Bill Clinton lost the 1992 New Hampshire primary. So did George W. Bush in 2000.
New Hampshire listens closely to what the "experts" say, and then does the opposite. They did that yesterday, in spades.
I think it’s because they believe in democracy. They generally don’t want to make the final decision. God bless them all for that.
But this result means more.
This result was directed more to the press than to the candidates. As I’ve written here, we’re really sick of the Chattering Classes telling us what we think. We’re sick of Chris Matthews, and of Mike Barnicle as well. We’re even sick of their DFH equivalents — yes, you, Markos Moulitsas — telling us what we think. We’ll tell you what we think, and then we’ll let you know. And if you ask us at the wrong time — before the decision is due — we’re likely as not to lie through our teeth.
I should add this applies to everyone. Me, too. And it goes for you, too. Over the next month I’d like some real discussion among Republicans as to which group they want thrown off their coalition bus, or if they really do all want to go down together. I want them to think about their continuing, diehard support of Bush-ism and what that means.
As to the Democrats, we should think seriously about how we define leadership. Is it inspiration, is it confrontation, is it negotiation? How do we use our coming victory in November to accomplish what we failed to accomplish after 2006, knowing there are bound to remain enough Bush Dogs and filibustering Senators to frustrate even a healthy majority.
As to the latter question, might I suggest the replacement of Harry Reid as majority leader with someone like, oh, say Chris Dodd? Someone who will tell the other side, you can filibuster all you want, but you’ll do it standing up, and when you sit down we hold the vote — no more "gentleman’s agreement" that it takes 60 votes to pass anything, because frankly it doesn’t.
Finally I would like to see more discussion among Democrats, and among Republicans too, concerning the real problems of the country and how we’re going to find solutions. Not what those solutions are. Not some "magic pony plan" for fixing the deficit by getting rid of "waste, fraud and abuse." How do we treat one another, as Americans, and how do we get past the crimes of this era?
We only have one chance to get this right. Failure in 2008 will mean the Argentina road, with no way back. I think most Americans understand that, deep in their guts. We want to talk about it, and think about it.
So unless you’re saying something useful, how about a nice big cup of Shut The Fuck Up. This goes for me as well.