Thursday, May 8, 2008

Is there a time clock?

Jill at Brilliant at Breakfast writes a good post this morning called "What Hillary Clinton forgets," questioning whether she is really more electable than Barack Obama (because some of the big states aren't going to go for her in the general election anyway, and Rush Limbaugh's idiotic idea of urging Republicans to vote for her). Jill goes on to discuss Hillary's "right" to stay in the race, which is a false idea promulgated by Clinton supporters - no one has questioned her "right," they've questioned her wisdom in doing so. (And isn't that interesting, that the Clinton-ites prefer to assert a right in lieu of good judgment, sort of where we stand today with a goodly segment of the women's movement and other identity politics proponents.)

We are pointed to a post from yesterday on Huffington, in which Thomas Edsall discusses what Hillary has to gain if she drops out now; the Obama campaign would make up her current losses, and she would enhance her position in the party, very possibly getting the Senate majority leader post. Others have talked about the party positioning her for a run as New York governor.

This idea has been floated for several weeks now, that Hillary will get some major consolation prize if she drops out and starts working for the good of the party. My question: What's the time limit on this offer?

When does the party switch from providing inducements to exacting punishment? Is there a moment when her continued corrosive attacks on Obama outweigh whatever value her support would give?

If the party has not made it clear to her that there's a time limit on all these getting-out prizes, she has no real reason to get out. She's already pushed it past reasonable boundaries. One can hardly blame her if she thinks that the golden apple lies at the end of the race no matter how far she runs. It allows her to believe in her self-styled image as a "fighter."

So get it together, Democratic Party. Tell Hillary that she gets out now, that this farce has gone on long enough. Get out Thursday, get all your money back and the Senate majority leadership. Get out Friday, get half your money back and Senate whip. Any later than that, no money and the party moves George Clooney to New York to run against you.

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