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George Will on the Short 2008 Primary Season

George explains that the whole thing may well be over in both parties on February 5, when a whole lot of states will now have their primaries. But the result on that date could be determined by momentum quickly acquired through January victories in Iowa and New Hampshire. The influence of those two perennially annoying states might be more undue than ever. That means that an outsider in the mode of Carter or Clinton still has a chance to catch fire. Without the relatively slow "winnowing" that the older, slower process allowed, "buyer’s remorse" seems all but inevitable. No really new information, but George is eloquent, as always.

Discussions - 12 Comments

Today on a local talk radio program the host made an interesting point ... one I’d not thought of before: suppose no one candidate sweeps the February 5 primaries? Suppose one takes one state and another takes another state. Is it possible this front-loading of the primaries might have the opposite effect as that feared ... and actually split the delegates across several candidates?

That’s possible, unlikely, but maybe a very good thing, if it actually happened, Don of AZ.

It’s the only thing. May the party regulars - the only people who vote in primaries - split by state and remain split for weeks. May it would really be a race, then? The news media would write about the Republican Party falling apart, but it would create interest. Maybe an alternative candidate would arise after February?

I hope this because I am NOT interested, with elections so far away. It’s not as if I am not listening. I am, but it is like taking up the menu in a restaurant and finding nothing appealing there. Do we have to get up and go to another restaurant? Everyone at the table is complaining. Every now and then someone says something like "Liver is good for you." or "Fish is brain food." but always without conviction or interest. What the patrons at the other tables are eating looks really bad. We all say, "This is what the best place in town has to offer?" What to do?

Well, Kate, you could also cross the street and eat at that Libertarian place...The Contrarian Deli. They will give you exactly what you want, so long as you don’t insist of eating it (i.e., winning).

Now, would you pass the liver, please. Lots of iron, I hear.

No, I am not going there. (Wait, is there a Libertarian running who would delight me?) And I would take the liver, as it has lots of vitamins, too. I would happily take the most nourishing dish, if I could just figure out which one it was.

Dain, it is not just me. I hear, neither here nor there nor anywhere about, strong, enthusiastic, positive support for anyone currently running. And this is going to go on for such a long time. I think, too, how awful to be them, running for nearly two years by the time it is all done, whoever the front-runners are.

Even if I could figure out which was the best dish on the menu, by the time it is served it will be tepid and dry from long exposure under the lights. The prospect is unappetizing.

Unless the GOP pickes a real conservative

you will find conservatives leaving the GOP in droves


No, John -- losers who just want to vent, rather than change things, will "leave the GOP in droves." Such people can screw an election, for sure, but they can’t accomplish anything constructive. If your kind leave the party, the moderates will pick up your seats on central committees, etc., etc., etc. Maybe they’ll deserve them, having kept their heads. While Romney may need your kind to win the election, I doubt that his nomination would cause a major "exodus." And if Rudy’s the nominee, he won’t need the far-right pissants, because he’ll make up for that with soccer moms and the like.

Why ordinary Americans allowed their political fate to be dictated by the crank states is beyond me. The Democrats have a vested interest in an early resolution of their nomination process however. They need a full year for Americans to forget the spectacle of their hard core freakshows calling the tune for their candidates.

And people need to recall that politics isn’t a purity test. Nor is it a passion play, where the object is to be nailed to the cross for all to see, because you refused to yield, refused to break faith.

It’s not about walking the political catwalk.

The political world is an arena of unending strife, where cultural, economic and moral forces vie for the ability to enact their vision, or ward off injurious policies being implemented. Preventing bad legislation IS JUST AS IMPORTANT as enacting legislation favourable to your own views.

How any Republican, how any Conservative could indulge in empty talk about jumping ship, going native, breaking ranks, AFTER THE CLINTON years, is simply beyond me.

Didn’t the Perot voters do enough damage to the commonweal for one lifetime?

I wouldn’t get too worked up about the comments here linking to the "Conservative Exodus Project." All of those posts come from a single IP address. My guess is that it’s someone who lives in his mother’s basement.

I think Americans are just plum tired of campaigning. It’s been virtually non-stop since 1990. It’ll be this way forevermore, though.

Would someone please hit my "off" button. The cynicism is killing me.

Arizona Don, the non-stop campaign is just another one of those wonderful legacies of the Clintons.

Bill and Hillary changed our culture. And for the worse.

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