Friday, January 11, 2008

A choice of a Hobson kind

So, this week Richardson dropped out, after being swamped again in the New Hampshire primary. Yes, we are at a point where the Democratic field gets cut in half after two electoral contests.


I know I'm late to the party here. Hell, I'm showing up at the address after the charming gay couple who threw the party have packed up and moved to Seattle. Still, I'll go ahead and ask. Why is it that the media decided back in--pretty sure on this--late 2006 that HRC and Obama and maybe Edwards were the only serious presidential candidates on the Dem side. And why has that stood all this time. Well, the words "self-fulfilling prophecy" come to mind.

Richardson in particular I liked because he had a firm out-of-Iraq position, was one of the least bellicose candidates on Iran, and he actually addressed how badly Americans got screwed in the 2005 Bankruptcy Bill, and yes, Congress actually had the balls to slap the words "Consumer Protection" on that turd. Of the other second-tier candidates, I didn't really trust Dodd and have always kind of disliked Biden, in part because they're not responsive on bread/butter issues like the above. And yet they were real candidates, and should have been treated as such. Even Dennis Kucinich's run is considerably less flaky than you might think. Last time around he came in a respectable second in the Hawaii primary, winning six delegates. True, he was the only protest candidate left after Dean dropped out, but at that point no one was supposed to vote for anyone but Kerry, so Kucinich was reaching someone. As long as he's in the race, though, he'll be treated like a clown.

Who's responsible for this state of affairs? Well, who benefits? The list is pretty long. The parties don't like surprises, and so funnel money towards hopefuls that won't give them any. Usually the Republicans are better at this, but Bush's hopeless lack of appeal has thrown them a tad off game. Still, both parties are working it.

The media, too, have a part in this. Playing kingmaker is more likely to work when you've got a small number of potential kings.

All signs point to a conspiracy. Which does not mean a small group of men running the world from an underground bunker (that's a cabal, not a conspiracy.) In this case, it doesn't even mean working closely together towards a common goal. But there are a few people working to avoid something they don't want. Namely, that democracy thing we're trying to export.

No comments: