January 4, 2008

"And the hope they have unleashed is palpable."

Writes Andrew Sullivan, palpating hope.
Look at their names: Huckabee and Obama. Both came from nowhere - from Arkansas and Hawaii. Both campaigned as human beings, not programmed campaign robots with messages honed in focus groups. Both faced powerful and monied establishments in both parties. And both are running two variants on the same message: change, uniting America again, saying goodbye to the bitterness of the polarized past, representing ordinary voters against the professionals....

That hope is not just about their parties. It is about America. America's ability to move forward, to unite, to get past the bitter red-and-blue past. That's what the next generation wants. And they now seem motivated enough to get it.
Is everyone high on hope this morning?

Maybe the losers could have an antidote to hope theme. America, settle down. Don't get carried away with charisma. Running the country is not a rock concert.

ADDED: "Andrew Sullivan's site, not surprisingly, is completely drenched in a combination of Obamamania and Huckenfreude."


Anonymous said...

It's Iowa. NH will be no closer to reality, which hopefully will surface somewhere in the process.

Iowa. Obama. Huckabee. Agggghhhhhh!

George said...

Palpate this—With a 98% rating from various liberal groups like the ADA, NARAL, the NAACP, Obama's still Mr. Blue.

Compare that to McCain's 17% Mr. Red rating.

How Interest Groups Rate the Senators"

(Along with Durbin and Harkin, Obama is the nation's most liberal senator.)

Simon said...

Hope?! A dark morning after a dark night, alas. And I don't know how you can write (as you did last night) that Obama is a "fresh, new individual[]" who "succeeded by revealing what [he is] ... to us." I really don't know what to make of that. He's a facile repackaging of the same tired liberal cant, and while I agree he's revealed his true stripes, he has done so unintentionally and unnoticed by most of his supporters. His campaign rests on glibly reassuring people too young to know any better that they're right: there is one side of any given debate, and it's the side they're already on.

His only function in the race seems to be to make Clinton look better. She tries to fool everyone about what she's about; he's succeeded in fooling himself. And that seems a far worse problem for a Presidential candidate than a tendancy to triangulate.

B said...

I don't know if Huckabee has a real chance or not.

But if the Republican Party thinks it can rehydrate a "Reagan mantle" onto some candidate, it's headed for 40 years in the wilderness. Reaganwas great in the past. But the Reagan model is just that: the past.

The railroads went by the wayside by the mid 1900's because they couldn't see around the bend. The Republican Party had better rethink it's "fiscal as moral" leg of it's coalition before more of the middle class leaves it or sits on it's hands.

When a Rush Limbaugh (who's audience is slowly shrinking, particularly in the younger demographic (44 and below) champions the Bush Tax Cuts and the elimination of the Death Tax (both good things), but doesn't spend an ounce of energy on abolishing the middle-class destroying AMT, you can see where his heart lies.

As Peggy Noonan is beginning to recognize in her column in today's Wall Street Journal:

the thing really pushing his (Huckabee's) supporters, is that they believe that what ails America and threatens its continued existence is not economic collapse or jihad, it is our culture.

They have been bruised and offended by the rigid, almost militant secularism and multiculturalism of the public schools; they reject those schools' squalor, in all senses of the word. They believe in God and family and America. They are populist: They don't admire billionaire CEOs, they admire husbands with two jobs who hold the family together for the sake of the kids; they don't need to see the triumph of supply-side thinking, they want to see that suffering woman down the street get the help she needs.

Here's a bet. Copy this down and reread it in 2 years: I predict that Rush will be emphasizing different things than the "Reagan" coalition ( meaning he's adapting to new realities) or he is no longer # 1 in talk radio.

sean said...

Andrew Sullivan is in the manic phase of his usual 8 year cycle. Round about 2010 we can expect him to notice that Obama isn't the Messiah, that gay people still suffer from human unhappiness, that conservative Christians still don't approve of him, that the federal government is still very big and taxes are still very high, that the Arabs still haven't agreed to make peace on the basis of recognizing how wonderful Israel is, etc., and spend the next six years denouncing the loathsome Obama who has produced such results.

Simon said...

Sean - the wonderful thing about Andrew Sullivan is that if you don't like one of his opinions, don't worry, there'll be another one along shortly.

PatCA said...

Andrew forgets, in his haze of hope, that another wannabe named Bill Clinton did and said the exact same thing some years ago.

Hope! Change! Logo!

Chip Ahoy said...

I take umbrage. Both Arkansas and Hawaii are not "nowhere."

Revenant said...

I like that the "conservative" Sullivan is gloating over the victories of Obama (who is entirely liberal) and Huckabee (who is liberal on everything except the socially conservative policies that Sullivan hates).

Of course, the odds that this will inspire the media to stop calling the man "a conservative" are pretty much nonexistent.