Polarized Parties Offering Real Choices In The Post-Bush Era
It's easy to play pundit after Super Tuesday: the parties are as factionalized as is the general electorate.
In the GOP, conservatives disagree on which candidate is acceptably, certifiably conservative.
In the end, McCain will get the nomination over a fading Romney, and people like Rush Limbaugh and Charlie Sykes will have to decide if a conservative who is right and Right 80% of the time is right enough to obtain their support.
Let's hope that enough true believers on the GOP side sit it out, because the Democrats are heading for a nomination even more deeply divided.
Obama and Hillary Clinton could come into the convention far short of a majority.
And even if a deal is done to select one over the other on the convention's floor and in the proverbial back rooms (many of which are now virtual), the hard feelings and disappointments in the base, particulary with Obama's army of first-time or passionate voters, will make the Democratic party hard to effectively unify before the election.
So the 2008 campaigns reflects the deep divisions in the country, too.
A final thought:
I see each of the three most probable nominees with special advantages;
McCain can present himself as a centrist, the non-Limbaugh.
Clinton has tremendous appeal among female voters and Democratic party traditionalists who feel she has earned the right to be the standard-bearer.
Obama appeals to younger voters and racks up big majorities in African-American communities.
Somewhere among that mix, once vice-presidential selections are made, is a winner, and if the country is lucky, we'll choose a Democrat who can extricate us from the mess - - war, deficits, recession, the world's disdain - - left behind after the eight catastrophic years of Bush-Cheney.
I don't know if the Dems are that divided. I personally see it this way. I'm a big supporter of Obama and think he brings something special beyond just simply the issue to the table. But if he doesn't get the nomination I'm not about to vote for "have our troops in Iraq for 100 years" McCain.
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