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By Michael J. Smith on Tuesday May 20, 2008 06:44 PM

At my age, sacrificing seven months of what life I have left is a big deal, but I might almost do it, just to have the coronation -- erm, I mean election -- over with, Barack in the formerly-white house, and something fun to write about again. This much-ado-about-nothing campaign season -- really, it's tedious enough to rouse thoughts of cutting one's own throat. I certainly can't read The Note again for quite some time, or who can say what impulsive act might ensue?

Shall we try a parlor game or two?

What sort of Congress will Barack have? Will his coattails prove broad, and will he get a nice Democratic congress? Or will people hedge their bets, and split their tickets, and saddle Barack with a narrow, flakey mini-majority controlled by those dear darling highly characteristic Democratic aisle-crossers -- Joe Lieberman, of course, being the type specimen?

Will it make a difference?

How many troops will still be in Iraq as the 2010 midterms start to heat up? What about Afghanistan? How will people feel about that?

How will their jobs be? Wages up, unemployment down? If not -- how angry will they be?

What will it take to get them back to reality?

I happened to be talking today with a very intelligent woman who was ready to bolt the Democratic Party -- "Hillary Clinton! She's the Antichrist!", as she put it. NAFTA and the Iraq war were her two big issues.

But then -- along came Barack, and she's a believer again.

I asked her what it would take, down the road a year or two, before she might start to feel she'd been schnookered. "Say it's two years from now -- May 2010 -- and there's still troops in Iraq. Can I call you then and gloat? Or will it take more than that?"

She paused -- a short pause; she's a smart girl -- and then responded with Obama-like evasive grace, "I'd have to look at the whole situation."

This is what the Obamas do. They coax people back in.

Another reason to prefer Hillary -- who drives them out.

Comments (15)

I think Obama will go down in defeat rather convincingly but congress will be a slam dunk for the Dems.

I certainly think there are some definite advantages to a Rep like McCain with a Democratic dominated congress. The Dems would have much more testicular fortitude that is a pro corporate, centrist Dem was in charge.

Last night several solidly Democratic counties - went for Clinton, Clinton, Gore, Kerry)only gave Obama 10% of the vote. This does not seem good. Its the he does well with Dems in Republican strongholds, but not Democratic ones. He did great in WI, but now polls are showing it will go McCain.

Tim D:

For some reason, I have the feeling that the Republicans will turn out at the polls for McCain. They might also lose a lot of votes to Bob Barr, who's running as a Libertarian this year. But who knows, the Democrats might once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory - they certainly don't deserve to win though...

If Obama loses, imagine the DP's official conclusion! We'll need to convert this site into "Stop Me Before I Even Think Any More About Stopping Myself from Voting Again." Orthrus will feel licensed to lick his privates with renewed vigor and blame the liberals and darkies for those sacred nads getting kicked, despite the fact that they were never so much as grazed.

And did you catch the Klinton's latest "moments of gender bias" thing?

Wow! What a train wreck...


too soon to call

politics is never a pure play

'08 not '28
--sub burnt cork
for dipped wafer---

then the economy was booming
the nation at peace

and besides
herbie looked
custom made for the highest office

and sure
ob's was brought up white

but in the land of personal liberty
skin will be skin


"it's two years from now -- May 2010 -- and there's still troops in Iraq"

if we
post bushco
cut a condo deal with iran ...

like the de facto one
on the burner now in lebanon ....

maybe all uncle hegemonic will need
unlimited fly over rights
pipe line sanctity
and bases
in kuwait and kurdistan

Hee hee. Speaking of which, some of you must remember when Stan aka "Not An American" was posting here, right ? Check out his conversion speech. It's a three-hankie winner, as Smithee might say:


Nicholas Hart:

Here's an interesting take on Obama. Readers of this blog mostly agree that the Democrats ain't gonna do shit unless an organized mass movement forces them. One effect the Obama campaign is having is that it is raising people's expectations (perhaps for the first time in a long time). If Obama doesn't deliver on those expectations (which is all but guaranteed) then it could lead to a backlash and boost organizing among activists and regular people seeking change.

Obama himself even acknowledged the role that outside movements play in forcing change from the government:

"I believe change does not happen from the top down. It happens from the bottom up. Dr. King understood that. It was those women who were willing to walk instead of ride the bus, union workers who are willing to take on violence and intimidation to get the right to organize. It was women who decided, "I'm as smart as my husband. I'd better get the right to vote."... Arguing, mobilizing, agitating and ultimately forcing elected officials to be accountable--I think that's the key."

Still, the "Democratic" party is an ever-present danger. It is the graveyard of social movements, and if a resurgence in activism does lead to some genuine progress we must guard against the party co-opting and defusing the very movements we need to keep pushing for change.

Al Schumann:

Ms. Xeno, it's an unwritten rule that conversion epiphanies must be drenched in marketing treacle and concluded with a puerile admonition to deny satisfaction to The Man. It should come as no surprise that their authors often go on to ghost-write bodice rippers.

Yes, Uncle Schumann. I am in fact torn between rapt admiration at his ability to craft bad poetry (even after willingly severing in his own head) and a certain melancholy to see this sort of thing happen to somebody who was, for a time, one of our own here.

Our lives defy simplicity, I suppose.

Al Schumann:

Ms. Xeno, in a perverse and possibly ghoulish way, I'm happy for him. He's found a writing style and subject matter that may turn out to have a broader appeal. That can be very important to people who have thanklessly honed their talents and gifts for many years. All that effort, and for what? Life amongst malcontents offers few chances for honors and even fewer chances for honorariums. You can't eat camaraderie. Oh, the humanity!

He'll be much happier now. Granted, he's churning out truly regrettable stuff, but as Owen's mentor Abbadabba Berman used to say, "Nothing personal, it is just business."

Here's a real question: Who are these "new voters" the Obsters (no offense to our own OPsters) keep mentioning? They keep calling them "young." Does that mean they're just college kids who are bothering to get aboard the delusion pipe a few years early, or is there some dipping down into the bottom half happening? I assume the former and not the latter, but I'm too jaded to go investigate for myself. Anybody already know?

Strikes me as mildly relevant to assessing the Stan jive.

Al Schumann:

I'm skeptical of the new voters and backlash tropes. Going by the track record of such things, the disappointed don't become disillusioned. They seek another consumer-oriented political harvesting group, like Move On or the Progressive Democrats of America. When they feel let down by them, there's always another gaggle of gate-crashers cropping up.


I read Stan's piece with interest -- thanks, Ms X -- and was particularly struck, for some reason, by the phrase "disillusioned moderates." That's a little hard to unpack. Does it mean people who were disillusioned with moderation, but now, thanks to Obama, are believers again?

Stan may have spoken more truly than he knew.

...All that effort, and for what? Life amongst malcontents offers few chances for honors and even fewer chances for honorariums. You can't eat camaraderie...

You know, Uncle Schumann, now that ya' mention it, the Nader T-Shirts haven't been flying out the door as fast as I'd like;And it took me WEEKS, weeks I say, to get the graphics just right. Obama headquarters is just about a dozen blocks from here. You think maybe he and I could...

[cue the falling coins a la' Pink Floyd]

...Does it mean people who were disillusioned with moderation, but now, thanks to Obama, are believers again?...

Honestly, MJS, I have no fucking idea. All I can think of nowadays trying to talk the man is a beloved line from a net buddy elsewhere whom I haven't "seen" in years: This is like trying to nail jello [the substance, not the artist] to a wall.


"Our lives defy simplicity, I suppose "

nice touch to that

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