They're testing the alarm systems in the McCompound this afternoon. It's rather a fitting backdrop to my reading. It's uncanny how every time I read something disturbing, the alarm chimes in to punctuate my thoughts. And speaking of disturbing, Kevin Drum notes that a lot of people are worrying about the long term effects of a prolonged primary race. He thinks we should all just chill out and offers this bit of comfort.
In the end, Humphrey lost the popular vote to Nixon by less than 1%. A swing of about a hundred thousand votes in California would have thrown the election into the House of Representatives.I don't take much comfort from that. For one thing, the end result was still a loss and it's not 1968 anymore. We had a functioning press corps back then, as in investigative journalists that weren't afraid to challenge the propaganda. We didn't have a 24/7 news cycle that feeds on trivia and raises such vacuous 'opinion makers' as Chris Matthews to media star status. We didn't have the internet that can immediately propagate false memes and plant them permanently in the public consciousness. Maybe 1968 was uglier than this, but 2008 is a much more complicated world with a far greater range of variables that could tip the balance.
Sure, the Democratic party won't be destroyed if they don't win the White House, but that may be a moot point if another Republican administration manages to capitalize on the chaos to win the general. I'm not so sure the republic would survive four more years of GOP policy. I don't think we should panic, but a little concern is not misplaced at this point.