December 17, 2007

Stuck in '68

It's interesting how political parties, like individuals, become locked into their positions sometimes due simply to the vagaries of unconscious timing. Kevin Jones posts about how Dems became the pro-abortion party simply by the timing of changing their nominating process. They made the process more democratic in 1968 (insert laugh track here), a year of insanity, which is sort of like choosing your career while on acid:
In Stricherz's telling, the old party bosses who dominated the party from the New Deal through the 1960s selected candidates with an eye towards practical success...These bosses were overwhelmingly Catholic and patrons of blue-collar workers.

Though often democratic in outcome, the boss system was undemocratic in process. Realizing the need to create a more responsive party leadership, the ethnic bosses and other party leaders agreed to reform the party delegate system. In 1968.

That was a bad time to rewrite the rules for selecting delegates. Young anti-war activists, fearing for their lives, made sure their partisans were on the selection committee.

Enter the McGovern Commission. Though only racial discrimination was a problem in Democratic caucuses, the commission instituted quotas based on race, youth, and sex.(This explains the Democrats' continuing affinity for quotas.)
To paraphrase John Lenin: "Imagine the Dems without the sacrament of's easy if you try."

Meanwhile, on the Democratic primary front, I'm amused by all the "sky is falling" going on in the Hillary camp and/or on the Drudge Report. As Dick Morris says, she and Rudy will still likely win their party's nomination. I could be wrong, but it's likely all much ado about nothing. Dems like to go risky until they pull back for something safer, i.e. like they did with Howard Dean before settling for John Kerry.

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