Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Rules Are Rules - Even For the Democrats

Rules Are Rules – Even For the Democrats
Commentary by Sanford D. Horn
March 4, 2008

The Democratic Party commandeered the title, albeit inappropriately, the “party of the people.” This is the same Democratic Party that in 1982 created the super delegate – rewarding party elites with an extra vote in their nominating process. This is the same Democratic Party currently disenfranchising more than two million primary voters in Florida and Michigan.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) established party rules determining that states advancing their primary dates would be penalized by not having those delegates counted or seated at the Denver convention in August. In a letter to the DNC, Senator Hillary Clinton (NY) agreed to abide by party regulations.

With the game heading into the late innings and few players remaining on her bench, Clinton, trailing Senator Barack Obama (IL), is appealing to the umpires for rule changes. Tough cookies, Senator. Rules are rules – even for Democrats. Nobody put a gun to her head and the coronation she expected heading to the convention lay in ruins thanks to a candidate so popular, even his sneezes receive standing ovations.

As for the disenfranchised voters in the Sunshine and Wolverine states, they have their state party leadership to blame for electoral greed and egos. Those states knew the ramifications for amending their primary dates, hoping to impact the course of the nomination process. Now neither state will positively affect the outcome. There is a negative backlash in that two hugely important states will sit on the sidelines while the remaining 48 determine who will be the party nominee. The last time 48 states determined a party nominee, Adlai Stevenson won that Democratic race in 1956.

This should teach the state parties a lesson for the future – follow the lead of the national party.

Currently, the Democrats are trying to determine how to rectify their flawed nomination procedures. Some have suggested seating the delegates from the miscreant states at the national convention anyway. Bad idea. That simply rewards the candidates who had better name recognition as they claimed not to have campaigned in accordance with the rules. It also gives a pass to the states who disobeyed the DNC. Others have suggested seating half the delegates in Denver. Bad idea again, but for half the same reason.

Here’s an interesting idea floated by Florida Governor Charlie Crist – a Republican – have a do-over – and at state expense. A do-over? Um, judge’s ruling – what is this – third grade kickball? At the state of Florida’s expense? The taxpayers must be doing cartwheels over this moronic idea.
Again, bad idea. Beside the two reasons provided, the circumstances will not be the same. Will the names of Senator Joe Biden (DE), Senator Chris Dodd (CT), John Edwards (NC), Mike Gravel (AK), Representative Dennis Kucinich (OH), and Governor Bill Richardson (NM) appear on the ballot? This too is faulty. Fact is, the Democrats made their beds and should lie in them until 2012. Sleep tight.

Sanford D. Horn is a writer and political consultant living in Alexandria, VA.

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