Friday, October 31, 2008

Mastery and Tragedy

Ben Stein and Arianna Huffington, working together on Larry King Live, come up with an excellent characterization of the race. It is the struggle between mastery and tragedy. Ben Stein calls Obama's campaign "masterful", Huffington calls McCain's a "tragedy". That may be why we are all so sure that McCain will lose (it's in the nature of tragedy for the hero to fall) but are at the same time worried that Obama will not win (mastery does not guarantee victory).

On another note, I think Stein was right to say that Huffington's balking at the "idiotic" Wallace comparison was "incredibly insulting". She thought she was supposed to be scrappy (I don't know if that has anything to do with being a "Greek peasantgirl") and simply, as Stein said, wasn't listening. Pointless squabbling. Stein was being a gracious and, genuinely saddened loser. Her polemics were unseemly, unnecessary and had, interestingly, no sense of the tragic.

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