Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Two Large Losers - Election '08

In this morning after the '08 presidential election, with a number of close races in various states still undecided and detailed precinct by precinct data not yet available for Northwest Florida counties, we can be sure of only some things. One of them is that there were two large losers on the national scene yesterday, in addition to John McCain.

George W. Bush

The biggest loser of all in the 2008 general election was George W. Bush, not McCain, as the late night spontaneous demonstration outside the White House attests. Andrew Gumbel, who covered the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, likens it to the crumbling of the Berlin Wall:
They streamed down the hill from Adams Morgan, down 16th St and along Pennsylvania Avenue to converge on the edge of Lafayette Park. They sang songs, beat on drums, waved life-size cardboard replicas of Obama, hugged, kissed, high-fived and alternated chants of "Yes we can!" with "No more Bush!" For blocks around, cars lined up along the improbably jammed downtown streets echoed the rhythm of those chants with volley after volley of three short toots of their horns.

This wasn't an organized celebration like the gathering in Chicago's Grant Park. It didn't involve buses and organizers and legal protection volunteers, like the vast protests against the World Trade Organization in Seattle nine years ago, or the mass demonstrations on the eve of the Iraq war. It was something altogether more unusual in American public life: a spontaneous political gathering of thousands of ecstatic, peaceful revelers who decided to make their feelings known before the most powerful political office on the planet. It was a celebration, for sure, but it was also some kind of deeper statement: that the people had been living under some sort of perversion of democracy for a long time but now felt emboldened to claim it back for themselves.

The "Worst. President. Ever." will be leaving office in richly deserved humiliation.

Sarah Palin

Beyond that, we'd have to say Sarah Palin is the second-sorriest loser. Not because she was a big drag on the McCain ticket -- although that's true, too -- but because she's now facing a certain war unto political death from large and very powerful elements within her own Republican party. It will take awhile, but you can color her done-for.

McCain bears some personal responsibility for that. He plucked the poor woman out of obscurity, so far as 49 of the 50 states are concerned, well before she was ready. He did it to excite, or at least appease, the wacko religious right of the party. In the process, however, he affronted nearly every powerful Republican in and out of office or who holds the party's purse strings.

Of course, Palin herself could have said "No." But she didn't. If she was as capable as some G.O.P. spinners were claiming on the Tee-Vee, she would have known she wasn't ready.

The spinners were lying, of course. You could see it in their eyes every time one of them went on the Tee-Vee to defend McCain's pick: 'This idiot was chosen over me?' they were saying to themselves, 'and now here I am lying about her like this, in front of everyone? What will my mother say?'

If, as they say in baseball, Palin been allowed to "round out" in the minor leagues a little longer, one could have imagined her, perhaps, making a successful run for national office four, or eight, or even twelve years from now; that is to say, after she'd had a chance to learn a little something about foreign affairs, domestic affairs, economics, history, and law. And, just as importantly from a political point of view, after she'd had a chance to bury those ethics charges, fix her squirrley income tax returns, and burn those mysterious medical records in obscurity -- as thoroughly as George W. Bush disappeared records of his cocaine possession probation in Texas and the Air National Guard AWOL records.

As it is, in effect, McCain let her blow out her throwing arm before she was mature enough to pitch and smart enough to hide her embarrassing past. Now, she's been left standing alone on the Republican mound with nothing left to throw.

Sarah Palin is now as vulnerable as Spiro Agnew was on the eve of the Nixon impeachment. Her political fate is sealed.

1 comment:

Jennifer Roland said...

I agree wholeheartedly, though Bush lost months ago. When gubernatorial candidates don't like to refer to themselves as being from the same party as the sitting president, there is a big problem. WTF am I talking about? Dino Rossi, candidate for governor in Washington state, "distanced himself from the Republican Party by avoiding its national convention and identifying himself on the ballot by the party nickname GOP." (source:
I also think Joe the Plumber was a loser in this election cycle. No one will buy his "album," and he'll likely get in trouble for the tax issues and the lack of proper licensing.