This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, March 05, 2008.
Here in Boulder the Damned, I awoke this morning to the annoying cackling of birds in the trees outside my apartment window. This only happens in winter when it snows, since coincidence of building wing and flora offer protection. Theyíre wet and cold and this is the best shelter they can find. They donít sound happy, rather like play extras told to chant hostile crowd noises for a lynching scene.
Or, perhaps more accurately, like media and especially the Blogosphere this morning, who saw Hillary Clinton get more delegates yesterday than Barack Obama. Not many more, and she has a hill to climb, but still: that wasnít the script. Obama had been positioned as the inevitable, as Clinton had previously been so positioned, and this makes everyone look bad and uninformed. Indeed. Not as bad as some pollsters, like Zogby, whoíve gotten all the contests wrong so far, but petulant and bad.
I can understand it. Last week, for example, I lazily sought in my memory for the CU student paper and recalled the wrong one, for which I apologized on my site and do so again here. Not a little mistake. Makes me look bad. But, Iím over it, and weíll never talk of this again if you know whatís good for you.
For the last decade of their existence, national blogsters had barely wiped the multiple cowls from their financial airways than they began the chant that the Main Stream Media was a dinosaur, slow to react and, in order to justify itself, works to channel debate and elections to fall within parameters set by previous campaigns. True enough.
But it soon became evident that the Blogosphere, while deconstructing and ignoring those templates, was establishing its own flimsy if handy scripts, and a lot of them crashed and burned in the last month just as brightly as CBS and FoxNews did. Theyíre both bitter and rather unnerved this morning, because their knight in shining armor, the good Lord Sir Sea Change Obama, didnít take the news much better than they did when he lost. He sounded annoyed and rather put upon last night and today. Thatís not what weíve been led to expect from the guy, and it compares poorly to Clintonís rather too peppy and optimistic chest pounding after her defeats, which had to have hurt her in every way imaginable. But thus far, she looks stronger and more reassuring in defeat than Obama.
The worst thing that can be said about anyone is that theyíre only at their best when the going is good. We know that isnít true about Clinton, who has a professional level she maintains, but there is cause for concern Ė not panic Ė about Obama, who has had it way too good for so long, never staying in an office or a place long enough to accumulate much of a record. This is his big attraction and itís his biggest weakness, and itís just beginning to catch up with him. This rather pedestrian stumble on the political trail yesterday did not present us with the same charismatic candidate weíve come to expect.
Another of Obamaís supposed great attractions is that he pulls votes from Independents and from Republicans. In fact, several conservative trendsetters Ė Iím looking at Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter Ė have advised their flock to register at the primaries and caucuses where it's allowed as Democrats to vote for Obama, a supposed defection from their own party. This is defended because they supposedly hate McCain more than anyone, for reasons that actually make small sense but itís a party that makes small sense. Or, more cynically, because they realize that Obama is easier for McCain to defeat than Clinton. Thatís their illusion, but just saying.
Still, if this has happened in great numbers, itís possible that Clinton has won the votes of more actual Democrats through the primary season than Obama.
Itís possible that they actually realize that their last offering, dry drunk Dubya, has left such an often used but never maintained cat box of international disaster that it would be better to have a Democrat oversee the harsh steps needed to overcome it.
But, the conservatives fear a Clinton presidency more than anything: more than debacle in Iraq, more than a fiscally and morally bankrupt nation, more than secular legislation, more than the material collapse of our overstretched military. It will illustrate their happy time of governance is now seen as a disaster.
My bar is set so low, Iíll just be glad when our sex scandals are heterosexual again. That isnít much to ask, is it?