Kevin Drum on Hillary Clinton’s lovely but completely ineffectual and unimplementable announcement speech:
As near as I can tell, Americans seem to vote for president based almost solely on affinity. That is, they vote for whoever says the right things, with no concern for whether those things are obviously impossible or little more than self-evident panders. It’s kind of amazing, really. Most voters seemingly just don’t care if presidential candidates are lying or stretching or even being entirely chimerical. They merely want to hear the desire to accomplish the right things. Every four years, they really do take the word for the deed.
One of the reasons that politicians spend a lot of time trying to woo “independent” voters is because most of us, despite protestations to the contrary, are pretty well locked in. Oh sure, you might not like that the Democrats [blah blah blah] or the Republican [yak yak yak] but if you’ve been voting one way most of your adult life, you’re highly unlikely to switch.
More important that wooing Independents is the simple act of turning out the base. Whichever party is more energized will ultimately win. The base doesn’t care much about specifics. It’s all about the high-minded rhetoric. And reminding them that the world will come to an end if the other party wins.
President Obama didn’t give us the in-depth specifics about his plans of universal healthcare during his first campaign. At the least, that’s not what I remember anyway. But he did speak about it. And eventually followed-through. So, although Drum & Daniel Larison are a little disappointed as to Clinton’s announcement speech, the rest of us just don’t. Like auto racing fans, we don’t care so much for the skill of the drive; we’re waiting for the spectacular crashes.