I will simply repeat what I've been saying for weeks now: Hillary = nominee = victory; Obama = nominee = defeat. Neither candidate has enough pledged delegates to get to 2209 votes without super delegates, so it is up to the SDs to decide the fate of the party in this electoral cycle. The nominee isn't the person with the most at a certain point in time, it is the person who first hits 2209.
What does interest me greatly is watching the modern day "Best and Brightest" come totally unhinged over Hillary's candidacy. No, really, this is a fascinating sociological study that is confirming themes and thoughts I've been writing about since long before this particular campaign. It has to do with the fault lines in the Democratic coalition as such and the difficulty the two major strands - Stevensonian and Truman/Jacksonian - have trying to keep the coalition together. It's all further complicated because of the way in which non-white ethnic groups brought into the coalition since the New Deal do not fit neatly onto what is fundamentally an argument among the "whites" about class privilege and distribution of socio-economic power.
I was sent a link to an article written by Sen. Jim Webb about the Scots-Irish in America and the way in which the current Democratic Party is failing to appeal to this group. It is a short piece that does not candy coat anything. Here are key paragraphs, but be sure to read the whole thing:
The Scots-Irish comprised a large percentage of Reagan Democrats, and contributed heavily to the "red state" votes that gave Mr. Bush the presidency in 2000. The areas with the highest Scots-Irish populations include New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, northern Florida, Mississippi, Arkansas, northern Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, southern Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and parts of California, particularly Bakersfield. The "factory belt," especially around Detroit, also has a strong Scots-Irish mix. ...
The Democrats lost their affinity with the Scots-Irish during the Civil Rights era, when -- because it was the dominant culture in the South -- its "redneck" idiosyncrasies provided an easy target during their shift toward minorities as the foundation of their national electoral strategy. Their long-term problem in having done so is twofold. First, it hampers their efforts to carry almost any Southern state. And second, the Scots-Irish culture has strong impact outside the South. This is especially strong in many battleground states. It is no accident that many political observers call the central region in Pennsylvania "Northern Alabama." Scots-Irish traditions play heavily in New Hampshire -- the only New England state that Mr. Bush carried in 2000. Large numbers of Scots-Irish settled in the southern regions of Ohio (called "Northern Kentucky"), Indiana and Illinois. They were among the principal groups to settle Missouri and Colorado. They migrated heavily to the industrial areas in Michigan, which is one reason that George Wallace, ran so strongly in that state in 1968 and 1972. ...
In fact, the greatest realignment in modern politics would take place rather quickly if the right national leader found a way to bring the Scots-Irish and African Americans to the same table, and so to redefine a formula that has consciously set them apart for the past two centuries.
Secret GOP Weapon: The Scots-Irish Vote
WSJ, October 19, 2004
These words are very different than what we have been hearing lately from the Left punditocracy, yet they are exactly what does need to happen for the Democrats to solidify the promise contained in their large and disparate coalition. The states listed by Sen. Webb include the most crucial swing states. It also shows a fundamental relationship between the Bunkers of the north and the Bubbas of the south, namely in the presence of this ethnic group in the different geographical regions.
As a reminder, my three major themes on Left politics that I try to write about are:
- The tension between liberal democracy and more radical modes in the conduct of Left politics.
- The way "The South" works in the Left's political imagination, and how that mitigates against coalitions.
- With reference to current affairs, what is the effect of the netroots (if any) on the conduct of Left politics.
That ongoing analysis will be my focus from here on out. As I see it, there is a serious power struggle going on within the party to retain control within the old guard Northern tier faction to prevent the rise of a border-state power center that looks to ally the Southwest (Hispanic) with swing state working class voters for a voting block not beholden to Teddy Kennedy & Co.