Okay, who’s fighting, what’s this fight over, and how do you define ‘winning’?

According to all sorts of big media, it’s all politics. A front-page article prominently featured in the Chicago Tribune a few days ago caught my attention, not because it was so different, but because it was so…emblematic. And frustrating. The headline was ‘Obama eyes modest steps on economy.’ But here’s the lede:

The employment picture is darkening and White House advisers worry privately that there is no elixir for jolting the economy in ways that could alter the dynamics of the election campaign.

There it is, plain and clear. The dark reality of high unemployment in America, the joblessness or underemployment of millions of men and women, affecting their well-being and their family’s, the pain of personal debt resulting from federal debt and the economic crisis that drove up prices and caused people to foreclose on their homes…is ultimately a campaign problem for an incumbent president seeking re-election.

It’s about Obama, alright. And it’s about other candidates for the office of president of the United States. But not because of how all this bad news hurts their campaigns. It’s about their accountability for what’s wrong in U.S. politics, from the top down, and who is exercising leadership, seeking wisdom, and accepting responsibility for leading America out of recession and away from the brink, to recovery that is possible with the right statesmenship.

‘Hope and change’. How shallow and hollow a campaign slogan that swept was.

So about that debt-limit fight…Here’s another article that leads with the language of political ‘outmaneuvering’ with warring strategies.

“A clever strategy it is: Do nothing …. ; Invite the Republicans to propose real debt reduction first; and when they do — voting for the Ryan budget and its now infamous and courageous Medicare reform — demagogue them to death,”…

“And then up the ante by demanding Republican agreement to tax increases. So: First you get the GOP to seize the left’s third rail by daring to lay a finger on entitlements. Then you demand the GOP seize the right’s third rail by violating its no-tax pledge. A full-spectrum electrocution. Brilliant.”

Not it’s not. It’s revolting.

This is insane. We’re watching closely. When a leader finally emerges from the pile, we will notice, by the sheer distinguishing strength of clarity and their sacrifice of self interest to the common good.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....