that hissing sound is the fuse

Super Tuesday settled it. All of us are absolutely positive who the candidate will be — for the Republicans, anyway.

Super Tuesday settled it. All of us are absolutely positive who the candidate will be — for the Republicans, anyway.

But who on the Democratic side will be taking on Senator John McCain?

I still say Hillary Clinton, but at this stage, that stance is only 50 per cent prognostication. The other 50 per cent of my surety is based solely on personal preference. I’m sure Barack Obama supporters feel exactly the same.

That surety is the fuse that runs to the dynamite threatening to blow the Democrats’ White House dreams to hell.

Both Clinton and Obama think they can win, and both have taken so much money and made so many promises to high-profile supporters that they simply cannot quit.

That leaves only one real option — beat the crap out of each other. Run negative ads. Use 527 groups to buy “issue ads” that highlight every blemish on every candidate.

(side note: 527s are basically shell corporations that aren’t technically affiliated with any candidate but which spend millions working against one candidate or the other, rather than actually for anything. They are named after a section in the US tax code. That in and of itself should be enough to convince you of their heinous nature.)

For Republicans, the protracted Democratic battle is like winning the lottery.

McCain gets to spend the rest of the primary season being positive and talking about “real solutions” and “defending America” and “being presidential.”

All the while, on the other channel, the Democrats will be doing all the negative campaigning the Republicans could have dreamed up themselves and the GOP won’t even have to pay for it.

Clinton/Obama could drag on all the way to the summer convention in Denver.

Picture that. The convention opens with no presumptive nominee. The various groups are making their case and having a big ol’ dust up, when someone knocks on the door. It’s Florida’s delegates. And Michigan’s. They want to come to the party, but they weren’t sent an invite.

Clinton will be arguing to let them in, because she won both states. Obama will fight to keep them out, because, well, he didn’t win. And all the residents of Detroit, Tampa Bay, Miami, etc. will watch their party argue about whether their cities even count.

So, they look at the other party, and lo’ and behold, it’s that prisoner of war guy that supports things like environmental causes, ending Bush’s tax cut for the rich, providing amnesty to illegal immigrants — good, sound Democrat-like principles.

So, what does it all mean?

Simple. President John McCain.

That’s the message that all Democrats need to remember, as they watch their two beloved candidates tear each other apart.

Because who really cares if the Democrats have a black man or a woman as a candidate if they are so beaten up by the time the general election rolls around that they are completely unelectable?

Michael Hale is a former journalist and political hack who likes his own thoughts so much that he posts them at