Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Truly historic moment
Barack Obama's claiming the nomination last night was a truly historic moment, but I had a question: Now that Mommy and Daddy have stopped fighting, is it safe to come out again? Will things return to normal now in the Democratic Party, the progressive blogosphere and the mainstream media? Will there be an end to the nonstop misogyny directed at Clinton and the endless arguments that Obama is not "electable," with its scarcely veiled racist overtones? I'm optimistic about the Democrats and the blogosphere. There seems to be a real hunger to come together and unite against the Republicans. (I'd still like to see that Obama-Clinton dream ticket. What else can you do when two candidates end up splitting the delegates nearly equally?)
About the media, I'm not so sure. It was weird. On MSNBC Brian Williams, Tim Russert, Tom Brokaw and Keith Olbermann all seemed to visibly relax for the first time in ages now that it seemed certain the presidential race would be a good old boys' club again, without that pesky woman nipping at their heels. It wasn't so much what they said -- precious little of which was about the first woman to make a real run at the presidency -- as their manner and the fact that there wasn't a single woman sharing the screen with them. And what they didn't say: Two people made history in this campaign, but in their wrap-up they really only talked about one of them.
No sooner had Barack apparently secured the nomination, but they started to cut him down to size as well. Russert said something about how Obama will now have to demonstrate to the whole nation that he's capable of being commander in chief. And then Brian Williams began an emotional recital of John McCain's heroism in North Vietnam, being shot down, imprisoned, wondering if he should have lived his life differently. Huh? I got the feeling they thought Obama was fine when he was running against Clinton, but now that he was running against their hero, a real man's man -- well, maybe he was just the new John Kerry.