Every four years, the Democratic Party goes through an ever-more-complicated regimen of primaries and caucuses, with one goal in mind: to winnow out of a large field of able candidates the single least electable one, and proceed to nominate them for President.1 This doesn't always work: sometimes the GOP has been so bad that a Dem gets in anyway (e.g., Bill Clinton) -- but more usually it's Walter Mondale, Michael Dukakis, John Kerry, and so forth. Anyway, that field has come down to the two I predicted thirteen months ago:
...and while I'm a fan of neither (though Senator Clinton sure looks better when you see who hates her, much as the impeachment made Bill more popular), I thought you guys might enjoy a quick nod at reality before the game is over. Here it be.
I've long realized that most people are hearing a different speech from Senator Obama than I am. He's a fine speaker, particularly (and maybe not coincidentally?) when Ted Sorensen was hanging around with him, but -- putting it charitably2 -- I don't believe most Dems are paying sufficient attention to what he's actually saying, in his occasional descents from glittering generalities to some few specifics. To take just the most prominent example: he promises that he's a better candidate because instead of the hateful, strife-filled politics of the past, he'll bring a new spirit of across-the-aisle cooperation.
Now, given that it wasn't Democrats spearheading such slash-and-burn partisanship -- ever, but especially in the last several decades -- there are only two ways this promise can be kept. Either, (a) Senator Obama plans to put something in the water to get the GOP to give up its policies, beliefs, general competitiveness, partisanship, and what have you; or (b) Senator Obama plans, on behalf of the Democratic Party, at a time when the public is leaning toward some Democratic solutions3, to compromise Democratic positions in favor of the GOP preferences, wherever he can. I mean, it's pretty obvious when you think about it.
Want some evidence of which it is? Go here for Obama's record:
Look, I don't disagree with all his positions myself...and in any case, I was an Edwards man, hence have no horse left in this race; and federal judges being so crucial, I'll doubtless vote for the Democrat, whomever it proves to be. But well, y'know, a word to the wise 'n' all; "footnotes for philosophers," as it were. :D
93 93/93 -- AJ
1. The Republican process is exactly the opposite. They know that most folks don't want most of what they're selling, so they have to find someone electable...even if, as this time, they don't much like him.
2. This is the polite version of this post, btw, which began as an annoyed lampoon of both "Barrage Odrama" and "Chillary Flinton." Quick excerpt:
ODRAMA: "Some people seem to feel...that you folks are, uhh, hypnotized. Are you hypnotized?"
12000 PEOPLE, SHOUTING IN UNISON: "NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"
ODRAMA: "So you can still, uhh, think for yourselves?"
12000 PEOPLE, SHOUTING IN UNISON: "YES, WE CAN! YES, WE CAN! YES, WE CAN!!!"
You get the idea. Anyway, cooler reflection prevailed. ;) Peace to all beings.
3. The conspiracy-minded might wonder at the fantastically-swift course Sen. Obama has had: into the U.S. Senate virtually without opposition, then immediately into the Presidential race. True, 90% of his donors are small donors, but 50% of his actual money comes from the other 10% (les chats grands). Some who favor tinfoil hats might suggest that the GOP belatedly realized that the current President had so screwed up, well, everything -- so harmed the GOP "brand" -- that even Sen. Clinton might prove electable. Voila: a Democrat who vows to "end partisan bickering" and thereby give the GOP much of what it wants without a fight.