A New Moment? The Grassroots and the Party, 1964 and 2008

by on February 7, 2008 · 0 comments

in Election, Organizing

By Laura Flanders

The swirl of the primary season is intoxicating and the media love it. If the ratings records set by the recent political debates are any indication, the ongoing primary battle may yet save cable TV. “Super Tuesday” — the night that was supposed to wrap everything up — didn’t (for either party). Clearly, this extended nomination contest is getting people excited, but will that excitement translate into substantive change — for Democrats in particular? The past offers some hard-knocks lessons worth thinking about.

Give this long primary season credit: It has, at least, turned that overused word “change” from a bumper slogan pooh-poohed by all knowledgeable pundits into a fact-based phenomenon. In the closest thing the nation has seen to a countrywide primary, first term Senator Barack Obama overcame Hillary Clinton’s double-digit leads in major states and national polls to win a majority of states on February 5th and draw into a tight battle over the delegate count. The two candidates closed out the evening with their spinmeisters already talking up Beltway Tuesday — the next catch-phrase friendly multiple-primary day — while promising more debates. Now, their operatives are off to Ohio for a March 4th primary that everyone assumes will be crucial.

[For the rest of this article, go here for TomDispatch.com.]

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