Real Change, At Last

Here is DNC chairman Howard Dean in a recent conference call:

This is very much in keeping with Senator Obama’s philosophy and, I might add, my philosophy as well. I think it’s very fitting, especially the way Sen. Obama got here with his enormous grassroots operation.

What has Howard Dean so enthused about Barack Obama’s candidacy? What development is so harmonious with the political philosophy and bottom-up momentum of the Democratic nominee’s campaign? Why, Obama’s decision to accept formally his nomination at a football stadium instead of at the site of the Democratic national convention. This is what “change” has come down to:

In a break with tradition, Barack Obama will accept the Democratic presidential nomination at Invesco Field at Mile High, a 76,000-seat stadium, rather than at the site of the party’s national convention across town.

Can’t you just feel the New Politics? No? Well, try. Because on everything from gun control to Iraq to FISA, Obama is learning about old-fashioned compromise. Invesco Field is just about all that’s left of that trademark spirit of change.

Howard Dean is right about one thing, though. Switching the site of Obama’s grand coronation from a 21,000-seat arena to a 76,000-seat stadium is certainly “in keeping with Senator Obama’s philosophy.” If that philosophy is recognized as a blend of self-congratulatory pomp and mindless hero-worship. Keeping things creepy in that special brand of Orwellian Obamaspeak we’ve come to enjoy, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe wrote, “We’re going to kick off the general election with an event that opens up the political process the same way we’ve opened it up throughout this campaign. Barack has made it clear that this is your convention, not his.” Such generosity is truly humbling.