Thursday, December 11, 2003

My own conspiracy theory

I've been thinking about the conspiracy theories that are running rampant about what is going on in the Democratic party, particular with respect to the Clintons and Wesley Clark. Frankly, I think most of them are just paranoid delusions.

For one thing, I don't believe for a minute that the Clintons don't like Howard Dean or what he is doing. In fact, I think they are intrigued by the operation he has put together and would much rather get on his good side than piss off the legions who support him.

But it goes back even further then that. Remember, it was Bill Clinton who effectively short-circuited the first attempt by the DLC to stem Dean's momentum when, just prior to the release of the From & Reed anti-Dean screed, Clinton gave an interview in which he praised Dean as a model New-Democrat. I remain convinced to this day that Clinton did this deliberately because he disapproved of what the DLC was trying to do.

That does not mean that I don't think the Clintons haven't been involved in encouraging Clark to enter the race. But I don't think they did so in order to stop Dean.

Here's my own personal theory: at the time Clark entered it was painfully obvious to the politically observant that Dean was trouncing the rest of the field. None of the other candidates had emerged as a viable alternative to Dean. In fact, some of them (Kerry in particular) had failed so badly at the job that it would be a joke if they were to ever go on and win the nomination.

But then, the only way that could happen was if Dean imploded and it was still not clear at that time if his campaign was for real. There had to be a real concern that if Dean imploded there wouldn't be any viable candidate left on the field to pick up the pieces.

I think that if there was any political calculation involved in the Clintons' encouragement of Wesley Clark to enter the race it was the simple idea that he could act as a safety net for the Democrats if Dean's high-wire act should falter.

That's just my theory of course.

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