Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Political analogy of the day: Democratic Party = pre-2004 Boston Red Sox

I have this looming pit of despair in my stomach as I sit and look out at the political landscape, wondering who the Democrats will nominate to run against Walnuts McCain. It's no secret that I'm a Barack Obama supporter--I like the guy, and think he has a vastly better shot against McCain in the general election. My concern that Hillary Clinton will find a way to win, however, has made me realize that the Democratic Party is really the political equivalent of the pre-2004 Boston Red Sox. Those Red Sox were always a loveable bunch of losers who managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory time after time, often doing so in a fashion that caused their fans immeasurable heartache and angst.

Red Sox lore, for example, would not be complete without the 1986 World Series, in which a fatal error by Bill Buckner cost the team game 6 of the 7 game series, or the 2003 American League Championship Series, in which manager Grady Little let a clearly tiring Pedro Martinez keep pitching, ultimately costing his team the game. It is this type of loss--not just a loss, but a spirit-crushing loss--that reminds me of the Democratic Party today.

I don't expect the Democratic Party to just do the wrong thing and end up nominating Hillary Clinton--I expect them to nominate Hillary Clinton in the most artless way possible, alienating a huge chunk of their base and destroying the positive experience his campaign has brought to millions of people. Rest assured, it will happen. The same party that found a way to lose the 2000 and 2004 elections against, respectively, a dunce-like governor and a clear failure of a president, will somehow find a way to lose the 2008 presidential election against a certified fossil like McCain.

Oh, believe me, I sense the enthusiasm in the electorate, and notice that Hillary and Obama are outraising McCain something like 8:1. And I see that together they are getting something like 4x as many votes as McCain in recent primaries. And I see that while McCain gives his "victory" speeches from inside elevators with four or five equally old white guys behind him, Obama frequently gives his before overflow audiences in sports arenas that hold 18,000 people. I see all that. Sadly, this makes me even MORE convinced that Hillary will be the nominee.

The Dems will find a way to squander all the positive emotion and grass-roots energy the Obama campaign has created, and will instead nominate a divisive political insider who is hated by roughly half the country before her campaign has even started. Rest assured, they will find a way. Just as Red Sox fans used to tell themselves "no matter how good the season looks now, we'll find a way to lose," the Democrats will certainly waste their best opportunity to take the White House in years. The only question at this point is what ingenious method they'll chose to choke it away. Will it take a lawsuit, filed by Clinton supporters, to overturn the Texas primary results? Will the Clinton campaign push a bitter floor fight at the convention to seat the Florida and Michigan delegates? Stay tuned! It's not a question of whether, but how.