I’m getting tired of this Democratic nominating campaign.
I mean, I was playing my guitar during coverage of this most recent “Super Tuesday,” the Texas/Ohio/Vermont/Rhode Island primaries. I didn’t sit glued to the TV screen as I have in all the earlier Super Tuesdays and Saturdays, eagerly awaiting the incoming results. In fact, I barely paid attention to them. I just picked up the news at the end, when most precinct totals were in and the results were final.
Except nothing’s final yet for the Democrats.
John McCain has already started trashing Senators Clinton and Obama, and at the same time
kissing up pandering whoring himself smoothing over relations with the radical right end of his party, and by the time of the Republican convention they’ll be ready for the usual coronation. With no doubt about the outcome, the money from contributors will be flooding into the war chest and the “real” presidential campaign will have been going on for months.
But the Democrats are still slugging it out, beating each other up, giving the Republicans a bunch of excellent sound bites to use in their eventual (dirty) campaign against whoever wins the nomination. They’ve got two big states, Michigan and Florida, who broke the DNC rules and held their primaries too early. The DNC doesn’t want to seat those delegates, who are mostly pledged to Clinton. Clinton is saying it wouldn’t be fair to “disenfranchise” those voters. Obama is saying it wouldn’t be fair to let those states willfully break the rules and not bear the established consequences.
Clinton probably can’t catch Obama in pledged delegates. She’d have to win landslides in all the remaining primaries, which is so not likely. But Obama probably can’t get the required majority of pledged delegates to lock up the nomination before the convention. This is the point where they will go negative. Jones’ Law states “Bullies always win.” A corollary is that negative campaigning is more effective than positive campaigning. In plain English, you get more people to vote for you by calling the other guy names and demeaning his abilities, integrity and experience than by laying out your own thoughtful master plan for a peaceful, just world led by you. Since Clinton is behind, she’ll be the one slinging the mud. Obama might sling some back. Whoever “wins,” the GOP will have a lot of ammunition to use against him/her in the general.
If the delegate totals are close by convention time, I expect Clinton to try lobbying or pressuring the superdelegates to flip the outcome and give her the nomination. If this works, it will piss off the electorate and make a bunch of liberal voters stay home in November. When people don’t vote, Republicans high-five each other.
Why does this have to happen? I thought this election would be a cruise, given the metric buttload of great candidates the Dems had and the horrible, horrible record the Republicans have built in the past decade. (They’re still at it, by the way, this time screwing themselves and their contributors, ha ha.) I still think the Democrats will retake the White House and increase their majorities in Congress, but damn, they are making it hard for themselves.
Now that my guy is out of the race, I’m trying hard to remain neutral about which Democrat gets to be president. Truthfully, I can live with either one. But if the primary campaign gets ugly (uglier, by some lights), I will be disheartened, and so will a lot of other voters.
I won’t go into the litany of damage the Bush Administration has perpetrated — that will take an entire series of long posts. But in order to start cleaning up the mess the nation needs unity, resolve and participation. To this end, somebody in this campaign needs to make the hard choice to drop out and enthusiastically throw support to the winner, so we can right now eliminate the possibility of a third Bush term.
I don’t need any more drama, do you?