Democratic Disarray

The Democrats have a problem: despite the impressive sounding rhetoric of having an embarrassment of riches—three (now two) strong candidates they could easily unite behind—they are in a jam. They have two candidates, and they cannot agree on who’s numero uno. It is looking like the very scenario they wanted to avoid, a divisive nominating process that would leave them vulnerable to their Republican opposition, is the one they are hurtling relentlessly towards.
It all seemed so simple a year ago. Hillary Clinton had the name recognition, she had the money, and she had Bill. Who could stop her? Certainly not John Edwards, who quite helpfully fizzled and burned out in a most timely fashion. The Powers That Be front loaded the primary season, which was supposed to culminate in an early Clinton victory on Super Tuesday. Pushing the Democratic National Convention to late August would further strengthen Clinton because it would give her time in the limelight closer to Election Day than usual for her party. All of that positive coverage would make her star shine even brighter.
Then a funny thing happened on the way to the coronation. Democratic voters seemed to fall out of love with the Clintons. Maybe it was concern over Mrs. Clinton’s electability, maybe it was distaste over the ruthless way the Clinton Machine dealt with adversity (otherwise known as anyone who operated contrary to their will). Meanwhile, there was Barack Obama inspiring the masses. Women were fainting, reporters were genuflecting, and the Democrats had found a new champion. Obama surged to the lead in total votes and total delegates, and he won twelve states in a row.
Displaying the typical Clintonian ability to bounce back from adversity, however, Mrs. Clinton reeled off three straight victories on March 4. And people are left to wonder why. Is it because the media has regained its equilibrium, and it’s finally treating Mr. Obama like a mortal? Is it because Obama’s missteps recently—liking trying to have it both ways on NAFTA, then, well, trying to lie about it—are bringing him down? Is it because Clinton’s negative campaigning is effective? Is it because Clinton has gotten help from (of all people) Rush Limbaugh?
Limbaugh urged Republicans in Texas to vote for Hillary Clinton because he wants the Democrats in a state of disarray. Having failed to control his own party’s nomination process, Limbaugh is contenting himself with Plan B: gumming up the works for the Democrats. Honestly, it seems kind of un-American. If you disagree, ask yourself how you would feel if Al Gore or Michael Moore started telling Democrats to vote in the Republican primaries for a candidate you don’t want (like Rudy Giuliani—I mean, if Giuliani were still in it and had any chance at all). Limbaugh doesn’t want John McCain to be President, so what purpose is served by messing with the Democrats?
Would George Washington have wanted any of this?