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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

The Only Brokered Convention

Now that Barack Obama’s quietly but steadily taking over the Democratic Party infrastructure, there are probably more than a few Democrats who are publicly heaving sighs of relief but privately feel some regret that they won’t get to witness the exhilirating chaos of a Brokered Convention.
For a vicarious taste of said chaos, they should check out Michael Idov’s ha-larious New Republic article on the Memorial Day weekend convention of the Libertarian Party in Denver.
I watched part of that convention live on CSPAN, but missed all the great backstage stuff Idov caught: Mike Gravel’s Wiccan floor leader; the ginsu-knife-salesman pitch of the eventual Veep nominee, bookie Wayne Allyn Root; and the final sad spectacle of Libertarian “purists” swallowing their defiance and shuffling into Bob Barr’s victory party for the free beer.
It’s quite funny, but I must admit I have some sympathy for Libertarians, having gone through a brief, flu-like infatuation with the works of Ayn Rand (now, Idov reports, Bob Barr’s “favorite thinker”) in high school. And in truth, it’s hard to dislike the breed, who distinguish themselves from other politically impossible folk by a powerful lack of interest in jailing other people or invading their countries.
But the inveterate Libertarian suspicion of authority and collective action makes it an unlikely source of effective political action, as the cat-herding exercise in Denver abundantly illustrated.

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