Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Do Democrats Want To Lose the 2008 Presidential Election?

As it is the day before the Iowa caucuses and the “official” start of the 2008 presidential campaign I thought I would ask a simple question, do Democrats want to lose the 2008 election? If Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire coronate Hillary to be the Democratic nominee for president then I will be convinced that they do.

As Xtra pointed out earlier it seems like, at least until this past month, that Democrats are planning to settle for Hillary Clinton even though she isn’t the most ideal candidate. From my conversations with Clinton supporters the rational for backing Clinton comes down to two main reasons:

  1. She is the candidate with the greatest chance of winning the general election.

  2. Unlike in 2000 (the whole Democrats are still blaming Nader thing) all progressives need to unite around a candidate and Hillary is as good as any to achieve that unity.

Now, policy differences between candidates aside, let me explain why putting Hillary on the Democratic ticket is the worst idea Democrats could possible have for trying to win the general election.

Let’s take a look at the Republican side. To quote Xtra, “this election cycle I think just about anybody with a -D besides their name will win. Most of the Republican candidates have major problems with the base, the base is clearly disengaged at this point, and the Republican Party is not exactly popular right now.” With that said there is, however, one sure fire way to promptly and quickly get the Republican base fully engaged in this election, give them a chance to vote against Hillary.

Whether it is fair or not Hillary Clinton is one of the most polarizing figures in American politics, as far as polarization goes she is the ying to George Bush’s yang. People either love Hillary or despise her. So I really wish someone would explain to me the logic of potentially nominating a candidate who doesn’t do much in regards to engaging the Democratic base, but will cause massive voter turn out for the Republican base, it just makes no sense to me.

Furthermore, who has been the most loyal voting base for the Democratic Party since the 1960s? African-Americans, on average Democrats receive about 90% of the total African-American vote. Instead of selecting a candidate, like Hillary, who has the potential to cause a historic voter turn out for her opponents, it would seem to make much more sense to select a Democratic candidate who at least has the potential to do the opposite and galvanize a massive turn out for African-American voters.

But alas I don’t have the greatest amount of confidence in Democratic voters to strategically consider all of the options, instead they will bring up how Nader lost the election for them in 2000 and if we don’t all unite around a sub-par candidate that it will happen again, completely losing sight of the fact that Democratic caucusers and primary voters have the chance to select a candidate that can both unite the Democratic Party and end eight years of polarizing politics.

No comments: