Monday, March 10, 2008

The landscape is less favorable to the Democrats than it could have been

The Democrats should be a shoo-in for not only the White House but also a build up of a governable majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives this fall. Yet resources that should now be raised for a war-chest for all Democrats to use in the fall are being spent on this prolonged campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination despite the fact that Senator Clinton cannot overcome the delegate lead by Senator Obama. Progressive politics is paying a high price for the luxury of her campaign for a Clinton third term. In the meantime, Senator McCain will have time to pull together the fractured Republican Party. As Hendrik Hertzberg points out in the New Yorker:

Despite the manifold signs of a perfect Democratic storm this year, McCain is in an enviable position. He can get some sleep. He can raise some money. He can watch with interest as Hillary Clinton spends her millions trying to dismember Barack Obama and Obama spends his trying to keep his limbs attached. Meanwhile, he can continue to tack between the two ideological and stylistic identities that have got him where he is today—the rebel and the regular, the Rooseveltian (Theodore) and the Reaganite, the “maverick” and the “conservative”—without veering so far to one side that he forfeits the advantages of the other.

Matthew Yglesias puts it this way:

Were Hillary Clinton not determined to drag out the Democratic primary despite considerable evidence that she stands no realistic chance of closing Barack Obama's delegate lead, John McCain would, right now, be groaning under the yoke of a massive advertising campaign designed to define him and Obama in the public eye for the first time. Instead, McCain has what the New York Times rightly deems " a valuable commodity: time he can use to unite a fractured Republican Party, ramp up his lackluster fund-raising and transform his shoestring primary operation into a general election machine." The landscape still strongly favors the Democrats, but it's much less favorable than it would have been were the Clintons willing to set their own interests aside in favor of those of the party and the progressive movement.

1 comment:

Comrade Kevin said...

If she wants to destroy her legacy, the party, and Bill's legacy as President, then it will be on their monster's head. :-)