Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Gray Lady's Fainting Spell

The New York Times editorial board is shocked, shocked that some Obama supporters say they would sit out the general if Hillary is the nominee, and that some Republicans would rather lose the White House than see McCain win. "That is not the way democracy is supposed to work," they intone.

This is a head-scratcher. Does the Times board think that lockstep party unity is "the way democracy is supposed to work"?

Reality check: many Americans of all political stripes have long said they would not vote for Hillary under any circumstances; the Dem primaries are drawing record turnouts; every second debate has been a lovefest; Democratic voters as a body seem ecstatic with the choice between two strong candidates; and in the runup to Super Tuesday, huge numbers of voters were undecided almost down to the wire. Americans as a whole seem euphoric about the way democracy is working this season.

True that there's a real risk now that Hillary and Obama will damage each other as competition grinds on. Billary may be tempted to get Rovian again, and Obama has been increasingly explicit and specific in arguing that Hillary is part of the country's metapolitical problem and therefore can't build the kind of working majority that he can. But as dday has pointed out, this has been a relatively restrained primary battle so far.

Why is the Times wringing its hands over the animosities inevitably stirred by a competitive race? Is their craving for a Hillary cakewalk stronger than Hillary's own?

Related posts:
Obama's Metapolitics
Obama and Hillary: March 2003
When Hillary went MIA on Iraq
Return of the Clintonian Repressed
Obama: Man, those Klinton Kids are Something
Obama Praises Clinton, and Buries Him

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