When the rules division of the Democratic Party used baseball bats to attack the bees in their bonnets - the Florida and Michigan primaries - good sense flew out the kitchen window. In swinging the bats with a single-minded determination to squash anything that challenged the system that suited them, the housekeepers failed to consider the logical consequences of overkill. Now the dishes are broken but the bees are buzzing.
The damage done is yet to be measured, and the pooh-bahs show little imagination in dealing with the mess they created. They can't decide whether to wring their bats or swing their hands. Chances are, by the time they resolve the issue, another opportunity to win the presidency and build the party could be a fading hope.
What's done cannot be undone. An unfair process cannot be faired-up with hastily contrived do-overs designed to favor one candidate over another. Yet the party elite are determined to do something, anything, to relieve the media-fanned heat that is being belched into the atmosphere by supporters of Clinton and McCain. Those two candidates alone - not any other candidate and not the voters - stand to gain from a prolonged primary battle among Democrats. Clinton is even more unlikely to win the nomination without Florida or Michigan, and McCain almost certainly cannot win the general election unless he faces a divided Democratic Party.
So, the power brokers will wipe the sweat from their upper lips, double down on previous mistakes and roll the dice - all the while pretending to be problem solvers and small-d democrats.
Whatever actions are taken to resolve the delegate conflict - or, more likely, to inflate it - the agreement should include at least one element of fairness that would be cheered by many Democrats:
Exclude all members of the DNC Rules Committee, along with the super delegates from Florida and Michigan, from meaningful participation in the party convention. Allowing members of the Rules Committee to retain their positions is rewarding their arrogance and incompetence. In politics, as in medicine, the guiding principle should be, "First, do no harm," a lesson they have yet to learn.
Will the delegate issue be resolved fairly? Sure. On the day Hillary leaves the race and endorses the man who "has one speech in 2002," the man who "happens to be very lucky to be who he is," a black man with a "concept."
Will members of the DNC accept any responsibility for their poor decisions? You bet. When the bats of power are pried from their cold, bee-stung hands.