Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Saturday News Cycle

For the first time in a while, the most recent news cycle was decidedly pro-Hillary.

From CNN headlines featuring talking points from Clinton campaign spokespeople, editorials in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times criticizing Obama's reluctance to keep his promise to accept public campaign financing, and Bloomberg and Newsday pieces highlighting the extreme difficulties and weaknesses Obama would experience in a head-to-head race with John McCain, the media appears to be doing one of its periodic checks on the current frontrunners.

Perhaps more noteworthy have been the recent acknowledgment and fun made of Obama's cult of support. Though far from the current majority sentiment, an increasing number of journalists are writing about the "pseudo-revolution" surrounding Obama and the "cult of personality" that follows him.

The tremendous momentum that has carried Obama to a very successful February thus far could have an uncertain future. Though young people like myself have a tremendous ability to propel and support political campaigns, we are, at least in my eyes, restless, especially with regard to politics. The media's recent joking about the Obama campaign may not erode much of his support, but all that it takes is a subtle abandoning of purpose from within the Obama "army of change" to suck his momentum away.

The New York and LA Times may write pieces that gently kid about Obama and his supporters, but pieces like Mark Steyn's op-ed in the OC Register today make fun of what so many find so cool about being an Obama fan:

A few days ago, a local news team went to shoot some film at Obama's Houston campaign headquarters. Behind the desks of the perky gals answering the phones were posters of Che Guevara and Cuban flags. Do Obama's volunteers even know who Che is? Apart from being a really cool guy on posters and T-shirts, like James Dean or Bart Simpson. I doubt it. They're pseudo-revolutionaries. Very few people in America want a real revolution: Life is great, this is a terrific country, with unparalleled economic opportunities.

Not even Obama supporters want real revolution: Ask the many peoples around the world for whom revolution means not a lame-o Sixties poster above your desk but the carnage and horror of the day before yesterday.

Poor mean, vengeful Hillary, heading for a one-way ticket on the Oblivion Express, has a point. Barack Obama is an elevator Muzak dinner-theater reduction of all the glibbest hand-me-down myths in liberal iconography, which is probably why he's a shoo-in. The problems facing America — unsustainable entitlements, broken borders, nuclearizing enemies — require tough solutions, not gaseous Sesame Street platitudes.

Maybe it's that the media can't stand having a politician rise to the level of popularity where the media can't touch him, and the questioning of Obamas gives lots of big-shot writers the opportunity to make some interesting political predictions, but this media shift could just as easily be for real.

Fad or not, the path of Obama's momentum is certainly...uncertain.

(all photos: © 2008 by Luke N. Vargas. All Rights Reserved.)

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