The Democrats owe Themselves a Primary

We hear that Secretary Clinton may be announcing this weekend. At the same time, we also hear that former Senator Lincoln Chaffee may be running, too.  

Add Governor O'Malley, former Senator Webb, and maybe someone else, and we have the makings of a primary.

I'm not in the business of giving Democrats advice but a little primary may do the party and the country good.

It's time to hear something other than "the country needs a woman president". I'm naturally not opposed to having a woman president but "gender" is not a qualification by itself.   

So far, Hillary Clinton has been running like she's entitled to the job or it's her turn. That's not a party should nominate a candidate, specially given the seriousness of the country's problems.

We also need a debate about liberalism. Where do the Democrats stand on health care reform after the debacle of ObamaCare?  National security and the mess in the Middle East? Gun control? Family values?  

The Democrats also need a frank discussion about the future of their party and their emphasis on identity politics, as John Kraushaar wrote recently:

One of the paradoxes of today's Democratic Party is that, despite the increasing importance of a diversified voting coalition, the party is drastically underrepresented by talented nonwhite politicians in its congressional, gubernatorial, and statewide ranks. The great irony of Obama's presidency is that by playing to his progressive base so much, Obama oversaw the collapse of his party at the local level -- and it's depriving Democrats of compelling, viable presidential recruits who reflect the changed nature of the party for 2016 and beyond.

The party is in a very weak position from coast to coast: 

Thirty-one of 50 governors are now Republican; the GOP now controls 68 out of 98 partisan state legislative chambers; and Republicans hold majorities in both the House and the Senate -- in the House, by the biggest margin since 1928. 

The Democrats need an internal debate about these issues rather than to just sit back and hand someone the nomination.    

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