Jun 172008
Authors: J. David McSwane

How many Democrats does it take to screw up an election?

It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and maybe it is. But I’d have to say in terms of election-screwing the Democrats are quite the team players.

As poised as they were to clinch this presidential election — consider the embarrassing and drastic blunders of the Bush administration — the Democrats seem to be more focused on clipping their front line.

From absurd accusations of plagiarism, to Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s rightfully angry racial commentary that was unfairly turned into anti-American sentiment, to tiffs over who wears an American flag pin and who does not, the Democrats have beautifully stained a once legitimate cry for change in the highest political office.

Surely, blame falls in part on both Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton for that widely televised tickle-and-slap fest we’re all relieved to hear has ended. Clinton’s stunning performance, however, deserves a little detention and “I will not screw up any more elections” a thousand times on the chalkboard.

Now, it’s up to Obama, a neophyte, to unite, even begrudgingly, a party half-stacked against him by Clinton, an experienced saboteur.

According to a recent Gallup poll, more than 28 percent of poor-sported Hillary-ites now vow to vote against the Democrats in the general election. Some might call it a very irrational and detrimental sort of collective action on behalf of a handful of Democrats. I’m going to have to stick with stupid.

Meanwhile, the Republicans have foregone any talk of social change in politics as they haul for the White House. And Republican Sen. John McCain couldn’t ask for more Democratic fumbling to guide his way . well, maybe John Kerry or a caffeinated Howard Dean could seal the deal.

And McCain — with a sound and consistent agenda ripped straight from Bush’s personal White House strategy guide: “Murder and War Deluxe Colorforms Playset” — promises to save us from that stint of progressive idealism we once witnessed in the early Democratic primary.

We knew early on that Obama had “change” on his mind, which may or may not have been similar or identical, to the “change” spouted by the Clinton campaign — or possibly neither or both.

Truly, the most difficult part of the Democratic primary was identifying any real difference between the two major candidates — aside from the most obvious, of course, being race and gender.

Any Republican might find this strategy confusing or, for the literate ones, laughable.

But from a Democrat’s perspective, it’s important to note that no positive “change” should be confused with another, though identical or similar in desired outcome, but entirely opposite.

It’s true; the media and the public at large just can’t handle the concept of two competing individuals sharing core principles. And when our children look back on this election, they’ll have the hindsight we all lacked to realize black men and free-thinking women have nothing in common, and despite their unique yet common-threaded marginalization in our society, just can never be friends. And Democrats hate each other, too. Like Bush hates dictionizing.

Party doubt, senseless squabbling and an idiotic segmentation of men and women, black and white have already begun to overshadow a once vibrant rally call of modern liberals.

But the tide is turning, with Clinton now backing Obama, which could help solidify the perception that the Democrats truly are as fake and soulless as she (I’d argue about only 28 percent or so).

In this election the left’s cheap shot tactics seem almost — and I hate to say this — Republican. They just forgot to aim the cannon at the enemy or, say, the other party.

Despite all the hype and the record number of young people skipping to the primaries, now, in this election, the best presidential selling point appears to be the status quo. On TV, it looks much better than well-intentioned chaos.

J. David McSwane is a senior technical journalism major. His column appears occasionally in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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