What? We’re losing? To John McCain and his religious fanatic ex-beauty queen?
Sure looks that way. If we’ve learned nothing else, we’ve learn how deceiving looks can be in 2008.
While the mainstream press has had a collective orgasm over Sarah Palin and almost completely shirked its job as a watchdog, you would have thought Obama’s rousing acceptance speech at Invesco Field two weeks ago had never happened at all.
Possibly because for some Barack Obama represents too much change or just not the right kind of change.
Additionally, there is a segment of voters who will not entertain the idea of voting for a Black candidate after a certain political office or in some cases, for no offices whatever their qualifications or experience.
What it comes down to the fact the polls are like a see-saw: it goes up and it goes down. Currently, McCain is enjoying a bigger bounce from his convention than Obama did from his, but it remains to be seen if the polls goosed by Republican excitement over the selection of Sarah Palin translate into a complete reversal of gravity and elevates McCain over Obama and into the White House.
While many people still regard the GOP as part of the problem and not any part of the solution, the fact America is a fundamentally conservative country. Forty or fifty years, if you closed your eyes and just listened to many of the things Obama is saying, he would have sounded more like a Republican than a Democrat. The Democratic Party of 2008 is far more moderate and at times right up to the edge of conservative than it is socially liberal and progressive. Barack Obama is not only the first Black man to serve in the Senate since Edmund Brooke, he’s staked on positions that could have come from Ed Brooke.
Democrats win these days when Republicans screw up and George Bush has screwed up mightily. Yet not to the point where just any Democrat can win in a walk. Some things still trump corruption, incompetence, hubris and idiocy. Race is one of those things.
America is a conservative country. It is also one that has a history of being a racist one as well and not ancient history either.
I’m a pessimist by nature and experience. I think Barack Obama can win, but I’m not sure he will win or if the powers that be will allow him to win and accept it if he does.
The fact that the race has tightened doesn’t surprise me. The fact that Obama is having money problems doesn’t surprise me.
The fact that the media is sucking up to a pretty face and ignoring her ugly politics doesn’t surprise me.
The only thing that does surprise me is if ANY Obama supporter thought this was going to be easy.
It was never going to be easy to beat a 20+ plus years U.S. Senator and war hero who is one of the most engaging, charismatic and admired politicians in the country. Last December, McCain was given up for dead. His campaign was broke. He had no momentum and his organization had crumbled. Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani were supposed to be guy for Republicans to rally around, not McCain.
However, if McCain is a scrappy survivor, Obama is one too. December 2007 found him dead in the water too and some 15 points behind Hillary Clinton, the prohibitive favorite. He put together an organization, a strategy and a message that resonated with millions of Democratic voters and thrust him on the fast track to the Oval Office.
Can he put together a coalition of Blacks, Whites, working and middle class, women and men and enough independents, Democrats and Republicans to hold off McCain and close the deal?
I don’t know and anyone that says they do is lying. Nobody knows what will happen between now and Election Day. A scandal might break out that changes the polls and mood of the voters drastically. A international incident might break loose that hurts one candidate and helps another. John McCain might stumble and fall on his way to the podium at the first debate or Barack Obama might say something unbelievably stupid at a critical moment. Who knows? Not me.
If Obama loses, race and racism will be one of the reasons. How much of a reason can not be measured yet, but to try and take it off the table as a contributing cause would be both foolish and wrong.
If this is truly a campaign of change, we should never forget that change is hard. People whom have held power for years don’t give up power cheerfully or without a fight.
When you’re playing politics at this level it’s no place for the easily frightened or those with sensitive nervous systems.
Strap in. Hang on. Be cool.