After all of the damage, death and destruction that has been wrought by the Bush Administration during these seven long years, my main focus during the upcoming Presidential race has been considering which Democrat has the best chance to prevail and take back the White House and begin the overwhelming process of trying to fix the mess that George has made -- of everything.
The signs have been very good, with Bush's approval rating being evidence of anything but approval for his Administration and its policies, the fact that a substantial majority of the public is now against the war in Iraq, the realization that the Administration's policies have contributed to the economy's spiral downward, the denial of environmental concerns starting to impact us via global warming, and so on and so on.
Obviously, the GOP realizes that it is on its way out, since the number of incumbents in Congress announcing their retirement has been phenomenal. The private polls must show that defeat is so likely, it's not worth trying.
Despite all the signs, having had success wrested from the Democratic Party so many times, the tendency is to want to play it safe and look for the solid, but sure winner. The Party has been lucky with a number of very favorable, qualified candidates, each with substantial pluses to lead the country in the right direction. Fortunately for the Democrats, the poll of GOP options have been as tremendously bad as ours have been good.
Yet, McCain is the worst of the bunch. Although he is someone that the conservatives in the GOP don't like, he is someone that many moderates and independents (in both parties, as well as straight independents) do. Combined with the fact that the Democrats are busy beating each other up, that can only work to help McCain as he faces whoever the winner of the primary is.
Michael Silverstein of The Moderate Voice reminds me that, no matter what a particular poll shows on a particular day, the Democrats still have the overall advantage. His comments may pertain more to Obama, but I think the overall sentiment is true generally, Obama's Success: Voters Finally, Truly, Mad As Hell...:
And once the primary battle is done, with a focus on McCain providing us with 4 more years of George Bush, I think the choice will be a clear one (or it should be, dammit).
How can one account for Barack Obama’s truly astonishing success in reaching for the American presidency?
It isn’t his speechifying. He’s an excellent speaker, but Jesse Jackson in his time was better. It’s not his personal story, which though in many ways inspiring, can’t match the heroic realism of John McCain’s. It’s not his stands on issues that are not noticeably different from Hillary’s. Nor is it the populist edge that has creeped into his campaign in recent months. John Edwards was way out front in this respect.
No, it all comes down to that one word that appears in bold letters on all his literature and just over his left shoulder at every speaking engagement. Change. And the change hinted at here is not the kind of change this country has seen several times in recent decades. Not like, for example, the change when Republicans took control of Congress after 40 years of Democratic majorities, or when an undistinguished actor cemented the union of media and politics when Ronald Reagan won the White House.
This change is something far more basic, far more fundamental, than a mere shift in political sentiment. It represents the full fruition of what was predicted in the movie “Network.” The arrival of the time when not just a few Americans, nor even one or two large groups of Americans are mad as hell and not going to take it any more. But a time when the majority of the country is that mad, that determined not to take it for one more election cycle, that it is willing to reach for a very visible symbol of its frustrations and anger.
However, I also happened to read Digby at Hullabaloo, which made me also realize how monumental this election is. In discussing the Obama/Wright matter, she too notes this favorable climate for the Democrats. However, she adds, in Wright and Wrong:
The fact is that faced with circumstances that make the prospect of a victory easier than they could usually expect, Democrats have used that opportunity to break through some long standing barriers to blacks and women in spite of the fact that it would lessen their advantage. This is an unusual and counterintuitive step for a party out of power to take --- generally they go the safe route after being beaten two elections in a row and nominate the most mainstream candidate they can find. So, good for the Democrats for using their advantage to do more than just win an election. ( And truthfully, when else could they possibly do it? When the Republicans are on a roll?)So true and so right. If not now, then we can never do it.
So let's just do it (pick one) and move forward. We need to win, so we can finally change things, which we desperately need. After all, like the rest of the public, I'm mad as hell and don't want to take it any more . . .