I am delighted to welcome our new contributor Professor Richard E. Vatz. Dr. Vatz is a Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication Towson University and Associate Psychology Editor for USA Today Magazine.
Dr. Vatz is a frequent guest on WBAL Radio, among other media outlets. Vatz has been guest on William F. Buckley's legendary Firing Line, and moderated a Towson debate between Buckley and George McGovern. Governor Ehrlich has guest lectured Dr. Vatz's "persuasion" class at Towson twice year since 1993.
Welcome Dr. Vatz.
And without further ado here is Dr. Vatz's first post to Red Maryland.
We'll get him up to speed on this new fangled Internet thingamajig soon ;)
Stay in the Race, Hillary
The national Democratic Party is roiled by the fight between those who want Hillary Clinton to fight through to the final June primaries and/or the Democratic National Convention and those who want her to quit the presidential race – last month.
What should the conservative position be?
The principled position (the only relevant one, since concern exclusively about consequences is the purview of liberals) should be to support Hillary’s continued efforts. This is not – and I emphasize not – due to the perception by many that Barack Obama would be more difficult for Republicans to defeat in a presidential race. Parenthetically, I do not necessarily share that view anymore, but it is arguable. It is not the appropriate basis, however, for conservatives qua conservatives, to support her staying in the race.
The Washington Post narrates the argument Obama supporters – but not Obama himself -- that “she has received more votes than Sen. Barack Obama. Her calculation includes invalidated results in Michigan and Florida, where the candidates didn’t campaign, and apparently excludes the estimated results of four caucus states that don’t release voting totals. Regardless, delegates determine the nominee, not the popular vote.”
The Post then lists the scenarios under which each is leading in popular votes as well as the delegate count thus far by which Obama leads by a mere – but relatively difficult to overcome – 183 delegates.
I can think of no principle by which Sen. Clinton should quit the race. Millions have backed her; to many she represents the first woman who has contested for the presidential nomination who could actually win it; and there is no reasonable basis to disenfranchise the few states left in the Democratic primaries. This consternation comes from the party which uses as a mantra “Count all the votes?” Lord.
Were Sen. Clinton to quit, she would sustain all of the stereotypes of women’s lack of toughness. It would be devastating. There is not even any basis for the claim by Obama supporters that her participation would hurt his candidacy in the general election; more likely, it would help by attenuating the resentment of her supporters that she did not get a fair hearing.
Finally, the specious argument that superdelegates should reflect the primary vote is counter to the raison d’etre of their appointment. If they were simply to follow unquestioningly the popular vote, why have them at all?
This writer is no Hillary fan, even though she has certainly won my admiration for her brave behavior under fire in Bosnia in 1996. I am a McCain man, despite some qualms.
Those points notwithstanding, Sen. Hillary Clinton is 100% correct and justified for staying in the Democratic race.