Lots of good comments on my post regarding Palin’s speech. If you haven’t been following them, please do… lots of grist for the proverbial mill in there.
I’ve been reading many stories in the past week about the election, following polls and trying to figure out just what in the hell is going on. Most polls show McCain & Obama in a dead heat, and the media is obsessing over Palin’s baggage instead of the issues, which is how the Republicans want it. Much better to show American what commies the mainstream media are by picking on a poor hockey mom & her family than to have potential voters figure out that you’re offering very little new that could help them financially or otherwise.
For their part, I don’t think the Democratic response to the GOP polling surge has been very effective at all. Even some of the liberal pundits are complaining about Obama and crew being too ‘cool’ and detached in responding to the GOP’s barbs, which plays right into the the right’s charge that the Democrats are elitists.
Here’s how I see things right now:
- The Republicans are doing a very good job of diverting American voters’ attention from the fact that they were the party in charge of mucking things up over the last 8 years. The ‘reform’ ticket that the ‘mavericks’ are running on is doing their best to convince people that it’s the damn Democrats’ fault… and judging by polling numbers, their ploy is working.
- The Democrats are doing a piss-poor job of fighting off the Republican bounce. From what I can tell, their plans for the economy would benefit average Americans more, but they aren’t doing a very good job of selling it. Obama & Biden are doing an OK job of it, but some of their supporters are doing their best to alienate Americans on the lower end of the wage scale by driving that point home. “If you’re poor and you don’t vote Democrat, you’re a &$*@#$ moron” may be technically accurate, but what many Americans are remembering is that some liberal pundit is telling poor folks that they’re morons. Case in point, right here.
I normally try to keep this blog from getting overly political, but this election is going to be one of the most important ones that I can remember from my almost 40 years on this planet. One party is doing their best to win by blatantly lying, while the other one is dithering their lead away. Whichever party loses this election will be in for some major housecleaning.
Considering the previous 8 years, the Democrats should win this thing handily. If they don’t, then it’s time for the movers & shakers in that party to go back to the lab and figure out why their message doesn’t resonate with voters. Here’s a hint: the ‘elitist’ label sticks because the Democrats willingly abandoned many of their left-leaning positions during the Clinton years. NAFTA was hardly a boon for the average American worker, right? Either support big business or the average worker… trying to do both hasn’t done very well for you all in the last decade or two. When a party that has helped the wealthy get wealthier over the last 25 years successfully lays claim to the title of ‘party of the average American,’ it’s time for the former holders of that title to go back to the drawing board.
A McCain loss, especially if compounded with major Democratic gains in Congress, should signal a major retooling as well. Sooner or later you’d think that evangelical voters would figure out that the candidates they have dutifully supported over the years have passed lots of tax cuts and legistation that favors the rich and big business, but the social issues they themselves are mostly concerned with have gotten lip service at best. Likewise, those moderate Republicans who are more concerned with fiscal discipline and smaller government may get their turn in the sun again.
The American political process seems to me to be a tug of war as the two parties modify their positions just enough to satisfy a large enough bloc of independent voters to favor them. After a while in power, enough Americans get tired of the crew in charge that they decide to clean house and let the other party mess things up for a while.