Thursday, May 10, 2007

this ungodly long presidential season

David Broder is a good example of what can happen to somebody who is too close to a situation for too long -- kind of a victim of a journalistic Stockholm Syndrome, where his identification with what passes for the Washington Establishment has made him a sad parody of his former self.

But today his column correctly identifies a real problem -- the absurd presidential primary system. It's getting even worse, as Florida leapfrogs all the Super-Duper Tuesday states and moves its primary to the last Tuesday of January. Expect New Hampshire and Iowa, with their divine right to vote first, to move forward even sooner. At this rate, the primaries for the 2012 party nominations could happen the same week as the 2010 Congressional elections.

I don't think Congress should get involved in this -- it is for the Democratic and Republican parties to resolve. But I wish they would. As Broder pointed out, we are likely to know the nominees by early February. Oh no, 8+ months of the direct campaign after 16 months of the longest primary season in human history? I don't think I can stand it. And I worry about what both parties (especially the Republicans) will do with 8 months to trash their opponents. Eight months for opposition research? The GOP will tell us about every time Obama pulled a girl's hair in 3rd grade, or how Hillary once smacked her little brother for reading her diary.


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