As we examine the remarkable events that have culminated in a slim victory for Countess Clinton in Indiana, it is important to understand that Hoosiers often fail to think before they vote. That little barb is in truth no barb at all, as it is a matter of indisputable historical truth that as a people we vote for some of the darnedest reasons, sometimes for no reason at all.
For example, liberal Democrat Evan Bayh won re-election in 2004 by about the same margin as did conservative Republican Mitch Daniels in his gubernatorial race. Go figure. Truth be told, there is a large contingent of the voting population that votes from its collective gut, at times forsaking completely the whole array of values that otherwise define them in order to cast a vote on the most non-rational basis. They often ignore the record, eschew logic and rely on perceptions that are utterly without foundation in reality.
The streets and highways of the Indianapolis environs have been awash in eager, shiny young faces all day long this election day, with homemade Obama signs all over the place and those same vapid slogans that have propelled him from the beginning incessantly appearing on virtually every corner.
It is a few minutes before 2am now, and I awaken to discover that I lack the stamina these days that is necessary to endure the tedium of watching late returns. The local paper’s website declares that Hillary has proven me wrong with a 2 point victory. ‘magine that. Of course she got her head knocked off in North Carolina where she lost by double digits, but from the ebullience of Bubba, standing beatifically behind her Wideness as she accepted the accolades of her Hoosier throng, she is apparently not finished — yet.
What we were treated to here in the Heartland this month (besides some 200 VIP visits by folks who would never have come here but for the closeness of the race) was nothing short of a grueling lecture on the latest version of the Communist Manifesto, and other than in stylistic points there was not a whit’s difference between the two candidates. Truth be told, I suspect what made the difference among Democrats was race. That’s kind of blunt; sorry. White men, union men, grown up white women, tended toward Hillary even though the only differences between the two candidates were cosmetic. So much for all that stuff about Democrats being color blind.
Here are a few phenomena to consider; first, Barack Obama had more hype and blarney than any huckster since the Music Man, Professor Harold Hill. He and his wound-too-tight spouse, the lovely Michelle, gave nihilism new dimension crisscrossing the state over and over again. And folks just loved it. While Hillary was about as exciting as a trip to the corner mausoleum, her Nurse Ratched-like dulcet tones making us dream of root canals, the Chicago Kid filled the state with more energy than an ethanol plant (we have 18 of them already).
Second, Hoosiers did it again. Republicans and Independents crossed over to vote with their emotions in high gear and their heads turned completely off, as Obama filled them with hope, the possibility of change (that’s real change) and other vacuous gibberish. Exit polling tells us that Rush’s Operation Chaos was not the principal reason for much of this result. All this even though Obama’s ideas are as tired as a fifty-year-old’s fast ball, his animosity for American institutions and traditions only thinly concealed behind a C+ jump shot and lots of rock star ad lib riffs about a brighter future, his incompetence in the leadership department is manifest. Of course the former First Lady makes him look positively electric; she has no fast ball, no jump shot and like him has yet to open her first lemonade stand. Neither one of them has a clue about leadership.
Dr. Rush Limbaugh may have helped keep the corpse of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid on the ventilator for a while longer, and Hoosiers have probably voted for the most idiotic array of reasons and motivations since, well, since they voted for Slick Willie in 1992. But the real kicker here is that we have no candidate to race into that vacuum and take control.
Neither of these pseudo-socialist goofs can win the general election; I’ve said so since they took the stage last winter. But John McCain is capable of losing. His whacked-out logic and incoherent mix of liberal and conservative positions on the issues really scare the devil out of me at this point for this reason: I have watched Barack Obama turn whole cloth into a powerful and charismatic campaign and a huge tide of excitement in an electorate not easily fired up. He lost here — barely — but accomplished enormous results anyway. And he did it without ever having to tell them what he really believes.
Not a pretty sight at 3am for these tired eyes, and sad to say, more than ample cause for humiliation and embarrassment for my native state.