Sunday, September 07, 2008

Elite Consensus

Joe Bageant dropped another gem from the APC titled Moving to the Center of Elite Consensus. Well worth reading in its entirety as a Rosetta Stone to the current presidential election.
It is important to understand that elite consensus itself is not static and can shift in moderate degrees, but it has definitive boundaries of which you can not cross and still be a viable player within the electoral system. These boundaries exist to the left and right within that consensus, but the institutional bias of the system is much harsher towards any moves to the left. This is because in its essence elite opinion is anti-populist and primarily concerned with protecting the fundamentals of the established economic order.

Every national campaign is in fact a dual conversation, one targeting voters while the other is directed towards the political, media, and economic elites. The purpose of the message targeting the first group is to win votes. The messages to the latter group is designed to form elite consensus, first for it not to correlate against you and secondly to have it help you win and eventually govern.

Surviving the contradictions of these dual dialogues is the primary element that makes a successful national campaign.
Should be very interesting to see how the three senators jockey for advantage around the sweet spot of elite consensus on the political talk shows this morning, and no wonder why the "girl from the hood" is being kept under wraps.