Sunday, April 27, 2008

Identity Politics Might Be the Dems' Downfall in '08

Morning Talk Shows echo this NYT piece on Hillary's new lease on life---Howard Dean's involvement may indicate a jinxed end-game:
But even as Mr. Dean and others lament the downward tone of the campaign, they say that with the convention in Denver in August, the healing will begin. They dismiss the intramural tensions wrought by the protracted season, citing historical patterns of voters uniting behind the nominee after similarly competitive primaries.

Still, depending on the circumstances (particularly if those circumstances involve the superdelegates overriding the popular vote or the choice of the pledged delegates), the historical comparisons might not hold up. Identity politics, some say, create a deeper schism, and the polarization by race exposed by results in Pennsylvania and elsewhere could indicate a rift that can’t be mended easily.

Certainly the depth of voters’ devotion pulsates on every politics blog, with loyalists in one camp insisting they would never back the other’s candidate. Some threaten to vote for John McCain or a third-party candidate. Whether that is fleeting angst or lasting sentiment remains to be seen.

Of course the fatuous Dean forgets a campaign I participated in, the McCarthy Campaign of '68 [I worked in Indiana among the half-dozen states I campaigned in as National Staff], which after the Chicago Convention more or less sat on its hands & let Hubert Humphrey lose to RMN.

Democratic in-fightiing can get viral, as I learned as a troubleshooter in California & New York State & City---as the Dem language always likes to squawk about how "feisty" they are and their "passion" for this and that.

Not words implying reconciliation skills.

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