I used to like the old Frank Capra movies, steeped in romantic individualism in which the good little guys speak for the people and win. Longfellow Deeds. Jefferson Smith. People with corny names doing great things. As a good Marxist, though, a realized that they were escapist fantasies, even if reactionaries generally hated them and progressives loved them.
Life isn't a Frank Capra movie, but Barack Obama as he continues his campaign is becoming a Frank Capra hero, winning over working people with his vision and hopes for them. Even the cynical old pols and those who write like cynical old pols are beginning to take notice because Obama continues to win and to draw huge numbers of voters into the political process. In Wisconsin, a state with both a strong progressive labor and agricultural tradition which produced the Progressive party of the Robert La Follette and his sons, perhaps the most successful third party at the state level in the 20th century, and reactionary anti-labor, xenophobic Kulak minded forces that produced Joe McCarthy, Obama won a decisive victory tonight over Hillary Clinton.
Obama is winning against a system which was largely put in place to nominate Hillary Clinton. He is winning among white and black voters, among young voters and in Wisconsin in greater numbers among older female voters. He is winning because voters are seeing in him a leader who will advance change, not a market researcher telling them in this market and that market what he thinks they want to hear so he or she can sell himself to them and then get back to the backrooms and do real political business.
That is what Hillary Clinton is telling them over and over again--I am the one with the experience the connections, I can close the deals because I get it, I know what the business is about. The voters are telling her over and over again that she doesn't really get it--that they don't see her kind of experience as a solution. but as was said in her youth and mine, a part of the problem.
It isn't over of course, but Obama, the better candidate, has clearly up to this time established himself as the candidate with significantly broader mass support.
Don't expect John McCain to campaign as a hero from a Frank Capra movie, though. Expect him to run as John Wayne in both Fort Apache and the Sands of Iwo Jima for his Republican friends, and Buck Turgidson (played by a much better actor than Wayne or McCain's hero, Ronald Reagan, George C. Scott) in Dr. Strangelove to the rest of us.