Saturday, May 08, 2010

How to Change the Change

Don't be surprised when, come November, the "conventional" wisdom once again proves to be incorrect.  We've been assured that people are mad at incumbents and will be punishing anyone associated with Washington. 

And I swear, I read a story earlier today about how incumbents did suprisingly well in today's primaries, but I can't find it now.  I suspect it's because it went against the media's story, which is why I can't find it, because it didn't fit into their preferred storyline.  But it demonstrated my point: Incumbents aren't as nearly at risk as you've been led to believe.

And the biggest oddity about the whole thing is that the entire meme is about how voters are tired of the status quo and are demanding change.  This paragraph about Harry Reid's problems sums up the idea quite well:
A succession of polls show most Nevadans are unhappy with his leadership, and his close association with Obama's agenda has turned off some voters in a state known for moderate politics with a libertarian streak. In a year when voters want change, he has a record in the Senate reaching back to the Reagan years.
Huh?  Voters want change?  You mean, like a significant reform of healthcare?  Or a pro-active approach of having the government solve problems?  That sort of change?  Or how Obama has completely revolutionized the way Washington works, so much so that he continues to disprove every known piece of conventional wisdom?  Is that the sort of change voters want?

Because I daresay that this IS what voters want.  This IS the change they voted for.  And anyone who supports it isn't supporting the status quo.  I mean, that's the whole complaint of Republicans and the Tea Partiers: That Obama is a socialist who is changing too much.  So if your complaint is that you don't like the status quo, you don't get to complain about Obama and his allies, as he's changing the status quo.  Again, his radical agenda is the big complaint against him. 

Obama's Radical Establishment

And that's what's so weird about the schizo political coverage this year, as we're to believe that Obama is a radical who represents the Establishment, while conservatives want to shake up the system by keeping things exactly as they are.  And I'm like, huh?  This is a message?  This is supposed to work?  Sorry, but I'm just not seeing it.  Because, yeah, people are saying they want change.  But that's a completely meaningless word if the "change" they want involves us going back to the way things were in the past.

And the entire storyline is absurd.  To hear the media tell it, the "conventional" wisdom essentially amounts to voters always wanting change, all the time, including a change against the changers they elected last time who did the changes they said they were going to do.  As if we all want change for change's sake, and nobody really wants change at all.  And I simply can't believe that.  And all it really is, is that the people who lost the last election want to change that, because they don't like having lost the last election, and reporters are lazy and like that story, as it's the same story they told last time, when voters really did want change.

And so, yeah, we've got a sizeable portion of the population clamoring for "change," but it's smaller than the group that lost the last election.  And while they're loud about their demand for change, it still doesn't negate the fact that they lost the last election and didn't get any bigger since then.  So again, I have serious doubts about these demands for "change," outside them being part of a media-created storyline.  Yes, there are people who want change, but that doesn't mean they know what they're talking about.


mahakal said...

The corporate media disinformation machine at work. The fact is that a lot of people who worked hard to elect Barack Obama and then to support health care are resting their voices a bit, and when that happens the highly upset opposition gets to yell for awhile.

A real test for me is going to be whether the Pennsylvania Democratic primary voters toss out Specter next week. It would be a very good sign for Sestak to win.

mahakal said...

Sestak by 8 points is a very good sign indeed.