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Dem Race: Tragedy Of The Commons

One of my favorite science writers, Shankar Vedantam, has a fun piece in today's Post on how psychology experiments predict disaster for the Democratic primary: it'll go on forever and, as psychologist W. Keith Campbell puts it,

The way the system is set up, the more-selfish person has a higher probability of winning. You end up with the more narcissistic, belligerent candidate.

Vedantam suggests that the only way to stop even "perfectly rational" Obama and Hillary from tearing the party apart is "intervention by outside regulators", people like the superdelegates, Nancy Pelosi, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of superdelegates -- especially vulnerable House types, like the infuriatingly coy freshman Rep. Jason Altmire -- won't do anything for fear of peeving precious constituents who support one candidate over the other. Kind of makes you yearn for monarchy.

--Eve Fairbanks