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The Washington Post‘s E.J. Dionne was right as rain when he wrote in his latest column that “What’s not being widely talked about [in this year’s midterm election campaign] is as important as what’s in the news.” Only he should have added that, at least when it comes to the “outsourcing of American jobs,” office-seekers still aren’t talking about the issues seriously. Indeed, the examples he cites of this subject’s treatment matter most for the political cynicism they expose.

The most prominent case of (unwitting) outsourcing-related hypocrisy mentioned by Dionne:  New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s claim to be a champion of turning foreign job creation by U.S. business into domestic job creation. Worse, her two-faced position is actually two (closely related) two-faced positions.

The first con job Shaheen is trying to pull involves blaming the migration of jobs overseas on “tax breaks for…companies that ship jobs overseas….” As should be clear by now, this popular meme is a fake. There are no such laws – or at least no such laws that expressly seek this goal. Politicians voicing this complaint are really talking about deductions for business expenses – which include any relocation.

In addition, even if offshoring-focused tax breaks did exist, the idea that they’ve been central to the story of American jobs’ exodus is simply idiotic. Are Shaheen and others like her saying that a high-income country like the United States can and should compete on the tax front with very low-income countries like China, which have been the recipients of so many of these jobs? That would be a heckuva novel stand for liberal Democrats.

Moreover, this tax-centric view ignores all the other international asymmetries responsible for job flight overseas – like foreign trade barriers and subsidies aimed at attracting jobs and production, currency manipulation, penny wages (whether caused by repression of unions, super-low overall cost levels, or some combination of the two), poorly enforced or nonexistent environmental and worker safety regulations, and national business models prioritizing production and exporting over consumption and importing.’

Which brings us to the second of Shaheen’s canards – her apparent determination to ignore the agreements and other U.S. trade policy decisions that inevitably plunge American workers into a no-win competition with their counterparts from countries practicing the above.

Why the blindspot? No doubt because Shaheen has a mixed voting record at best on trade policy. She’s supported expanding Buy American requirements for federally funded infrastructure projects. But she also voted for the recent, job-killing trade deals with Korea and Columbia, favored Russia’s admission into the World Trade Organization (not much of an offshoring engine, but wildly premature), and was MIA on the measure that would sanction currency manipulation by China and other countries.

Not that New Hampshire voters have much of a choice in this regard. Sen. Shaheen’s Republican opponent, Scott Brown, had an almost identical record during his brief tenure representing neighboring Massachusetts in the Senate. The one big exception: He supported the currency manipulation bill – which is noteworthy given the Republican Congressional leadership’s staunch opposition to this measure.

So a cheer and a half for Dionne for spotlighting the incredible lightness of Election 2014’s being.  But how can future campaigns get any better if even America’s supposed watchdog media can’t tell the Real McCoys from the phonies?