I watched the “Super Tuesday” US election coverage on CNN and was fascinated by the way it unfolded. I liked the speeches of both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, hated Romney’s and Huckabee’s and practically fell asleep when McCain was talking.
But what startled me was how the narrative of the “talking heads” changed as the night wore on. All night long, the pundits were saying that McCain didn’t get his “knock-out blow” to emerge as the Republican nominee. Eventually, they allowed that he was the front-runner, but nothing more. This continued right until the last hour when suddenly the Republican-aligned pundits all started saying that McCain was the “presumptive” Republican nominee, that Romney and Huckabee couldn’t win the nomination, and that the party could now start to unite around McCain.
What happened? Did they all suddenly get a talking points memo telling them to push the narrative that the party was uniting behind McCain? Only moments earlier they’d been talking about how prominent conservatives in the Republican Party hate McCain and have declared they won’t support him. But after assuring us that McCain is a “real conservative”, they started the narrative that McCain is the nominee and Republicans will unite.
This narrative is clearly in the Republicans’ interest, just as their narrative about Democrats being “deeply divided” is. But the fact is, Democrats, despite their present differences, are united in their determination to take the country back from the ideologues that tried to destroy it. Republicans, meanwhile, are busy trying to out-conservative each other and pander to religious and political extremes.
I’m glad the Republicans are so divided and belligerent. It will help ordinary American voters see how the party represents only a continuation of Bush-Cheney’s failed policies. The country wants change, and only Democrats can deliver it. No phony narrative can cover up that simple truth.