New Donkey, the centrist Democrat blogger, posted on this subject about a week ago- and I think it's worth a read.
This [the rush to nominate] ... is simply crazy. February 5 is nine months before the general election, and roughly six months before the nominating conventions ... It virtually guarantees that three factors: money, name ID, and success in the earliest states, especially Iowa,will determine the outcome. And it may well snuff any serious chance for the lower-tier candidates in both parties ....Most importantly, the emerging calendar will provide zero opportunity for second thoughts after the early rush has anointed nominees. It could be a very long spring, summer and autumn if a nominee commits some major blunder, or some disabling skeleton jumps out of a closet [emphasis added].
New Donkey goes on to say point out that this problem could be solved by having the Democratic National Committee take a leadership role to stop thmadnesses:
...what should happen before the next go-around, is a truly national approach. Whether it's a lottery, or a carefully matched series of states around the country, or regional primaries, or just the kind of spread-out process that prevailed until recently, it could be imposed by the DNC through a combination of (a) strict rules against seating of delegates chosen outside the calendar guidelines, and (b) an aggressive effort to recruit all candidates in advance to support the decision, with ejection from DNC-sponsored debates, or if necessary, a ban on speaking opportunities at the Convention, being the stick.
But if we don't get seriously angry about this abomination right now, we're going to find ourselves in the same situation four and eight years from now.
Given the source (New Donkey is after all, usually butting heads with MyDD and Daily Kos), it's possible that these ideas will be rejected by the netroots as rhetoric of the Republican-Lite wing of the Party...
But...given the fact that HRClinton is the likely beneficiary this year of this insane process...I think it's a conversation in which all should participate.