No Deal

I caught this last night but waited to raise it up my inner flag pole before posting on this.  DNC Chair Howard Dean says that to avoid a dreaded Brokered Convention, he may have to moderate a deal between the two campaigns to select the nominee.

I fully understand the peril offered by a brokered convention, particularly when the Republican race is looking to be winding down and the their party will have the benefit of a cooling down and reconciliation period.  However, I also caution Dr. Dean in whatever deals do get cut, there is an equal if not greater risk of losing much of the support of an historically enthusiastic party.  In any case, he’s definitely not a man I envy at this point.

My take is, if either candidate loses fair and square, a bulk of their supporters will eventually come to grips with it no matter how bitter they may feel initially.  That’s just decent sportsmanship.  Unfortunately, moderated deals don’t smell of fair losses and wins, and if either candidate loses in such a matter that their supporters feel widely cheated, you’re going to have a lot of folks staying home this November.

Not that a loss on either side won’t result in some lost voters no matter what, don’t get me wrong.

So there are some pitfalls ahead to be avoided by Dr. Dean and the rest of the DNC.  Take note.

If Super Delegates decide this over whomever has the highest delegate count, that’s not going to look good. A fight between pledged delegates and the popular vote is a tricky one, and one that stirs up old tensions especially among the Democratic party.  But at least there’s the precedent of delegates governing who becomes victor to back that up.  What would vitally wound the party is if the Super Delegates overturn the ruling of the voters.  That’s to say, if one candidate has a delegate lead, and the Super Delegates flip for the other candidate, you’re going to disenfranchise a lot of people.

Regarding Florida and Michigan, simply put, do not seat the delegates without some sort of actual contest.  Fair’s fair,the candidates agreed not to campaign in either state, ALL candidates, and so it is not reasonable to assume that democracy is restored by accepting the results of a vote that didn’t allow each candidate to make their case to the voters.  One candidate has played a little underhandedly in both states which is fine, but you can’t change the rules after the fact and make those contests count…  That’s what corrupt dictatorships abroad do, not our own party.  I guarantee blowback if those delegates are seated without giving Obama an opportunity to campaign there as Hillary did.

Be wary of the “dream ticket”.  There are more than a few people out there that believe Clinton/Obama or Obama/Clinton would be the dream ticket.  I’m not one of them, and I think it was Mark (forgive me if it wasn’t you, can’t remember right now), who got it right when he said that Hillary needs Obama to win the General Election, Obama doesn’t need her.  But this may be the only deal in town, especially if things get so close that there’s not even a muddled lead let alone a clear one. 

I don’t think these candidates would choose each other as running mates, but at the same time, it still gets you in the White House, possibly a presumptive nominee role eight years down the line, and it would have the added benefit of healing some of the wounds between the two camps’ supporters.  Of course, feelings of betrayal are always going to be there, but at this point, there’s nothing we can do about that.

Personally, if I were Obama, and Dean came up to me to asking me to cut a deal, I would probably look him in the eye and say, “Blow it out your ass, Howie… No Deal.”  But that’s just me.

(h/t memeorandum)

Thanks to Bob Krumm for linking in.

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