FAREWELL TO THE DEMOCRATIC ERA
This week's New York Times story about Jim Downey, the Saturday Night Live writer responsible for the recent run of Hillary Clinton sketches, included a line that seemed like a mistake:
"Our job is, whoever is in power, we're opposed," said Lorne Michaels, the show's longtime executive producer.
Hunh? Did Bush resign and we missed it? No, but my sense is that Michaels is revealing something about his world's groupthink -- I get the feeling that, in his world, in a way it's as if Democrats have been in power for a while now: Bush is a laughingstock, a Democratic victory in November '08 seems inevitable, and the Democratic candidates seem like glamorous rock stars, while the Republicans seem pathetic. At SNL, it probably seemed as if Obama was practically president already.
Some people are saying now that it's fine to have an extended Democratic nomination fight, because it keeps the Democrats front and center and keeps John McCain out of the limelight. I think McCain actually benefits from not being in the limelight -- he's not being scrutinized, he's not being criticized, he's just there, in the background. And he'll be there -- plain old reliable Daddy -- when all the clever people who can't stop talking about (and mocking) the Democrats exclusively (hello, Maureen Dowd) get tired of beating up Clinton and Obama.