Monday, November 17, 2008

Competence Nation

With the election over the punditocracy has switched into Ren and Stimpy mode asking and answering the question "What does it mean?!"

The meme melee has centered in the center and specifically whether we are (still?) a "center-right" nation or if the election has signaled a move to "center-left."
Watching this debate unfold I am reminded of P.J. O'Rourke's coverage of the 1990 Nicaraguan election in which the Sandinistas were removed from power. One of the American election monitors --who went down expecting to validate a Sandinista victory-- lamented to O'Rourke that instead of voting with their brains the Nicaraguan people “voted with their stomachs."

If, as Paul Krugman presents, "we’ve become a banana republic with nukes" then the 1990 Nicaraguan election may provide the answer to the left-right debate. The center has no philosophy; they have needs, desires and fears. Whichever candidate or party can best convince the middle that they will fulfill the first two and allay the last will capture the vote.

The center doesn't care about politics, they care about competence. And after eight years of mind-boggling mismanagement and scorched earth politics the Republicans have no credibility in that area.

Taking another note from Nicaragua, after losing in 1996 and 2001 Daniel Ortega returned to power in 2006. I honestly don't think it matters if Obama, Reid and Pelosi decide to push change fast or slow, as long as it is smart change, and most importantly it works.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. I enjoy your blog, and the thoughts presented, so much.

I agree with you. Am emotion even stronger than racism or ageism or fear is SELF PRESERVATION.

It's like that cartoon on The Onion, where Obama says something like "You voted for a black guy. Wow, this economy must have really broke you."

People saw their world crumbling and said, "enough."