Politics, Technology, and Language

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought — George Orwell

The race is not always to the swift

Posted by metaphorical on 14 February 2008

[Huckabee] also overwhelmingly won Virginians who identified themselves as conservatives, pointing to continued resistance toward McCain among many of the GOP’s base voters.

The LA Times says that as if it’s a bad thing. But if you’re the Republicans, that’s exactly what you want – a candidate whose appeal stretches into independents, Democrats, and liberals, even at a cost of some conservatives. After all, these are the primaries. Where are those conservatives going to go in the general election – into the Obama camp? Are any of the evangelical Christians who voted for Huckabee yesterday instead of McCain going to vote for Obama (or Clinton) come the general election?

This is similar to the question of delegate counts vs popular counts that this blog has already visited. And it’s a problem for the candidates. McCain is running a smart campaign (finally!) with one aim – to win the general election. Everything else is a subsidiary goal to that. If he has to lose some primary votes, and squeak instead of sail into the nomination, in order to retain the broadest possible appeal after the convention, so be it.

But the press doesn’t allow that. It defines each week as if it were an NCAA Sweet 16 knockout tournament, instead of treating the primaries like a long baseball season. The two have very different strategies. You can’t rest your best players nearly as often in a knockout. You can’t say, it’s okay to split here in Chicago, the Boston series next week is more important. So too, as the media defines the game, you can’t temporarily sacrifice any of your party’s base, expecting, rightly, to get them back.

And the media has power. If they say the race is close, or – heaven forbid – you’re losing, it becomes true. So the candidates are forced to consider adopting a less effective strategy, just to pass the media test.

It’s great, frankly, that the press wields such influence. Even if I weren’t a journalist myself, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But with great power comes great responsibility. In this case, that means smart analyses that take into account the way the candidates define the race they’re running.

15 Responses to “The race is not always to the swift”

  1. Vicki said

    Are any of the evangelical Christians who voted for Huckabee yesterday instead of McCain going to vote for Obama (or Clinton) come the general election?

    No, but they might stay home or vote for whoever is Ralph Nader this year. Which, as I see it, is a good thing when it’s Radical Christian Righties.

  2. barack obama mike huckabee vs machine

    huckabee obama:
    we understand your disgust.
    subversion of democracy.

    know this:
    gravel kucinich paul nader
    will fight any ticket
    with clinton or mccain on it.

    your eyes & ears are open…

    Mike Gravel Dennis Kucinich Dr Ron Paul Ralph Nader
    united by truth elicit fear smear blacklist.

    Too many lies,
    democracy rising democracy now.
    Rage against the machine.

    Honesty compassion intelligence guts.

    No more extortion blackmail bribery division.
    Divided we fall.

  3. digglahhh said

    Hey Meta,

    I think somebody may have beaten you to the next installment of spam poetry…

  4. Yeah, it’s gorgeous, isn’t it?

  5. ClaireDePlume said

    About the Spam poetry:

    “gravel kucinich paul nader
    will fight any ticket
    with clinton or mccain on it.

    your eyes & ears are open…

    Mike Gravel Dennis Kucinich Dr Ron Paul Ralph Nader
    united by truth elicit fear smear blacklist.”

    Beware the ones who cry out against smear campaigns – they are usually the ones who instigate.

    About Freedom of The Press and the influence with which they can manipulate the ball game we call Politics:

    “…the media has power. If they say the race is close, or – heaven forbid – you’re losing, it becomes true.”

    Our society is free to listen or not. But where is Truth in the matter? We rely heavily on information via the press and expect words & information of the media to be administered with integrity. But what if Truth and Integrity are muffled beneath layers of manipulation or a hidden agenda? Who does the Media answer to and how are they governed if not by their own internal honesty?

    Conspiracy and subterfuge are not new and neither is the pliability of the governed. Pliability can be easily compromised into a state of gullibility and excessive trust en masse.

    Words are more powerful than any weapon. No means of mass destruction is required when the whispers are touted as truth and the public believes. So many layers, so many liars.

    “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” ~Cicero~

  6. ‘But what is truth? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths – are mine the same as yours?’

    Nader Gravel & Paul Kucinich

    Awake from your slumber
    4 Wise Men march with the people
    Washington DC

    Honesty compassion intelligence guts
    Not carrots sticks coercive diplomacy

    Divided we fall
    Mike Gravel
    Dennis Kucinich
    Ron Paul
    Ralph Nader
    No bribery blackmail extortion

    Rage against the machine
    Democracy rising democracy now
    Suffer not

  7. ClaireDePlume said

    “GKPN”, You ask, “what is truth?” Interesting question which might just open the floor to lively debate. However, please allow me to consider your question as it relates directly to our topic at hand and the reason the quest for truth is mentioned in my own post on this thread.

    Communication – specifically that relayed via the press and the media – has a mandate. That is to report the news, the facts of the matter. News is the who, what, where, why, when and how, all supported by verifiable data. News does not include speculation, assumption, opinion or manipulation etc. When the media chooses to make predictions, it is the responsibility of those reporting to preface their communique as opinion. While we are all free to espouse opinions, no one is at liberty to pad the facts with supposition and sell it as fact. As a matter of fact, all of us – not just media – are responsible to behave with integrity. Freedom of communication is not a tool in the
    art of deception.

    If *all* of us spoke our truth and communicated the facts ~with integrity~, there would be no “machine” and there would certainly be no need for “rage”.

  8. Swanny said

    Y’all really think them far righties are gonna stay home and let a colored win the White House? It’s called the daggone White House for a dadgum reason!

    They stayed home and even voted Democrat in 2006 for a reason and it wasn’t the war in Iraq. It was scandal. It was Mark Foley. It was Curt Weldon. It was Bob Ney. It was Bob Taft (that was a shocker, I know – who’da thunk a descendent of the Teapot Dome scandal would be involved in anything risque?). It was Don Sherwood. It was John Sweeney. It was a perfect storm of scandal. Too bad you folks couldn’t have had the presidential vote then.

  9. […] polivox wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  10. digglahhh said


    I’m agreement with the notion that truth is subjective. I’d even go so far as to say that Truth may not even exist.

    Unfortunately, I still don’t really have any idea what your posts are supposed to mean.

  11. ClaireDePlume said

    Truth becomes subjective when we endeavour to interpret the facts. Some interpretative skills are challenged, some lie far below the layers. Some are clouded by intention.

    But the oddly enough, the facts are always the facts.

  12. Dig;

    You will.
    One week ’til Texas Ohio.

  13. Gravel Kucinich Paul Nader;
    dare speak truth,
    demand peace.

    Honesty compassion intelligence guts –


  14. nader paul kucinich gravel said

    [Allegorical cats & Metaphorical cats KNOW that the race is not always to the swift]

    Real Conservatives

    End Neocon GREED
    Ron Ralph St Paul United

    “America where are you now?
    Don’t you care about your sons and daughters?
    Don’t you know we need you now
    We can’t fight alone against the monster”

    gravel kucinich paul nader
    mckinney ventura too
    perot charts

  15. The Son Of Heaven…

    …a good post over at . . ….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: