You know, today would be an excellent day for the mandarins of the Democratic Party to pay a call to Hillary Clinton, sit her down and then, kindly and gently, and with full appreciation of everything she’s done for party and country, stick a goddamn fork in her. She suffered a 14-point blowout in North Carolina and while she scraped up a bare popular vote victory in Indiana, in the realpolitik terms of delegates, she tied. Combine the popular vote and the delegate allotment from both states, and she’s the huge loser for the evening. She lost. She’s done. She’s fallen down and she can’t get up.
But wait, you say, what if she manages to get the delegates from Michigan and Florida seated? And then convinces the superdelegates to roll her way? And then uses the Clinton machine at the convention back rooms to seal the deal? She could still get the nomination! Well, no. Don’t get me wrong: I’m sure even now the Clinton apparatchiks are plotting out some Rube Goldberg-like contraption of an strategy that lands their gal into the White House. But in the real world, at this point, the fallout of a Hillary nomination and the positively un-small-“d”-democratic machinations that would be required to make it happen would be surpassingly grim, since among other things it essentially gut punches pretty much every Democrat who is either African-American or under the age of 40, Chelsea Clinton excepted. Throwing these folks under the proverbial bus is not the way to actually win an election. One advantage the Democrats have over the GOP is that significant slices of the GOP base actively dislike their nominee; it would be ill-advised for the Democrats to offer up a candidate with the same qualities.
And while one should never underestimate the Democratic Party’s ability to fuck up a cakewalk, I think in this case they’re not quite that dumb. Outside of the Clinton camp, it’s hard to see how anyone in the Democratic Party can see the Clinton campaign as anything more than an affectation at this point. It’s time to send in the grand old men of the party to tell her that it’s time to let it go. And if she won’t let it go — she is a Clinton, after all — then it’s time for them to metaphorically get up and start turning off the lights around her. Just because she’s still pretending she has a chance doesn’t mean anyone else is obliged to any more.