Tuesday, March 4, 2008

This Has to End (Dennis)

The Democratic primary battle needs to be over tonight, not for the Democrats, but for me.

Please, please voters of Ohio and Texas...I am begging you. I can't take any more of this.

In the beginning, the primary season was fun for me to follow. Not many people cared about the Democratic primary a year and a half ago, so coverage of the race was an enjoyable snippet on Hardball. I loved the debates, the occasional witty remark or YouTube video, and the irresponsible (but ultimately inconsequential) speculation on Hardball. Even when I got bored, there was always Mittmentum or Huckabee to provide comic relief.

Then came the exciting weeks around Iowa and New Hampshire, but nothing was decided. Then Super Tuesday came, and that was a tie. Then the month of February came and went, Barack looked good, but the jury was still out.

And so, now, here we are once more; another election day where something may or may not be decided between the two candidates. As you know, I have strong pro-Obama feelings, but I'm beginning to feel like I am watching a 15 inning game between the Red Sox and Yankees, where nobody has scored in 7 innings. I want one side to win, but my exhaustion and tangled nerves really have me hoping for an ending, one way or another.

I'm tired of the endless debates on issues like caucuses v. superdelegates, which, deep down, aren't really about those issues at all, but are instead proxy wars in the long twilight struggle between the United States of Hillary and the Union of Soviet Socialist Obamas. Like verbal Vietnams, each side spends time and energy fighting over these things, but there is no winner and nothing is ever proven. Everyone gets passionate and pissed off over philosophical arguments that, out of context, would put the combatants to sleep.

In the end it is all about that ceaseless question, which has haunted Democrats for several months now: Obama or Hillary? Hillary or Obama? And I've even begun to think that, among those who follow politics, it's not even about the candidates any more. We've been paying attention too long; we have been arguing too fiercely for our side. Too much has now been invested to rationally consider anything going on the campaign trail. When an issue now pops into the news about the primaries. I now immediately think about it in my pro-Obama terms, prepare to express my opinion, and then reconsider, since I know that just as I am reading the story from the pro-Obama perspective, everyone who has been paying attention to politics is considering it either from my identical perspective or from the equally inflexible pro-Hillary perspective. What is the point of arguing if everyone is either convinced or not convince-able?

The whole thing has spilled over into the news media as well. Those knowledgeable about politics can pick out which columnists are pro-Obama and which are pro-Hillary. Nobody is neutral (save for right wing crazies who hate both) and you can't talk about a column about the campaign without someone (rightly) pointing out that so and so is a Hillary/Obama shill. Things have become so polarized, that the writers seem unwilling to show any weakness. I have said many more nice things on AOTG about Hillary than Maureen has about her, and she is supposed to be a professional columnist. Paul Krugman hasn't said a nice thing about Obama (besides backhanded compliments about how he "sounds good, but...") since this campaign began in earnest at the start of January.

All of this has left me feeling like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: the same arguments are repeated over and over by the same people at the same time each week. People who used to say interesting things are starting to bore and annoy me, and I am sure people think of me in the same way. And if there is no clear winner tonight we have seven (!) more weeks of this until Pennsylvania on April 22nd.

If that comes to pass, I'm not writing about this Democratic nomination fight again(pending some huge new development). Everything that needs to be said has been said about 5 times, and all that's left is speculation that isn't even fun anymore.

1 comment:

Jonathan said...

You can start doing what I do. Make up slanderous rumors about celebrity political alignments. I already did Bowie, but I hear Jane Goodall might be a Zoroastrianist.