Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.
-- Henry Adams, 1907
Just a month ago the confusing, arcane and jerry-built 1988 presidential selection process appeared to be producing only chaos. The Democratic field was crowded. To many, it was deficient in both distinction and definition. The Republican side had its own afflictions. The front runner had been humiliated in the first contest, his principal challenger was manifestly disorganized, and a wild-card televangelist threatened to disrupt the entire game.
To make matters worse, the latest electoral invention, the concatenation of primaries and caucuses known as Super Tuesday, loomed as a fulfillment...