I did one of these before, but it was on Facebook and I felt like I could do better:
Unlike Jon I believe there is one candidate in for the Democratic Nomination that we can be proud of sending to the general election, and one of which we ought to be ashamed. There's one candidate who has a chance of winning a landslide victory and one who, even if she wins, promises nothing but a continuation of the pointless, lost years since 1992. As you can probably tell, I support Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination, and I hope you will too.
Jon uses history to prove his point and I think he is correct to take lessons from it, so let's examine the evidence. In 1932 Democrats faced a similar choice. On the one hand was an experienced war horse, a former governor who had fought the political battles and had been unfairly demonized by his opponents in those battles. On the other, was a new face, who had only achieved major political office at the time of the most recent presidential election, and had built his resume as reformer and who had a penchant for sunny, if vague rhetoric. It may surprise you that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the later candidate, and Al Smith was the former.
In another election, Republicans had a similarly good prospect of being elected. They had several choices, many of them attractive, who were experienced veterans of the partisan wars of the time. Instead they chose a decent man from Illinois, known primarily for his opposition to an unwise war and his impressive speeches. That man was, of course, Abraham Lincoln.
My point is this: the profiles of the great presidents who have won elections and not disappointed the people who voted for them look a lot more like Obama than Hillary. Big changes come through big election victories, and I would submit that Hillary is incapable of getting above 51% and a narrow victory, meaning that the difference between today and 2009 will be exactly this: there will be a Democrat in the White House. Without a national mandate and without a cowardly party on the other side, will we be able to get 60 votes for universal heath care no matter how nasty the Clintons are? I don't think so.
Barack Obama shows some signs of being able to put together a coalition that will realign the country's politics. There are many disaffected independents out there who don't have a hard ideological commitment to a party, but who sense that there is something wrong and are willing to sign up for a reasonable figure of change, but who will not sign up to a divisive figure of past battles. There are also the youngest of voters in country, those who are under 30, who are profoundly more liberal than their elders on every issue, but who have never been brought into the process. In the primaries in which he's competed, Barack has been able to bring this vote out in large numbers for the very first time. Finally there are African Americans, who comprise large portions of Southern states, but who have never turned out in huge numbers. For obvious reasons, Barack poses a unique ability to bring out those votes.
Back to history, the only example the Hillary people have on their side is Lyndon Johnson, who owed his political achievements partially out of a willingness to make the greatest of political sacrifices (the Democratic South) and partially because of public sentiment about the fallen President Kennedy. Now, barring unforeseen circumstances, there will be no tragic figure similar to Kennedy with which Hillary can rally the public. And on the other point, has Hillary or Bill demonstrated, at any point during their public life, the willingness to sacrifice anything for an election victory?
There was the vote for the war in Iraq, Bill's signing of such wonderful legislation as the Defense of Marriage act, and then there was the final betrayal, their willingness to play the Southern Strategy in a Democratic primary. If there was any doubt about this, it was erased by Bill's boorish comments trying to peg Obama as the black candidate with his comparison to Jesse Jackson (and by prior sins). Now I am aware that politics can be rough, and I've said before I was OK with things like the distortions over Reagan. But a disgusting strategy based on race betrays everything that liberalism is supposed to be about and contributes to distrust between the races. And as a gay man, I wonder if they have learned anything from the 90s, and if, in a crunch, we're going to be the next group to be thrown over the side so that the Clintons can win another election.
Opposed to this sorry pair, that hurt the party during their time in office and continue to hurt the party, you have a chance to vote for a decent man who just might be a transformative figure. You can vote for someone who Senator Kennedy believes in enough to fight for, even though Obama's path to the nomination is still an uphill one. Please vote for a candidate of which you can be proud.