08/13/2008 08:58 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the lifeguard appears blowing her whistle and waving her arms.

The lifeguard in this case is Maureen Dowd, and she is furious about the way the agenda for the Democratic Party convention is being shaped by the Clinton's:

In just a couple of weeks, Bill and Hill were able to drag No Drama Obama into a swamp of Clinton drama. Now they've made Barry's convention all about them -- their dissatisfaction and revisionism and barely disguised desire to see him fail.

Ugh. Didn't we go through all of this before?

Maureen Dowd is nobody's fool, and she has a proven track record of calling shots before they are actually fired. I pay close attention to what she says. But I still wonder if she is on the mark here.

Some Democrats wish that Obama had told the Clintons to "get in the box" or get lost if they can't show more loyalty, rather than giving them back-to-back, prime-time speaking gigs at the convention on Tuesday and Wednesday. Al Gore clipped their wings in 2000, triggering their wrath by squeezing both the president and New York Senate candidate into speaking slots the first night and then ushering them out of L.A.

But wait a minute. How are the Clinton speeches going to upstage Barack speaking to 75,000 in a football stadium? And while it is true that Gore "clipped their wings in 2000," that election didn't exactly work out that well for Mr. Gore as I recall. Maybe the Barack camp is calculating that Obama's stadium-size nomination will create so much political space that he can afford to make more room for the Clintons.

Ms. Dowd has her finger on the pulse. I sure hope this time she has misread the vital signs.