Both Myiq2xu and I have focused on the power of narratives as they relate to this election season. We humans are all wired to appreciate a good story. In fact, storytelling is the oldest form of entertainment, and we all do it without thinking, don’t we? We organize the events in our lives into a beginning, middle and end, and then relate them to our circle of friends, family and other loved ones.
A narrative is like a story on steroids. It organizes a person, not events, into a prism through which all of their actions are seen. This year, the “narrative” candidate on the Democratic side was Barack Obama. When people wanted to know what he would do for us as President, he would tell his story. Historic candidacy. Post-racial. Post-partisan. Washington outsider. Against corruption. Uniter, not divider. Sounded great to a lot of people, who never noticed that the narrative did not fit the reality.
Obviously, Obama’s narrative was powerful enough to get him the Democratic nomination. (Okay, that, and the DNC forced it to happen, but it was still a huge factor.) By itself, McCain’s narrative (did you know he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, and is a straight-talking maverick?) might have trumped Obama’s. But the fact is, people are tired of do-nothing government. Thanks to eight years of destruction by Bush, the Republican brand is incredibly weak, yet the Democrats took over in January of 2007 and failed to do the only thing that would stop the war(s) in Iraq and end the gridlock on the economy and the environment: impeach Bush and Cheney. Obviously, Pelosi and Reid aren’t so wonderful either.
So now what? Where do we go from here? Maybe a young, fresh-faced outsider who promises to fight partisan gridlock and lobbying and special interests?
Well, if you want that narrative, why not go with Governor Sarah Palin?
Last night, Sarah spun HER narrative: a story of a Republican who appoints Democrats and Independents to her cabinet; a story of a pro-life woman who refused to abort her special needs baby and will help her teenage daughter get through the rigors of her unplanned pregnancy; a story of a REAL Washington outsider, who has successfully taken on the special interests and her own Party’s corruption in Alaska; a story of a real person, a hockey mom just like us, with no use for the Governor’s jet or the servants and chef in the Governor’s mansion. (Yes, she sold the Governor’s jet on e-Bay.)
The speech was an incredible success. And when John McCain came out to congratulate her, he was wearing a PUMA orange tie – the same color that Hillary wore the night of her speech at the Convention. PUMAs, there is no doubt that he wants our votes, and I’m guessing that he’ll get quite a few of them after last night.
Obamasphere, corporate media, Obama/DNC Conglomerate: you’ve been punked.
Did you REALLY think that John McCain would pick a VP that was not thoroughly able to handle the job? Did you REALLY think that he chose her out of desperation?
Well, you must not have been doing any oppo research. (Of course not. Obamans are not strong on facts; they’re too busy hoping and changing and believing.) There have been conservatives who were begging for this choice since 2007! Besides, Governor Palin’s name has been on McCain’s short list for several months now.
What seems clear now is that McCain chose her, not just because she is a real, conservative Republican with a high likeability factor, but also because she is the Republican Barack Obama. Historic factor? Check – ladyparts. Post-partisan? Check. Anti-corruption? Check. Young, hawt and Washington outsider? Check, check and check. Or should I say, checkmate?
It’s all over but the shouting. McCain/Palin is an unbeatable anti-corruption, reform ticket that promises TRUE change (and may actually deliver it, although I’m dubious about what form that change will take). In the meantime, much entertaining hilarity will ensue as the fauxgressive and corporate media meltdown continues at the thought of Teh Scary Vagina being “one heartbeat away” from the Presidency. It’s gonna happen, guys. Cover your tiny wee-wees and get used to it.
Am I happy about this master stroke by McCain? Yes and no. I do not want Obama in the White House for many reasons, but I have believed he was post-electable since the Wright scandal and BitterCling. Thus, I have been resigning myself to a McCain victory if Hillary was not allowed to become the nominee.
But it’s such a waste, because we Democrats had a really powerful narrative with Hillary too. She also was going against her Party, which clearly had done all it could to torpedo her, even trying to pressure her to quit as early as February. She also was a person like us, a champion of the working class. That narrative was slow to develop, but by the time the primaries ended, it was giving her 40% victories over Obama in key swing states. And of course, she was a fighter, the woman who never gave up, the superhero with the titanium pantsuit who could not be beaten by the opposition, but only by betrayal from the forces on her own side of the aisle.
As I watched all the happy women in the convention hall last night, I felt the pain of justice denied. That should have been us, PUMAs. We should have been the ones that were cheering as Hillary took the stage as the Democratic nominee for President.
Oh well. There’s always 2012. In the meantime, I’m going to vote Democratic down-ticket, find some ways to help bring democracy back to the Democratic Party (maybe join my local Democratic organization), and possibly be a poll worker to prevent any shenanigans at my voting place.
And one more thing.
I’ll be eating a lot of popcorn.
Cross-posted at The Confluence