Cory Farley, voted "Best of Reno" 26 times in 27 years by readers of his column in the Reno Gazette-Journal, takes an unconventional look at topics from presidential elections to the best way to cook Brussels sprouts.

Location: Verdi, Nev, United States

Monday, January 21, 2008

A puzzle for our age

Just a quick word here on something that's developed in my mail. Note that I don't necessarily endorse the sympathies expressed ; I'm just passing along comments:
  1. People in general, especially Democrats, are fed up with the way things are going. That's why they turned out in such numbers for the Nevada caucuses on Saturday.
  2. Most of them say they want "change," whatever that means (mostly it means "No more Bush," but that's going to happen anyway).
  3. Of the leading Democratic candidates, Hillary Clinton seems least likely to effect change. I wouldn't mind seeing her in the White House, but she's as firmly wired to the power structure as anybody in either party. Obama is somewhat better, but still associated with the problem as it's commonly perceived.
  4. Only John Edwards, of the "serious" candidates, seems likely to bring the change Democrats say they want (I know, I know: Kucinich. And I'd vote for him. But he isn't going to be president, not in this lifetime or any other).
So: Why did these change-seeking Dems go to the caucuses and give Clinton and Obama, the candidates of more-or-less-the-same-old-stuff, better than 90 percent approval between them? If you WANT change, don't you have to VOTE for change?


Blogger tuzoner said...

I agree with what Cory wrote except for one thing: the Dems have to win the presidency to effect said change. Dems don't win = more of the same.

For better or worse (and I'm quite certain Cory would suggest the latter) it's about electability. And you must nominate someone that will. It is absolutely imperative.

Actually, I'm a contrarian in this respect: I think Clinton will ensure change because she knows the system - and how it's rigged. Trust me, she learned a thing or two from Bill.

6:20 PM  
Blogger rosebud said...

gee, just a day over a week ago you were touting the people, 96% of whom rejected your candidate for “change”, as “smart”. now that they did, you apparently wonder how they could be so dumb. but, the only “reasons” you have identified for supporting this revolutionary are that he “may be less phony than the rest”; he “has ideas”, some of which “aren't necessarily good”; and “he understands that there are problems.”

the only demonstrable change that I’ve seen edwards MAKE is that of his mind as to what he DID in regard to his votes for the iraq war and bankruptcy “reform”. maybe I’m a sucker for even hoping to believe in anyone, but, apart from kucinich, the only one without a “same-old-stuff” RECORD is obama. so, you see, I thought I did vote fore change. and, silly me, I still can’t figure out how I didn’t. please let me know.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Jimmy Carter was an outsider who tried to change things and the "system" thumbed its nose and ran him out of town.

I think the best we can hope for is any Democratic president and a Democratic congress.

7:43 PM  
Blogger sabjoro said...

I wish Obama would stop saying he's a Washington outsider. We have 7 years of another one who ran on being an outsider and coming in to make changes.

Edwards major theme is not accepting money from lobbyists and won't having any lobbyists in his White House. Other than harping on that he doesn't expand on his other ideas. I wish he would.

Clinton - she has so many people who don't like her the negative ads this summer will drive all of us crazy. Ask anyone why they don't like Clinton and they can't explain why. Ask them what piece of legislation she championed that they don't like. Ask them what policy she enacted while she was in her husband's White House they don't like. They don't have an answer. They just hate her.

The ditto-heads from conservative talk radio and TV just repeating what they are told about all the candidates.

11:14 PM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

In order to effect change, you have to have a spine. I am sick to death of candidates who use calculated talking points and semantics to avoid saying anything too risky (remember "weapons of mass destruction-related program activities?")

I'm already hearing the same kind of quasi-doublespeak and spin coming out of Hillary's mouth on the campaign trail. And although I don't mind Edwards, every time I hear him speak, he comes across as vague and "safe."

Obama, on the other hand, has impressed me by not spinning issues, by not using tired rhetoric, and by being willing to say things that might be unpopular (like his 'controversial' remarks about Reagan over the weekend). He's able to express intellectual nuance in a way that makes it clear (to me, anyway), that he knows exactly what he wants and believes, and is willing to defend those things in no uncertain terms.

In fact, Obama reminds me a lot of Bill Clinton in the early 90s -- but more mature, less 'slick' and without the playboy baggage.

Anyway, don't underestimate the electorate's susceptibility to raw charisma. Obama has it. Hillary and Edwards don't.

8:18 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

See what the SF Chronicle editorial board had to say about Obama here (supports my previous post).

8:44 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Change (1 2) is coming no matter what party wins. The question is: How will change be managed? At first I didn't think the puppetmasters wanted a president from the Democratic party this time. Now I think they do, and Clinton is probably the one they want. Bill Clinton was on the verge of privatizing Social Security, until Monica Lewinsky rode to the rescue. That bit of unfinished business will be taken up by Hillary Clinton. Yes, I think the puppetmasters are ready for dessert. If you're not ready to be dessert, vote for a third party (3), and get one going if there isn't one in the mix yet.

8:46 AM  
Blogger rosebud said...

one piece of legislation she championed that i don't like:
the iraq war.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Don't you remember? After 9-11 there was a great spirit of solidarity among all Americans (for a little while) and many congressmen voted for the war to show united American resolve against the terrorists. Now to blame Democrats for bipartisan cooperation is a little weird.

9:48 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Plus that was before we all knew the war excuses were bogus and it we would be inept.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The so-called bipartisan response to 9/11 was the invasion of Afghanistan, except that the invasion of Afghanistan was planned before 9/11. The invasion of Iraq came a year and a half after 9/11, and the pretext was the phony WMD story, which all Democrats knew was phony (1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14--I went crazy linking to old McGowan newsletters but they're all good).

10:05 AM  
Blogger Pogonip said...

Our candidates, all of them, singing the same song:

11:40 AM  
Blogger rosebud said...

oh, i thought it was "bipartisan cooperation" to "show united American resolve" to make the world safe from weapons of mass destruction. of course, back then i got some of my information from the rgj. 23 other members of the senate then apparently seemed to have at least some idea that "the war excuses were bogus". i would just prefer a candidate who can express that warm, fuzzy (and politically expedient) "spirit of solidarity among all Americans" in a way that doesn't involve the slaughter of thousands of our own and tens of thousands not like us without first exploring some other options.

5:27 PM  

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