Clarification: A few people in comments seem to think I am advocating voting for The Precious should he get the nomination. You haven't been paying attention. I stand behind voting for Hillary for President whether I can fill in a circle on my ballot or if I have to write her in. Under no circumstances will I vote for either McCain or Obama and I hope that other Democrats (hell, Republicans and Independents, too) will do likewise. This post is about reclaiming the Party from the jerks who keep snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.
My political theory writing is not going to happen in a hurry as there are too many things I still have to work out. It's back to more conventional political blogging for a while.
One of the more foolish phenomenons I am seeing in the blogosphere these days is the huffy declaration that if Hillary isn't the Democratic nominee, the poster will switch their party affilaition to Independent and vote McCain.
I have already made clear that a good Democrat does not vote Republican. What also needs to be clear is that we're talking about long term political power here. You may need to kick the shit out of some party bigwigs and rearrange the organization when they insist that you're a silly, girlie, racist who really shouldn't worry her pretty head about policy, but abandoning the party to these morons is not a politically strategic move.
Howard Dean is the big loser this year. If Obama cheats and bullies his way to the Democratic nomination, he will go down to a Dukakis level defeat in the general, and it's time to change the people at the top due to failure to perform. The price of forcing Golden Boy Barry on the Democrats when he did not win the Democratic vote is to be tossed out in the trash. Dean's inherent promise is his nominee will win the White House and sweep in a bigger Democratic majority. Deliver or move on.
If Hillary continues her fantastic climb in the polls and wins several blowout victories (especially when combined with The Precious being revealed for the weak GE candidate that he is), well, the delegate count gets closer, the super delegates start reevaluating who can really reward them, and we have a winner for the GE. Who then pomptly fires Dr. Dean's sorry ass and puts a different set of amoral bastards in charge of the party. (Hey, I love Hillary, but let's be real about the kind of people who are professional party power brokers.)
If you are disgusted by the political and ethical dead-end the old Northeast power elite , the corrupt Daley Chicago machine, and the idiotic enablers of the blogosphere are doing in this campaign, then the best reaction is to remain firmly attached to the party and support those officals who are not part of the CDS crowd. As long as that pack retains its grip on the party, we will be fated to an unending series of wimpy wonks who lose with such noble grace.
Stay on the mailing lists and send every request for cash back with a sweet comment that your money is going to Hillary (or another pro-Hillary candidate/organization of your choice) as long as the DNC refuses to count all Democratic voters. When you get phone calls for dollars, patiently explain that you will make a donation when the party leadership stops demonizing white working class voters and respects their contribution to the party, kthxby. Find out when your next local Democratic Party meeting is going to be and start attending. It might be aggravating while the Obamacan zombies are still shambling around, but they'll go away soon enough.
Parties are mechanisms for organizing people and making power persist over time. The reason the Republicans can dominate the political scene despite being a clear minority of the population is due in great part to party discipline. The only way to bring about political change is to command political power. The current Democratic leadership is entirely too comfortable with the rut they have settled into, and have shown themselves eager to be the punching bag for the Republicans as long as they can all be buddies after the Supreme Court nominations (thanks Leahy). They won't be dislodged if we leave them in charge.
Institutions, as I've blogged before, are the way we can sustain power over time. We are seeing the surface of what must be a tremendously wild power struggle in the depths of the party. This is a battle that has been going on since JFK and LBJ. It has to do with the fact that Obama was right in a very sad way about the Democratic Party having run out of ideas, namely, a solid idea of how to change the second act narrative of the party into something that does not denigrate its core constituents.
Hillary is asking us to look upon the way in which she endures the slings and arrows from all sides and consider what it means to never give up in the face of calumny, to fight fiercely for something tangible, and to always come back to the fight, for it will always be with us.