Republicans are hooting at the mare’s-nest in which Democrats have snarled themselves in their presidential nominating process. Don’t snicker. This is a potential national tragedy.
It is no laughing matter when America’s presidential-election mechanism disintegrates into a situation where either one of its major political parties is reduced to such dysfunctionality.
Consider the mess Democrats face just in Florida and Michigan. Any direction the cat jumps, their party as a whole goes to the dogs. There is no win-win extrication from the pickle into which they’ve brined themselves, not even win-lose, only lose-lose.
Like the comic-strip Katzenjammer Kids, hilariously forever in Dutch because of their foolish antics, the Democrats undeniably “brought it on themselves.”
When the Democratic National Committee, under the brilliance of its chairman . . . oh, heck, what’s his name? You know, the genius who let out "the scream" four years ago. Anyway, when he took away convention delegates from those two states after they defied the DNC and rescheduled their primaries earlier in the year, it was like taking a Gatling gun to the leading candidates’ 20 toes.
If, at its convention, the DNC seats all those delegates that Hillary Clinton won in Florida and Michigan, some supporters of Barack Obama will surely clear their throats and mention, “Racism!”
If the DNC contrives some hocus-pocus for apportioning delegates between the two contestants or if it refuses to seat either candidate’s delegates, both camps will pitch dueling hissy-fits.
If the state and national Democratic organizations, even with collusion of the two legislatures and both candidates, opt for re-do primary elections by paper mail-in balloting, a swine herd of horrors of hanky-panky, incompetence and false accusations, to name a few, will rush snorting from out of the bushes.
If they haul off and hold full-fledged, go-back-to-the-polling-booths primary elections in Florida and Michigan, who will pick up the multimillion-dollar costs? Will it be Democratic Party national and state treasurers? If so, what’s left over to wage their general-election campaign?
Then, how about the usual suspects — George Soros and/or other deep-pocket, left-wing, private bank-rollers? Whoo-wee, what a campaign-slogan bonanza for Republicans that would be!
Maybe taxpayers, including Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Vegetarians, Socialists, Communists, Anarchists, Flat Worlders, Animal Righters, Free Lovers, Tree Huggers? The list is without end.
All those dear folk are going to thrill at chipping in their hard-earned tax dollars to bail out the Democrats? Get real.
If superdelegates award the nomination to Obama, despite his long association with that ranting, racist mentor-pastor, it will sound the party’s death knell in the general election. If they deny him what he has earned, the resulting black rage will be intolerable and unquenchable, also dooming the party on Nov. 5.
No matter what’s done, Democrats of one persuasion or another will be quarreling about it in what’s left of the primaries, within the convention, out again upon the general election, into the law suits, up to the Supreme Court, after the inauguration and throughout the term of whoever becomes president.
Not difficult to envisage Republicans, on the floor rolling coast to coast, laughing.
Poor Howard Dean . . . ah-ha, that was the name . . . what hath thou wrought?
Democratic spinners keep reassuring the faithful that all those silly, superficial love-spats will vanish, and a unified, up-beat, invigorated party will emerge from the national convention, transmogrified into the Incredible Hulk. Yeah, sure. C’mon. Democrats are people, too, and they’ll be acting like people, too.
It’s not exactly as though they’re in one of those insurance commercials, where a sincere chap sitting on the rim of a swimming pool with his trousers legs rolled up and his bare feet in the water ponders something like, “Human beings . . . behaving humanly. Brilliant!”
Here’s where it stops being sort of humorous and gets downright mournful.
The purpose of a healthy two-party system is to percolate up to the fore a contrasting set of political philosophies, programs, and candidates to give the American electorate clear-cut choices, neither one of which is intolerable.
So far, the Democratic Party has not staked out a clear claim to toting its share of that responsibility bale. Nor in that regard do Republicans have a whole heck of a lot to crow about.
At least Republicans haven’t botched things up like the Democrats have . . . only like they, in their own way, have botched things up. There are some really good things about John McCain and some that, well, aren’t all that hot.
Yes, there are still months to go and miles to travel before Nov. 5, and McCain has time and space in which to bloom like a rose cactus in the irrigated Arizona desert. Truth is, though, he’s still not the overwhelming first choice of the broad swath of the electorate that it will take to elect any Republican president.
Neither party this time around is putting forth its champions, in the finest sense of that word. An awful lot of Americans apparently sense this, and that may account for the general unease about where this country is headed.
Could something beneficent (please!) happen between now and the two nominating conventions, or between them and Nov. 5? Some unforeseen occurrence, some catalytic event, some sharp course-reversal in world events that could bend over like a deus ex machina into a Greek tragedy and save us from ourselves? Sure, possibly. Probably, not.
If such a miracle fails to unfold, then it would appear — at this date, anyway — that we could be in for a national tragedy of our own making, Democrats and Republicans alike. Move over, Katzenjammer Kids.
And, as Molly used to lament on the “Fibber McGee and Molly” radio show: “Tain’t funny, McGee.”
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for NewsMax.com.
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