It is too bad -- for reasons abutting freedom, personal responsibility and, yes, the endlessness of presidential campaigns. If the president of the United States has become the most important guy in every room he inhabits, it figures that to get there -- to rule the whole American roost -- a certain kind of person puts aside scruples about constant exposure to the public eye, daily life in motels and hotels, etc. Some do so, one presumes, from love of country or sense of duty. The voter's task is sorting out which hounds these are amid the great yapping pack.
Is government too big and pervasive? It sure looks that way when you consider the excesses attendant on trying to grab government by the reins and slow the runaway horses. You get -- well -- the 2011-12 presidential campaign. You get endless polls, bumper-sticker philosophy, sound-bite debates -- and breathless stories about who did what and with whom years and years ago. The latter are the stories that actually matter, as Herman Cain has come to find out, when it comes to picking which candidate we want to run our lives for four years.
Again, is government too big and pervasive? A question of that order would seem to matter more, in the great scheme of things, than the hardly insignificant question of how Herman Cain conducted himself at the National Restaurant Association.
The endless campaign is part, and hardly the meanest part, of our long acquiescence in the government boom -- the steady, sometimes heady, handover of decisions and competencies to the control of people promising to do "more" for us.