Is anybody else getting rather tired of the Democratic race? I guess if not, you must be a Clinton supporter, as they’re the only ones who seem to think that there’s any reason for her candidacy to continue. With Obama in the lead with delegates, the popular vote, and the state count, there is no feasible fair way for Clinton to overcome Obama on any of these marks (she’s now arguing that she won more electoral votes than Obama. I’m not kidding. Electoral votes). This leaves Clinton only the superdelegates, who are extremely unlikely to overturn the primary results. I can’t imagine that even Clinton supporters really want this to happen. And that’s even ignoring the fact that it would lead to a huge backlash against the Democratic Party and almost undoubtedly hand the election to the Republicans.
To be fair, not everyone thinks that the ongoing process is a bad thing. The media, for instance, is only very recently recognizing the fact that Clinton cannot win. And even then it’s only the media fringe that is picking up on this or, at least, writing about it.
There is a fairly loud contingency who believes that the ongoing race can only help the Democrats in the end because, they say, this keeps the Democrats in the spotlight while no one pays any attention to what McCain has to say. There are two problems with this. The first of which is that every time I open up news pages, there’s almost invariably an article or two on McCain. There are, admittedly fewer than on the Democratic race, but this leads to problem number two. There is rarely anything printed of interest anymore besides the latest, rather meaningless, poll numbers, or yet more coverage of the “battle of the umbrage-taking.”
In no way are these stories helpful to keep voters interested, nor are they helpful in showing either candidate in a good light. The more attacks from Clinton against Obama, the more ammunition McCain will have come the general election. Clinton is, after all, a fellow Democrat, and her words, and those of her supporters, therefore sting far worse than those coming from Republicans. For example, in listening to coverage of Obama’s speech on race, Clinton supports have been far less positive about his speech than even Republicans, whereby Clinton supporters often simply dismiss it out of hand
And that brings me to my main point. Right now, the two sides are quite split, and probably have more venom for one another than they do for the Republicans. It’s an irrational amount of hate, it’s people not wanting to listen to what the other side has to say, and it’s wanting to criticize anything at all the other campaign does so as to gain any sort of points by doing so.
This DOES NOT help the Democratic Party, and the increasing apathy due to the “battle of the umbrage-taking” and the never ending race make the situation untenable. With Clinton having no chance to take the nomination without a superdelegate overturn of the race, which would be a disaster in itself, continuing the race is very damaging to the Democrats.
It’s time for Clinton to see this. It’s time for her to see that the only way to win is to kill almost all chances for the Democrats in the general election. It’s time for her to do what’s good for her party and what’s good for her convictions. It’s time for her to withdraw from the race.
Unfortunately, this isn’t happening. In this case, it’s time for the superdelegates to finally step in, like Bill Richardson, to settle this before it destroys any chances to win in the general election. That way, it will finally stop the irrational criticisms, and more importantly, it will give Democrats time for the vitriol to subside, and more properly direct their anger toward the more proper target, Republicans.
David Brooks’ New York Times op-ed on why Clinton should withdraw.