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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FOLLOW THE MONEY

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And right now, a longtime friend of Mother Jones has pledged an incredibly generous gift to inspire—and double—giving from online readers. That's huge! Because you can see that our fall fundraising drive is well behind the $325,000 we need to raise. So if you agree that in-depth, fiercely independent journalism matters right now, please support our work and help us raise the money it takes to keep Mother Jones charging hard. Your gift, and all online donations up $94,000 total, will be matched and go twice as far—but only until the November 9 deadline.

$400,000 to go: Please help us pick up the pace!

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