While I'm strongly sympathetic to Alterman's argument (and would like to be persuaded by it), I'm surprised that a savvy journalist such as himself would place so much faith in polling data. There's often a large gap between actual behavior and the behavior people report--particularly when the behavior in question might cast them in an embarrassing or unfavorable light (would you admit to a stranger that you followed the Britney Spears saga "closely"?).
Maybe this skepticism reflects an unwelcome but growing cynicism on my part--that progressive change has been hindered or reversed not just by the institutional influence of the moneyed interests, but also by the solipsism and (vicarious) Gekkoism all-too-prevalent amongst "the people" themselves.
Aug 30 2007 - 3:18am