Monday, April 21, 2008

The Charm

We've been here before. Twice. Once, in those heady few days after Iowa, when it seemed like maybe, just maybe, the lightning that had struck the cornfields might ignite a fire that would sweep across the country and consume the hinterlands of New Hampshire -- and then again, before Texas and Ohio, when all it would have taken, or so it seemed, was a split of the two states for her to decide, at last, to gracefully step aside.

But there hasn't been anything quite like this --

If he wins Pennsylvania, it's over. Period.

The only problem, of course, is that he probably won't. The recent polls have him anywhere from 8 to 12 points down, and it seems to be getting worse.

Now, the pre-game spinning is such that it seems like his camp will claim that anything less than a double digit win for her is a win for him, and her camp will take any win they can get, short of maybe 1 or 2 points, which even they concede will probably be too close.

My own feeling is that she will win big, probably 12 or more - and I am not just saying that to cushion the blow tomorrow night. (I mean, that's part of the reason, sure, but....)

What it comes down to is this:

Change is hard.

It's hard in politics, it's hard in life.

The therapists tell us there are two components to psychotherapy. The first is identifying the patterns that have trapped us in their grooves; it can take years.... But even harder -- once we've identified those patterns, once we see, for instance, that everything we do is based on a desire for the approval of the others rather than our own instincts as to what would be best for our lives -- even when we see that pattern, it can be nearly impossible for us to change it.

[So it is that when we go into that meeting with the network executive, for instance, even though we know we should just pitch the idea in such a way as to ensure maximum chance of success, we may, simply by reflex, be sending out signs of 'love me, love me, oh please laugh at my jokes, love me...' (Just as a for instance....)]

So it is with the country at large --

We know we need to change the country; we know we need to change our politics; we know we need to change our foreign policy; we know we need to fix our economy.

But when we get in that voting booth, and we see one name that is weird and vaguely foreign and we've heard he might be a Muslim or an anti-Semite and he doesn't wear the flag pin and his pastor was a kook and his wife hates the country -- and the other name is the name of a former President of the United States, and I've been seeing her on TV for almost two decades...

It's hard, but it's worth it.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, Pennsylvania.

1 comment:

nyhusker said...

Yes, change is hard, and when this campaign began, I sensed, as with Lincoln, it was going to take a perfect storm to elect Obama, not because he's radical, but because electing him would be radical, revolutionary. Lincoln got his perfect storm. And politically, he shrewdly outmaneuvered everyone else involved. Obama's perfect storm has been forming. Iraq will be chaos next fall, even more than it is now. The economy will be a shambles next fall, as it is on its way to being now. McCain will look enfeebled and unprepared next fall, and he will also be WRONG on everything, as he is now. Thus, the only choice will be Obama, especially since his likely running mate, Webb of Virginia, will placate the fears of rednecks, militarists, gun owners and blue collar folk. And in this primary, we've already seen Obama's Lincolnesque ability to outmaneuver the rivals in such a shrewd way they don't even know it's happening until it's happened.