Creative Destruction

February 2, 2008

Making History

Filed under: Current Events,Election 2008,Politics — Brutus @ 12:42 am

There is a curious and growing sense that the 2008 presidential race (and the leadership of the free world that follows therefrom) is the Democrats’ to lose, and considering that the two dominant candidates are a woman on one hand and a black man on the other, the U.S. electorate is in a unique position to make history in either eventual result: we will elect a woman or a black man as president — the first in U.S. history — and establish a new political era. Obviously (or maybe not so), this is a distraction from the real issues of American politics, but that putatively history-making event has nonetheless helped erode our self-determination to the pointless and ephemeral issue of electability over governance. As a result, and in a very real sense, we deserve what we get.

Super Tuesday approaches (a catchy if not stupid and reductionist characterization), and yet we many participate blindly in this awful charade that our votes will have some meaningful impact on the outcome: the selection of a candidate for one party or the other. On the Democratic side (I’m unfamiliar with the Republican side), I’ve been chagrined to learn that delegates and candidates both have agreed to set aside a number of states and refuse to campaign and/or award delegates. I’m too much a novice in electoral politics to understand why, for instance, Michigan and Florida shouldn’t matter, so I remain politically naive and ineffectual. Perhaps someone more expert in the nuances of running a campaign within the vagaries of party politics can explain it to me. Failing that, I recognize my participation in the process as a meaningless drop in a flow that has been prefigured by forces with much more to gain or lose than can possibly be left to the whims of the electorate.

So we will make history of a sort. Big deal. I feel confident that none of the “electable” candidates present a prospect for meaningful change. My cynicism runs so deep that no incremental change or adoption of new window dressing is worth more than a moment’s contemplation. The purposeful candidates — those who propose real, substantive change from politics as usual, which is to say, the politics bought and paid for by the highest paying private interests — have already been winnowed from the contest.

But I empathize still with the winning candidate, Democrat or Republican. He or she will inherit such an awful mess — militarily, economically, and culturally — that no brief period of recovery and prosperity is possible to contemplate. We’ve dug for ourselves as Americans a sizable hole from which to extricate ourselves, and it may take generations (or more) to restore even a few of the advantages we have thus far taken for granted and now squandered.

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7 Comments »

  1. [...] Spin Cycle created an interesting post today on Making HistoryHere’s a short outline [...]

    Pingback by Democrats @ 2008 Presidential Election » Making History — February 2, 2008 @ 1:00 am | Reply

  2. [...] Moving at the Speed of Creativity added an interesting post on Making HistoryHere’s a small excerpt [...]

    Pingback by 2008 Presidential Election » Making History — February 2, 2008 @ 1:08 am | Reply

  3. [...] CosmicConservative wrote an interesting post today on Making HistoryHere’s a quick excerpt There is a curious and growing sense that the 2008 presidential race (and the leadership of the free world that follows therefrom) is the Democrats’ to lose, and considering that the two dominant candidates are a woman on one hand and a black man on the other, the U.S. electorate is in a unique position to make history in either eventual result: we will elect a woman or a black man as president — the first in U.S. history — and establish a new political era. Obviously (or maybe not so), this i [...]

    Pingback by Election » Blog Archive » Making History — February 2, 2008 @ 1:51 am | Reply

  4. [...] Kick! Making Politics Funny – A liberal dose of political humor wrote an interesting post today on Making HistoryHere’s a quick excerptThe purposeful candidates — those who propose real, substantive change from politics as usual, which is to say, the politics bought and paid… [...]

    Pingback by Politics » Making History — February 2, 2008 @ 1:56 am | Reply

  5. “I’m too much a novice in electoral politics to understand why, for instance, Michigan and Florida shouldn’t matter,”

    No, they should matter, but the Michigan and Florida Democratic Parties chose to make them not matter. The national Party wanted to keep the Iowa and New Hampshire primary/caucus early and important, as a way of giving extra power to small and unimportant states. Think of it as defending the rights of a minority. You don’t have to buy that either, but there it is.

    How about thisn one? Her ein Washington Stae we have BOTH a primary and caucuses. Why, you ask? It’s gets worse – the Democrats select thier convention delegates in the caucus and basically ignore the primary. Why, you ask? It actually made snese once. A hundred years ago the state took control of the primaries and started funding them, and insisted that anyone could vote in any party’s primary, the so-called “open primary”, in effect allowing Republicans, let’s say, to skew the Democrats’ choice of their candidate. The Democrats said screw that, we are a private organization, we have a First(?) Amendment right to free assembly, and no one is going to tell us who to spend out campaign funds on. Have your damned primaries, call them Demcocrat if you like, but we are going to ignore them. Raesonable, actually

    Then a few years back the Supreme Court found in favor of the parties and we no longer have open primaries. But we still have this weird primary/caucus lash-up.

    Comment by Jim — February 6, 2008 @ 7:14 pm | Reply

  6. “I feel confident that none of the “electable” candidates present a prospect for meaningful change. My cynicism runs so deep that no incremental change or adoption of new window dressing is worth more than a moment’s contemplation.”

    My cynicism tells me any candidate, any single human, is simply unable to make any deep change for which you hope. You can promise reform, but is it simply possible to get into Washington, surrounded by 1000 elected officials, 50,000 public servants, 40 government agencies, 20 cabinet members, and change something?

    At best, Obama will change the dress code of presidential balls, and once he leaves, it will go back to white ties.

    That is cynicism.

    Comment by Vilon — February 8, 2008 @ 12:22 pm | Reply

  7. Cynicism or not, it’s probably accurate.

    Comment by Off Colfax — February 9, 2008 @ 2:48 am | Reply


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