Saturday, October 16, 2010

Biggest Losers in 2010: Pundits

After sizing up the Democrat body count on November 3rd, for me it will be the Pundit Class who will also emerge from this election season as some of the biggest losers.

Charles Krauthammer is perhaps the most urbane and uber-intellectual writer and commentator on the conservative end of the political spectrum but some of his aspersions have really made me "re-evaluate" him to the point where I now must take an analytical approach to everything he writes or says rather than one of general acceptance.

This article in the Washington Post: Your pre-election post-mortem

is one of the more witty things he has written lately but parts of it resonate with his need to prove to all of us he is right at the expense of letting us cheer for the Right. He's become fixated on the candidate Christine O'Donnell since the day after her Primary victory. He doesn't name her by name in this article but his call-out to Chris Coons in this most recent Washington Post piece is a verbose and underhanded way of saying, "I told you so" as in "I told you she couldn't get elected and you Delaware Primary Voters and Tea Party supporters were foolish to nominate her as the Republican candidate in this race that would have been a cake walk for Mike Castle."

This is probably disheartening to her supporters and the voters in Delaware who now have one Republican horse to bet on down the last two week stretch of the race. It's tantamount to calling election results based on exit polls 17 days before the polls close.

What's more troubling though is that Krauthammer knows politics from the inside-out so he is all too aware of how the Reagan campaign really turned the corner and accelerated to victory at the sole Reagan-Carter debate a week before the election. That's not to suggest that O'Donnell is Reagan-esque and that she will come back from 19 points down in the next 16 days but what is his hurry to write the obit?

What Krauthammer and, by virtue of the same logic, so many other pundits have failed to recognize is not that O'Donnell or any other candidate is a political failure, it is that Democracy is a success this year. Political experts did not put so many of the Tea Party candidates on this year's ballots. It was political neophytes, a.k.a. American citizens who nominated, raised funds, campaigned and voted for those candidates. The amateurs, if you will, are making their way, a new way, into the political process. A new set of voices have emerged and they don't sound like the expert voices of candidates and pundits who are political careerists with 20-30 years of pure politics on their résumés. In this way, Krauthammer and many other pundits on the Right are no different than that gaggle of lunatics showing up nightly on msnbc. They all appear to be bothered that the people calling the shots this year are not like them. This new class of candidates and voters are not in the club and therefore they are not playing by the club's rules.

But most of all the pundits continue to talk politely, write around the margins and fail to embrace the way that this election in 2010 and NOT the one in 2008 is truly historic. We are witnessing the political activation of so many Americans who previously voted thoughtlessly, impulsively or not at all. All bets are off in 2010. All conventional "wisdom" can be discarded. Only the returns that will be counted on November 2nd and into November 3rd will be what matters.

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