The presidential campaign has become, almost by accident, a debate about the future of capitalism. What it is not yet, and may not become, is an honest, intelligent, or productive debate.
Perhaps one should not expect more, given that the debate was set off by cheap shots and a gaffe. Both were President Obama’s, and they dominated the political conversation of mid-July. The president has been hammering Mitt Romney for enriching himself by immiserating other Americans: closing plants, laying people off, sending jobs overseas, all while putting his own money in a Swiss bank account. The Obama campaign is demanding that Romney release more tax returns, and suggesting that his refusal to do so means they would reveal something nefarious.