Tilting at Windmills

May/June 2012 A challenge for the media

By Charles Peters

For all his faults, Barack Obama is obviously the best presidential candidate. And the Democrats in Congress, for all their faults, are clearly better than their Republican counterparts. This should mean that the result of this year’s election will be a Democratic landslide. But a recent study reported in the New York Times concludes there is such a small percentage of voters in play that the election could be easily swayed either way. There is a danger that the Romney attack machine will do to Obama what it so effectively did to Perry, Gingrich, and Santorum. The challenge to the media is to refuse to let itself or the public be fooled in the process so that, by the morning of Election Day in November, the relative merits of the candidates and their parties will be crystal clear.

Charles Peters is the founding editor of the Washington Monthly and the author of a new book on Lyndon B. Johnson published by Times Books.