April 25, 2008

Falling for the Dazzling Head Fake of the NBC Peacock

As I think I've written before, I do regard Democratic Party politics as only a semi-democratic process; meaning, it is not reasonable to hold a political party, in its internal deliberations, to the same standards which (used to) guide the constitutional voting system for the country itself. Which is to say, the Dems can have rules which don't necessarily conform to general election requirements. Surfing around various blogs, and the comments which follow posts therein (a Bugs Bunnyism), a pervasive confusion seems to center around this point. The Democrats can't "snatch" the nomination away from Barack Obama and give it to someone else, you know, like Hillary, right? Actually, so long as they're operating within their rules, they can. And they just might. If they can figure which of two wrong decisions they ought to make this time out.

As I wrote yesterday, they're in a terrible quandary now. Big Media have fallen out of love with Barack Obama. He was fun for a while, a nice, substantive diversion from missing blond co-eds in Aruba, but they're beginning to vainly fight, as Cole Porter sang and wrote, the old ennui. Barack and his glorious oratory, Chris & Tim & Wolf & The Boyz at Fox are beginning to grumble, are kind of yesterday. They sort of wish a former Playboy centerfold would swell to twice her original size, marry a nonagenarian billionaire, write an ambiguous will, take an overdose, and lie in a morgue while a bunch of former lovers litigate in the court of a crying judge looking for a TV gig about who gets an outsized haul of the spoils + custody of the bodacious corpse. Like old times, in other words.

I mean, it was real, Barry or Hossein or whatever the hell your name was, but we're corporate networks and this G--D--- America stuff, and the Weatherman you knew when you were eight years old, it's just kind of not us, see, it makes the suits in the mahogany conference room nervous and btw where's your G--D--- flag lapel pin? Sorry it had to end like this. Hillary, now Hillary, see, that's what we're talking about. Obliterate Iran! (Boffo!) Rocky! (You go, girl.) Beer and a shot! (Nice visual.) And...New York! (QED). Plus, her 3 am home invasion ad, where the nice white family with the little boy and the rape-age girl are trying to get some sleep and the father's away...it's a little uncomfortable, you know? Look, after you go back to being a Senator, we've still got to sell insurance using cavemen as spokeshominids. And we know we led you on, and we're sorry about that. We thought we could do it, support a, you know, but the time's not right.

So Harry "Mumbles" Reid and Nancy "La Diva" Pelosi are of course gradually waking up to the realization the media rug has been snatched out from underneath them, and as usual they're like a couple of screw-up management trainees, arriving in the Big Apple from Searchlight, Nevada and San Francisco, oversleeping and then taking the 9:15 am train for a 7:30 am meeting, marveling at all the tall buildings downtown as their heads loll back and their tongues hang out, and Nancy breaks a heel and Harry steps on an untied shoelace, and when they finally rush into the room they can only think of one question -- "wha, wha jus' happen?"

This: the five companies who own all significant means of communicating in the United States are in turn owned by huge multinational corporations who do not thrill to the prospect of a sorta liberal woman or an African-American with too much charisma for their good suddenly barging in on the financial free-for-all which has made a microscopically thin stratum of the big rich enormously richer. They might want to regulate. They might want transparency. They might want the SEC to actually protect the public.

This is regressive. Wall Street and the Bush Administration, using the Patriot Act, just got rid of the biggest pain in their butt, Eliot Spitzer, and they're not signing up for another crusading reformer. So they have maneuvered the Democrats into an absolute, no-win, box canyon. No matter who they choose, they lose. (I know it's "whom;" I'm on a roll here.) Reid/Pelosi/Dean now think Hillary can "fight" McCain better, but if they finagle the nomination for her, all the Barack people stay home, and anyway Hillary's negatives, which are not just the highest of any candidate in the U.S., not just in North America or the Western Hemisphere, not just in the world or the solar system, but in any of those putative entities which may exist in the many-universe model of cosmology, mean McCain wins in a walk. The manna from heaven which Big Business did not expect, felt they had no right to expect, was that Hillary would be the agent of undoing the other prospect which threatened them.

Whew! How close was that? they're thinking over cocktails at that trendy spot in Battery Park, laughing with relief over their coup at the meeting with Mumbles & Diva.

I think their margin of error was greater than they might imagine. All they had to do was beat the Democrats. Again. It looks like they'll have their boy, a guy who gives the idea of getting in bed with the lobbyists a whole new wrinkle, as it were.

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