While Susan et. al. look at the bright side of what happened last night, which in terms of sheer excitement and suspense rivaled Super Tuesday, I’ll be the skunk at the picnic and force all of you nice people to think about the so-called “press” assigned to cover this campaign and the so-called Democratic “party leaders” whose noses are out of joint. Continue reading if you dare.
Larry wrote a while ago that I told him that this is the most poorly covered campaign I’ve ever seen. The truth is that while I have a tendency to bitch every four years about the egregious bias exhibited by individuals calling themselves “political reporters”, this year really takes the cake.
I’ve attached this absurd AP “analysis” piece for your consideration. Keep in mind that Ron Fournier is widely revered as one of the good ones. Talk about defining deviancy down.
What, for example, is this supposed to mean:
Hillary Rodham Clinton slowed Barack Obama’s momentum Tuesday night with a winning formula that has Republicans smiling – and some Democratic leaders hoping to end the race soon.
Which “Democratic leaders” are hoping the race will end soon? Oh of course, Donna Brazile, the master strategist who led the Gore/Lieberman campaign to resounding victory in 2000, er, I mean, never mind:
“Despite Obama’s impressive victories in February, Clinton’s comeback is based on sowing political seeds of doubt,” said Donna Brazile, a Democratic strategist and one of nearly 800 party leaders known as superdelegates for their ability to determine the nomination. “In order to clinch the nomination, he must anticipate the worst attacks ever.”
So here we have two competing memes merging into one article: It’s Time For Hillary To Go Already and It’s The Meanest Campaign in History.
For God’s sake.
But wait, there’s more:
Consider that a shot across the bow to the Clinton campaign because Brazile – like many other superdelegates – worries that Clinton’s only hope for victory is tearing down Obama and dividing the party. Party chairman Howard Dean recently told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that he was concerned about the possible impact of a nominating campaign that stretched through the end of the primaries in early June.
What an absolute embarrassment.
Perhaps I’m rude, but maybe Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s time would be better spent rallying fellow Democrats to agree on an Iraq withdrawal plan, but that’s just me. Yet instead of devoting their attention to the weighty issues they were elected to office to tend to, like Louis in Casablanca they’re shocked, shocked that there’s democracy going on here. Instead of being proud that there is record turnout for the Democratic primaries, they want all this voting to stop so that the party can MOVE ON. The impact? How about interest in the campaign continuing to grow? What is this, Florida 2000? Now “party leaders” want the votes to stop being counted? And here’s my message to Howard Dean: Stop clutching the pearls and bitching to members of Congress and fix the goddamned Florida and Michigan mess already. How about the “possible impact” of that clusterfuck going unresolved until not June, but August? For shame.
Pardon the digression.
The point is that once again we’re seeing Democrats self-immolate in reaction to the media conventional wisdom. Looking back on it it’s a miracle on the level of Lourdes that Bill Clinton wasn’t thrown under a bus by his party during the Ken Starr debacle (Holy Joe and Jim Moran notwithstanding).
Just as a quick reminder: Only around 100 delegates separate Clinton from Obama. We’re not talking 700+ delegates as in the case of Huckabee-McCain. For all intents and purposes, Democratic voters are split down the middle, and the nominating process, as reflected in delegate apportionment, is a statistical dead heat, although if you’re really going to nitpick Hillary would probably be ahead if the Democrats had adopted the winner-take-all model.
So let’s get this straight. It’s March. The convention is in August. Each candidate has approximately half the delegates they need for the nomination. And yet the pressure is mounting on Hillary to drop out. You could practically feel the disappointment last night when, instead of conceding and handing the nomination to Obama, she vowed to soldier on. How thoughtless of her not to step aside and allow the Obama coronation to finally take place. I guess she just doesn’t get it. She’s not following the script.
Also please not the irony of “party leaders” and top-notch “strategists” like Donna Brazile bitching about Hillary staying in the race and being mean to Obama while slagging the possibility of the superdelegates deciding the nomination as undemocratic. What horseshit.
Then there’s the whole “negative campaign” issue. At least I heard one bit of sanity last night on CNN, provided as usual by Paul Begala, who had the temerity to point out that he’s seen negative campaigns, and this Clinton-Obama matchup, when measured by the gold standard that is the Republican South Carolina primary in 2000 (and the smears directed against Max Cleland and John Kerry), this is a powderpuff fight.
And by the way, were the Democrats to have the gall to band together to convince a viable presidential candidate to drop out of the primary/caucus race only three months in, who exactly would place that call? Who would be the Barry Goldwater here? Howard Dean? Chris Matthews? And what possible argument could that person present? That democracy is bad for the Democratic party?
Boy am I looking forward to reading your comments.