Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Much for Reinventing Politics

Obama will not redraw the electoral map. If he wins, it will be by carrying blue states plus a crucial swing state or two. That much is clear today.

Andrew Romano at Newsweek is noting the obvious trend: red states are getting redder; blue states, purpler. Obama's eroding lead in Pennsylvania and Minnesota are particularly notable.

It would be foolish to assume that these trends are permanent, even though we have SWNIDishly called the election already. However, we do insist that if Obama continues to respond with tired Democratic Party tropes--Karl Rove! Lies! Swiftboating! More of Bush! Out of touch!--he'll wither.

The present unease among the electorate does not make them willing to listen to Obama when he sounds like Dukakis or Gore or Kerry. He says he's all about change, so how about changing the way his party runs for president?

Same goes for the mainstream media. It's come out that a photographer working for the Atlantic used pictures of McCain to post some photoshopped goofiness. We'll allow that she was freebooting, but it's also worth noting that the storied monthly ran a less doctored picture on its cover with the perfectly objective title, "Why War Is His Answer." And it's also worth noting that the photographer in question has a history of egregious bias in manipulating photographs and photographic subjects.

We doubt that anyone's vote was changed by the Atlantic's running what was at best an ironic cover title, any more than they flipped votes the previous month with their heroic portrayal (in conver and contents) of Obama over against McCain. Folks who read the monthly actually have to read it to enjoy it, so we expect that they can factor for writers' and editors' preferences.

Still, when as evenhanded and "above-it-all" a publication as the Atlantic, whose editoral position is labeled "center-right" by Wikipedia, does this, one can hardly affirm that the media has developed a better consciousness about its alleged biases.


Anonymous said...

Change the way his party runs for President? Where have you been buddy? When has a black man ever been nominated to run for President? A Presidential campaign has never been run the way Obama's has...obviously something has changed!

What the photographer did was WRONG, just like when another magazine portrayed Obama and Michelle on their cover as terrorist. People aren't going to be swayed by fear tactics and manipulation anymore.

Jim Shoes said...

Anonymous dude, the New Yorker cover was satire, poking fun at the absurd stereotypes of Obama that circulate on the fringes of political discourse. And don't tell us that "the public doesn't realize it's satire," because "the public" doesn't read the New Yorker. Obama's complaining about that cover was playing the victim card. There was nothing WRONG about it.

The only thing WRONG about what the Atlantic's photographer did is to reveal exactly how deep her political biases are, to the point that she would act with such brazen stupidity in putting her masterpieces on public display, expecting no backlash. And she wasn't making fun of stereotypes. She was just doing sophomoric stuff like the obscene graffiti that one regularly finds on Republican campaign posters on college campuses.

As to the Democrats being different now because they nominated a black man, they nominated another candidate who is now trying to win the election by claiming that everything his opponent says is a boldfaced lie and everything he says is gospel truth, while promoting the same old liberal boilerplate as a platform. All that's changed about his party is the melanin content of the candidate's skin.

When Andre Watts plays the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto, is it a different piece of music because it's played by a black man? If it is, then Obama is no "post-racial" candidate, and his party is every bit as much absorbed in racism as it was when it was controlled by the segregationists.