Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Hillary, Obama - Knock It Off

Today's editorial in the New York Times has some prudent advice that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should heed if the Democrats are to have any hope in defeating John McCain:

"...there is still a chance to take this campaign and elevate it, finally, to a serious debate about major issues. That is what American voters deserve. And that is what Democrats must do if they hope to break the Republican grip on the White House.

After eight damaging and divisive years there is certainly a lot that needs to be debated starting with President Bush's disastrous war, his tax cuts for the rich, regulatory incompetence and neglect, and unrelenting assaults on civil rights, civil liberties and the balance of powers in government.

In other words, something quite different than the schoolyard shoving contest we've witnessed over the last few weeks between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and their increasingly out-of-control "surrogates". Mrs. Clinton's camp continues to be responsible for most of the nastiness we've seen this primary season and there were signs they were drawing the wrong lesson from Tuesday's vote: that "red phone" ads and hard-ball tactics will win the day. Mr. Obama's team, meanwhile, increasingly acts as though this exercise in democracy should be a coronation, that his opponent should bow out of the room.

For Democrats, changing this dynamic is all the more urgent because Senator John McCain has now won the Republican nomination and visited the White House today to collect the rather dubious blessing of Mr. Bush's endorsement. Mr. McCain is now free to stand on the sidelines and enjoy the food fight, knowing that whoever wins the Democratic nomination will be weakened, and honing his attack for the fall."

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