A lot of hopeful speculation recently has the Clintons losing the nomination and splitting the party; that is, many conservative observers, supremely confident that they know what makes the Clinton's tick, have predicted a "scorched-earth policy," if Hillary loses.

Not likely.

These right-wing talkers are committing the same error they always make in dealing with the Clintons: they underestimate their talent and exaggerate their faults.

For example, think about the government shutdown of 1995. Intoxicated by our own propaganda, too many on our side assumed that "Slick Willie," the draft-dodger, would turn and run in the face of a firm conservative posture. This was a fundamental and colossal misunderstanding of the man from Hope (or Hot Springs or Harlem or wherever). And we paid the price for our arrogance. I trace the decline of Newt Gingrich in American politics to that misreading and over-confidence.

Now, based on the overly simplistic characteristic we feed to our less-intelligent allies, we are casting the Clintons as so egocentric and petty that they will bring the whole party crashing around their own personal defeat.

Two reasons why this is extremely unlikely:

1. There is not one scrap of historical evidence that points to that assumption. True the Clintons are incredibly ambitious (and petty at times), but they have never been "barn-burners"?

2. More importantly, what is in it for them, if they pursue a path of destruction? Out of one side of our mouth, we chastise Bill for being fantastically legacy-driven--and, out of the other, we assume that he will destroy himself historically by executing the most petulant political blunder of all time.

If Hillary loses the nomination, the Clintons will do as wise politicians have always done; they will support the nominee. Sometimes the support is heartfelt, and sometimes it is pro forma--but it has generally been there. I have serious doubts that the Clintons will break the pattern.

So, optimistic Republicans need to come up with another idea on which to hang their hopes.