Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Democratic Problem

We have all noticed (all TV news broadcasts are now into this in great detail) that the focus is now on the probability of a brokered Dem convention, on cutting deals with the superdelegates, on re-writing the rules for Michigan and Florida in order to make "their votes count," etc. In practice this means that Hillary will do anything to be the nominee, and Obama will resist as long as he is likely to have the majority (albeit slight) of chosen delegates going into the convention. Because the possibilities for mischief are endless, I am betting that the Dems will "solve" these problems before the summer. If they don’t, there really is a chance that the ’68 Chicago mess will seem like a walk in the park compared to what could happen this summer. All this, I hasten to add, just proves that the so-called reforms (post ’68) having to do with proportional representation, etc., are very bad for democratic government at any level. Forming
majorities, especially rational majorities, is not such an easy thing. We’ll see if anyone on that side of the isle will notice this good lesson. Here is an

L.A. Times story on the immediate problem, and this from the WaPo.

Discussions - 6 Comments

I was not old enough to vote in '68 and my parents wouldn't let me go demonstrate in Chicago with my friends. Which is to say that my memories of the political situation of that era might be skewed by my youthful stupidity. Yet this campaign of the Democrats seems to me to have many parallels with that election, between an old guard of political pragmatists and a visionary new bunch who will be vigorously suppressed. That is why I think the Republicans will take the election in November. That is, if conservative Republicans get over their concerns and pull together for the nominee. Forming majorities, especially rational majorities, is not such an easy thing. Even an irrational majority would be acceptable to me.

2008 doesn't feel much like 1968. The kids in `68 truly detested the older Dems and, in some cases (Mayor Daley, for example), the feeling was mutual. The Clintons and Obama/the Kennedys may have no love lost, but the emotional intensity caused by the Vietnam War and the then-new `counterculture' just isn't there, this time.

This is not to say that the electoral result won't be the same, as you suggest. Hard to say, at this point. Nixon may have been a better campaigner than McCain will prove to be.

I was 9 years old in 1968 and I lived in Detroit. How in the world could I pay attention to the Democrats' convention in Chicago when the Tigers were chasing the pennant? Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Bill Freehan, Denny McClain, Mickey Lolich ... those were the names of 1968!

How exactly are the Democrats to "solve" their problems? What can they possibly offer Obama to make him walk away from the Democrat nomination. They can't promise him the nomination in 2012 if Hillary loses. and will he be open to a suggestion that he should wait for 2016 if she goes on to serve two terms. Is he really going to be pleased with such an offer. Not very likely.

Nor is he likely to find the 2d slot attractive, not when he knows he can get the top slot, and punish the Clintons and their apparatchiks who tried to strongarm him out of the nomination.

There's no deal to be had.

Someone is going to get that nomination. That person will probably win the The White House, and the loser will soon be forgotten. This is Hillary's SOLE chance for the Presidency. But it's probably Obama's sole chance as well. So what deal can possibly be reached. How are the Democrats to solve this if there is no clear winner by the time of the Convention.

Peggy Noonan said it, Obama is winning, but his victory isn't that of racking up flashy victories, it's a slow rolling process through the accumulation of delegates.

Just think of the irony, it's Obama who is prevailing through a strategy of grinding out his opponent. Who would have thought the party candidate could be ground into dust in such a way. If anything, you would have thought that it would be Obama susceptible to such a defeat, not the party favourite. Amazing. Amazing irony.

Obama? Clinton?
Makes no difference - the Dems are gonna lose in the Fall. Obama talks about "change" - big words from a political nobody fronting for the most corrupt political machine in the country (Cook County).
If he wins the nomination, or if he loses, it will be the result of machine politics as usual.
If he loses, his devastated naive supporters will sit on their hands and haunches. If he wins, the hypocrisy of his campaign will turn away independent voters.
And unfortunately, many Democrat voters won't vote for him simply because they don't like the way he looks.

What states will the Dems win in 2008 that they did not win in 2004?
And they may lose a few they won then, too.

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