Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Bleak Landscape

I’m beginning to come around to the point of view of people who just ignore the political landscape in this country. It’s an increasingly large number of people and I am increasingly sympathetic with their view. The political landscape is bleak and disheartening, and becoming more so.

For a while I had some enthusiasm for Obama, and perhaps an even slightly higher degree of enthusiasm for Edwards, but now I just want all of them to go the hell away. I don’t want any of them in the oval office.

After endless “debates” I just don’t believe a word that any of them say, and I don’t think for one minute that any of them believe anything that they say either. They are just “playing tapes” in response to questions.

Often it seems that they don’t even listen to the actual question. They just pick a tape to play back in response to certain key words that they picked out of what the questioner said.

And the media gives points to whoever has better tapes, not noticing when the politician fails to actually answer a question but swooning over how “tough” or “polished” the politician sounded.

When Edwards charged Clinton with being unresponsive to questions, for instance, she validated the charge by coming back with the non-response that her healthcare plan was better than his. The media loved it; reported than she really floored him with her “response.” They failed to note, of course, that she didn’t answer his charge.

What they also didn’t note is why her health plan “includes everybody” while Edwards’ plan does not. Clinton’s plan requires, requires that those not covered by employer coverage purchase private insurance. From whom must they purchase that insurance? From the companies that have donated millions to her election campaign. She has a plan to help people do that, but she’s not going to reveal that until later. Presumably after she’s elected.

(I’m not sure why she doesn’t just require everyone to be healthy, but…)

Obama is no less a triangulator than Clinton, aggressive in one appearance and meek in the next. He adopts whatever appearance he thinks the audience of the moment wants to see, or whatever attitude the media he’s facing will appreciate and applaud. His campaign is the antithesis of the audacity he advocated in his book.

I still have some appreciation of Edwards, but the media is so devoted to kicking him off of the bus that as part of the political landscape he is all but meaningless. I don’t think his ideas and intentions are hopeless, but I think the media has made his campaign pretty much dead in the water.

We don't even need to go into my thoughts on the Republicans.

This will all eventually pass and we will have another president. Almost certainly not one that will serve this country well, based on the campaign to date, but only a very few presidents have served this country well and we have survived. This country is bigger than one person, however misguided or well-intentioned that person may be.

Old Glory’s survival is more precarious now, but it will endure.

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