I don’t pretend to be a lifelong Democratic party loyalist. Up until 2005, I was a registered Republican since becoming eligible to vote. That year, I re-registered as “no-party” (independent) over my growing disgust with the so-called “social conservatives” and their manhandling of the party (the Terry Shiavo issue being the last straw for me).
This year I caucused for Barack Obama in WA, where the caucuses are open regardless of party affiliation (in fact, there’s not really any such thing as party registration here). I’m sure anyone reading this has seen my previous blog entries and already knew I was an Obama supporter.
So, I wouldn’t say I speak for Democrats, much less party loyalists, but I just can’t fathom how they can stand by and let Hillary Clinton land the low blows she has against Obama in the past couple weeks in her last-ditch bid for the party nomination.
Former President Reagan had a famous saying, the so-called 11th Commandment: “Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.” This was proposed with the disastrous 1964 Goldwater campaign in mind, in which the Republican party was besought by infighting, leading in part to a landslide win for Johnson. The Republican Party has arguably strayed from this path in recent years, and to their own detriment… they now have a presidential nominee who arguably enjoys only a minority of support of his party.
Hillary Clinton is, by her own campaign’s admission, throwing the “kitchen sink” at Obama. In doing so, she is risking creating a giant sectarian rift within her own party. If she somehow does secure the nomination, it may be a pyrrhic victory, as many Obama supporters become so disgusted with her primary tactics that they decide not to show up for her in November (a similar scenario that I personally enacted in 2000 based on Bush’s tactics in South Carolina). I’ll say now, if the Democrats cannot win in 2008, then the entire party should be disbanded.
On the other hand, if Obama is the nominee, as I hope he will be, he’s going to have to try to heal the divisions that Hillary is creating, which is less energy available to spend against McCain.
Either way, Hillary Clinton is doing a disservice to her entire party, and I hope the powers that be either get her to stop, or find a way to put an end to it themselves. At any rate, I hope that the superdelegates who are following, most of whom are elected officials themselves, keep in mind the fate of the party if these tactics are allowed to win.