Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Or is it Obama-Haybama-Bama-Bama-O?
Well, no, it's a toss up, and the struggle for Dem delegates goes on. The situation parallels 1968, though the mood of the country is quite different, the zeitgeist as it were, on another level altogether.
McCarthy was eclipsed when RFK got into the primary race in 1968. Nixon just plugged along. The nomination would have been RFK's -- almost by acclaimation -- if he had lived, but his victory in the California primary in June (imagine that), which sealed the nomination for him, ended with his assassination. By a Palestinian. Keep that in mind.
Humphrey, who had been the Establishment candidate all along, became the presumptive nominee, what other choice was there? McCarthy of course, but that was not to be.
The Democratic Convention disturbances (to put it mildly) were captured well in the film "Medium Cool" -- along with a strong element of general media criticism, in a highly melodramatic storyline, but what the hey? The struggles outside and inside the convention typified the struggles in the nation as a whole. The whole Progressive infrastructure was under assault, and the Powers That Be proclaimed the Perpetuity of the Status Quo. Crushing the student rebellion was only part of it. Humphrey was sincere and dull and hardly a leader. He was an apparatchik, a decent one to be sure, but less charismatic than a turnip, and determined to soldier on with Lyndon Johnson's by then more and more suspect policies, especially the war policies in Vietnam.
Nixon promised something else again. Just what, nobody knew, but it wasn't more of the same damned thing that had got so many Americans up in arms that year -- and there were many, many Americans up in arms. The riots and destruction following Martin Luther King's assassination combined with the horror of RFK's assassination, combined with the monstrousness of Vietnam, and the constant student unrest, the Dirty Fucking Hippies, the gloating and self-satisfaction of the Communist Devils, all made Nixon's promises to "change" things that much more appealing. Who wanted to stay with the Status Quo? In fact, there was no way.
So Nixon won in 1968.
And there is a real underlying fear that something like that, ie: St. McCain's ultimate Victory, will happen this year. There's plenty of worry for the Redemptionist candidate's safety, too. Given what tends to happen to such candidates in our highly charged political culture.
But is Hillary really the Status Quo? Obama says she is, and it's the widely held assumption that she is, and that comforts a lot of people, surprisingly enough. She is not so different that she threatens as many people as Obama does, and yet Obama has a huge appeal on his Platform of Redemption, one that resonates far more than Hillary's endless wonkiness.
McCain, of course, is just a loon. Dude is wack. He's always been the media's darling though, even more than his butt-buddy Holy Joe Lieberman, and in a contest between Hillary and McCain, we know who would be favored and who would be smeared by the media. In a contest between Obama and McCain, it's not so clear, because Obama too is heavily favored in media-land. Yet if the R slime machine found something to smear Obama with -- something new, that is -- we can be sure it would be highlighted and paraded around endlessly by the media, whereas nothing of the sort would be attempted with any bad info regarding McCain.
If there were an attack or an assassination after the nominees are chosen, then it's highly likely McCain -- as the Strong (Grand)Daddy -- would just be given the Presidency outright, who needs an "election" anyway?
Sometimes I get myself so worked up over it I just want to crawl under the covers.
Other times, I have a slim, wan hope that things will get better, history does not repeat, and Tomorrow is Another Day.