By Patricia Wilson-Smith
This is an issue that will plague us for a long time, because there is seemingly no fair way to resolve this. Or is there?
For those of you who don’t own a television, or have been in a politics-induced coma as of late, suddenly out of nowhere, delegations from both Florida and Michigan are meeting behind closed doors to discuss what they can do to have their delegates seated at the next DNC Convention. Here’s the problem.
Months before their primary dates came up, both Michigan and Florida decided, “Hey – I think we’ll break the rules and have our primaries early like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada, because we want some attention too!” Both states were warned by the DNC and the RNC in fact that moving their primaries would be in direct violation of the rules of both parties. The DNC threatened to invalidate the results of both states, rendering their delegates useless, and the RNC threatened to take half the states’ delegates. They both went ahead with their evil primary plots anyway.
So, in Florida, all of the then Presidential candidates, including John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama agreed not to campaign in the state, and to honor the DNC’s ruling. And though Senator Clinton cleverly held campaign fundraisers there anyway, none of the candidates actually campaigned.
Then, in Michigan, all the candidates agreed again not to campaign – John Edwards and Senator Obama had their names removed from the ballots in a show of support of the DNC’s decision. Hillary Clinton did not.
So OF COURSE, both states held their elections when they friggin’ got good and ready, and the fair Ms. Clinton won both. You’d think she’d have won by a landslide, but even though her only competition in Michigan was “uncommitted”, she still didn’t him by that wide a margin. And now (OF COURSE), the Clinton campaign is on the verge of suing everything that moves over seating the delegates that she promised not to pursue in the first place. Oy.
So what can be done? The Clinton campaign has turned this whole issue into one of disenfranchisement, and the voters are agreeing – they want their ‘voices heard’, even though clearly they were somewhere playing penuckle or voting down affirmative action when their legislators were behing closed doors pulling the plug on their ability to participate in their primaries. The Clinton campaign has managed to create such an environment of chaos and calamity that Senator Obama’s calming, hopeful message is being drowned out. And that’s precisely as she wants it.
So what to do then? We can’t seat the delegates as they are now – not fair to Senator Obama. A do-over? Also not fair to Senator Obama. Senator Clinton has skillfully somehow timed the rearing of this issues’ ugly head to coincide with her bounce back and new found momentum, or the big ‘Mo’, as the media has taken to calling it.
Split the delegates down the middle? Seems fair, but this solution would not exactly be the same as giving the voters ‘their voice’, now would it? Thanks to the Governors and legislators of both of these states, any scenario in which this could be resolved will result in bringing down the wrath of half of the Democratic party on someone’s head, be that half the Clinton supporters or the Obama supporters.
But luck you – I know the only fair way to resolve this issue, and I’m going to share it with you now. Feel free to share it with friends and loved ones.
First – we have to admit to ourselves that it’s not the voters’ fault that their legislators pulled a fast one on them. It is the leaders of the states fault however, and that means that the states should have to bear the cost of a do-over, period. They made the bitch move that got us into this mess, they should have to pay. Now I understand that this means that the tax-payers, a.k.a the voters will ultimately pay, but this is an unfortunate price that must be paid for turning a blind eye to what their legislators were doing. So the states foot the bill.
Secondly, and most importantly, the do-over primaries cannot, and must not occur until every single other primary has taken place. I’m talking after Puerto Rico, Guam, and any other outlying US province we can come up with. This is the ONLY way that both candidates can be assured a fair chance of getting their messages out to the voters, without it being unfair to either one. Or at least it will minimize the unfairness.
I see no other way out of this one. Some have called on the candidates themselves to pay for the re-do (LOUD BUZZER NOISE HERE). Hell to the naw. I’ve paid a significant amount of my hard earned money into the Obama campaign, and it wasn’t so that a bunch of bone heads in states where I don’t even have relatives could decide to spend it on a do-over. Since the leaders of these states took the plunge, they should pay up, however they can. Because it is really truly unfair to the voters of these states not to be part of the political process, we must give them that right – but not until the very end of what has turned out to be a long, dreadful process.
So yes – seat the delegates after a do-over funded by the states themselves, and at the VERY end of the primary season. So it is written, so let it be done.