‘Electable’ means, for the most part, ‘comfortingly familiar.’ That’s all. Candidates who represents something unusual in the ongoing comedy/sport show that is American politics are ‘unelectable’ until the press has ‘vetted’ them — i.e. until the candidate has licked the appropriate boots and given the journalist-cosplayers on TV a reason to write them into the season’s story arc.
Political pundits and reporters in this country can’t see around corners. That’s their big problem: they look back and see only justifications for their viewpoints, rather than open questions; they look ahead and see More of the Same, unable to imagine fundamental change. This is what Josh Marshall has been saying for years: the news media’s deep problem is a total inability to imagine history as anything other than a straight line. The narrativizing impulse run riot.
What would it take for Bernie Sanders to show he’s ‘electable’ in 2016? Winning the election.
The difficulty, for our talking heads, is in imagining an America that contains people other than themselves and their fellow toadies. The idea that a well adjusted adult could vote for a ‘social democrat’ is, in the most pedantically literal sense, unthinkable to them.
I hate our political media.