Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Political Roller Coaster


Been watching the political pundits dissecting the latest moves in the very complicated political process we have here in the United States. I was reminded that I began this series of political blogs to attempt to explain the politics in America to my blogland friends in the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. And in the process I have learned more than I think on retrospect I wanted to know.

I have discovered for instance that there is nothing democratic about the primary process. There are attempts on the part of both parties to make it look more democratic but it really has not gone that far from the old smoked filled rooms of the 1800's except that they are not allowed to smoke anymore.

The puppeteers in the back rooms are almost visible in the Republican campaign. McCain starts using Bush's words and phrases and he comes from behind, Romney challenges with non-Bush policies and gets asked to step out of the race if he wants to position himself with the party in 2012. I even wonder if Huckabee is being asked to stay in and fight to make it look like the registered Republicans might have once had a choice . And as McCain heads to Texas to be endorsed by the senior Bush as the anointed successor you wonder why they even bothered to put on the show. And didn't the pundits say just a few months ago that being endorsed by any Bush would be the kiss of death?

Not meaning to pick on the Republicans only because I doubt there is any more democracy in the Democratic primary process though they made a more convincing show of things. But it is fairly clear they have lost control. Right about now they were suppose to be crowning another Clinton but the people actually got out and voted. Democrats across the nation are turning out for primaries and caucuses and are joined where allowed by independents. Hilary is clearly pissed. Someone in some room at some time told her she was a shoe in and now some of the rats (the super delegates) are fleeing the ship.

All this reminds me of standing in line to ride a roller coaster. My sister and I used to be junkies. You get off the roller coaster and immediately rush around to get in line again. The ride is under five minutes and the line can be that or 10 times that. You get more time to study the line than the ride. Everyone starts out really giddy. Lots of chatter and laughter and kidding around in line. And the closer you get to the front the quieter it gets.

If you have taken the ride before you know what is coming. You know you survived. You liked it well enough you are here again. And yet . . . there is this sense of anxiety. Is this the time the cars jump the track? The track collapses under the weight of too many trips by too many people? The drive mechanism jams and you are left suspended upside down in one of the loops.

Will the whole political process come to a bone shattering halt in mid loop? Have the men behind the scenes lost control and will they try to regain it. Or has something unique happened for once in my lifetime and the people will actually get a say in how it goes.