Meanwhile, back on Earth…

Princeton historian (and ardent Hillary Clinton backer) Sean Wilentz penned a truly strange piece for Salon in which he argues that if the rules for the Democratic presidential nomination contests were different, Hillary Clinton would be well on her way to winning the nomination. In reality, that’s true. If the Democrats (like the Republicans) were under a winner take all primary system, Clinton would certainly be ahead by virtue of her wins in California, New York, Ohio and Texas. However, back here in reality land, we’re using the rules that are in place and Senator Clinton is losing. These kind of overindulgent counterfactual arguments are yet another reason why I can’t wait for this primary to be over. Additionally, arguments like the one advanced by Wilentz convey the impression (intentionally or not) that Obama’s wins are somehow illegitimate or that something untoward is going on. Given that most people probably get a winner take all system more easily than they do a proportionally allocated system (not to mention the complications presented by caucuses), this further muddies the waters and might even give some the idea that Obama is “stealing” the election.

I am in agreement with others who think that the Democratic primary system should be revised, but let’s wait until after this election season is over before revisiting the rules.

~ by uvasig on April 8, 2008.

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