…but I certainly feel like I’ve been buried alive lately![youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wdnljEV7MP4]
Speaking, tangentially, of being careful what you wish for*, I’d totally understand if Obama was really close to just saying “screw y’all” and handing the nomination to Clinton. Hunter S. Thompson’s sentiment — paraprashing someone else, I believe — “In a democracy, people usually get the kind of government they deserve, and they deserve what they get.” has never felt truer than the past month or so. Thanks to the new job, I’ve successfully taken a break from the Democratic primary and avoided last night’s debate, but Andrew Sullivan’s on-the-fly take and IllDoctrine’s parody (above) confirmed that it was even worse than I expected it to be. Say what you want about Clinton’s “right” to continue her campaign, when your only hope is to carpet bomb your opponent and hope he doesn’t survive the assault, I’d say that’s akin to one’s First Amendment rights stopping at yelling “Fire!” in a movie theater.
I did squeeze in a little time to participate in The November 3rd Club‘s latest “Conversations” feature, Language and Symbolism in the 2008 Election, contributing a couple of snarky comments to the otherwise relatively (and somewhat surprisinly) non-partisan mix. I got my closing comment in after the deadline so I’ll offer it up here for the DVD extras:
This year’s Presidential election is itself a powerful symbol, one of a country on the verge of a massive generational shift. No matter which of these three multi-faceted symbols ultimately wins, each in their own way embodies a significant reconciliation with the past. The shifts Obama and Clinton represent are obvious, of course, but McCain, too, represents a shift, one more subtle and arguably more interesting. He is a complicated and often contradictory reminder of both the lessons we learned and those we didn’t in the 60s and 70s. From Civil Rights to the Vietnam War; from his voting against recognizing a holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. to his defiant support of the continuation of the war in Iraq; a President McCain would be a symbol of a country that has lost its way and refuses to stop and ask for directions. Also known as Rome, perhaps?
In the language of comic books and daytime soap operas, both of which this prolonged campaign has resembled at times, everything we think we know about ourselves and our fellow Americans will be forever changed by the end of the night on November 4th, 2008.
It wasn’t very long ago that I figured there was no way a Republican could win this November, but much like no one imagined the Mets would collapse the way they did last Fall, a McCain victory is not only no longer unfathomable, it is inching uncomfortably close to being likely.
*NOTE: I’ve moved the personal (non-political) stuff back over to Vox behind a Friends and Family filter as the new job is a bit higher profile than I’ve been in the past and I figure I should draw the line somewhere on the side of erring towards discretion. If you’re interested and I actually know you, sign up and add me to your neighborhood and I’ll reciprocate.