MSNBC is calling the Democrat nomination for Secretary Clinton, in advance of actual results from California, based on some combination of delegate counts, polling and wishing-will-make-it-so. Even if I wasn't skeptical of her and her party, being the Comcast Candidate would be a pretty big negative. (Ms. Clinton touts herself as historic, "the first major-party woman candidate for high office." Tam doubts this.)
The contrast between Hillary Clinton's media-driven inevitability and the enthusiasm shown for Senator Sanders by her party's younger and less Establishment members has been instructive -- and reminds me of the gap between Mr. Trump's supporters and the businessmen-as-usual GOP. (Though the Republicans do, at least, have Tea Party types camped out in the space between, as the poet wrote, "the Queen's person and The Queen," or, less poetically, trying to bridge betwixt two-fisted nativist populism and the Skull & Bones set.)
If I ran a "major party" -- or even gave two cents about either one -- I'd be looking up from the tea leaves with cold chills down my back. One party's leadership has utterly lost its king-making mojo and the other seems to be just barely hanging on to it thanks to a persistent personality. The vox pop. may be deeply ignorant, but it knows what it doesn't like -- and aversion is generally stronger than admiration.
Expect a lot of voting against this go-round. Expect campaigns based on being the anti-opponent ("Vote for me! I'm not that horrible person they are running!"); expect a lot of fear-mongering from the Left and Right, and few if any rosy visions of the sort Bernie Sanders or Ronald Reagan once shared. Statesmanship isn't so much dead as barbecued and on a platter in the center of the table with an apple in its mouth.
The good news is, the (as-yet un-nominated) candidates and not some random sample of the subject population are the contestants in the 2016 Hunger (for power) Games! The bad news? They can't both lose.
The odds are never in our favor.
6 months ago