Oh beautiful, for spacious skies. Sunset from the front porch of Chelsea-by-the-Sea this afternoon with Bunker Hill monument in the distance.
What is the point of being a Democrat? we asked rhetorically three years back in the context of the lack of coherent ideas on the left side of the aisle. We haven't noticed any coherent ideas in the interim but totally agree with the Wall Street Journal's joyous assessment of the recent shake up:
Iowa's caucus-goers shook up the conventions of American politics Thursday night, and to our mind mostly to the good. Barack Obama's convincing Democratic triumph, based on a huge increase in Iowa voter turnout, is at least a historic cultural moment and maybe a political one. Mike Huckabee's Republican victory probably has less long-term meaning but also has some salutary effects.
"I am trying to show the world that we are all human beings and that color is not important. What is important is the quality of our work, dancer and choreographer Alvin Ailey told the New York TImes nearly twenty years ago. "Ailey integrated his company to counter the 'reverse chauvinism in being an all-black anything,'" notes Thomas F. DeFrantz, author of Dancing Revelations. "Early performances of [Ailey's signature work] 'Revelations' established his company as "the foremost dance interpreter of African-American experience." (Paul Kolnik photo of Renee Robinson in "Revelations")
"But Mr. Obama is the first serious African-American candidate who has explicitly avoided race-specific appeals," says the WSJ:
Like Catholicism to Jack Kennedy, Mr. Obama's race is part of his political character but doesn't define it. His success marks a watershed in American political history . . .
The Illinois Senator's performance is also welcome as a sign that most Democrats want to "move on," as some of them like to say, from the Clinton era. Bill Clinton has described his wife Hillary's campaign as a case of "back to the future," even as she too has claimed to be an agent of change. But inevitably, if she were the nominee, the baggage of their earlier co-Presidency would attend her campaign and might help defeat her in November.
"Mr. Obama has often sounded naive in the extreme in discussing Iraq, Iran and the overall war on terror, and Mrs. Clinton can point out that Republicans are sure to make that argument in the autumn. Mr. Obama's other potential weakness in November is his orthodox policy liberalism," adds the WSJ. That's surely our own sticking point, but at this point, ABH -- anybody but Hillary -- floats our boat:
She: I was delighted to read, over at Lucianne, that Hillary got booed at the RAT dinner in NH.
We: Yes. Tuck is even starting to feel sorry for her. She and all things Clinton are SO YESTERDAY.
She: I hope the Big Mo lasts, God forgive me. Shadenfreude has its place.
We: We've earned it with all the toe curlng and skin crawling we've endured. It's lovely to see them devour their own. The fact that Obama is BLACK makes it extra tricky for her to criticize him.
She: GAK!!! Feel sorry for her? Maybe that's what they are hoping for? DON'T get sucked into THAT Clintonesque miasma.
We: That was what got her the Senator's seat, you may recall.
She: They'll try anything, of course. I just HOPE that maybe this time . . .
We: It really IS time to moveon.org.
She: Yes, and I think he's lame, and would be just like Jimmy Carter in taking over the presidency, and YET. Seeing the Clintons going down in flames will energize this Republican.
Update: We love Laura Lee's take:
No, I would never vote for Barack Obama. He is a Democrat and I don’t agree with his policies or his politics. But I can admire his gumption and his Humphrey Bogart-like delivery of his speeches. I think he is doing the Democrat Party a favor by helping to unweave the Clinton web over all things Democrat.
Here's looking at you, kid.