Desperately Seeking Resolution

March 4, 2008

It’s time to end this.  For a while Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama managed to keep their campaign discourse at an uncommonly high level.  They debated issues and kept the rancor and foolishness to a minimum, at least relative to past campaigns.  

But clearly that’s over.  They’re tearing into each other now with apparent relish, and with utter disregard for the party’s prospects in the general election.  I’m reminded of the famous quote from a U.S. field commander in Vietnam:  “We had to destroy the village to save it.”  These two are going to destroy the Democratic Party in their fight to lead it to a November defeat.

To tell the truth, though, I don’t know what the answer is.  Ideally, Obama will win Ohio and Texas today effectively ending the contest.  But I’m not confident that’s going to happen, and the alternatives — all of them — lead to disaster.  If Clinton sweeps both of the big states, she’ll probably go on to win Pennsylvania, too, leaving us with two candidates who are essentially tied in the delegate count.  One of them will have won more states, the other will have won almost all of the big states.  It’ll come down to a “Rock-Scissors-Paper” contest at the convention, and no one wants to see that. 

If they split Ohio and Texas, the campaign will go on as it has been:  divisive and bitter, with Obama as the front runner and Clinton throwing daggers at his back.  Pennsylvania will see it’s bloodiest battle since Gettysburg, and even that won’t settle matters.  Nor will the inevitable return to Florida and Michigan.  Charlie Crist, Florida’s Republican Governor, who has been mentioned repeatedly in recent weeks as a possible running mate for John McCain, has offered to allow a second Democratic primary in Florida, despite the cost to the state’s taxpayers.  You don’t think the Republicans are loving this?

Democrats need to settle on one of these two gifted, qualified, intelligent candidates before we turn what ought to be a historically successful year for the party into just another lost opportunity.

Today’s music:  Faint strains of “Happy Days Are Here Again”….

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