The kiss of death for Obama?

Ted Olson, who represented the Republicans before the Supreme Court in its attempt to untangle the 2000 presidential election, is gleeful that this year’s Democratic nomination may be decided by a court fight over the legitimacy of the Florida and Michigan primaries. He ends his Wall Street Journal op-ed with this bit of snark: "I’d be more than happy to loan Sen. Obama the winning briefs that helped secure the election of the legitimate winner of the 2000 election, George W. Bush." I’m sure Obama will be calling him right away…

Given that the courts have almost always decided that the Democratic and Republican parties can do whatever the heck they want in choosing how to pick nominees (as opposed to states doing whatever they want to rig general elections), Olson’s comparison doesn’t really make a lot of sense. The Democratic Party will figure this out without getting the Supremes involved. Still, this mess doesn’t make party chairman Howard Dean look very good. His strategy of hoping that the other primaries and caucuses would be so decisive that no one would care how Florida and Michigan delegates are selected was short-sighted, to put it mildly.