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Opening Arguments

Ho vs. Hum

The evil of two lessers:

Get ready for a "passionless presidential race," Robert Reich warned recently on salon.com. Liberals will support President Obama "without enthusiasm," conservatives will pull the lever for Romney only grudgingly, leaving the country "with two presidential candidates who don't inspire—at the very time in American history when Americans crave inspiration."

I don't usually look to Bill Clinton's former labor secretary when I need cheering up. But this time, he's done the trick.

A "passionless presidential race"? Good! It's dangerous when people get too inspired by presidential candidates. We're picking a constitutional officer here, not anointing a prophet.

I think there's a distinction to be made between "passionate" and "too inspired" that the writer misses. Certainly we can expect too much from candidates we're enthusiastic about  -- just look at the bitter disappointment of some liberals who thought Obama was The One. But I hate going to the polls being not that crazy about any of my choices. It's true, as has been said, that those who never expect anything are never disappointed, but it's a hell of a lousy way to run a country.