Sunday, February 03, 2008

Interpreting campaign '08

As we expected, there is a spate of articles in the papers this weekend that seek to explain the long, strange trip that is Campaign '08. Gail Collins of the New York Times entered the fray first with typical irreverence, skewering the Democrats for their attempts to play nice in last week's civility forum in California and then labeling the Republican nominating contest "GI Joe vs. Gumby." For those off the planet recently, that would be the straight-talking, ramrod-straight standing, commander-in-chiefing John McCain vs. the supremely malleable Mormon Mitt Romney.

Over in the International Herald Tribune, Michael Oreskes contends that the principal dynamic at work is orthodoxy vs. heterodoxy. In this formulation, the backers of Clinton and Romney(or anyone not named John McCain)hold fast to the fundamental principles of their party at this point in time and condemn those who seek support among the other party's voters, signaling their desire for broad agreement on what ails the country. Obama and McCain supporters, by contrast, condemn what they see is the myopia and hyper-partisanship of the "orthodox" HRC and Romney faithful. Read the entire article here.

Finally, in the WAPO, two former Gore advisers assert that we are in the midst of a biblical/generational struggle. In their formulation, the baby boomers, who fought fights and caused upheaval comparable to Moses' bringing the Israelites out of slavery, are pitted against the emerging Millenials, the generation that hearkens back to Joshua and those who helped build the Kingdom of Israel. The argument here is that the Moses/Boomers are incapable of solving post-upheaval problems in the country because they are moral and political absolutists, e.g. "don't trust anyone over 30." The Millenials have put themselves forward as those best suited for millenium politics, as they are like Joshua, pragmatic doers and builders rather than idealists.
Since this is only a skeleton summary, you owe it to yourself to read their piece in its entirety.

In chronological terms, I am a boomer, no doubt about it. But I'd much rather look for solutions, lure people out of their partisan corners, build some bridges, produce some poetry, than continue with prose-bound, partisan, pugnacious, bridge-burning politics as usual. So look for me among the heterodox Millenial Joshuas.

And where will we find you?


Blogger Mr. Natural said...

So, in Washington state, today I mailed my absentee ballot. Next week I will go to the caucus...WHICH of them means nothing? BOTH you say?

10:42 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

In my case, you'll find me on the fence. My candidate, Edwards is out of the race. Neither Obama nor Clinton are at all progressive, so the decision for me is one between two corporate centrists, one slightly better on foreign policy and the other, on domestic.

3:29 PM  

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