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Reese Schonfeld Headshot

The Novelty Candidates

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Why is it that the Democratic Party chooses the path of greatest difficulty in every election? 2008 is a year when the Democrats should be a shoe-in. The Republican incumbent has almost doubled our national debt, almost halved the value of our dollar and our savings and led us into an unending war. The national infrastructure, levies and bridges, is crumbling and our military is nearing the breaking point. His eight years have been a disaster. After all this, how is it possible that the Democrats might lose the election?

Democrats seem to love going into an election with one arm tied behind their backs. Rather than nominate a safe, progressive, conventional, white, Protestant male with a lower middle class background coming from a Southern state (yes, I am profiling John Edwards), Democrats have decided to go with a novelty candidate -- the first major party black or woman ever to head the ticket. It's new, it's never been done before, sure it's going to cost us votes, but won't it be wonderful if we win.

Only amateurs can afford the luxury of losing elections. Professional politicians who have to win to hold onto their jobs accept as a matter of principal that victory is better than defeat, and remember that winners govern while losers make excuses. This generation of Democrats sorely lacks professional guidance. Instead of the political city bosses who picked candidates who would help them win their local elections, the party is now run by a bunch of professional political strategists who take their fees no matter whether they win or lose.

So the party sits now, torn between each of its "novelties", each "novelty" certain to lose votes if the other is not nominated and hoping that John McCain is such a weak candidate and the stink of the Bush administration lasts so long that either of its weakened candidates can squeak into the presidency in November. You have got to be a fool or an arrogant amateur to tie an arm behind your back if you are going into battle. I've given the Democrats the benefit of the doubt and decided they're amateurs, but I wish they'd learn to fight with two hands.