Friday, April 17, 2009

history re-run...sort of

Some time ago I wrote:

Unfortunately, McCain's place in history will forever be that of the man who tried to keep the first black president of the United States from becoming the first black president. A milestone chapter in the progressive history of the country is being written, and the McCain/Palin parts will forever be that of the ineffectual villains.

It seemed to me at the time that McCain had unwittingly become the object of hope in the eyes of the bigoted, fear-mongering, and absurdest right (among others who supported McCain for rational and reasonable political priorities). On a personal level, I'm sure it was a role McCain was uncomfortable playing. But a vote is a vote, and, McCain, like any politically savvy candidate, isn't likely to turn away a vote on such flimsy criteria as moral principle.

It turns out I wasn't the only one to see it this way. In the last segment of an episode of This American Life from a few weeks ago, Alex Kotlowitz draws a comparison between McCain's miscasting as the champion of all anti-progress and Bernie Epton's failed Chicago mayorial campaign in 1983. I found the comparison of the two incidents enlightening.

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