One of the most important problems with the on-going Clinton-Obama standoff is that it could end up setting back progress in civil rights if the two campaigns don’t come to an amicable conclusion and soon.
The unique situation of this years election gives the Democratic Party the chance of strengthening its position with two of the most reliable groups in the coalition, African-Americans and women, or the nomination fight could end up with one or both groups being alienated from the eventual nominee of the party. If this election ends up in a win for McCain there is a real danger that the experiment won’t be run again any time soon, perhaps never again within our lifetimes. I doubt that either Obama or Clinton would be in as strong a position to run against McCain or his chosen successor in four years as they both are now. The failure of which ever of these “firsts” eventually is on the November ballot will hurt the chances of women and African-American candidates in future nominations. Winning the nomination is a chance at being being the “first” elected, it is also a chance at being the “first” to not succeed due to splitting the Democratic Party. This is a real danger.
We need both of these grownups to grow up and face that they, and even more so their campaigns, have the real potential to lose the presidential election. Winning the presidency in November is the entire point of the thing.
The professionals inside the campaigns might have reasons of future employment to consider in their negative campaigning, but they’ll be just as unemployed if McCain wins the election as they would be if their candidate for the nomination loses.
We also need to all face that many of us are in danger of being a big part of the problem.
We need both of these candidates on the ballot in November. I don’t care which one is which, we need them both to inhabit the executive branch and the presidency of the Senate. We need them both to cut it out now and to come together by the end of this month. Deciding it by tossing a coin and winning the election in November is preferable to the self-destructive campaign that is going on now. If you are scandalized by that suggestion, would having McCain in the presidency, with whatever Republican from the Brown Shirt wing of the party chosen to “balance” the insane war-monger wing that McCain represents, be more beneficial for democracy in the United States?
We need these two Democrats to support each other. This is their chance, they shouldn’t bother thinking about future elections. They won’t be forgiven in four years if their personal ambitions end up giving us four more years of disastrous, Republican piracy.