While there are many variations of the famous phrase attributed to Mark Twain, it clearly applies to the way I, and a lot of other bloggers, felt about the Obama campaign after the election. The Palin infatutation, along with Obama's lack of an effective attack, made a lot of people feel like Obama was doomed to failure. Christopher Hitchens, over at Slate, even went so far as to write an article titled "Is Obama Another Dukakis?Why is Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?"
Fortunately, new polls show Obama has regained a lead. It's not commanding, but it's enough to help everyone breathe a little. In fact, it looks like some states which had long looked out of reach, such as Florida, are now very much in play for the Obama campaign. Also in the good news department, in turns out that when you factor in cellphone only users into polls -- people who tend to be younger and lean Obama -- then Obama's lead grows even further.
Despite the mockery of the Democratic nervousness, I think we are entitled to a little bit of paranoia. After all, it wasn't too long ago that our current President won the election by a disputed number of votes after several ballots went missing and number of elderly Jewish voters were tricked into voting for Pat Buchanan. Plus, as Hitchens does point out, Democratic candidates do have the annoying habit of going on the attack less than Republicans. Is it because they are less effective politicans or because they are more principled? I think it's both.
I'll tell you another reason Democrats should be upset -- we stand to lose a lot more than Republicans in the coming election. What do the Republicans lose in a Democratic administration? The rich lose money and the right wing Christians continue unaffected -- maybe Supreme Court appointments cause them to lose on abortion and gay marriage -- but personally they are unaffected. Democrats, on the other hand, have to watch people they empathize with suffer. Democrats have to watch people go without healthcare, go without good public education, see personal liberties trampled, and people will actually personally lose the freedom to marry whom they want or decide what to do with their bodies. Democrats can be angry and sad -- Republicans just angry.
So hopefully next time McCain hits hard with attacks -- and it is going to come in the form of attacks linking Obama to black radicals -- there won't be a need to panic. It's disgusting and an attempt to play on racist American fears, but it may approve effective. However, when that happens we can be more hopeful that Obama will find a way to get back on top again -- here' s hoping they are saving attacks ads on the Keating Five for the final stretch.