Friday, March 28, 2008

Which side are you on?

Last week Barack Obama was winning, 1621 delegates to 1479. This week he leads 1622 to 1485. So that’s plus six for Hillary Clinton and plus one for Obama.

The plus one for Barack was super delegate and former candidate Bill Richardson, whose endorsement of Obama over Easter weekend prompted Clinton heavy James Carville to harp, “Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic.” (I’m curious whether Jesus is Bill or Hillary in this analogy.) Tonight Carville’s wife Mary Matalin was on Fox decrying the sniping in the Democratic Party (and who is Mary in this analogy?). Expect more of the same over the next several weeks in the run up to Pennsylvania on April 22.

What we are seeing is increasingly bitter fighting between leftist and centrist Democrats that goes back many, many years:

2006 – Leftists challenge Joe Lieberman for his Senate seat in Connecticut; he loses party nomination but wins election as “independent” Democrat. Leftist Democrats led by Nancy Pelosi win Congress but their efforts to stop the Iraq war are thwarted by centrist Democrats who ally with the Republicans on support for the surge.

2004 – Centrists and media gang up against leftist candidate Howard Dean, giving John Kerry the nomination. John Kerry would have been the darling of the left but for inexplicably voting for the Iraq war. Hillary Clinton tests the waters with campaign buttons but doesn’t officially run. Barack Obama is recruited by leftists to run for Senate in Illinois with eye toward running him for President; he gives to gives keynote speech at convention.

2000 – Leftist Al Gore chooses centrist Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Many leftists consider Al Gore to be compromised by his association with Bill Clinton and vote for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader. In a bit of prescience, Hollywood releases Election (1999).

1998 – Centrist Bill Clinton in face of Lewinsky scandal declines to resign and turn the Presidency over to leftist Al Gore. Hollywood releases Wag the Dog (1997) and Bulworth (1998). NBC launches The West Wing in 1999.

1996 – Leftists in Clinton administration transfer Monica Lewinsky to Pentagon and put her in the same office with former Bush staffer Linda Tripp.

1994 – Leftists are angry with Bill Clinton for backing away on universal health care and for not allowing gays to serve openly in the military. Hollywood makes Dave (1993) and The America President (1995).

1992 – Centrist Bill Clinton overcomes sex scandal and beats late-surging leftist Jerry Brown.

1988 – Leftist Gary Hart forced out of race by media in sex scandal. Leftist nominee Michael Dukakis refuses to give VP slot to second place finisher Jesse Jackson. Al Gore finishes third. Bill Clinton is chosen to give keynote speech at convention.

1984 – Leftist Gary Hart challenges centrist Walter Mondale for nomination. Jesse Jackson finishes third. In November, Mondale wins only DC and his home state of Minnesota. Note: Mondale’s running mate Geraldine Ferraro recently had to step down from the Hillary Clinton campaign.

1980 – Leftist Ted Kennedy challenges centrist Jimmy Carter, sitting President of his own party. In November, Carter wins only 6 states and DC and loses even Massachusetts.

1976 – Centrist Jimmy Carter beats leftist late entry Jerry Brown. Walter Mondale is Carter’s VP. Hollywood releases All the President's Men (1976).

1972 – Leftist George McGovern leads 1971 commission to reform the nominee selection process, then runs on his new rules and wins the nomination, beating out Hubert Humphrey (who got more votes), George Wallace (shot and paralyzed while campaigning), Edmund Muskie (undone by “the crying speech” in New Hampshire when accused of prejudice against Americans of French-Canadian descent), Eugene McCarthy (peaked in 1968), and Scoop Jackson (the first neocon). The long primary season leaves McGovern without sufficient funds for the general election in November and he wins only DC and Massachusetts despite Republican operatives being caught breaking into his party’s Watergate offices in July. Gary Hart is McGovern’s campaign manager. Hollywood releases The Candidate (1971).

1968 – Leftist Eugene McCarthy challenges sitting President Lyndon Johnson in the New Hampshire primary. Johnson drops out after leftist Robert Kennedy also enters the race, but Kennedy is assassinated in June. Leftist Hubert Humphrey as Lyndon’s Johnson’s VP becomes standard bearer for the centrists, and wins the nomination amid rioting leftists at the Chicago convention. Alabama Governor George Wallace leaves the Democratic Party and wins 5 states as American Independent candidate.

1964 – Centrist Lyndon Johnson fought off challenges from leftist Pat Brown (father of Jerry Brown) and Alabama Governor George Wallace. Hollywood releases Seven Days in May (1964), Fail-Safe (1964), and Dr. Strangelove (1964).

1962 – Hollywood releases The Manchurian Candidate (1962).

1960 – Centrist John Kennedy teams with centrist Lyndon Johnson as VP. After election, Adlai Stevenson is made Ambassador to the United Nations.

1956 – Leftist Adlai Stevenson chooses leftist Estes Kefauver over centrist John Kennedy as VP nominee and goes on to lose second landside to Eisenhower.

1952 – Leftist Adlai Stevenson inspires the New Politics movement and loses first landside to Eisenhower. Personal history: when he was 12 while playing with a rifle, Adlai accidentally shot and killed a friend. He graduated from Princeton but flunked out of Harvard Law School (did go on to get a law degree from Northwestern).

1948 – Centrist Harry Truman is nominee. Strom Thurmond walks out of Democratic convention after civil rights speech by Hubert Humphrey and wins 5 southern states in November running as DixieCrat. Leftist Henry Wallace runs as Progressive Party nominee. Hollywood releases State of the Union (1948) and All the King’s Men (1949).

1944 – President Roosevelt drops leftist Henry Wallace from VP slot on ticket in favor of centrist Harry Truman.

No comments: