As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, February 22, 2007


A David Broder column I totally agree with, except for the gratuitous shot that Democrats are more to blame for the front-loading of the primary calendar.

Their indulgence of this breakneck competition among the states means that someone is likely to put a death grip on each party's nomination before most Americans have begun to size up his or her capacity to be president. The second consequence is a numbingly long general election campaign: a nine-month marathon that leaves contenders and voters exhausted.

It also drives the cost of the election right through the ceiling -- and makes the candidates spend untold hours courting those with the wealth to finance their campaigns. Serious students of the process proclaim this to be the first billion-dollar election and predict the old system of partial public financing, with its spending controls, will be shattered to bits by the runaway money chase [...]

This is madness. There is no way that candidates can really communicate their qualifications, their aspirations and their policies to millions of people in widely scattered locales in a week's time or less. The campaign will be reduced to 30-second TV spots, sound-bite debates and airport tarmac rallies.

I really hope that everyone will see the primary schedule for 2008 as such complete and unmitigated madness that the system will be blown up for 2012, with some kind of different way to get to a Presidential nominee. The party out of power will certainly push for it, because giving the next President from February to the conventions to define the opponent is like target practice.

The states have no reason to stop inching up their primaries, but the nation has a very good reason to get everyone to stop. We are picking Presidents with less circumspection than how we pick the American Idol.

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