beyond binders full of women

I did not watch the most recent presidential debates.  i do experience some relief that it appears Obama performed better than last time.  More what i experience is a certain type of amazement at what passes for politics in the US now.  At one point when asked about about his role in advancing women, Romney made a silly remark about have sought out so many candidates from prominent women;s groups that they had “binders full of women” to search through to fill top jobs as governor of Massachusetts.  Salon quickly unveiled that  this claim was untrue on several levels.

  1. Romeny did not seek out prominent groups, they sought him out
  2. The number of women in top jobs in his cabinet shrank compared to the previous governor
  3. The jobs that women leaders were given we not in priority areas in his cabinet
  4. During the Bain years of the 80s and 90s Romney had no women in top spots

The internet went wild with images like this one

So at this point, people who are paying somewhat close attention to the campaign know that lying is not especially new to the Romney campaign.  And i do have to confess i was pleased to see that the fact by fact analysis of the NY Times of the debate showed the while Obama occasionally exadurated or cherry picked facts, his instances of outright lying were dwarfed by Romney’s

But what really amazed me was over 350K people had liked the Facebook page “Binders full of women” in least than 24 hours since its launch and three competing tumblr accounts had been set up.  To their credit the FB page is actually mostly s serious critique of Romney’s terrible policies and record on women.  But this election is like no other in my memory, where a simple stupid phrase can take on a significant internet life of it’s own.  We should almost certainly be doing more useful things with our time.