Thursday, November 15, 2007
Zeno's Electoral Paradox
I see Matthew Yglesias' epistemological anguish and raise him one. Not only is it pretty much impossible to predict who will actually win the primary campaigns and general election. When you look at each individual candidate, it becomes obvious that there's not a single one on either side who actually can win their party's nomination. Every single one of them has a solid, incontrovertible disqualifying strike against them ranging from electability issues (real or imagined) in Hillary Clinton's case to mental health issues for pretty much the entire GOP field. (Okay, okay, insanity is actually a qualification for the GOP nomination these days. But notwithstanding the foam around the mouth, Romney and Giuliani have electoral records that correspond more closely to the Gerry Ford-era GOP than to the party of Bush.)
Barack Obama is probably the only candidate who makes it past the raised eyebrow test. But as much as I am seriously considering voting for him, it would take a very unlikely sequence of events to keep him from ending up as this year's model of the Democrats' perennial idealist: Doomed to lose, but keeping the party honest in the process.
The only thing is, someone's got to win. So, will it be brokered conventions all around? Or an Inconvenient Candidate? Dunno. But I have a hard time seeing anyone from the current field up on the podium accepting the nomination.