1) It pains me to say this - but one thing is for sure. The election campaign between the Democrats and Republicans in 2008 will not be about decency or idealism. It would be wonderful if it would be. We deserve it. But reality tells us otherwise.
2) And the 4-year presidential term starting in January 2009 - and the following 4-year presidential term will not be about decency or idealism. Even if there is a 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate - which is highly unlikely - there will be bloody battles and fights.
3) The social conservatives who are such a vociferous but effective minority in this nation have had a grip on the US political agenda since 1980. They were and still are incensed about the social and civil changes of the 1960s. They are convinced that it was a liberal elite and media that drove Richard Nixon from the White House in 1974. They haven't stopped being mad about it. And they deeply resent Bill Clinton winning two successive presidential terms in the 1990s.
And most of all - they know that they are just one Republican presidential election win from overturning Roe versus Wade. And outlawing abortion in the USA.
4) They do not want to be "brought together" for a common, nobler purpose. They do not share the vision that there are no red states, no blue states -- only the UNITED States. They care about one thing -- and only one thing. They care about retaining the White House for the Republican Party. So that they can protect and prosecute the social agenda that they believe is a moral crusade.
They will do anything and everything to win. ANYTHING. And EVERYTHING.
Remember the transformation of Al Gore's image from earnest boy scout into serial liar...
Remember the transformation of John Kerry's image from boring stentorian senator into traitorous flip-flopper...
Those were NOTHING compared to what the hardcore conservatives will do this coming year.
5) They will do much more than vilify. They will destroy.
They will NOT stand by and allow the Democratic candidate win the presidency.
They don't want a populist at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
They don't want a woman in the Oval Office.
They don't want a black man in the White House.
They don't want anyone who will not give them what they want.
What they regard as a moral imperative.
Supreme Court justices who will overturn Roe versus Wade.
6) So the battle that will be fought in the nine months from February 6th (by which time the Democratic Party will almost certainly have selected its standard-bearer) till November 4th will be about one thing --- and one thing only.
Winning the election.
By whatever means are necessary.
And that will include the filthiest, most vile smear campaign that has ever been leveled at any Democratic presidential candidate.
Whoever the nominee is.
(Listed above in strictly alphabetical order.)
7) Personally, I will wholeheartedly support whichever Democratic candidate wins the nomination.
8) But the Democratic voters who do not take the above incontrovertible facts into consideration are delusional and suicidal.