Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Here’s the Intrade price for “Clinton wins the Democratic nomination” over the past month:
From inevitability to pitiful failure to front-runner again in just a few days. There’s no hint that the market saw either Iowa or New Hampshire coming, or knew anything beyond the bloviations of the talking heads.
markets are simply not the hypereffective forward discounting mechanisms they are often portrayed as. they may be more effective than alternative mechanisms, but they are very far from a crystal ball.
color me mildly relieved -- but hillary clinton has a whole basket of liabilities as well. does anyone really think the advance of dynastic politics is good for a country that claims to be meritocratic? and just because she's well vetted doesn't mean she'd be even a good imperial steward, much less the kind of leader the united states desperately needs to extricate itself from its ever more befuddling entanglements.
the worst aspect of her possible election, however, might be the deep entrenchment of civil enemies into the two familiar political camps -- one that wants death before another clinton, another that wants death before another bush. this country has been mostly and mercifully free of political violence since the late 1960s. but i have a sinking feeling that we are on a degenerate course -- politically, economically, spiritually -- that can easily lead to the worst round of civil disorder we've seen since then, perhaps since the late 19th c when chicago was at the forefront.
nonetheless, it is imperative that the republican party be removed from high office. if the democracy of the united states responds to the last eight years of wholesale incompetence, reality denial, fiscal nihilism, baldfaced and brazen duplicity, and confounding amoral bloodlust -- much of which john mccain and other republican candidates wholly supported -- by returning the offending party to power, it can reasonably be said to have deteriorated so profoundly as not to function at all.
it would be a true market failure, and one of awesome consequence.