Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Other Shore

I don't usually comment on US politics, but some of my friends encouraged me to do so here, in case anyone is interested.

6 comments:

FrédéricLN said...

Hello Art, I was interested, and your column is very clear. It seems to me that the comparison between omelets and sausages is very apt — a nice revamp of the old quote about Clinton, Obama and how kitchen smells.

The tone, by the way, reminds me a bit of the tone of some columns against Corbyn election as head of the Labour (which is a kind of primary too, within the UK parties system).

Said otherwise, making omelets is not a revolution in itself.

We hear sometimes within French politics, the comparison between policy agendas and software ("le logiciel socialiste…"). Software actually undergoes minor updates and major versions / innovations, such as MacOSX, WindowsNT or iOS. If this comparison is apt (I'm not sure), do present politics require an update or a major version?

I'm not sure re the USA, that I don't know. My feeling is that Obama, despite being himself a specialist in eggs, succeeded in sausages-making and going on in this fashion might work well. (Re France, I'm sure we need omelette aux fines herbes, since our sausages are unpalatable since decades).

But maybe also many Americans (as, previously, Brits) are unsure whether minor or major changes are required, and what kind of major changes if any.

Then the successful candidate may be the one who sticks most to his/her option, who looks like a leader in his/her field.

That is why I would, too, bet on Mrs Clinton rather than I would have bet on the four or five pale clones of Mr Blair in the race for Labour leadership.

Maybe many potential voters just felt unease with the idea that Mrs Clinton would remain unchallenged and inherit the nomination for the sake of her name and her past — now they see she is fighting indeed.

Just my two eurocents — I should stick to French politics!

brent said...

Interesting piece, Art. Not sure how much of an egg-breaker Sanders really is (though he does like that word 'revolution'). Clinton has made her share of sausage for sure, but how good a claim is that in this peculiar cycle, when much of the electorate seems totally alienated from governmental process?
Your point about Sanders's vulnerabilities is well-taken--but with a billion dollars of unaccounted money the far right could make Saints Peter and Paul look like a pair of grifters. More to the point, Clinton's vulnerabilities are just the right sort--hypocrite, backdoor manipulator, inside player, shader of truth, etc.--to be exploited by a faux populist like Trump. Against Sanders that sort of charge would look patently untrue, since he is the real version of the principled outsider. And the other angles of assault, e.g. the anti-Semitic and red-baiting ones? Even Trump could go too far down those roads, and look desperate. In sum, I think the question of which Democrat is more 'electable' should be (surprisingly) treated as an open question until some votes in different regions of the country are actually counted.

Art Goldhammer said...

Brent, fair points.

Alexandra said...

I find myself somewhere between a sausage type and an egg breaker myself, and do also often enjoy the two on the same plate. Mastering the appearance of offering them both is something Bill Clinton was quite good at, for someone who was basically a Republican. Obama has skated between sausage and egg with varying levels of skill and success as well, smoother and better at it now than he was at first (which makes perfect sense for the newbie he was then). History will be much, much kinder to him than the present has been.

I agree with everything you've said here, Art. I'm really only leaving this comment because I so wish to hear your thoughts on Sarkozy's newly released apologia. Off-topic, I know! Not sure if you're taking requests, Mr. DJ, but what a wonderful moment of schadenfreude he's giving us all.

Mitch Guthman said...

Art,

I would also very much appreciate your thoughts on the Sarkozy mea culpa. When I first saw the headline I thought he was announcing his retirement from politics, perhaps in anticipation of being prosecuted and sent to prison. After reading it a few times, I thought it was a French version of Nixon's "Chequers" speech but I didn't get the point. What are your thoughts?

trustandbest said...

worth my time to read through