Monday, December 29, 2008

The Political Question

I was prompted to this thought by an email from a friend who sent me a link to a Joan Walsh piece on Salon. Walsh is more right than wrong in the article, though she misses (or deliberately overlooks) the use of institutional power within the Democratic Party to bring about the desired nomination outcome.

However, the big political question is not being asked, let alone answered, and that is why did Obama end up running for the presidency not against John McCain but against Sarah Palin?

I'm going to continue my blogging hiatus a little while longer, but that question has been nagging me since September.


1 comment:

R. S. Martin said...

I'm not of the opinion that Obama was running against Palin in the minds of most people. I think swing voters were voting against continued GOP rule. That's reflected in the Senate totals. The majority party invariably tops out at 56 seats. This time, the Democratic caucus may hit 59 members.

The notion of Obama vs. Palin more reflects how the media narrative of the election reads. The press is happiest when they have someone to belittle. McCain lost his media-darling status to Obama, but enough of it remained that the press didn't feel comfortable mocking him. The national press are, by and large, a bunch of northeastern snobs who look down on everyone outside their clique. Palin's candidacy was, given her working-class boonie background, like throwing a palette full of red meat at a pack of starving wolves.

As for Walsh's overlooking the rigging of the primary process, well, I can be generous or I can be mean. The generous view is that the stakes are too high for an Obama presidency to fail. Bringing that up can seem petty under the circumstances. The thinking is probably that if Hillary can put the primary season swindles behind her, the rest of us should, too.

The mean view is that Walsh is a member in good standing of the national media elite and she wants to keep it that way. She's out on enough of a limb as it is.

I'm inclined to believe the former.