Some folks - like Frank Rich - say the change candidates will win this year, and not the credential candidates. I would put it differently, thinking about what Obama and Huckabee, last night's two victors, have in common: they are less authoritarian than their main competitors (Clinton, Romney / Guiliani). That's the ongoing danger of the country's executive democracy, and voters will being going out of their way to dilute it.
Avery's recipe for how the Dims can win:
- don't run Hillary: most people think she's opportunistic - read politically unreliable, dishonest, and yes authoritarian. Run Hillary = elect a Republican
- do run Obama - as Vice President. He's young and green as well as Black. He will run for president again later and win.
- do run Edwards as President, picking up the south, liberal and left Dims and populists everywhere, not to mention white men as well as women.
Avery is right.
On Dec 31 I mentioned a piece by Tom Nairn on the Australian elections. Read it for interesting parallels to the US.
- race politics is not a sideshow but a central issue, even if disguised. The old "Anglo-Celtic" Australia hasn't disappeared, it has "simply sat down." Sitting down for a decade or two, it has forgotten what to do.
- a new "non-military humanitarianism" is needed among factions within the country, particularly with First Australians, but that will require a "frontal approach" to the issues that has been lacking.
- what has been happening instead of facing up? "keeping the lid on things," and doing it through a mechanism familiar in the US: "a ‘realism’ wholly identified with competence and sound economic management."
- the partner of this impractical (and often unjust) realism is "Motherland two-partyism": Harold Laski showed long ago that "any ins-and-outs system could work only by extensive agreement between the parties – a ‘de facto’ one-party national order where the common ground was all-important. Stability and continuity are sacred, while democratic change and initiative, with their associated risks, are dispensable."
- Unfortunately, the need now is for something that requires huge initiative: "non-military humanitarianism has to base itself on equality, not paternalism."