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Republic, not democracy. ;)


Republic, not democracy. ;)
To be fair, he did say 'almost like'.

Ken Houghton

Democratic republic, in point of fact (everyone votes for elected representatives, who are then tasked with following the people's will).

The question of the day remains whether the IA (and to a lesser extent NH votes) reflect actual dissatisfied Republican voters, or Republicans trying to mess with the Dem nomination. If it's really the former, then the "attractiveness" of the Republican candidates reflects the party's foreknowledge that you're sending a sacrificial lamb out there anyway, so there's no reason to waste a Bentsen or a Mondale. (Think 1996 - Bob Dole is a long-time Party loyalist, and would never be likely to run again.)

Glen Tomkins

Summoning the Dead

A goodly part of the reason for what happened after Louis XVI called for a session of the Estates General, was that the Estates General was this body with all sorts of inherent, theoretic,power, but which hadn't met in over a century and therefore had no experience in exercising any practical power whatsoever. They didn't know how to dicker with each other, and turned the budget crisis they were asked to settle into an existential crisis for French government that wasn't really settled until the Fifth Republic.

Now, I'm not saying that this country isn't necessarily due for a revolution, especially the peaceful type revolution that the Constitution gives us the means to carry out every two years. And even a guillotine on the Mall is not clearly a bad idea right about now. But I think you should recognize that in wishing for a convention that actually picks a candidate, you may get something else entirely.

I don't refer to the possibility that we might have a contested convention this year as a "brokered" convention, because I seriously doubt that either party, but especially the Republicans, has any brokers left who might guide a convention to arrive at a deal. And I don't see the makings of a deal for brokers to concoct even if their were any, what the campaigns would trade each other (except maybe the VPship, cabinet positions are the kiss of political death in the modern presidency), or uncommitted delegates, for their votes. Instead of brokers and deal-makers, what politics has evolved in the 50 years since we last had brokered conventions, has been campaign strategists. The only thing they would know how to do to help their campaigns win a floor fight, would be to prep the battlefield with media, free and paid, driving up their opponents' negatives so that the delegates would not want to vote for a candidate who couldn't win the general election. Probably all of the campaigns would succeed in this, which would leave all of them unelectable, and all of them unwilling to make any deals with each other at the convention.

Again, all of this confusion may be to the good, especially since it is disproportionally more likely to happen to the Republicans this year. But it could easily be so bad that the Republicans either implode, or hit bottom and change their evil ways and toss out their current crop of candidates in favor of some "savior", good candidate who could win. Well, maybe it stretches credibility to believe that they would really reform, but at least they could create a compelling media narrative to that effect that would last long enough to get their guy elected on a wave of high drama. Throw into the mix an incumbent who faces jail time if his party doesn't win and send a successor to the White House who will continue to hide the evidence of his crimes behind a wall of executive privilige and security classification, and you have the tinder for a revolution, and not one with any happy endings at all guaranteed.


So much for Romney.

I, for one, am desperately glad we DON'T have a national primary. Then those with name rec and loads of money would be the automatic winners.

The closer we get to having one, a la Feb 5, the closer we'll get to seeing the Establishment candidate win.

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