Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Poor Hillary

1. Her fairly impressive "technical landslide" in PA means she must stay in the race. But her victory wasn’t big enough to give anyone real confidence that she could actually win the nomination. She’s stuck with being perceived as mean and negative for at least two more weeks. And the odds are close to even that she’ll win in Indiana and really be stuck with going all the way to the convention that’ll have no choice but to deny her the nomination. (Obama’s has no momentum at all right now; the late deciders in PA went for Hillary.)

2. The old line on the Democrats this year was that voters were having a tough time choosing between two fine candidates. But Democratic voting has obviously become rather negative: Lots of white, working class, Catholic Pennsylvanians voted for Hillary although they don’t really like her and don’t really think she can get the nomination. They were very often voting AGAINST Obama and for, as they say, the lesser of two evils. (I would actually prefer to say they were choosing their manly, witty, and effective Governor Ed Rendell over the wimpy and boring Senator Casey Jr.)

3. For a variety of reasons, Obama has become ever more clearly both an AFRICAN AMERICAN and CULTURALLY ELITIST candidate. This combination, of course, is the recipe for Democratic defeat for the last generation. The sooner the nomination process is over the better for Barack. He needs to return to unity, change, and hope that transcends... And he can’t do that as long as the Clintons are around to exploit his every misstep. All in all, Republicans have lots of reasons to praise the Democratic devotion to proportional representation.

Discussions - 5 Comments

The Democratic Party reminds me of the good ol' Soviet system. It had elections too, but its superdelegates were the Politburo members.

As a nation, we are skating on very thin ice. Obama is our own Hugo Chavez.

Peter: good analysis.

Tom, do you really believe what you wrote, or are you being witty?

Republicans have lots of reasons to praise the Democratic devotion to proportional representation.


The Democrats can be attacked on many points, but awarding delegates in proportion to votes is hardly one of them. I'm not voting GOP again until they reform their system to allow a little democracy into it. McCain "won" the nomination with a minority of votes cast. That is hardly a result to keep Republicans happy.


I see that almost thirty percent of Republicans in PA voted for Paul or Huckabee. That should give the mindless McCain boosters pause, if they were not mindless.

So there seems to be a kind of double problem with Obama's inspirational rhetoric of trancendence; the first is that the inspirational part almost necessarily becomes boring--you can only produce so many scripted grand rhetorical moments before they start to reveal themselves as scripted and stale. Also, it becomes hard to push your harmonizing, bi-partisan virtues for long without having to account for significant numbers who resist having their interests harmonized with those that are genuinely, not spuriously foreign to them. One thing revealed by Obama's infamous "bitter" remarks was his frustration with those who refuse to be subsumed into a unity that is actually quite polarizing politically.

Obama's problem is that he needs to hit Hillary back, hard, but hesitates to do so for obvious reasons. What he therefore needs is some good, attack-dog surrogates to do the deed for him. Does he have any? I still say they need to kiss and make up before or at the convention, if they want to win in November. A third candidate would be a disaster.

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