The Empty Throne
I wish I were enough of a political maven to understand two items which seem intrinsically related. Item 1: "Hillary has pulled way ahead of Obama in the key state of New Hampshire, and now enjoys a 23-point lead over her rival, a poll just released by CNN finds." Item 2: The biggest candidate-related group on Facebook is no longer "One Million Strong for Barack". Obama has been relegated to second place -- by the group "Stop Hillary Clinton (One Million Strong AGAINST Hillary)". Taken together the two items suggest that the "stop Hillary" sentiment is alive and even surging but that hopes Barack Obama can do the stopping are fading. If Hillary buries Barack in the coming contests, where will the discontent go?
The separability of these two impulses -- anti-Hillary and pro-Obama -- this late in the campaign implies the existence of a movement whose leadership no one can credibly fill. Can the Daily Kos wrest control of the anti-Hillary forces? Not likely, argues David Brooks, who dismissed the Kos crowd as a spent force, worn out by their own excesses.
Now it’s evident that if you want to understand the future of the Democratic Party you can learn almost nothing from the bloggers, billionaires and activists on the left who make up the “netroots.” ... In the first place, the netroots candidates are losing. In the various polls on the Daily Kos Web site, John Edwards, Barack Obama and even Al Gore crush Hillary Clinton, who limps in with 2 percent to 10 percent of the vote. Moguls like David Geffen have fled for Obama. But the party as a whole is going the other way. Hillary Clinton has established a commanding lead.
But if Obama goes under, who becomes the torchbearer of the Stop Hillary Movement? Brooks argues that whoever that is, it won't be the Kos crowd. Minus Obama, who does that leave? The Republican candidate? Or does this portend a genuine Democrat shift to the center; an anti-Chicago, 1968? And should one welcome it, even at the price of returning a dynasty?