21 May 2008

Losing Graciously is un-Democratic

If you lose, change the rules. If you can't change the rules, cry that the rules are unfair. If nobody wants to hear you whine, you throw a tantrum and refuse to go away. If all else fails, you can still go hire a lawyer.

Is this where we're headed with Hillary Clinton?

Taking a page -- heck, maybe the whole enchilada -- out of Al Gore's playbook, Hillary is fighting to the death because "people" exhorted her to. Yeah, people, like Bill, Chelsea, Howard Wolfson and a handful of others from the HRC campaign that's running low on cash and even lower on class and dignity.

If you thought Hillary already said some unbelievably crass stuff, well, the hits just keep on coming. Her latest gem: She's leading in popular votes. She should've had one of those announcers who can read fine print at warp speed (like the ones on TV or radio commercials) say the following: "That's if you count Florida and Michigan, never mind we all agreed beforehand that those two delegations broke the rules and should be excluded and that Barack Obama will have zero votes from Michigan because he took his name off the ballot, and if you don't count the results from Iowa, Maine, Nevada and Washington -- three of them won by Obama -- then Hillary Clinton would be ahead by 1/3 of one percent. Not all figures are reliable and restrictions apply. See HillaryClinton.com for details. Offer expires June 3rd."

Whew. But like the Bosnian sniper, Hillary is again hoping against hope that nobody would pay attention to details. And that the super delegates -- the real audience she's appealing to -- would be as stupid as the Florida voters who claimed that the butterfly ballots were too confusing in the 2000 election.

Hillary doesn't want to make sure every vote counts. She wants to make sure every vote that works in her favor counts. In her twisted logic, even though she will never surpass Obama's lead in pledged delegates -- even if Florida and Michigan's results are tabulated as the way they went, i.e. Obama gets zero in Michigan -- by coming close that ought to be enough. Never mind the pre-existing rules and the pledge by all candidates before the election to exclude those two renegade states.

Rules are for Republicans and everybody else. We're Democrats. We don't need no stinking rules!

The aversion to rules is right up there among allergies that afflict Democrats. And this sickness owes much of it to Gore's refusal to concede what was clearly a lost election. By contesting the 2000 election to its bitter conclusion, Gore ensured the kind of rancor and discontent that ensnared American politics for the next eight years. Whereas Samuel Tilden and even Richard Nixon(!) graciously conceded in elections they might have been robbed, Gore chose his own grievance over what was good for the country.

Much of his spurious arguments are given a rebirth by Gore's former housemate. Yeah, Hillary and Al might've despised each other, but they think eerily alike. Both are elites masquerading as champions of the people. Both possess a kind of supreme entitlement mentality as if democratic politics are merely a charade for imperial succession. Both have a penchant to exaggerate their credentials. And both envied Bill for his political gifts -- and neither has them.

If 2000 is prelude, this Democratic nomination process will go to the convention floor in August in Denver. Hillary won't let it die, even if she can't win. She has already done plenty to undermine Obama's electability -- and she'll do more to that effect, despite the rhetoric that she'll "work" for the Democratic nominee. Come to think of it, Hillary really is a lot like Tonya Harding. If she attacks Obama savagely enough, he'll become unelectable and therefore the nomination must go to her.

Will it work? That depends on the density of the super delegates' collective backbone. But if Democrats are known for their balls, why are they called the Mommy Party?


Goth said...

When I wear my new boat shoes (Sperry A/O's in oatmeal), I am a champion of the people masquerading as an elite. I have been practicing my prepster "out-STAND-ing!" exclamations. Must head up to Hotchkiss School to try them out on the natives.

I actually told the missus that I thought Hillary would go so far as to take it beyond the convention and take the DNC to court if she thought it would tilt the scales for her.

Zookeeper said...

Scary thought ... but not beyond the realm of possibility. And you just know that she'd "work" as hard for Obama as she did for John Kerry.