Democratic Primary bumped up: to benefit whom?

Now the NYT is reporting that the Dems are seriously threatening candidates that don’t go along with the new calendar.

Since NYT is basically a paper by and for Democrats and has a history of acting as such, this is important.  Who benefits from this?

I can see only one hand behind the operation:  this is a transparent DNC move to guarantee that Sen. Clinton is  nominated in spite of “electability” concerns.  By bumping the primaries far forward, some additional minority voices will be heard… but since the Dems basically stick legitimate minority concerns into a closet and ignore them until voting time (the same way Republicans do fiscal conservatives), that’s not a major factor here.  Primarily, the effect of this is to guarantee that the also-rans don’t have time to establish sufficient name recognition to become real contenders.

Meaning that, once again, ’08 is going to be a race between the Republican candidate, and whatever boob the DNC shoves down its party’s throat.  Make no mistake:  Clinton is not electable.  She is nowhere near the politician that her husband is.  She has a tin ear and is accustomed to literally a decade-and-a-half of being treated with kid gloves in the media.  Her interviews are telling:  they’re nothing but softball, slow-pitch questions.  She routinely flubs, either in fact or by hardening up her voice, anything that even begins to look like it might be a hardball question.

Any Democrat who supports her nomination is either

  1. a true believer from a deep-blue state
  2. lining up behind her simply to get a woman on the ballot
  3. or else on his knees praying for an incredibly biased set of debate questions.

Because in any balanced debate where she is not handled with the no-touch kid gloves to which she has become accustomed, the other candidate (Dem or Rep) will wipe the walls with her, and her combination of shrill, humorless retorts combined with plastic “see I am human after all” condescension are only going to scare off her party’s moderates.

Despite the vote, the fighting over the calendar may not be over. A number of potential 2008 contenders — including Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts; John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina; and Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana — have expressed support for New Hampshire. 

Darned right they have: they have absolutely ZERO chance of winning nomination with the new schedule.  Neither do any of the other, credible candidates who could decide that they were going to make a run for it.  Bredesen, for instance, would make a fine candidate, if anybody could convince him to run — a candidate in his vein could actually peel away a lot of Republicans, and would have a very good chance of securing almost all the moderates.  But this arrangement effectively locks out anybody (cough Netroots cough) who isn’t already organized to make a nation-wide run. 

Right now, that’s only one person.  If the Democratic Party wants to return to being an institution that represent its adherents, or like the Elephants, even pretends to do so… this is a serious step in the wrong direction, and a disaster for anybody who longs for a return to functional two-party political competition.

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