Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Permanent Campaign - A Lament

Yesterday President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech. I liked the speech -- I thought it was hardhitting and at the same time deftly framed to feel almost irrefutable. But that's not the point of this short post.

What I wanted to mention here is that over the past 48 hours, or in other words the day of the speech and the day after, I've received about 15 e-mails from the President (needless to say, not individually written to me) and Presidential aides to enlist me, in one way or the other, in supporting him and the speech. Some were duplicates, but the total may actually have been more than 15, though I must admit I don't read them all so I'm not absolutely certain I'm characterizing all of them correctly.

I am sure, however, that President Obama and his political aides believe the campaign has never ended, and will never end. They're probably right. If this is the price of defeating the Tea Party and its allies, I agree that it's worth it (though believing that doesn't make me read all the messages). But the fact that the campaign goes on forever is itself an element in the polarization of our lives -- in which there apparently can no longer be a moment when all that citizens are asked to do is think, rather than mobilize. 

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