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Do Romney and Obama live in “Homeland”?

While the candidates talk tough on al-Qaida and Iran's imaginary bomb, the real threats facing us go ignored

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So what you do is, you say, you move things along the best way you can. You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem … and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.

Statesmanship in action! You can just feel the raw, Ronald Reagan masculinity oozing out of the guy, can’t you? Still, Romney was actually being truthful for once, and Democrats don’t get to claim with a straight face that Obama has any better ideas. He’ll make some more boring speeches about the importance of tough negotiations, have a few more tense photo-ops with Bibi Netanyahu and gratefully hand the whole thing off to Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie or whoever takes over in 2017. Faced with the dreary, unsolvable dilemmas that make America look second-rate, ineffective and mildly psychotic, who can blame the candidates for luring us into a fictional alternate universe? At least there, we can be pretty sure that the buff, blue-eyed Muslim terrorist and the cute, nutcase CIA renegade will soon find a way to work through their issues, most likely in a darkened room.

 

Andrew O'Hehir is a senior writer for Salon.