Don't ask me what that photo means ... I just blew around my iPhoto for a while till something struck me.
The Democrats are staging the most fascinating electoral competition that I can remember. It seems like it has to go to the convention ... and the upside of that is that two electorally untested potential nominees will continue to strut their stuff in that long interlude in the ludicrous American Presidential process. Here's what's at issue: the difference between them in total votes yesterday is less the .04%! Something has to give, and nobody knows right now what it will be.
I watched both of their victory speeches. Hillary read her speech as if she had a cab waiting with the meter running. I saw no inflection ... nice writing, but no punches, no crescendos, no lead-ins. Meanwhile, the low-bore Dr. King method of Obama again revealed no content ... no policies, no slogans that pointed to policies. There were a bunch of, pardon me, black church ladies behind him ... mark my words, next time he has national TV coverage, his people will make for a more rainbow-like look.
I admit, like so many liberals, to having been a little longer on the fence that I prefer to admit. I have long felt that Obama would be more of a problem for presumptive 'publican McCain, but I also feel that Clinton in office would be tougher and more real. Last night's Obama performance seemed so canned, so coached, so performed that I was not moved. But coaching and performing are necessary, and it is hard to hold that against him.
A curiosity in California ... so many people sent in mailed ballots that this almost certainly helped Clinton. The move to Obama has occurred very recently, and those early voters gave up their ability to change their minds. On balance, I am against mail ballots ... I think it is a fundamental breach of the secret ballot, and it downplays the importance of campaigning and the march of events. But that ship has sailed ... like so many others in these late days of democracy.
And of course it means that John Edwards got something like 8% of the vote. My good friend LB has wanted me to say something about Edwards, and so what I have to say is hardly original ... Edwards was the policy conscience of the race. He is one who forced the other two to get a policy on health care, he was the one who injected the grave doubts that most Americans have about the "bipartisan" embrace of globalization. It is a shame that Edwards is gone from the campaign irrespective of whether or not he would have won. Imagine if he has the swing 10% of the votes at the convention! That is what politics is actually about ... using your advantages to press advantages beyond what you can command outright. Not the way this system works.
The demographics are very curious. Obama clearly is attracting young voters, and that is obviously a growth zone in which otherwise non-voters can be drawn into activity. He also, curiously, too white male Democrats. Meanwhile, Clinton is drawing Hispanics who have not shown an ability to impact national elections in the past, and she polls well among the old who definitely vote.
Obama is hardly as pure as he like to pretend, of course. My friend JG drew my attention to an old incident in San Francisco that still rankles. Obama attended a fundraiser in San Francisco on the specific proviso that he not be photographed with gay-marriage-mayor Newsom. His campaign denies it, but it is well-established. Of course, in 2004 the reactionaries in Illinois could have buried Obama with a pic of him and thin, neat and single Newsom. But where's the "hope" in that? Is that the new politics he speaks of? Yes, it rankles, but in the end I am not one to damn for one flaw, especially when the enemy makes Attila the Hun look like a compassionate progressive.
It all comes down to who can beat the bastards.
Toss-up. Yes, huzzah for the tossup.
Meanwhile, the 'publicans. It is so obvious that it is all about McCain. But only Toobin on CNN was willing to say that, to round laughter of the other "pundits." (Again this Bolger woman is a complete moron ... listen to her ... she says absolutely nothing. When she starts blathering, I switch back to ESPN and check the latest scores.) So a bunch of troglodytes in the airless reaches of the Southern states back the Byzantine Huckabee ... the man doesn't believe in evolution, for crying out loud. And Romney is a phony ... phony phony phony ... the fact the 20-something percent of the people who still think that dubya is doing a good job decide to vote for him has no more significance than the fact that a dead skunk smells worse than a live one.
The most laughable part of the 'publican race is the notion that McCain is not a conservative ... good grief ... the man is a reactionary in absolutely any place on the face of the planet except the darker regions of Alabama or Rush Limbaugh's decidedly puny mind. He would be a disaster of a president, lamely pursuing failure on the grounds that "it's my turn" and "I deserve it."
The media slobber on Republicans like a brain-damaged poodle begging mistress for another crumb. Huckabee was all over the place parsing the relative conservativeness of his opponents. Chris Matthews, grinnin like a fool, listened as Huckabee stated that Americans wanted a president who told them the truth ... that Americans can take bad news as long as they are being told the truth. Ummm ... Huckabee's man, now in the White House, is the most mendacious president in history. Why doesn't Matthews quote the recent 935-lies report about Iraq to Huckabee and ask what he thinks about that? No way ... too journalistic. He just grins some more, congratulates him on his hollow victory and wishes him well. Everyone seems to be fantasizing about Huckabee the VP. Makes rational people want to retch.
Both Clinton and Obama at least made some oblique reference to global warming last night. The only warming in McCain is in his carotid artery.
I don't know why, but check this out if you have a taste for the obscure and the bizarre. 'nuff sed.
Photo by Arod of some sort of ad in a salon window ... I cannot remember if they are selling skin product or hair product, but what the hell does it matter, really.