MyDD, the Daily Kos (whom Duncan calls "The Great Orange Satan"), and many other liberal and progressive blogs are already handicapping and discussing the Democratic primary contests. I have purposely avoided these discussion because, frankly, we are so far away from casting a single vote, there just seems no point in it. Of course, the "money primary" is already under way, but if we remember 1996, Phil Gramm had all sorts of money and we all remember how well he did in the Republican race.
One thing that really bothers me, however, is the level of vitriol that progressives express towards Sen. Clinton. Not only that, if one reads the comment sections on MyDD whenever they discuss polling showing Clinton in the lead, there are all sorts of snarky, and quite frankly unbalanced, comments about how the site is a part of a secret Clinton cabal, that the polls are skewed, etc., etc. We progressives may disagree on many of Sen. Clinton's policy positions, and it is perfectly OK to get as heated as possible, especially as we move closer to the actual primaries, on issues and substantive debating points*. My problem is that too many progressives actually start sounding like whacko wing-nutters, all obsessed with weird fantasies of Clinton conspiracies, and rather than deal with the likelihood that she will be the Democratic nominee, they discuss the intricate back-door manouvering of various members of her staff to undermine and otherwise derail the prospects of her opponents, all of which testify to her lack of morals and principles, etc.
I am not a fan of many of Sen. Clinton's policy stances. I think that there are reasons to oppose her nomination that have little to do with the people she gathers around herself. I think there are reasons to oppose her nomination that have little to do with her husband. In the end, however, if next summer we have Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton at the head of the Democratic ticket to the Presidency, I will support her as hard and as often as possible. If John Edwards, or Barack Obama, or Dennis Kucinich, or someone else is the nominee, I will support them - because, as much as I disagree with Sen. Clinton, she will be better by far than our current group of buffoons, crooks, and general miscreants.
Again, all this is early. I honestly have no opinion on whom I want as nominee, because I believe that whoever the Democrats nominate will win. I believe that, unless there is some anti-miracle in which Bush is revealed to more clever than the rest of the world, that Cheney personally finds all of Saddam's WMDs in storage facilities in Syria, that torture actually helps the Unites States and its image around the world, that we all accept that Alberto Gonzalez isn't a corrupt man in far over his head as Attorney General, but actually a competent manager with a keen mind who is not attentive to politics - if any or all these things happen, I doubt that McCain/Rudy/Mit/Thompson(1) or (2) will get more than 100 electoral votes, and in all likelihood less. That is a scary prediction so far in advance, but I will stand by it until November, 2008.
Again, its early. I hope I don't have to write about the whole primary thing until next January, at the least.
*For Neon Prime Time who is fascinated by the contretemps between Clinton and Obama, that is called "democracy", and the disagreements are part and parcel of the process. I think the fact that their exchanges tend to be so heated shows how close they actually are on a variety of issues. And don't forget, this contest is for the highest office in the land, and both Senators are highly ambitious individuals. Politics ain't beanbag, as the saying goes, and both of these people are grown-ups. I think it shows a remarkable lack of understanding of how democracy works to think that the debates and arguments between Obama's and Clinton's campaigns are marks of anything other than what happens in a democracy.