Clinton and Obama: Together Again

by Reihan

Many Democrats are worried that the ferocious primary fight between the Clinton and Obama camps will weaken the party's chances of recapturing the White House. There is a simple solution, one that will clear the air and unite the party. Hillary Clinton must challenge Barack Obama to a duel. Andrew Jackson, in some sense the founder of the modern, populist, egalitarian Democratic Party, was a great lover of dueling, as one of our nation's finest magazines (yes, I'm talking about Cracked) notes:

On one occasion, he challenged a man named Charles Dickinson to a duel, (the reason behind it wasn't important, not to us and certainly not to Jackson), and Jackson was even kind enough to give Dickinson the first shot. We're gonna go ahead and repeat that: In a duel with pistols, Jackson politely volunteers to be shot at first. Dickinson happily obliged and shot Jackson, who proceeded to shake it off like it was a bee sting. When Jackson returned the favor, Dickinson was not so lucky, and that's why his face isn't on the twenty. The bullet, by the by, remained in Jackson's body for 19 years because, we assume, Jackson knew that time spent removing the bullets would just fall under the general category of "time not dueling," Jackson's least favorite category.

Dueling might sound senseless to you, but as Graeme argues in his review of Randall Collins's Violence,

And, most interesting of all, he urges us to consider reviving the practice of dueling which was, during its heyday, a way to reduce and contain violence, not a way to encourage it. One hopes to see trial runs of this practice after the next close tenure decision in Mr. Collins's sociology department at the University of Pennsylvania.

Rather than engage in underhanded tactics and scurrilous accusations, wouldn't it be better if the Clintons simply tried to face off against Barack Obama under the gentlemanly rules established by our forefathers?