When I read Lawrence O'Donnell's post calling John Edwards a "loser"
and threatening a lifetime of infamy if he doesn't get out of the
race, I immediately went to O'Donnell's bio to see his party
affiliation. I was sure it would say "R" -- but it didn't. It didn't
However, I am fairly sure in my own mind that Karl Rove
paid him to write that post. Look at it this way: O'Donnell attacks
the only candidate in the race with explicitly progressive policy
positions, and the only candidate in the race who hasn't accepted
corporate money, and the only candidate in the race who understands
how corporations are poisoning American politics and American life
with their unrestrained power and influence.
In addition, O'Donnell maintains that the only two candidates we can have to choose between are Clinton and Obama. Both Clinton and Obama have serious
electability issues. If you believe that there was no Diebold factor
in New Hampshire (something that I think requires further
investigation but will not get it, I am sure), then you have to
acknowledge and fear the Bradley factor -- that there is a core group of
American white voters who will not vote for a black man no matter what
they say to pollsters. By the same token, polls among voters of all types have shown that Clinton has the highest negatives -- the highest number of voters who will not vote for her under any circumstances.
Hillary Clinton aroused incredible antagonism in the 1990s. The
antagonism she aroused was not rational, but then, neither is voting.
So, what O'Donnell proposes is prematurely reducing the choices of Democrats to the two candidates that are, on the face of it, the least
electable. It was clear from the op-ed that Rove wrote a few weeks ago
that the Republicans, whose own candidates run the gamut from the
ridiculous (Fred Thompson) to the psychopathic (Rudolph Giuliani) and
the theocratic (Huckabee) have already begun to see finagling the
Democratic primary race as their only chance. If O'Donnell happens to be a Democrat and he buys into this strategy, then the infamy is his.
But I thank him for one thing -- he persuaded me to send a nice fat
donation to John Edwards.