The Democrats continue their interminable march toward oblivion, about to be done in, once again, by their own peevishness.
The party's disparate parts just can't abide that the others just can't see it their way. Hillary's sulking troops, refusing to acknowledge the reality of the numbers, intend to fight on, clear to the convention, even if it wrecks the Democrat's chances to take the White House. As if futility, in politics, can be a noble cause.
Eight years ago, the party's purists showed those Al Gore Democrats a thing or two. Ralph Nader took more votes from Al Gore in Florida than all the butterfly ballots and hanging chads combined. It was a triumph of the impetuous and self-absorbed over those who would suffer an ignoble compromise.
If the results of the 2000 election and all the wars and chaos its spawned was painful, it wasn't painful enough. Apparently, there's some self-destructive gene embedded in Democratic DNA. Hillary's seething, never-say-die supporters need to ask themselves: What happens if they win? If they are able, by twisting arms and concocting back-room deals and manipulating the superdelegates, to thwart Obama, then what? She limps into November without the college kids who flocked to Obama, without many of the college-educated young professions who poured prodigious amounts of money into his campaign. Worst of all, black votes, the most loyal, most dependable wing of the party, will withdraw with a sense of betrayal.
Meanwhile, those white blue collar male voters who gave her states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, are more likely to vote for McCain than Hillary come November. Bill Clinton, remember, only pulled 41 percent of that elusive white male vote the last time the Democrats won a national election.
Of course, if Obama wins, older women voters, the block that often decides elections, will be seething over their own notion of betrayal. And come November, they'll show those upstarts, the traitors turned their backs on Hillary.
Internecine warfare has become the way of the party. It's the new party ethic. And it's begins to looks as if, instead of happy delegates marching toward party unity, angry mobs are descending on the convention in Denver. As if the gathering had been orchestrated by Karl Rove.