If Sen. John McCain shocked the world and decided to pick disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as his running mate ...
If the price of gasoline skyrocketed to $6 a gallon and the Dow fell below 8,000 ...
If the Iraq war blew up again, and the dollar's worth continued to plunge ...
It doesn't matter whether any of those things happen. The Democratic Party - the so-called party of change - is on its way to defeat in the November presidential election. Republicans are all but certain to maintain the presidency.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have embarked on a path of mutual destruction. They may have already passed the point of no return.
John McCain would have to commit the ultimate act of stupidity to lose this election. It's hard to think what that might be. The Democratic contenders have beaten him to it.
First, of course, the designers of the Democratic primary and caucus rules must have been Republican saboteurs. How else do you account for the impenetrable math and complicated delegate selection process? No one trying to pick a nominee to win an election would ever have dreamed up such a mess. The Republicans conducted their primaries right. They picked their candidate and stepped out of the way.
Second, the Obama way is bombing, even as the candidate appears to be on a dazzling roll. To be sure, Obama has piled up impressive numbers of delegates and votes.
He has become to black Democrats what FDR was to white Democrats in the 1930s - an inspiring leader and political savior.
However, many of Obama's spectacular victories have occurred in the Deep South with record numbers of African Americans going to the polls. No Democrat - not Obama, not Hillary, not even William Jennings Bryan's ghost - could win Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama or Mississippi in November 2008. The GOP has those states locked up. That Obama rolled up 70, 80 and 90 percent of the black vote in those states in the primaries does not matter. White voters will outnumber black voters in November.
In my judgment, Obama has made a fatal political mistake. His campaign planners thought they had finally found a way to shut up Hillary's white supporters, just label every remark remotely critical of Obama as racist. Then watch the white libs backtrack, apologize and sit down and shut up even if what they said happened to be a self-evident truth. There are half a dozen examples, the most recent being the bland remarks of onetime Democratic vice presidential nominee Geraldine Ferraro.
Poor Ferraro must have thought she had been hit by a truck after she said, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman of any color, he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
In other words, he is the right guy at the right place at the right time. The same could be said of Jimmy Carter in 1976 or Ronald Reagan in 1980. If either Carter or Reagan had not run when they did, their times would have passed. They likely never would have been president. Yep, the country was in the Carter mood in 1976, and it appears, so far, to be in the Obama mood in 2008. The country may lose its yen for "the first black president" by November if Obama's people continue to shout "racist" at every turn.
As soon as Ferraro uttered her evaluation of Obama, the candidate's top supporters began hurling epithets. Hillary Clinton took sharp issue with Ferraro who tried unsuccessfully to fight back, acknowledging that even she would not have been the Democrats' VP nominee in 1984 had she not been a woman. She dropped out of the Clinton campaign Wednesday. "Every time that [Obama] campaign gets upset about something, they call it racist," an embittered Ferraro said. "I will not be discriminated against because I am white."
Let it be noted that Ferraro is a certified Long Island liberal with a long history of supporting black causes and black candidates. She undoubtedly would have wholeheartedly supported Obama as the Democratic nominee.
Let it also be noted that health care goes begging, the war is heating up and the economy is turning cold. All is not well in the USA as the leading candidates for change and the political media spend most of their time trying to sort out meaningless charges of subtle racism.
A year ago, a Democratic ticket looked a cinch to win the White House. Now it seems headed for the wall. The Democratic Party could even be on its way to becoming marginal on the national scene, as it has already become in much of the South. And race is the reason.
Write Bill Shipp at P.O. Box 2520, Kennesaw, GA 30156, send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit him on the Web at billshipponline.com.