Sunday, August 20, 2006

2008 primary line up change

In my 30 years, I've never seen politics quite like those of today. I view it as a championship boxing match between Republicans and Democrats. The Republicans have spent the last three rounds making stupid mistakes, and I'm one of the trainers in their corner wondering what the hell they are thinking. Just when I think the Democrats have my guys ready for the knockout, the Dems start punching themselves in the face. First was this Lamont-Lieberman deal, and now there is this:

The plan would keep Iowa's caucuses in their leadoff position Jan. 14. Nevada would follow with its own caucuses Jan. 19. New Hampshire would retain its status as the first-in-the-nation primary, with voting Jan. 22. South Carolina would hold its primary Jan. 29.

Eager to keep states from jumping in line, the DNC also passed enforcement rules that would punish candidates who campaign in states that ignore the party and set their own schedule. Some party members worry that would create an unseemly intraparty fight when Democrats can least afford it.

Under that plan, candidates who venture into states that ignore party rules would not get any delegates from those contests. But some DNC members were unsure how effective such a sanction would be, particularly if the states doing the leapfrogging are small and have few delegates to offer.

I'm going to offer a free piece of advice to Democrats. The last 8 years have been a tough slog for Americans. A bit of war fatigue is setting in, and if you just get out of your own way, the American public would probably elect Mickey Mouse (D-FL) to the presidency in '08 just to change things up. I don't think the Democrats are capable of getting out of their own way right now, though. In fact, the more I watch them, the more it appears that they are getting ready to fall on their own swords.

I don't fault the Democrats for trying to make the caucus/primary system better or more to their advantage. What I do fault them for is their timing. In bucolic 2000, this change would have been worth arguing over. And who knows, maybe it would be again in 2012 or 2016. Right now it is not, though.

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