Will Rank-and-File Democrats Vote for Obama?
The Democratic convention in Denver is fast approaching (August 25-28). Rumors about a Clinton coup attempt are rampant. But would the Democratic Party really throw Obama over for Hillary at this late date due to worries that he might not clinch a victory in November? Consider what it would do to their credibility: This is a party that over the past three or four decades has crafted its identity upon... identity politics. Their MO is dividing people into neat little categories and keeping them both placated and at each other's throats at the same time by emphasizing differences and promising various handouts.
Obama has been touted as the harbinger of Hope and ChangeTM. He has also been held up as the post-racial candidate whose election to the highest office in the land will commence the healing of a nation, regardless of whether there is a festering wound or not. The Democratic Party has invested a lot in Barack Obama, the candidate who will somehow change business as usual in Washington.
So imagine, if you will, a last-minute jettisoning of Obama in favor of Hillary Clinton. Supporters of Hillary Clinton have been shouting to the rooftops that sexism was responsible for her losing out to Obama in the primaries. What would dumping Obama say to blacks, whose votes the Democrats have taken for granted for years? "Sorry we got you excited, but we need a candidate we think can win. Maybe next time. Love ya!"
The Democrats don't mind being labeled as elitists. They can even manage to fob off accusations of sexism as long as appeasing a greater identity group can prevail. But to be perceived as racists would sound the death knell of the Democratic Party as we know it today. I may be wrong, but I believe the Democrats are stuck with Obama. Hillary may be the candidate with a better chance at trouncing McCain in November, but that's all water under the bridge now.
Live by identity politics, die by identity politics. Meanwhile, rank-and-file Democrats who are uncomfortable with a candidate who has precious little experience in anything and worrisome personal connections will have some real soul-searching to do on November 4.