Tuesday Column — Don’t Stop Now, Dems

Just look what you irresponsible Iowa Democrats started.

You college kids, with your disdain for America’s dysfunctional politics and your thirst for something different and inspiring, just look at the mess you helped make. And all of you older voters who were suckered by fancy speeches and those compelling calls for “hope” and “renewal,” and “turning the page,” are you happy now, three months later?

Way to spark a presidential contest for the ages. Great. Just great.

Actually, it has been great. So I don’t understand why so many Democrats are worried that this spirited struggle is damaging their chances in November. They want to play it safe and end it now.

I’m with Hillary Clinton. There’s no reason for a 10-count now. Granted, I know I’m playing into the latest embarassment-victimhood cycle in her campaign. Clinton and her husband spent the weekend trying to bury her bouquet of Bosnia fibs by lambasting all the meanie men who want her to pack it in. She’ll be verklempt any minute now.

But just think if Iowa Democrats had played it safe in January. They could have handed their support to the “presumptive nominee.” They could have taken a pass on a historic choice that opened eyes and changed views about Iowa and America from Keokuk to Kenya. For my oldest daughter, thanks in part to the state where she was born, the first consequential presidential contest she will remember is between a woman and a black man. Without an Iowa win, it’s tough to see how Barack Obama would be where he is today.

Just think what we would have missed.

We would have missed seeing pompous pollsters getting their comeuppance in New Hampshire. We would have missed cringing at “likable enough,” and rolling our eyes at welling eyes and witnessing the remarkable sight of a former U.S. president trading elder statesman for attack dog. We’ve had a chance to see how these rivals wrestle, in real time, with changing fortunes in Iraq and an economic downturn.

We might have postponed indefinitely a healthy struggle between bickering boomers and young voters sick and tired of having their politics dressed up in love beads. Superdelegates would have remained ordinary.

If Clinton had quit after Obama’s February run, the Illinois senator might have missed an early opportunity to address the outlandish words of his pastor. And it was that opportunity that allowed him to show us his maturity and ability to deal with a crisis, to give a tough, honest speech on race that will stand as a monument in this age of sniveling, pandering politics.

Millions of American voters who, before 2008, never had a say in the nominating process got a big say this time. And if this goes where I think it’s going, we’re going to see an oldtime, bare-knuckled party convention for the first time in decades.

And we wouldn’t have known that Clinton once bagged an unlucky banded duck, or that Obama is one of the nation’s worst bowlers.

So please, Democrats, don’t pull the plug. Keep fighting. There will be plenty of time to deal with senator Mc-what’s-his-name later. He gets the back pages. You’ve got the spotlight.

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1 Comment

Filed under Barack Obama, Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton, Iowa Caucuses

One response to “Tuesday Column — Don’t Stop Now, Dems

  1. I dont see why she drop out. Win PA, win IN, win a few other states, more on Obama comes out…and you just never know.

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