Sunday, April 27, 2008

An Epiphany

Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post has a column, "The Race That Wouldn't Die," in which he expresses an idea I've had for a while that the race for the Democratic nomination needs to end soon. He gets this point across without overtly suggesting that Hillary Clinton drop out...
No, I'm not calling for Clinton to get out of the race. It's ridiculous to advise a candidate who just won Pennsylvania by 10 points to pack it in, even if it's still hard to imagine a plausible way for her to win the nomination.

And it is, you know; the delegate arithmetic has hardly budged. Clinton would have a realistic chance of eliminating the future rebel leader who someday will threaten the dominion of sentient machines over all of humankind -- I mean, of defeating Barack Obama -- only if her opponent were gracious enough to dissolve into a quivering puddle. She has done everything she can to encourage such a meltdown, but by now it should be clear that it won't happen.
Conventional wisdom, which rarely has anything to do with real wisdom, suggests that the long, drawn out fight for the nomination is harming the Democratic Party, that Clinton's attempts to undermine Obama's gravitas to be president will hurt him in the general election against McCain, tarnishing him with independent voters. I agreed with Robinson 100 percent. He even threw in the "long national nightmare" phrase that seemed to sum up the race.

But the next sentence after the quoted section above triggered an epiphany: "If anything, Obama is learning some of Clinton's war craft." Clinton staying in the race could be a good thing. If Obama can't learn to deal with the issues that are out there now, he's going to have some real problems on down the road. The Republican attack machine, the Swift Boaters Against Truth and other special interest groups are going to attack Obama in ways that rational people can't comprehend. Opposition research trolls will begin pulling attacks out of thin air. The real fun in this campaign season is still a good four or five months away when both sides begin making a real play for these independent voters, these politically inept individuals who "vote for the man, not the party." Let the race continue. Our candidate needs a little toughening up.

And while we're on the subject of the Washington Post, I just recently noticed that they are now doing animations of Ann Telnaes's political cartoons. The latest, I would call it "Georgie in Wonderland," is pretty excellent.


Carly said...

Hi Duane :)

I believe it is an urban myth at this point that Clinton and Obama are somehow damaging the democratic party, by remaining in the race. After the 8 long years that was George Bush, having this amazing choice has not just inspired young people to vote, but people of all ages. Those who felt beaten down by the absurd choices of the last election, have newly invigorated voice. I think Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi have voiced in the past that they would like everyone to play nice, and maybe someone should give up. Well, that is all about their interests... not mine.

The average democratic voter is going to vote the demand change, and that isn't going away lightly, and I don't believe it will go away just because their candidate might not make it all the way. As for independents, well they are in the same mess with the rest of us. $4 for gas, $4 for milk, and no clear solution coming from John MCCain, save for a lame break from the gas tax this summer. I think the writing is on the wall. I am ready to hear who both of these folks are eyeing for V.P thats going to effect the vote larger then who finally makes it to the top of the ticket. Watch as the stimulus package, further erodes McCain's chances.

Have a good week nice man!

Always, Carly

Lisa :-] said...

This thought has crossed my mind: the longer it takes for the eventual Democratic candidate to be decided, the less time the Swift Boaters et al will have to throw all they have at one Democrat. It might not hurt the Democrats, in the end, to forestall that deadly focus...

fdtate said...

I'm glad to find some people that agree with me on this. I cross-posted this at the Blue Voice and was told that I was trying to make lemonade out of lemons. I think Obama needs a little practice to get ready for the Swift Boaters and the other right-wing loons. Plus, the more people hear about McCain's proposals, how they are just continuations of the tired old Bush positions, the easier it'll be for anyone, even Krusty the Clown, to beat him.