Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Can Democrats get past the Obama-Clinton battle to ‘live long and prosper’?

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Originally published on on Wed, 03/26/2008 – 9:32am

"Live long and prosper... if you can stop the bickering."“Being a Democrat isn’t always logical, Captain” — a made-up quote that Spock might have said about the Democratic Party.

I was never a Trekkie growing up, but I feel like I’ve been channeling Spock lately.

Spock was the “highly logical” Vulcan on “Star Trek.” I’ve been watching the raw and pure emotion pouring out of the battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. I’ve read the e-mails from readers, from friends, heard strangers at parties pour themselves out over who they support and who they don’t support.

Spock wasn’t very popular at times for being so unemotional. McCoy often derided him for his lack of emotion in crucial situations. But Spock was a natural contrast to the emotional leadership of Captain Kirk, as played by William Shatner. Without Spock, the crew would have been too emotional. He wasn’t always loved, but he was valuable.

Maintaining logic is lousy when you are behind a candidate, but vital when you are trying to cover a campaign. But don’t confuse cold logic with uncaring. My focus is on the prize, a Democrat in the White House and significant increases in Democratic ranks in the House and Senate along with state House, Senate, and governors races.

One phrase we have repeated is that we intend to fully support the Democratic Party candidate for president, regardless of whom that is. Some readers have a hard time believing that. I can understand their point, but to quote Spock, their positions are “highly illogical.”

But these readers believe that we might do something different because they are caught up in that necessary emotion.

Many have come down to Obama and Clinton from other candidates who they cared passionately about. I saw a lot of that spirit at Yearly Kos last summer in Chicago. People could not be swayed from their chosen candidate, regardless of what kind of chance that person might have in the race.

These people have gone from emotional to logical (when their candidate withdrew) and back to emotional.

And that is how it should be. In January, February, and now late March, having your emotion is necessary and wonderful. That emotion is why over 4 million Democrats, a new record, registered in Pennsylvania for the April 22 primary.

And let’s be thankful for one thing. There wasn’t this level of emotion for John Kerry in 2004 and even Al Gore in 2000. If this emotion can be channeled into one candidate in November 2008, the possibilities to accomplish multiple Democratic goals are actually within reach.

This may be hard to believe, but the Democratic convention in late August is a long, long way away. And November 2008 is even further away. But there is a lot of ground work to be done, especially in purple states. And the level of emotion is heightened well beyond a normal presidential race. So keep the emotion for now, but know that is logic is right around the corner.

So right now, Spock isn’t the cool one in the room. And yes, I realize right now, that’s me. But when it’s time to rally around the presidential nominee, Spock will not only be the cool one in the room, but also he will be the one people will turn to for reinforcements of logic.


Written by democracysoup

March 26, 2008 at 9:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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