March 11, 2008


How the Democrats Could Lose (Richard Cohen, 3/11/08, Real Clear Politics)

In my 2007 column, I compared this presidential campaign to that of 1972, when George McGovern lost 49 states to Richard Nixon. The parallels are in some ways obvious -- the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq, above all. What I could not have foreseen a year ago was how much more obvious the parallels would become. Back in '72, the Democratic Party was split between doves and hawks, reformers and stogie smokers -- even men and women. The result was a national convention that was boisterous, unruly and ugly to look at. It might, however, look like a tea party compared to what could happen in Denver this August.

While it's fun watching the Left and the media slowly realize that this years's presidential isn't an automatic win for them, it more closely resembles 1988 in that regard. Recall that then too you had a Republican president limping home with the outcome of his global crusade uncertain and his administration mired in scandal. The GOP though went ahead and nominated the next in line, his vp, who could hardly have been more closely tied to the various "failures," like the massive budget deficits and who was distrusted by the far Right and Evangelicals. Meanwhile, Democrats nominated a post-ideological technocrat and paired him with a woman [IDIOT ALERT: As Ali points out, Geraldine was, of course, on the losing Northern liberal ticket of '84, not '88] , for what they saw as an unloseable general election.

Of course, once the campaign started it became obvious that no matter how you dressed them up, the Democrats' ticket was just two Northern liberals. America hasn't elected such a creature since the Depression. Assuming that we will do so this year never made much sense, but Democratic politics is about emotions, not thought.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 11, 2008 7:13 AM

Bentsen was '88, Ferraro was '84.

Posted by: Ali Choudhury at March 11, 2008 7:50 AM

Bentsen was from Texas, not the north.

Posted by: Mikey [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 11, 2008 9:18 AM

Where's the scandal the administration is mired in?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at March 11, 2008 9:53 AM

When the Democrats' 1988 campaign was floundering some suggested that Bentsen and Dukakis switch positions on the ticket. I can imagine the same thing happening with Clinton-Obama.

Posted by: George at March 11, 2008 10:07 AM

George: The notion that the ticket would be Clinton-Obama has always been absurd. They add nothing to each other, and by now the two sides have become so antagonistic that they each repel an even more sizeable fraction of the Dem base than each did six months ago (and as they always would each have repelled the majority of the overall population). Hillary was always going to nominate a former military man, and I don't think Obama ever had the audacity to hope he'd make it this far this time.

Posted by: b at March 11, 2008 10:45 AM

Whichever one they want to impeach him for.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2008 11:12 AM

Jim, over the years I've asked victims of BDS exactly what it is that Bush has done to earn such virulent hatred. Other than sputtering that there are so many things, I've not heard anything even approaching coherence.

The last one I asked, cited the joke of airport screening where elderly nuns are strip searched while dark-eyed brooding brawny Middle Eastern men chanting Allah Akbar breeze right through. When I asked if he thought that directive came directly from the White House, he just walked away.

In reality, airport security is a joke because we allowed the federal unions to take over in a trade off for Democrats in congress allowing a vote to appropriate the money.

Posted by: erp at March 11, 2008 11:56 AM

If Hillary were to get the nomination after trailing in delegates--which she isn't going to--she'd have to add him just to quell the uprising.

Posted by: oj at March 11, 2008 2:03 PM