Monday, August 25, 2008

It's Classic Coke in New Coke's Can

Here are some thoughts:
  • Obama/Biden, unless something dramatically happens in their term, will be a return to the status quo. Excepting some high profile policy changes - new executive orders on abortion and contraception for federal program recipients, maybe getting the hell out of Iraq, more emphasis on middle-class well-being - nothing will radically change. From Hunter Thompson:
    I had been without sleep for two or three days at the time, and my temper was close to the surface. Beyond that, I had spent the past five or six days brooding angrily over the list of vice-presidential possibilities that McGovern had floated in the New York Times several days before the convention even started. I recall telling Mankiewicz in the coffee shop on Friday night that I had never seen so many bums and hacks listed in a single paragraph in any publication for any reason. . . .

    But Frank assured me that my wrath was premature. "Don't worry," he said. "I think you'll be pleasantly surprised." . . .

    So there was nothing personal in my loud objections to Eagleton a week later. It struck me as a cheap and unnecessary concession to the pieced-off ward-heeler syndrome that McGovern had been fighting all along.

    Tom Eagleton was exactly the kind of VP candidate that Muskie or Humphrey would have chosen: a harmless, Catholic, neo-liberal Rotarian nebbish from one of the border states who presumably wouldn't make any waves.

    The only difference is that we're sure Biden isn't hiding electroshock treatments in his closet.

  • The status quo will be something that looks remarkably similar to the Clinton/Gore years with some remnants of Bush/Cheney - the security state will stay in place, and we will still have rendition and Camp X-Ray in Guantanamo (until the other prisons in Saudi Arabia are built). Blowjobs and interns better damn well not return to the national consciousness.
  • The unitary executive theory will remain in place and Congress will continue to rubber stamp it's approval. (h/t to the Home Base)We have seen it in full flower during Bush, but it was developed under Reagan & Bush and continued under Clinton. It may be slightly curtailed, again as part of the high visibility 'change of the administration', but the substantive functions of the modern security state will remain in place.
Ever since it became clear that Obama would be the likely nominee, the political establishment has been demanding of him more and more proof that his "change" rhetoric is just that -- rhetoric, and not anything meant as a genuine threat to the prevailing order of things. Obama, arguably out of political necessity, has repeatedly obliged, eagerly trying to offer proof that he is no threat to them, and the Biden selection is but the latest step in that campaign of reassurance. In sum, Biden is a reliable supporter of virtually every prevailing bit of conventional wisdom within the American elite political consensus, which is why his selection has been widely praised by the establishment, whose principal concern is that their fiefdom not be disrupted and that their consensus not be challenged.

  • The liberal and progressive blogs for the next 3 months are going to be battlegrounds against not only the Republican slime running for office and their enabling minions, but also against the bloggers who continue to push for better than what the establishment wants to give us.
  • And Democrats will do nothing but fight between the liberal and moderate factions, insuring a 2010 election fight where Republicans will have the advantage.

If I strike some as overly pessimistic, it's because I don't want my idealism tempering to bland idiocy my support for the Democrats - something with which I fear in all of us during the general election.


iamcoyote said...

I thought politico was a right wing site. Why is everyone quoting them these days?

idiosynchronic said...

I did use the politico entry as an example of enabling the right-wing slime.

iamcoyote said...

Yeah, I saw that, but I've seen a lot of lefties linking to stories there, so I wondered if something had changed.

Anyhow, nice post, it's pretty much what I expected with a Clinton nom, and as you know, I was railing against Obama's change shit long before the bots figured out that we were right about him. Still, water under the bridge. Maybe the close race will indicate that Obama needs to decide what change really means. Not likely, but I've always been a dreamer. Must be the booze.

idiosynchronic said...

I need to talk to my sister sometime - she's one of those independents whom certainly is a Democrat-but-not-in-name, and this is the first election where she's made the decision not to be ambivalent or pessimistic. She went whole hog in supporting Obama and certainly convinced me that maybe the candidate had tapped something special. Something that might curb or force the candidate who was certainly moderate into something more progressively desirable. So far, that's been a big 'Up Yours, Hippie'.

iamcoyote said...

I must say, Michele's speech was pretty dang good, and those girls really are adorable.

snark said...

I guess he could have picked Feingold and...ya know...not got elected.

I'm not quite sure what to make of all the hand wringing.

Just remind yourself. There are 300 million people in the country. Assuming that most of them think the same things you do is...oh, I don't know the correct word...but you get it.

For those who didn't get caught up in the whole "change" schtick I guess it's a bit easier to swallow now.

snark said...

And I agree, Michelle Obama presented herself wonderfully tonight. Anyone who found her to be anything other than a genuinelly intelligent thoughtful and loving daughter, wife and mother has serious issues.

idiosynchronic said...

Snark - it's not about assuming that everyone shares my opinion, or selecting what you qualify as a non-electable ticket. It's about a real belief in justice and supporting candidates that feel the same way. I expect to usually get the crap kicked out of most of the candidates I like.

If you want to talk about my arrogance, lets talk about your condescending attitude.

And why don't you actually look at the subject of the post and tell me why my thoughts aren't acceptable, particularly in view of how several of us have felt about Obama's real positions prior to and during his run vs. his rhetoric? And not to mention 40+ years of Democratic Party personalities replaying similar scenarios.

snark said...

If you want to talk about my arrogance, lets talk about your condescending attitude.

Arrogance? Your description. Not mine.

And I didn't say anything about your thoughts being unacceptable.

...particularly in view of how several of us have felt about Obama's real positions prior to and during his run vs. his rhetoric? And not to mention 40+ years of Democratic Party personalities replaying similar scenarios.

The Democratic primary voters got what they wanted. They could have had a Kucinich. They chose Obama.

It's like a ping pong match going on. On one end is "we need to get a Democrat elected, so shut up and support Obama" and on the other end is "Damn, this Obama guy is just more of the status quo".

If you feel that strongly about it hold out for the candidate you can believe in (sorry to use that tired believe crap). Don't support Obama. Support independent or third party candidates. Obama knows presidents get elected from the center. Anyone who gets to where he is knows that. Maybe the center just isn't where some people think it is.