The one good thing that Salon comes out with these days is Camille Paglia’s column. No, I don’t agree with her on political things very often, but she’s got a perspective that I find very different and interesting. Her column this month is on the election, Barack and Michelle Obama, Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, Sarah Palin, and a bunch of other stuff, simultaneously showing joy for the results of the election and annoyance in the media’s handling of it: Obama surfs through.
No one knows whether Obama will move to the center or veer hard left. Perhaps even he doesn’t know. But I have great optimism about his political instincts and deftness. He wants to be president of all the people — if that is possible in so divided a nation. His natural impulse seems to be toward reconciliation and concord. The big question will be how patient the Democratic left wing is in demanding drastic changes in social policy, particularly dicey with a teetering economy.
Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology — contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.