"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”

Pericles



Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin' in Comparison

Twelve hours ago, after a Mile High acceptance speech, the chattering classes were awestruck.

This morning, they're simply dumbstruck.

Sarah Palin? Really?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moving Goalposts Arrive in Denver

I realize now that those shifting goalposts from the primary season may have been much more media-created than I previously understood.

Last night I was impressed by Hillary's speech after having been firmly ensconced in the ABC (Anybody But Clinton) Camp throughout the primaries. This morning, I found myself amazed, enraged and ashamed by how the media is pushing the PUMA-driven "Clintonistas are bitter" storyline so aggressively.

I'm exhausted by the media's relentless handwringing (and schizophrenic) chorus.

First, they told us, "Michelle must define herself and allow voters to become comfortable with her family"
initial reviews: CHECK
"Good job. But where was the red meat?" Is there any rational human (other than those who receive the RNC's daily talking points email) who believes the image of an angry, on-the-attack Mrs. Obama would have endeared her to undecided voters?

Next they turned their obsession to Hillary's Herculean task. "How can Hillary pivot and transfer the support of her 18-million strong army to become part of Barack's Battalion? Will she look genuine? Or will she come off as readying her 2012 bid?"
initial reviews: missions accomplished!
Well, she was good - maybe her best speech ever, in fact. But, wait, come to think of it, you know she forgot to mention whether or not she now feels Obama is ready to receive that 3 AM call. And, look, here's an angry white woman who still seems dissatisfied that the system robbed Hillary. Cleary, she left some work undone.

Where are all the critiques of the Bush/Cheney administration? Why haven't they hung that 24% approval rating around McCain's neck? They're missing their opportunity! Is this Kerry '04 redux? When will the Democrats learn politics is a contact sport? All the time they're saying this, speaker after speaker is on the podium denouncing Bush, McCain and failed Republican policies.

The media opts to air more of themselves bloviating about the real issue before voters: Bill Clinton feels dissed by the upstart and aloof Barack Obama.

So, today we're treated to "What will Bill say? And, what will he look like while he's saying it? Will he look like he's passing a kidney stone? Will he wag his finger? Even more importantly, what will he be thinking when he says it?

Thankfully, we have Dr. Maureen Dowd to help us with that analysis.

Oh, and by the way, Obama speaking in front of 75,000 people - that just reinforces this celebrity thing dontcha think? Politicians should be serious and not really popular. American leaders should be plodding and boring - not inspirational. Maybe if he had spent time in a POW camp, he would understand how unwise it is to make the most important speech of his lifetime in such a public venue.

The inevitable result is an unwinnable situation where Democrats are confronted by an endgame with bogus goalposts, impossible Catch-22s created by morning after psychologists and manufactured drama driven by a minority who are desperate for their fifteen seconds of fame (yes, in the youtube era, Warhol's prediction has been truncated into nothing more than a sound bite).

I've taken to watching the convention on CSPAN, where there is no bloviating media telling me what to think. I'm hoping Barack and Plouffe have made a similar decision.

UPDATE 3:26, 8/26/08: The Boston Globe's editors share my affinity for CSPAN's convention coverage.