Thursday, February 28, 2008

the double-bracket non-campaign

bloomberg's editorial reads like a parody. he starts by slamming politicians for not raising concrete issues and providing concrete solutions:
Over the past year, I have been working to raise issues that are important to New Yorkers and all Americans — and to speak plainly about common sense solutions. Some of these solutions have traditionally been seen as Republican, while others have been seen as Democratic. As a businessman, I never believed that either party had all the answers and, as mayor, I have seen just how true that is.
so what are those important issues and their solutions? he doesn't say. instead we get paragraphs like this:
More of the same won’t do, on the economy or any other issue. We need innovative ideas, bold action and courageous leadership. That’s not just empty rhetoric, and the idea that we have the ability to solve our toughest problems isn’t some pie-in-the-sky dream. In New York, working with leaders from both parties and mayors and governors from across the country, we’ve demonstrated that an independent approach really can produce progress on the most critical issues, including the economy, education, the environment, energy, infrastructure and crime.
actually, i think that is empty rhetoric. if words like "more of the same won't do" and "we need innovative ideas" aren't, i don't know what is.

bloomberg has managed to write an editorial about how we need to focus on tangible issues and solutions without mentioning a single tangible issue he thinks he can solve. i realize that the candidates, particularly obama, have developed the reputation of being more about rhetoric than issues, but actually i think that this campaign has actually been more substantive than most, at least on the democratic side. both clinton and obama have stated their position on a whole lot of issues. both have released health plans, energy plans, plans for iraq, etc. all before the first primary vote was cast. usually, politicians seek to avoid being pinned down this much with a detailed agenda prior to an election.

compare the amount of detail on both the obama and clinton sites with this. the only thing that bloomberg seems to stand for is vague rhetoric about how we should have less vague rhetoric. if he really wants to raise real issues maybe he should spend more time raising issues and less time talking about how everyone should raise issues.