Monday, May 5, 2008

The Democratic Divide

Tomorrow is primary election day in Indiana and North Carolina. A number of the pundits forecast a split, with Hillary Clinton winning Indiana and Barack Obama taking North Carolina. Me, I hope against hope for an Obama sweep.

There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I am an Obama supporter and have been since the number of candidates dwindled to two (perhaps even before that). Second, regardless of the bright face the Democratic Party leadership paints on this drawn-out race, the increasingly bitter contest between Clinton and Obama is anything but good for the party. It is great fodder for conservative talk radio and the mainstream media, but as far as adding anything of substance to the political canvas, this battle has all the appeal of an episode of Jerry Springer.

The party says this battle has brought new voters into the process and has reinvigorated the political process. They are right - to a point. And that point has been passed. As this race becomes increasingly bitter, increasingly nasty, those same new and excited voters are in danger of becoming disgusted and appalled at the notion that a candidate of ideals and a candidate of change, as many have perceived Barack Obama to be, cannot succeed against a political machine that attempts to appeal to the lowest common denominator and it willing to use any tactic, any trick to win and, if necessary, steal the nomination.

Where Barack Obama has shown himself to be a man of ideals, loyal to the party rules but willing to say the unpopular thing because it needs to be said, Hillary Clinton has shown herself to be an opportunist, loyal only to herself and willing to say whatever she thinks will attract votes. Millions of Americans have already seen through this and have given Obama a lead in pledged delegates. Hopefully, a majority of voters in both Indiana and North Carolina will do likewise on Tuesday and send the message to Hillary Clinton that it is time for her to end her campaign - while the Democrats can still win the White House.

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