Debt and Resurrection, Part 2

The campaign for a showdown vote in Denver (see below) is being led by something called the Denver Group, which has a blog and a fund-raising site.

The Denver Group has been formed to insure that the Democratic National Committee respect and carry out the democratic process at the convention in Denver this August by meeting certain specific goals. We will be advocating, and if necessary pressuring, through purchased mass media as well other accepted avenues, the Democratic National Committee to see to it that these goals and the interests of tens of millions of Democratic voters are met.

Our goals are:

  • An open convention.
  • Senator Clinton’s name placed in nomination. No symbolic roll call vote.
  • Speeches allowed by supporters of Senator Clinton on
    behalf of her candidacy.
  • A genuine roll call vote with Senator Clinton as a legitimate candidate.
  • No coronation.

Generally, I’m leery of advertising a site whose authors are careless with syntax and unfamiliar with punctuation. (On the other hand, I let a howler or two slip by myself.) And I’m less than comfortable with a blogger who severely misrepresents an opponent’s argument. And I have trouble taking seriously — she is serious, of course, but I laugh anyway — a blogger who feels obliged to sign each post with her graduate degrees.

All that bullshit notwithstanding, these people have a legitimate point. Selection of our political leaders — and therefore of the candidates for leadership — ought to be a transparent and clear-cut process. Obviously, it is not.

So I have to agree with them. It would be good for the country and for the party and for the candidates themselves if there were an open, get-off-your-ass-and-raise-your-hand-to-be-counted vote at the convention. It would be a giant step in reforming the process, taking away the stigma of stealth inauguration by a cadre of politocratic fixers.

The catch is in Hillary’s situation. Is she still an honest-to-Harry candidate, or has she — say, by endorsing Obama — given up her claim? If one of you knows the political or legal ramifications and by-laws, et al, please clue us all in.

Furthermore, does she want to be presented as a candidate? Chances are — and she no doubt knows more about it than anyone — that Obama does have the votes in his pocket, so a floor fight, even a bogus one, could do one of two things.

  • It could so antagonize the Obama faction and the DNC that it would shut Hillary forever out of consideration for anything in the executive branch.
  • Or — equally possible in my mind — it could energize the convention (which bodes now to be a rather dull affair), whip up enthusiasm for the party, and provide a perfect reconciliation hug as she accepts the VP nod. (All carefully pre-programmed, of course.)

I can imagine it going either way. But I’m not sure it’s going to go any way at all. I hark back to my earlier question, which is the primary one. Does Hillary want to be presented as a candidate? If she is, she’ll lose, of that I’m sure. If she goes through it as a PR gimmick, maybe everyone wins. But if she goes in expecting to win, and fails, it may be the end altogether. Her record of coping with failure is not good.

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