Dem politics as blood sport

Jeff Dobbs
The race to become the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States is getting heated, drawing figurative blood.  But if we step back and take a look, where does the race currently stand?

As a backdrop for the state of the race today, here is Obama,
speaking at the DNC Winter Meeting almost one year ago:

This is a serious moment for America. And the American people understand that. They're in a sober mood.

Every single Democrat who speaks before you today is going to have something important and valuable to offer. Over the next year of a primary and the next two years leading to the election of the next president, the campaigns...

(APPLAUSE)

... the campaigns shouldn't be about making each other look bad, they should be about figuring out how we can all do some good for this precious country of ours.

(APPLAUSE)

That's our mission.

And in this mission, our rivals won't be one another, and I would assert it won't even be the other party. It's going to be cynicism that we're fighting against.

(APPLAUSE)

It's the cynicism that's borne from decades of disappointment, amplified by talk radio and 24-hour news cycle, reinforced by the relentless pounding of negative ads that have become the staple of modern politics.

It's a cynicism that asks us to believe that our opponents are never just wrong, but they're bad; that our motives in politics can never be pure, that they're only driven by power and by greed; that the challenges that we face today aren't just daunting, but they're impossible.

And if this is true, then politics is not a noble calling, it's a game, it's a blood sport with folks keeping score about who's up and who's down.
Indeed.  In light of Obama's high-minded and soaring rhetoric last year, let's break the race down using two methods: The Narrative and The Scoring.

The Narrative:

Obama wins Iowa by some 8% and change.

Hillary cries to make the big comeback in New Hampshire, runs virtually unopposed to win Michigan and gets down in the mud to win Nevada.

Uncommitted makes a surprise strong showing in Michigan.

Edwards remains winless in any primary or caucus but retains the most likely to look fabulous award.

And in the process we have been witness to the race card and the gender card.  We have seen accusations of lying, invidious smears, attempted voter disenfranchisement, potential "Diebold-effect" vote results, voter intimidation, and voting irregularities.

The Scoring:

Edwards -4   |   Uncommitted 0.5   |   Obama 1   |   Clinton 2.5   |   Cynicism 10.43^7

The race to become the next Democratic nominee for President of the United States is getting heated, drawing figurative blood.  But if we step back and take a look, where does the race currently stand?

As a backdrop for the state of the race today, here is Obama,
speaking at the DNC Winter Meeting almost one year ago:

This is a serious moment for America. And the American people understand that. They're in a sober mood.

Every single Democrat who speaks before you today is going to have something important and valuable to offer. Over the next year of a primary and the next two years leading to the election of the next president, the campaigns...

(APPLAUSE)

... the campaigns shouldn't be about making each other look bad, they should be about figuring out how we can all do some good for this precious country of ours.

(APPLAUSE)

That's our mission.

And in this mission, our rivals won't be one another, and I would assert it won't even be the other party. It's going to be cynicism that we're fighting against.

(APPLAUSE)

It's the cynicism that's borne from decades of disappointment, amplified by talk radio and 24-hour news cycle, reinforced by the relentless pounding of negative ads that have become the staple of modern politics.

It's a cynicism that asks us to believe that our opponents are never just wrong, but they're bad; that our motives in politics can never be pure, that they're only driven by power and by greed; that the challenges that we face today aren't just daunting, but they're impossible.

And if this is true, then politics is not a noble calling, it's a game, it's a blood sport with folks keeping score about who's up and who's down.
Indeed.  In light of Obama's high-minded and soaring rhetoric last year, let's break the race down using two methods: The Narrative and The Scoring.

The Narrative:

Obama wins Iowa by some 8% and change.

Hillary cries to make the big comeback in New Hampshire, runs virtually unopposed to win Michigan and gets down in the mud to win Nevada.

Uncommitted makes a surprise strong showing in Michigan.

Edwards remains winless in any primary or caucus but retains the most likely to look fabulous award.

And in the process we have been witness to the race card and the gender card.  We have seen accusations of lying, invidious smears, attempted voter disenfranchisement, potential "Diebold-effect" vote results, voter intimidation, and voting irregularities.

The Scoring:

Edwards -4   |   Uncommitted 0.5   |   Obama 1   |   Clinton 2.5   |   Cynicism 10.43^7