Thursday, March 27, 2008

"The Tanya Harding Option"

I know our readers may be sick of these "Has Hillary gone too far?" articles, but I find the self-destructive nature of Senator Clinton to be fascinating. For years, we have been saying Hillary never saw the Senate as anything else but a stepping stone. Now, Democrats are coming to the same realization and wondering what kind of monster they have created. One wonders if one day this will be known as the "What have we been doing?" election as Republicans come to grips with the economic legacy of GWB, and Democrats come to grip with the "Shoot 'em all and let God sort it out" legacy of the Clintons.

Some top Democrats are increasingly worried that the Clintons’ divide-and-conquer strategy is nihilistic: Hillary or no democrat.

(Or, as one Democrat described it to ABC’s Jake Tapper: Hillary is going for “the Tonya Harding option” — if she can’t get the gold, kneecap her rival.)

...And even Clinton supporters know that Bill does not want to be replaced as the first black president, especially by a black president with enough magic to possibly eclipse him in the history books.
I will say it again: If the Democrats do not nominate Barack Obama, they are crazy. But I do not think charges of insanity would be unfair for either party this year.


Sean said...

Along with all that you say, I think that the greater Democratic populous is coming to the realization that the nominating system they have is kind of ludicrous - pledged delegates and superdelegates who can overturn what the other delegates want (only to an extent I know, but still...). I think that it's possible that this is the last primary season with superdelegates as well as partitioned delegates per state. I think 2012 will see the democrats take on a system similar to what the GOP has, simply because it makes the math easier and the general populous understands it. It also prevents the kind of thing that they are dealing with right now. In the GOP system there would be an absolute leader by this point - I think it would be Clinton because of her big state wins but who knows how the math would actually work out.

Nomad said...

I agree with you, Sean. The Dems made up this system all based on the assumption this race would be over by February. Now, all of the political moves they made early in the season are ludicrous, because you may have Puerto Rico or Guam playing a pivotal role in choosing a candidate.

I doubt they'll choose a system just like the GOP, because they consider "winner-take-all" to be anti-Democratic. But I think we'll see few Superdelates... unless Hillary winds up winning because then she'll have a vested interest in the system that elected her.

I wonder what the other major third parties - Libertarian, Constitution, Green, etc. - use for their systems. I've been trying to find out, but it isn't on their websites near as I can tell.

Sean said...

The thing is their current system is un-democratic (thought it is thoroughly Democratic) in that it is completely elitist. You have the regular delegates, which are dispersed by the people. Then you have the superdelegates, who are not only delegates, but SUPER and thus somehow better than all the other delegates in that they are allowed to make up their minds in any way they like. Because of this they can change the vote of the people, because they actually KNOW better than the general public about what is best for the party.

I agree with you Nomad in that the Dems won't take on the same system as the GOP. Part of the issue with delegates is that each state party does it differently. So, the real issue is finding some level of homogeneity among the state parties.

CRCHAIR said...

Of course, the Super Delegates were instituted for situations like this when one candidate gains momentum quickly without being vetted and then the party can get stuck with that person even if people who know politics know that person will lose.

I think the solution for next time will be to just have the conventions earlier. That would be easier to change than the entire process.