Thursday, May 01, 2008

South Dakota Will Not Be Denied!!

I just caught up with a good essay by Jonathan Chait in The New Republic titled "No Really, You Should Go." Guess who it's about?

Near the top, he addresses a basic principle:
The persistent weakness of American liberalism is its fixation with rights and procedures at any cost to efficiency and common sense. Democrats' reluctance to push Clinton out of the race is the perfect expression of that delicate sensibility.
Then he addresses the superdelegates issue:
Depending on how the remaining primaries go, Clinton will need about two-thirds of the uncommitted ones to break her way. Problem is, over the last month, superdelegates have broken to Obama by 78 percent to 22 percent. And the supers who haven't endorsed are even less likely to side with Clinton. Numerous reports on uncommitted superdelegates have made clear that they have remained on the sideline out of an exquisite fear of stepping on the results of the voters. As my colleague Noam Scheiber reported, "Just about every superdelegate and party operative I spoke with endorsed Nancy Pelosi's recent suggestion that pledged delegates should matter most."
But I liked this most of all, because it's so true:
A related justification is the "Think of the Puerto Ricans" defense. As a Clinton campaign memo insists, "the citizens in Pennsylvania, Guam, North Carolina, Indiana, West Virginia, Oregon, Kentucky, Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota have not yet had the opportunity to exercise that fundamental right." Of course, if Clinton suspended her campaign, those states could still vote for her if they wanted. It's true that their vote wouldn't matter, but that's the way it usually works most of the time anyway. A few months ago, everybody expected the race to be decided after New Hampshire. Now we can't bear to face the fact that the race has been decided after merely 80 percent of the states have weighed in.


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