Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Why Clinton or Obama musn't win the Democratic nomination

Cross-posted from my Daily Kos page:

Go read this blog, and tell me if you don't think -- as I do -- that Barack Obama seems so eager to channel Billary W. Clinton in order to try to win the Democratic nomination that he's willing to become his fiercest rival for the presidential nomination.

There are reasons why the country has been polarized, but it's not because of Al Gore or John Kerry. (And anyway, Gore won the popular vote by more than half a million votes. There was a little issue down in Florida that lost that one.)

I guess there's nothing wrong with running against former Democratic candidates, but it seems kind of gratuitous. Maybe it'll work, though. Everybody knows that divisive Democrats are the problem (although it's the first time anyone's made a point of that in a Democratic primary. Bold move.) The truth is that we rank and file Dems don't have anywhere to go except out of the political process [altogether]. We can't vote for Republicans, who are completely out of the question. Why not run against the Democratic party? It worked for Bill Clinton, didn't it?

The implication here is both highly accurate and chilling. If Obama is running as a Clinton wannabe, why not just dump his sorry ass and go with Clinton herself? Because the Clintons are poison, part of the conservative wing of the Democratic Party. A wing that has kept the political party as a whole weak, ineffectual and out of any real political power for decades.

Which just brings us back to the question I've been asking myself since the presidential race began (and much too early, in my humble opinion, but I digress): since Republicans are not an option and the so-called top tier candidates are Clinton and Wannabe Clinton, whom does that leave us? As far as I'm concerned, there are only two to four real options for Democrats going into this year's caucuses and primaries.

Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, Christopher Dodd, and Mike Gravel.

These four candidates are the closest ones we have to regaining some of what we lost as the Great Compression (as Paul Krugman describes it) wound its way down. And of these four, only Kucinich and Edwards stand any real chance of restoring the New Deal revolution begun under Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I cannot stress this enough: Clinton and Obama represent the same old politics of divisiveness, waffling, triangulating, pandering to right-wingers, empty rhetoric, and do-nothingness that have crippled the Democratic Party since the beginning of the Reagan era. We have real choices this year. The candidates are many and varied, and some are more qualified than others. We should not hand the presidential nomination to candidates who don't deserve them, just because we're desperate to win.

I'm backing Kucinich until the national convention (perhaps even after, depending on who nabs the nomination). Your candidate might be someone else. But let's all be on the same page; neither of the top two candidates going into the primaries is fit for the presidency, and we'd all better wake up to that undeniable fact YESTERDAY.

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