The pro-Clinton blogs are flogging yet another "How about THIS!!!???" idea designed to present yet another laughable justification for Sen. Clinton to be awarded the nomination she is losing. You may remember it by its more formal name from when you were a small child: Let's pretend.
Obama's advantage hinges on a system that, whatever the actual intentions behind it, seems custom-made to hobble Democratic chances in the fall. It depends on ignoring one of the central principles of American electoral politics, one that will be operative on a state-by-state basis this November, which is that the winner takes all. If the Democrats ran their nominating process the way we run our general elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton would have a commanding lead in the delegate count, one that will only grow more commanding after the next round of primaries, and all questions about which of the two Democratic contenders is more electable would be moot.
It should come as no surprise that the piece is written by Sean Wilentz who while supposedly a historian should probably be described as a quasi-official flack for the Clinton campaign.
But the heart of the theory being pushed here is equally stupid. If Senator Clinton wished to run for the nomination of a party with a winner-take-all nomination process, she would be well within her legal rights to do so - she simply needed to have changed her party affiliation to Republican. Like it or not the Democratic party's process is a proportional affair along with superdelegates. That is how it is. Nobody forced Sen. Clinton to design her campaign for a Super Tuesday splash where she would have the nomination wrapped up for the anointed one by early February. She has name recognition on par with Jesus and a campaign war chest ranking among the largest in history. Yet just like the sort of thinking we have come to identify with the Bush administration she failed to reconcile her fanciful plans with the facts on the ground. The Obama folks didn't rely on stovepiped intelligence delivered to them by a sympathetic lackey, instead they read the intelligence reports and made the right decision.
Sen. Clinton should try that sometime before her career in public life is up.
Instead they are reduced to counting the amount of angels that can fit on the head of a pin. They come up with absurd scenarios to try and make their argument stick. It ranges from the idea of delegates not following the will of primary and caucus goers as they have since the nomination process began, to counting only states where Sen. Clinton won to counting only primary states and on and on. Yet Sen. Clinton did not express in any way her grave concerns over this nomination process when her husband won it in 1992 and 1996. When President Clinton won the Iowa caucus in 1996 we heard none of this discussion about how caucuses were not representative of the people's will. Yet by her current standards (and they change from day to day depending on who is asking) President Clinton's nomination was not legitimate. Heck, as late as a few months ago Sen. Clinton was more than willing to praise the entire process and abide by the DNC's rulings against Florida and Michigan for their violation of party rules.
But then she saw it all slipping away and the entire nomination process became an unfair and untrustworthy thing whose rules should be changed when the process is 80% over in order to benefit her failure.
Senator, this is not Calvinball.
[More coverage at OliverWillis.com]