, I tell you. But I persevered and look where I am now.

Jeebus. I can’t believe we still have another 11 months of this nonsense to put up with.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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