I really think this is an inspired piece of analysis, arguing that Obama’s victory has in large measure been a result of the electorate’s rejection of ‘meanness’. It argues that the first Bush ‘victory’ came from a rejection of Gore’s coldness, the second out of a disbelief that the Bush’s administration really could have been the monstrosity that it turned out to be. The selection of Palin was then always going to be McCain’s downfall, making Obama’s victory a once-and-for-all repudiation of ‘meanness’.
I don’t know who will win tomorrow, and this kind of article really revs up my “jinx control” mechanism–but no where to apply it. Ahh, stress, it is in the season.
But, I would, the day before the election, like to offer one random and previously unstated explanation for a Republican loss, should one eventuate.
One not posited by Mr. Blumenthal exactly, and one I think he should have thought about and mentioned.
I recognize it will sound a bit simple and fuzzy in the saying, but I really do believe it is real and will be at the heart of any Democratic victory (or Republican loss, depending on one’s view).
The underpinning of the explanation is this: the majority of US citizens are not mean or mean-spirited, and, quite frankly, they are tired of meanness.
The Republicans–at both the Federal and State levels–have represented or presided over more pure, cavalier meanness and mean spirited-ness than most US citizens thought imaginable.
I am convinced that the biggest part of the reason for the Decider’s first victory in 2000 (other than the legal stuff) was something now joked about, but was “real”–that people believed and acted upon the belief that the Decider was an affable fellow who would be more “people friendly” than the seemingly mirthless automaton he was running against, and, US citizens, in keeping with the basic national character and standards of civility and group behavior, actually believed in and desired compassionate conservatism–without actually having a definition of same.
And, I am convinced that the biggest part of the reason for his second victory in 2004 (other than the fear mongering and domestic terror that had been inflicted on our country by his administration) was that most folks just couldn’t yet believe their lyin’ eyes as to how mean the slug and his lackeys really were.
Most folks, in there classic US optimism, continued to want to separate the Decider from the meanness he surrounded himself with–from Cheney to Rummy to Karl.
It is only a nano-step from there to Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, of course.
And it is this progression towards mean-spirited-ness that makes the tone deafness and tin ear element of McCain’s selection of the mean loon Palin all the more astounding, and makes the fall of McCain from any high-ground perch he may have had so sad and profound.
If Obama wins, an explanation will be that a majority of US citizens simply exercised their right to not be mean.
A truly American and patriotic thing, that.
Wacobloke, comment in the Guardian.