I want to link to two posts I liked, here, and here. Here too. Think of this post as my equivalent of expressive voting. No, I’m not feeling rage but my calmness in such matters is probably just my personal defect and general lack of manliness when it comes to politics.
Kevin Drum wonders why Clinton and Obama supporters get so worked up at each other. Any fan of Dr. Seuss will know that policy similarity hardly matters. The two candidates represent two diametrically opposed portraits of the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Should we expect beauty, grace and universality, or should we derive our feel-good sentiments about politics from righteousness, confrontation, and sheer dogged persistence and feelings of ultimate desert? Given his desire for partisan confrontation, Paul Krugman is quite consistent in his skepticism about Barack Obama. The far more conservative but also far more aestheticized Andrew Sullivan is quite consistent in liking and indeed at times almost loving Obama. There really is a lot at stake in the Democratic primary; it’s our current sense of the aesthetic, and of desert, that drives what our substantive policy views will be twenty or thirty years from now. Given the high turnout (never an accident), in an odd way there may be more at stake in the Democratic primary than there would be in a Clinton vs. McCain general election.
As an outsider, the dilemma is whether to side with the values you admire or whether that is a kind of fool’s gold. If nothing else, we have Hillary Clinton to thank for reminding us (again) this week that politics is ultimately about power.