A thought experiment: a sitting president, running for re-election, faces the following things -- high unemployment, foreign embassies under attack, a military disaster in Afghanistan, and looming national bankruptcy. Now, imagine that president is a Republican.
What do you think the front pages of every newspaper would be drumbeating? What would the press be talking about?
Libya, Afghanistan, entitlements -- all are enough for days of discussion about the president's problems. But much of the political conversation, among Republican insiders as well as in news reporting, has focused on Romney's difficulties.
Some conservative critics say Romney has been too vague about his economic proposals. Some say he has muzzled Ryan, failing to take advantage of his running mate's impressive mastery of the federal budget. Some say he has fallen short of the standard set 30 years ago by Ronald Reagan.
There's no doubt Romney has made mistakes in the past few weeks. And there's no doubt some GOP insiders are nearing a state of panic about his chances of becoming president. But what about the other guy, the guy who actually is president? There's a lot going on there that Republicans, and journalists too, might want to talk about.
If the press won't cover this stuff, we need to. I'll say it: we need some Swift Boat-style media, and we need it soon. Yesterday, in fact.