Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It Makes You Wonder If Everyone Is Really Listening?

Believe it or not there is an upside and a downside to having the flu during Caucus/Primary season. One obvious downside is the challenge of trying to type in the midst of coughing spasms. Another is trying to read the news online while trying not to spill tea into your laptop.

The upside to the experience is having plenty of time, between medically induced naps, to reflect on the voting results and analyze the media coverage of the campaigns. One of the things that I've found particularly disappointing about the Iowa Caucus results was that Joe Biden only received 1% of the vote. I'm still really trying to figure that out.

Honestly, I never expected Biden to win or even place in the top three. He simply didn't have the campaign dollars to wage a competitive campaign and sadly his longevity in Washington is working against him. But with his candor, experience, foreign policy knowledge and, voting record, for Joe Biden to come away with only 1% of the votes leaves me dismayed that Iowa, ( with their 15 % viability rule ), is the first to caucus/vote. It's also more than a little distressing that so much money is spent and so much emphasis is placed on the outcome of the Iowa Caucus that candidates like Biden and Chris Dodd withdraw from the race before many Americans have even begun to really pay attention.

Post Iowa it seems that we are left with a phenomenon reminiscent of what happens every Sunday morning in churches across America. After services are over congregants walk out of the church doors making statements like:

"Boy wasn't that a great sermon!"

"The preacher really preached today, didn't he?"

"The preacher really nailed it today!"

In response to rave reviews like these, some genuinely interested person will normally ask "so what was the message?" Sadly the response is often something to the effect of "I'm not really sure but it sure sounded great."

Is this sounding familiar?

Every time that the mainstream media pundits laud Obama's charisma, rock star appeal and oratory skills without mentioning his positions on the issues they do the American people and the Obama campaign a great disservice.

The media does an equal injustice when in their analysis of how women voted they ignore the fact that it just might be possible that many women respect and admire Hillary Clinton but may not totally agree with her political views. Not voting for Hillary, does not mean that women perceive her as "not strong enough", "not vulnerable enough" or any of the misogynistic lables that get tossed around. Good lord, the fact that on Monday, Hillary allowed her emotions to show when asked how she is holding up under a schedule that would drop most of us in our tracks is insane. And as much as I like CNN's Anderson Cooper, I wanted to smack him for even asking the question of Hillary's emotions were perceived as "genuine". This is the new age of political analysis.

Listening to the corporate news networks you'll start to believe that voters are far more concerned about style than substance. Listen long enough and they'll have you believing that the only voters that are really "issues voters" are the "pro-life", "gun-toting", "anti-gay marriage" evangelicals.

But don't get the impression that the alternative media and the blogosphere are bastions of objectivity and pure truth. I've read some blogs that would have you believe that anyone who is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations has retractable horns and tails.

Before all of the votes were counted in Iowa, the corporate media announced that New Hampshire will all but ignore Huckabee (no Evangelicals there) and that Hillary was in deep dog pooh. The media has now all but snatched the coronation scepter out of Hillary hands and is chasing Obama down to hand it to him. We are told that this election is all about, dare I say it, CHANGE.

Change.. the word sure sounds good. But do people really know what they are changing from and changing to?

Or is change for the sake of change enough?

Isn't that how George W was elected?

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