07 October 2008


For all the talk about the supposed uniqueness of this year's election, I've been having the feeling that it all seems so familiar somehow. Perhaps it's because both candidates are emulating Bush's 2000 strategy of pitching themselves as outsiders and reformers, and that being the first presidential election I really followed in detail, it's stuck with me as a baseline. Palin even used the phrase "reformer with results" the other day, a verbatim quote of one of Bush's campaign slogans.

Of course, I suspect this is not all that unusual. Every challenger tries to portray themselves as a reformer of the incumbent's obvious maladies. This year is only different in that both tickets are trying to claim that mantle for themselves. But the pundits solemnly intoning this year's election is about "change" are laughable; every election in this country is a change election. The proles get tired of seeing the same faces on the teevee screen, so the political ruling class must periodically replace them with newer and younger models.

I'm also amused by the oft-ridiculed tendency of McCain and Palin to award themselves the label of "maverick." Remember all the way back in 2004, when Bush reminded us how "you may not agree with me, but at least you know where I stand?" Four years later, most of the same people who backed Bush are supporting two people who openly admit no one can predict what they may do next. It makes you wonder if anyone in this country ever looks at a history book....