MONDAY, AUGUST 25, 2008: DISPATCH # 1
As I dig into these notes, I feel it’s important to say I’m an outsider, politically; there are probably many people who, if awakened at 5 AM and splashed with ice cold water, could talk me under the table about politics, roll over, and go back to sleep. However, I’ve been interested in politics this year, in a way that I haven’t been in some time. Part of it has obviously been the clash between the two leading Democratic candidates—one African-American, one female, both complex, both viable. But beyond that, think about the timing. After 8 years of an administration about whom no amount of negative adjectives would be sufficient, whose previous lambasting has been so elaborate and so comprehensive that adding to it would be sheer redundancy, we find that the two leading Democratic candidates for President are a woman and an African-American man. Good work, Americans—where the heck have you been? The dialogue becomes, rather than who’s the lesser of two or three mediocrities, as it was in 2000 and 2004, something else. Who do you trust? Who’s more interesting to you? Who seems like they could win, not just in our imagination but in reality? Which is an interesting switch, to me at least—and will doubtless affect future elections.
The notes I’ve made below are spontaneous and sporadic—I tried to respond to events and comments that pushed buttons for me. If I sound a little dour, it’s because I am a little dour. This is an important year for Democrats, and my standards for performance at this convention are high.