Three Biggest Myths of Election 2008

German observer deconstructs issues obsessing candidates
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2008 1:42 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., is surrounded by media as he arrives at a polling place to shake hands with poll workers and voters Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, in Columbia,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The riveting US election is beholden to three big story lines, each of which is a myth, writes Der Spiegel’s Gabor Steingart: Washington is broken, lobbyists have too much influence, and partisanship is evil. Candidates keep rehearsing those popular lines—and insisting they have the best bead on change—but none passes the laugh test.

In reality, "Washington is the most vital capital city in the West," Steingart says. The ascendancy of lobbyists, “the scapegoat of this election season,” represents real constituencies’ best shot of speaking to power. As to partisanship, checks and balances keep America working: The system "is arduous and often nerve-wracking, but it works."