Mike Lux reports on something we already know. The party elders, the superdelegates, and the informed party activists know that Hillary Clinton can’t win and they want this race over. However, Lux actually talks to superdelegates, and what he is hearing is that they are collectively a bunch of cowards that desperately want the people of Pennsylvania to tell the Clintons the race is over so they won’t have to.

They don’t want the Clintons and McAuliffe and those donors who signed the letter to stop raising money for them. They don’t want Carville and Wolfson to call them a traitor. They don’t want all the behind-the-scenes trashing that they know will come.

There is a logic behind James Carville (who gets his paycheck from CNN) telling Bill Richardson that he is a Judas. It’s pure intimidation. And it is working. Reid and Pelosi and Dean and Gore are all trying to be polite about it, but their insistence that the process not continue all the way to the convention is a way of telling the Clintons that they have no path to the nomination.

Dodd and Leahy have been less polite. But pulling out the victim card isn’t going to change a thing.

In a conversation with two Democratic allies, she compared the situation to the “big boys” trying to bully a woman, according to interviews with them.

Who is really doing the bullying here?

I’ll admit that in a boxing match, no one likes the see it go to the judges. People pay to see a knockout. And that’s what we need to deliver to the Clintons, because they seem to think they can buy off or frighten the judges into throwing the bout.

Mrs. Clinton’s aides said they could see no circumstance in which she would withdraw unless she lost Pennsylvania on April 22. Two senior advisers and one close ally said they would urge her to quit the race if she lost Indiana two weeks later, on May 6.

We’re doing everything we can think of to make sure Clinton loses Pennsylvania, but it really shouldn’t matter.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued the most unvarnished statement Friday, saying Clinton “has every right, but not a very good reason, to remain a candidate for as long as she wants to.”

Sen. Leahy is absolutely correct. Clinton has no ‘good reason’ to stay in the race because she is just angering and frightening people. And once she loses the clout to frighten people it won’t be very pleasant for the Clintons. At that point, all that is left is the anger. Read between the lines:

Mr. Dean said he wanted the contest settled well before the convention at the end of August. He urged the superdelegates, uncommitted party leaders and elected officials, to unify behind a candidate soon after the last nominating contests on June 3.

“I don’t think superdelegates should be waiting for the convention,” he said. “There’s no reason they can’t make up their mind now or in the last several weeks. Ideally, it would be good to know who the nominee is by July 1.”

The number of people that want this nomination wrapped up in Obama’s favor is now overwhelming, so they should make that clear to the Pennsylvania voters. Don’t put all the onus on the Obama campaign to cut through all the noise. They can’t make an effective inevitability argument anyway. That’s normally the job of surrogates. But in this case, it should be the job of cowardly superdelegates. Get off your asses and tell the world how you’re gonna vote. Don’t be afraid of Terry McAuliffe and James Carville…they’ll never have any power in the Democratic Party again. They can go back to asking for leniency for Scooter Libby, or whatever else they like to do.

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