Enjoy as Anatole Kaletsky sets out to lecture Americans concerning our next presidential election:
The 2008 US election has all the makings of a Greek tragedy, in which noble heroes and heroines are forced to follow a course to catastrophe, divinely preordained as punishment for sins and blunders committed by their forefathers in the dim and distant past. In acting out their ineluctable doom, the eloquent protagonists do not just destroy themselves but also their cities, their nations and even their entire civilisations.
Speaking of Greek tragedies, the word hubris comes to mind. But it is nice to see that he agrees with many of us that the election of Senator Clinton or Senator Obama would lead to end of Western Civilization.
If this description sounds too grandiose, consider yesterday's results from the Pennsylvania primary.
The outcome seemed to be precisely calibrated by the gods to maximise the agony of the Democrats. It gave Hillary Clinton just the support she needed to stay firmly in contention, but not quite enough to turn the tide in her favour.
She's no Cnut, that's for sure.
Worse still, this result underlined the fear that senior Democrats have long been aware of, but have never dared to express in public: America may not yet be ready to elect a black President.
Is Mr. Kaletsky aware that these are Democrat primaries? Heh, at least by inference we are over our sexism.
Worst of all, it has created conditions for the possible election victory of a militarily belligerent and economically unqualified Republican candidate who supports many of President Bush's worst policies. Given the Bush Administration's domestic and foreign failures, the disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan and, most recently, the slump in the economy, the possibility of a Republican victory in November would seem to overturn every principle of proper democracy - and also the hope of America and its system of government being rehabilitated in the eyes of the world after the Bush years.
Wow, the election of John McCain would seem to overturn every principle of democracy? Really? Every one?
The fact that Mr Obama and Mrs Clinton are both such impressive candidates, intelligent, sincere, articulate and in command of the issues, while John McCain does not qualify on any of these criteria only makes matters worse.
Too bad Mr. Kaletsky lacks the nous to name the forefathers whose misdeeds have led to the suffering of these two impressive candidates.
... The certainty of a no-holds-barred attacks by the Republicans brings us to the potentially most tragic aspect of this election. If ever there was an election the Democrats ought to win this is the one. Yet on the basis of the primary results so far, they are all too likely to lose it. Mr Obama may be marginally ahead of Mrs Clinton in the popular vote but the Democrats seem to have forgotten that all the votes cast so far have been by their own supporters. In the general election their candidate will have to win over Republicans and right-leaning floating voters. Most of the evidence so far suggests that the Repulicans will find it much easier to frighten voters about the prospect of a President Obama than a President Clinton.
Cue Cardinal Ximinez, "Our chief weapon is fear. Fear and November surprise. Two! Our two chief weapons are fear, November surprise and our flashy red states. Three! Our three chief weapons are..."
Professional Democratic politicians now have the casting vote in their party's nomination and could yet force the two candidates into a “dream ticket” led by Mrs Clinton with Mr Obama as Vice President which would sweep all before it and would probably make Mr Obama unbeatable as a presidential candidate in 2012 or 2016. Yet the Democratic superdelegates who could now secure years of hegemony for their party seem to consider it “unfair” to use their professional judgment to overturn the “democratic” verdict of primary voters.
Must be some of that good old fashioned Democrat compunction about not overturing every priniciple of "democracy." Hmm..., but isn't hegemony supposed to be bad?
The Republicans will have no such compunctions about the fairness of launching personal attacks against a potentially vulnerable Democratic candidate. In this respect this Presidential contest may again manifest the tragedy of left-wing politics through the ages. Parties which care more about fairness than about power, end up achieving neither.
Those poor, fair Democrats. If only they would value power more then they could get what they deserve. Or should that be what we deserve?