Monday, August 25, 2008

Kick Off

As the polls tightened, I didn't worry. I thought, no one's really paying attention yet, and he hasn't begun to fight, really. The man had to go on vacation, he had to get away from the public eye if only because Obama fatigue was setting in, and unfortunately that gave old McCain the chance to look tough and Presidential (if moronic and Bush 43-like in his defiant pose of 'strength') when a now-inevitable-seeming foreign crisis broke out.

But no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.

This 'houses' backlash is among the most incredible, through-the-looking glass type of political experiences I can remember and is starting to leave me inarticulate with rage, which is, as always, a good time to blog...

The idea that by pointing out that McCain's inability to remember how many houses he owns is somehow 'going negative' -- that this 'opened the door' to Republican counter-attacks on Obama's patriotism and ties to presumed 'past radicals'.... McCain's defending his inability to remember not with a simple kinda 'aw-shucks, you know, we live in 4, and have 4 as investment properties, so it's kinda complicated' but by reminding us all, yet again, that he was a POW there for a while and didn't have any house at all to call his own... it's not how many houses he has, though that's bad enough from a strictly Joe Sixpack point of view -- it's that you have so many you can't remember, you mean old coot.... the continuing notion (I refuse to justify the word 'meme''s existence) that Obama is beloved by the press while McCain gets harsher treatment when by any objective measure it's the other way around...

All of it has me feeling, for the first time since Hillary conceded, that Obama might actually lose this election, and lose it badly.

Now that's not a bad place to be, of course. There's clearly been evidence of over-confidence in Obama's camp, and if they're like me, that over-confidence has now evaporated. Now it's game on. I am ready to rumble, and I am sure they are too.

But my long-held prediction of how this thing would play out is no longer as firm -- for the record, since I never got it down here, that prediction went something like this: Obama will have a slim summer lead, see it evaporate by the time the conventions roll around, then steamroller into a nearly double digit lead after a well-orchestrated and Unity-rich convention, highlighted by a speech that, while it isn't anywhere near his best, is darn good enough for those just tuning in, and which will be enough to give him a big boost in the polls, which will almost certainly be whittled away but not quite completely by the Republican convention, at which McCain will 'surprise' people by actually being able to give a decent speech of his own -- for the rest of the campaign it will be neck and neck, but in the end, as with Kennedy only narrowly able to defeat Nixon (and through some definite possible shenanigans), the better man will prevail, though only slimly, and over some definite cries of protest from those watching for voting irregularity.

So there it is - or was.

Now, on the eve of Denver (or the morning it begins), I am less sure.

What I know is that more than ever, I care about this election, and I cannot wait to live in a country that is Presided over by someone with as much keen intelligence and understanding and intuitive grasp of the dynamic complexities of Life in the Global 21st Century as this presumptive Democratic nominee. But I also know that more than ever, I may not get to live in that world, I may have to live in a country Presided over by a crabby old military dick. He'll soothe a lot of morons, and the country will continue its inevitable decline...

Like I said, I am not feeling particularly articulate or hopeful right now. I think the next ten weeks are going to be brutal. This isn't a blog post I'm all that proud of.

Wake me when it's over.

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