Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Democracy in America

No, not the classic book, but rather Jay Cost’s sketch of the arguments the Clintonistas might make if she starts winning again.

He points out that neither Clinton nor Obama can win enough pledged delegates in the remaining contests to secure the nomination. It will come down to superdelegates, who have to be persuaded. I’ve alreadydiscussed the Obama argument. As Jay sketches it, Clinton’s would be roughly the same, with a wrinkle. She can make a potentially plausible claim (if she wins Ohio, Texas, and Pennsylvania) that she has won the majority of the votes (her case is helped if you count Florida as well). So far, that’s no different from the Obama argument. But she can also argue that caucuses (Obama’s strength) are "undemocratic" because they exclude people and because they overweight the influence of the generally elite participants. (Consider the irony of the classic democratic institution--a version of the town meeting--being regarded as "less democratic" than the bare act of voting, which is potentially pretty far from deliberative, as well as being not at all communitarian.)

I’ll end by quoting our friend Jon Schaff:

As an American I have no dog in this fight. But I must say, as a political scientist I am now rooting for Hillary Clinton because it would be lovely to see this argument play out in the public square.

Discussions - 1 Comment

It seems to me that it is the conservatives and right wing blogs that are exposing Obama as a lightweight candidate .How come the Dems ie. Hillary cannot come up anything? Is it because the left have no principles. Hillary should be thanking the Republicans.

As Victor Davis Hanson asked recently

"Obama is elegant and poised, but he has never run a campaign against a vigorous opponent or addressed hostile audiences or faced a mean press, or debated hard-core effective conservatives. So we don’t know how he’d react to the strain. Thus I don’t how he’d react if Sen. Clinton asked him the following tough questions that are legitimate concerns—other than to decry “guilt by association” and “McCarthyism”.

Why Sen. Obama do you belong to a church whose very platform and principles would mean that your own mother could never have really been welcomed? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

Why Sen. Obama would the racist Louis Farrakhan speak for two hours in praise of your candidacy? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

Why would your wife not once, but twice say that she’s never had pride in the United States until your ran for President? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

Why would that called General Petraeus a betrayer endorse you? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

Why would you have accepted donations from Bill Ayers who said that he had not done enough terrorist bombing against the United States in his youth? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

Why Sen. Obama are so many of your advisors—Ms. Power, or Mr. Malley, or Mr. Brzezinski–so critical of Israel, and so sympathetic to the Palestinians? But that’s no doubt a minor and irrelevant point.

But why, Sen. Obama, are there so many of these minor and irrelevant points that continue to be raised?

The answer is simply that Obama is a man of the hard left, and thus one must always worry about extremists or extremist themes that drift in and out of that general landscape. It won’t do to tsk, tsk Farrakhan anymore than it would a conservative to do the same with David Duke. The only difference between the late Timothy McVeigh and Bill Ayers was a question of magnitude and efficacy—not evil intent. Both targeted US governmental facilities with bombs. No politician would have visited a McVeigh (who likewise prided himself a pundit) to sound out his ideas or pay a cordial visit.

The net result is that Obama’s entire past coterie of associates should be reexamined. He should have daily tutorials on the major countries involved in the war on terror and the problems with each—and drop the talk about his foreign experience as a toddler in Indonesia."

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