From The Archives Of The “American Left History” Blog-Morning in America, Morning Line, That Is
One of the beautiful things about commentary on American bourgeois presidential electoral politics is that with a change of name here, maybe these days an added gender or two, maybe a longer list of contenders in one contest year than another, you can “cut and paste” from 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 ( I’m ready) and be right on point. The following piece from the archives is a case in point. But the real beauty, as stated in the entry, is that I don’t have to actually vote for any of them. That, as the commercial says, is priceless.
EXTRA, EXTRA-GET THE MORNING LINE ON THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
Well, I have my sporting blood up this morning. Now that the ‘real’ political circus, blood on the floor and all, has heated up I have time to engage in a little speculation on the odds for the 2008 presidential election. Thus I can do a little ‘think’ piece here to while away the hours until January. One of the virtues of this exercise is that while I can win or lose money on various electoral propositions I do not have to actually vote for any of these people. There are, indeed, some very big benefits to being a workers party propagandist theses days.
There are now at least eight candidates on the Democratic side, only three of whom are taken seriously, and at least nine on the Republican side, again only three of whom are taken seriously, so that this early trying to handicap those races would be madness. What today’s morning line is about is which party- the Democratic or Republican- will win the presidency in 2008. Now even those like me who only hold their noses at bourgeois politics would be hard pressed to deny that the Democrats -after what will be eight years of George Bush- should be in the cat bird seat. As one Republican candidate is quoted as saying the Democrats have started to take measurements for new drapes in the White House. Let me make a few points, however, that should sober up even my liberal friends about the political realities today.
We all like to use the phrase about the unacknowledged elephant in the room to highlight some obvious problem that is better left unstated. In this case the Democrats have three-the continuing disproportionality caused by the anti-democratic Electoral College; the women and/or black question; and, the way the likely major issue of the 2008 campaign Iraq and national security may cut for the Democrats.
The rank inequity of the Electoral College system for deciding presidential elections may rank as about number 106 on a list of reasons that socialists would put together for why this bourgeois democratic system has to be replaced- but it is on the list. The aristocratically-derived Electoral College is probably the most blatantly anti-democratic aspect of the original frame of government. However, despite all the moaning and groaning in 2000 over the Bush thievery, no one to my knowledge has seriously put forth the idea of replacing it with a more democratic formula and a truer sense of proportionality in regard to the make-up of the Congress. In any case if one looks at the numbers that Republicans start with in the South and the interior West then, as has been the case in presidential politics for a while, this is already an uphill fight for the Democrats. Sure there may be some more blue in red states, etc. but the political reality is no matter how popular you are these are the real numbers. Just ask Al Gore.
Let us face it unless Al Gore makes some kind of last minute decision to entry the Democratic race this one is really about Hillary and Obama. That means the most likely Democratic candidate will either be a white woman or a black man. This is new at the presidential level. But let us face some very hard realities. In a time of perceived national security needs will a woman do? And while it is possible that hard core Democrats will find no problem with a woman as their lead candidate does that hold true for the electorate as a whole? Throw in the Hillary-haters and Clinton fatigue factors and there is a very big question about whether a woman can be elected in 2008. And whether that particular woman can get elected.
On the Obama factor let us not kid ourselves- this is a deeply racist country that is probably more segregated today that 40 or 50 years ago in the things that matter like schools and housing. Even having a white mother does not good here. Moreover, as far as politics go the questions of special black oppression like education, housing, jobs etc. that desperately need to be addressed have fallen off the political map. Watch for some very ugly general election campaigning by the Republicans if either Hillary or Obama is nominated.
You and I, dear reader, have had our fill of Iraq. We want the troops out now. However, the opinion polls that show this same desire to get out do not reflect a favored direction on the various strategies put forth for getting out. The Republicans will be hurt by the Iraq fiasco but unless Dick Cheney or Jeb Bush jumps in none of the contenders is personally responsible for the damn war. They can distance themselves adequately if they have a plan for withdrawal or some such thing. Richard Nixon was able to do so in 1968 and again in 1972 without actually having any plan at all for withdrawal from Vietnam-and won. So anything is possible. Moreover, the Democrats have been so wishy- washy of late in their responses to Bush’s strategy that people in general may not give them a break. So Iraq may not cut so favorably for the Democrats as they might think, especially in the heartland where many of the troops come from. Add the ringer of the economy upstaging the war as the central issue and all hell could break loose.
There you have it, dear reader. Today, despite what looked like a sure thing six months ago I would place the odds on a Democratic presidency at 7/5 in their favor. Any takers?
P.S. Same odd in 2012 –Markin –Get the dough up.