After Super-Tuesday–Media Reforms Needed
Well, it looks like McCain will be carrying the banner for the Republicans this fall, after so many previous tries, and after being essentially written off by the pundits just a few short months ago. That was when Giuliani was considered the front-runner.
This is one among many reasons why we shouldn’t rely on pundits. Once the voters started speaking, it was clear that Giuliani was a non-starter. I heard one commentator say this week that he had the worst dollars-to-delegates ratio in the history of politics: $50 million to get one lone delegate. Ouch!
McCain is much, much better than his competitors on some issues, notably torture and campaign finance reform. But on war (for me, the dealbreaker issue), he’s the worst of the lot–even more hawkish than GWB. Yikes! And his own shady past on ethics issues–he was one of the infamous Keating 5, after all–makes me wonder how sincere the reform really is.
Still, he’s certainly less of a flip-flopper than Romney, who would have made a great used car salesman. And far less scary than our American Ayatollah Huckabee, whose election would make me seriously consider leaving the country; as a non-Christian with progressive politics, I’m not sure there would be room for me in a country governed by someone who equates homosexuality with necrophilia.
Much less clarity on the Democrat side. For me, the real question now becomes who could beat McCain. For reasons I stated here, I believe that in a McCain-Clinton contest, McCain would win, although I think she might beat Romney. But some of my friends believe that Obama hasn’t yet shown he can attract enough white voters to prevail against any opponent in November.
I know that I personally would not vote for Hilary Clinton–but I have the luxury of living in a state where my vote doesn’t count anyway: no matter what I do no matter who the candidate, Massachusetts will go for the Democrat.
The real shame for me, yesterday, was standing with my ballot and looking at Dennis Kucinich’s name right next to Barack Obama’s, thinking about what might have been. Kucinich has withdrawn, of course, and I’m not going to waste my vote on a candidate who’s no longer interested. But I think it’s a crime that the media–the same media that annointed Giuliani–decided for itself that it would not let us hear the voices of any of the candidates whose positions actually represented progressive change, and gave us a media blackout on the candidates who should matter most. They refused to cover Kucinich, Gravel, Dodd, and Ron Paul, among others–all of those bringing forward substantive reforms on a host of issues. This, to me, is a serious ethical breach and somehow we need a mechanism to address this that doesn’t interfere with the First Amendment.
For broadcast media, at least, the solution may lie with their licenses to use the public’s own airwaves for profit. For print media, the solution is probably intense public pressure in the form of letter-to-the-editor campaigns, pickets in front of their stockholder meetings, and so forth.