08 March 2008

The Anti-Peninsula Movement In The Democratic Party

The talks continue as to whether or not the Democratic party is going to permit Michigan and Florida "do-over" primaries so their votes will count at the Democratic convention. Now imagine that. The voters of these two states might have another chance to vote for Clinton or Obama! This bold opportunity may even allow them to be disenfranchised yet again when the final decision is actually made by the Super Delegates who aren't necessarily interested in who their constituents supported. Huzzah!

I recently posted a comment on the VodkaPundit suggesting that this all started after the Dems invalidated the Michigan and Florida votes because the party is anti-peninsula. I received a note back from a reader who said that I was just being "ridiculous." Um. OK. Yes, I suppose that I should apologize to the Democratic Party for my ridiculous statement. Perhaps the real reason is that they are anti-Great Lakes, loathe the American auto industry, or never liked the MoTown sound. Maybe they are gator haters, anti-blue hair, or are seeking revenge for those cursed hanging chads of 2000. Or maybe, just maybe, they are exposing a national nominating process that is completely wack.

Due to the tight race we have been able to witness some ugly flaws in this process. Instead of sanity's semblance, the Democrats have provided us with a mishmash of primaries and caucuses that are about as easy to follow as Ted Kennedy's car after happy hour. And Texas gave us the added bonus of having both a primary and a caucus on the same day (a right I suspect they earned by being home to Lance Armstrong) Naturally, this hodgepodge process has provided ample opportunity for both the Clinton and Obama camps to make daily accusations about voter fraud, intimidation and downright double-secret meanness.

I suppose the Democratic party can try to defend this nomination debacle as a display of states' rights within their defined framework. Each state has the right to decide how they will vote. But states' rights can only extend so far. They can decide how to vote, just not when. The party simply couldn't allow Michigan and Florida to "break the rules" and move their primaries to an earlier date. Why? Perhaps having a couple of populous swing states vote earlier might just impact the voting pattern of subsequent states enough to reduce the influence that Democratic party leaders have on the direction of the nomination. Hmmm. Luckily, they had a back up plan. Enter the STDs (Super "Talented" Delegates).

I know what some of you may be saying. Michigan and Florida knew the rules and decided not to follow them. True, but can anybody blame them for wanting to avoid irrelevance for yet another primary? Yes, this election is so close that they would have had a powerful impact had they just done what they were told and not been naughty states. But one election hardly makes up for three decades of insignificance and apathy during the primaries.

Ultimately, the Democratic Party needs to find a way for voters in Michigan and Florida to participate. If they need to demonstrate authority, punish the party leaders for each state, not the people who just want to be heard. Silencing the vote in these states may lead to exposure the party doesn't want and they may find themselves hoping to sell an explanation as simple as "we're just anti-peninsula."

Oh, and for those of you who voted Republican in Michigan and Florida: not to worry, your votes counted.