Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Picture a Healthy-Sized Pile of Meaty Chunks

Go ahead. I'll give you a minute.



Good. You've now successfully achieved your first act of precognition, because that's what the Democratic Party is going to look like.

I have to admit, I was sort of pulling for Obama. Not because I've enjoyed some of the infamous Kool-Aid, but simply because this needs to be over. The race is getting nastier and nastier, and with Clinton's win in Ohio and kinda-sorta razor win in Texas, the Clinton team has the justification they need to keep on running.

Now, they have no real shot of winning the majority of pledged delegates. It's theoretically possible, but it's not going to happen short of Obama being caught with a live O-boy or a dead O-girl. Even that nonsense he pulled with NAFTA isn't going to be enough, and that was so
ridiculously off-message and hamfisted that I'd be suspecting that guy who contacted the Canadians of being a plant at this point. He's going to go into the convention with the majority of pledged delegates.

What we've seen from the Hillary camp, though, is that they don't care about that. They simply don't. They're in it to win the nomination by any means necessary, and if it means arm-twisting superdelegates to override the pledged delegates--and seating the delegates they cheated their way to obtaining in Florida and Michigan--that's what they'll do.

In fact, that's what they have to do, and what they've been setting the groundwork for since Super Tuesday. All this spin about "major states" and "momentum" and trying to relabel the party hacks as "automatic delegates" to make them more palatable, all of it only makes sense if they're trying to prepare the public for Hillary winning on the back of whatever super-delegates her organization can drag into her camp.

(And so does the relentlessly negative, "scorched earth" advertising campaign)

It won't work, of course. Obama's supporters would desert her, believing that he is the rightful nominee. (Especially if Florida and Michigan get seated. They'd be attacked by other Dems for being loyal to their man over the party, but let's face it: they'd have a damned good point. The Republicans would have a field day with Hillary "I can't believe it's a presidential nominee!" Clinton; McCain would tear her to shreds over not even really having the support of her own party, let alone the nation.

(The media would help, of course.)

The progressives in the party won't be inclined to support her too closely, either: they'll have just seen the worst aspects of Democratic politics given flesh, as a person--and a one-time Republican--who self-consciously rejected them to become a "centrist" exploits the rules of the convention to receive an unearned nomination. That her husband's connections to "centrist" organizations they despise (like the DLC) would serve as the backbone of the effort won't help either.

What would the progressives do? Some, though probably not most, would hold their nose and vote for Hillary. Some may stay home. Some might even vote for Nader, depending on whether Hillary tries to out-centrist McCain in an attempt to win the independent votes that, let's face it, he'll have locked up the second the Democratic convention is over. Especially if they were former Obama fans. It wouldn't enough to beat the War Party.

And Hillary Clinton still won't be President.

That's what the Clinton campaign is facing, and I think on some basic, primal level, they know it. They know that a win without a majority of pledged delegates would be disastrous. So they'll keep on slinging mud, hoping that some sticks, and that they'll somehow end up with the majority of pledged delegates anyway. And that will tear the party apart, too, once Obama really does start responding in kind. Yes, there might have been cryptic comments about Clinton's gender, and yes, his fans are way too over-the-top with the Hillary hate. Compared to the 3AM ad, Clinton's McCain endorsement, and the deliberate blackening of his face--as well as dropping the "well, gee, I don't think he's a Muslim" bomb before dancing away from it knowing full well what part would end up on the air--Obama himself has been mild. No longer.

So the charges will fly, and the supporters will scream at each other for being idealistic naive children vs. out-of-touch Boomers, and the Dems will tear themselves apart. And it doesn't matter who wins.

Either way, Mccain will stand victorious over that healthy-sized pile of meaty Democratic chunks.

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