Have you ever actually read one of those spammy, scammy, Nigerian-prince-inheritance, I-have-such-a-great-deal-for-you junk emails? Here's what's funny about them: they're now preying upon your mistrust of said spammy, scammy emails in order to get you to trust them. I received one this morning, and I had to laugh at the attempt. It's not so funny when guys running for President of the United States try to pull the same gambit.
It is hardly a stretch to consider that the greatest danger to Barack Obama's re-election prospects has never been the quality of his opposition. Sure, one could take away from the first presidential debate that if Mitt Romney yells a lot at the moderator, the lies escaping his lips don't matter, given how the polls went a bit nuts over the past week. So what to make of it?
The President's greatest enemy is mistrust, and Republicans know it. If there is one thing we can believe about our politics, it's that Americans don't trust a damned thing. The politicians themselves, the policies they propose, the banks they rescue, the laws they pass -- it's all either up for debate, or simply dismissed. They know that given the records of George W. Bush and the recently departed Congressional session which they sat on, they don't have much to run on. The plans Romney and his running mate have for the economy are apparently not worthy of our eyes until we send them to the White House.
So Republicans aren't so much asking America to trust them as they are attempting to have us embrace the mistrust. Romney's best hope is to sow in each voter a lack of faith in what President Obama has done, and even who he is.
In her opening discussion, Melissa will ask today whether anyone actually cares about the truth anymore. Given what's happening in Florida before the election, it's worth asking; we'll get into that, too. Melissa will also spotlight a young hero targeted by the Taliban for having the audacity to help her classmates get an education -- given that this Mental Illness Awareness Week, we'll take a look at living with mental illness, and take a look at the most recent (and unfortunate) developments with one of the most visible sufferers in our politics, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. of Illinois. And be sure to stay tuned for a Footnote that will preview Tuesday's presidential debate in a way no one else will.
Our guests include:
- Danielle Belton, editor-at-large at Clutch Magazine, writer for BET's "Don't Sleep!", and creator of the blog The Black Snob.
- Diana Furchtgott-Roth, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and author of "Regulating to Disaster."
- Rula Jebreal, foreign policy analyst for Newsweek, and an msnbc contributor.
- Jason Johnson, political science professor at Hiram College, chief political correspondent for Politic365.com, and politics editor for The Source magazine.
- Jonathan Metzl, author of "Protest Psychosis;" director, Program in Medicine, Health, and Society, and professor of psychiatry at Vanderbilt University.
- Gihan Perera, executive director of Florida New Majority.
- Joy Reid, managing editor of theGrio.com, and an msnbc contributor.
- Bill Schneider, distinguished senior fellow and resident scholar at Third Way.
As always, folks -- be sure to interact with us during the show here in the comments of this post, on Facebook, and on Twitter, using the hashtag #nerdland. We look forward to having you join us at 10am ET on msnbc!