‘Old Saruman McCain’

Michael Chabon has an article in the most recent issue of The New York Review of Books about Barack Obama’s candidacy.  This paragraph made me smile, which I really needed today, what with the news of bailouts and economic meltdowns and political stunts:

The problem was not Obama; the problem was that at the instant when Hillary Clinton at last conceded, the nature of the campaign changed. It was, I considered (…) like the change that might occur between the first and second volumes of some spectacular science fiction fantasy epic. At the end of the first volume, after bitter struggle, Obama had claimed the presumptive nomination. We Fremen had done the impossible, against Sardaukar and imperial shock troops alike. We had brought water to Arrakis. Now the gathered tribes of the Democratic Party—hacks, Teamsters, hat ladies, New Mexicans, residents of those states most nearly resembling Canada, Jews of South Florida, dreadlocks, crewcuts, elderlies and goths, a cowboy or two, sons and daughters of interned Japanese-Americans—had assembled on the plains of Denver to attempt to vanquish old Saruman McCain.

Here’s the article in full.  Meanwhile, what does it say about our political culture that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the nut job head of state of Iran, can travel to New York, give an open press conference, and face reporters in unscripted questions, while Sarah Palin, the VP candidate, still hasn’t?