Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Let Obama-Clinton contest play itself out
Gene Lyons

Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008

So here’s my question: If it’s such a lead-pipe cinch that Sen. Hillary
Clinton can’t win the Democratic nomination, why are so many people
indignantly demanding that she drop out? What harm can come from letting
this fascinating seven-game series of a primary contest play out?
Indeed, I’d go so far as to say it’s her patriotic duty to continue.
Sen. Barack Obama’s supporters aren’t the only ones who could end up
feeling embittered if their candidate gets the bum’s rush. For example,
Obama magnanimously offers to accept 50 percent of Michigan’s disputed
delegates, a state where his name did not appear on the ballot. And
people say that Clinton acts arrogantly “entitled” to the presidency.
How many fancy speeches will it take to rationalize that away? Besides,
the Clinton-Obama race is bringing voters into the party at a record
clip. According to USA Today, 172,000 new Democrats have registered in
Pennsylvania during the past three weeks alone. Come November, the
party’s nominee will need every one to defeat Sen. John McCain in the
general election. People who imagine otherwise don’t seem to understand
how presidential elections are decided, i.e., by the Electoral College.
Not, that is, by a poll of “Meet the Press” panelists, star-struck
Obamaphiles, happy wanderers on Mc-Cain’s “Straight Talk Express”
campaign bus or the first 500 names in D.C. hostess Sally Quinn’s
Rolodex. Yeah, there’s a certain amount of redundancy in that list.

Am I the only observer struck that the celebrity courtiers of the
Beltway media act as if the presidency were a prize for them to bestow?
MSNBC, for example, which sold itself as the anti-FOX News network, has
turned into an unintentional parody of same. Most nights, “Countdown”
anchor Keith Olbermann outdoes Stephen Colbert for smug
self-satisfaction. (Except Colbert’s kidding, of course. ) His
once-indispensable program has become the “Obama Hour,” with the same
pundits repeating the same predictable opinions every night.

Anyway, the answer to my opening rhetorical question is very simple:
People declaring the race over are employing a number of hidden premises
they don’t wish to discuss. Here’s how Daily Kos blogger Markos
Moulitsas limns the argument in his Newsweek column: “No matter how you
define victory, Barack Obama holds an insurmountable lead in the race to
earn the Democratic nomination. He leads in the one metric that matters
most: the pledged delegates chosen directly by Democratic voters. But he
also leads in the popular vote, the number of states won and money

Moulitsas concludes that Clinton’s “ephemeral” chance of victory “rests
with a coup by superdelegate,” warning that “if Beltway bigwigs steal a
hard-won victory, it would amount to a declaration of civil war.”

Virtually all of this happens to be factually false. An alert
eighth-grader would recognize that cash on hand and number of states won
have nothing to do with anything. One can stipulate in advance that GOP
nominee McCain will win more states than his Democratic opponent in
November. Like Obama, he’ll sweep the states inhabited by more cows than

In fact, neither Democratic candidate can win enough pledged delegates
to secure the nomination. Both need the votes of “Beltway bigwigs,”
elected Democratic officials for the most part, to prevail. What
Moulitsas also isn’t saying—indeed, what none of the pundits clamoring
for Clinton’s withdrawal will say—is that even Obama’s vaunted lead in
the popular vote depends upon Michigan and Florida being

Add those numbers into the mix, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz points
out in his column at salon. com, and the “difference in the popular vote
would fall to 94,005 out of nearly 27 million cast thus far—a difference
of a mere four-tenths of 1 percentage point—and the difference in
delegates would plummet to about 30, out of the 2,024 needed to win.”

With 10 states and territories left to vote, Clinton can definitely pull
ahead. Never mind all the “Who shot John?” arguments over the DNC’s
screwball decision to penalize those two crucial swing states for moving
their primaries up (although New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina were
permitted to do so ). The fairest solution would have been a re-vote,
but Obama supporters have prevented that from happening. Tell me again
what a “transformative figure” he is, because on this score the
politician Obama most resembles is George W. Bush. Wilentz also points
out that if the Democrats used the state-by-state, winner-take-all
standard used in Republican primaries and the general election, Clinton
would now have approximately 500 more delegates than Obama and have the
nomination locked up. That’s because she’s won almost all the big,
Democratic and swing states necessary to prevail in November. Finally,
there’s this puzzler: Evidently, it’s hunky-dory for Massachusetts
superdelegates like Sens. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy and Gov. Deval
Patrick to pledge their votes to Obama, even though Clinton won the
state’s primary decisively. How, then, can Obamaphiles call it an
anti-democratic outrage for other superdelegates to support Clinton,
even if she wins their states, too? See what I mean? Let the voters
speak, then decide.


Post a Comment

<< Home