Fix FL and MI Now

I’d like to point out that all of this would be a moot point if Barack Obama didn’t thwart revotes in both FL and MI.

For some reason, it’s hard for some on the left to understand what ticks me off about FL and MI and why, if the voters from those states are ignored, I will have a hard time maintaining allegiance to the Party I have worked so hard for over the last several years. I’ve helped in local races, House and Senate races, statewide races and even presidential campaigns. I support Democrats for their commitment to equality, justice and basic decency (you know, like helping sick children). But I’m an old sentimentalist and actually believe in the fundamental principles of democracy. Disenfranchising the voters of FL and MI goes directly against those principles. So much so that the Democratic Party will have a hard time counting on my support. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are only candidates. Democracy is a principle I believe in more than either candidate.

FL and MI should count. I’ll go even further and say they should be counted before the Pennsylvania primary, or at least a solution should happen before then. Now many people will say that “rules are rules”. But as I saw in a comment section somewhere, this isn’t a game of Chutes and Ladders! Here’s what the “rules are rules” people are willing to do: Disenfranchise voters. Did FL and MI “break the rules” (just like IA, NH, NV, and SC)? Sure. Was it the voters of the state that broke these arbitrary rules? No. It is fundamentally unjust to disenfranchise voters for something that their legislators and leaders did. When we can start making rules–however clever they may seem–that result in the disenfranchisement of innocent voters, something is rotten in the DNC. Rules have consequences and the consequences of the current situation is a deliberate disenfranchisement of innocent voters. No matter how you spin this, that is what will happen and you can cut the euphemisms.

Why should a solution to FL and MI happen before Pennsylvania? Simple. Many Obama supporters are willing to seat MI and FL if Hillary would just drop out. In other words, they should count the votes only if they are meaningless votes. That’s the same as disenfranchisement no matter how big a thrill that idea sends up your leg. If the uncertainty of FL and MI in anyway cause Superdelegates to decide one way or another before the process is finished, it will delegitimize the entire process. After PA there will be calls from both sides for the other candidate to drop out and the uncertainty of FL and MI may push people one way or another and that is wrong and will taint the eventual winner. That can only be avoided by having a solution before the PA primary.

Let me be clear: The disenfranchisement of FL and MI is about more than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. It is about the soul of the Democratic Party. If Democrats are willing to write rules that result in the disenfranchisement of voters, then I want no part of it. If Democrats are only willing to count votes if they are meaningless, then I want no part of it. I don’t understand why there is even any controversy about letting people vote and have it count?

I think I miss the old Howard Dean. The one that would have said something along the lines of, “What I want to know is when the Democratic Party started picking and choosing which votes should count”.

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11 Responses to Fix FL and MI Now

  1. CognitiveDissonance says:

    Beautiful post, Gilbert. I agree wholeheartedly. This IS about the soul of the democratic party. So many of us have been horrified at the direction our government has taken in the past 8 years. We are tired of the cheating and cronyism and blatant disregard of the law. We are tired of imperialism and war. We are tired of the Constitution being ignored and our rights abridged. We are tired of the man who brought this upon us, not in the least because his election was not legitimate in our eyes. The only thing that has kept some of us going was the belief that our party was different, and that this year we would finally be able to turn it around. That is why I have so much horror at the prospect of the Democratic Party embracing the same undemocratic tactics as the opposition. If we aren’t better than them, then we have truly lost our heart and our soul.

  2. Janis says:

    This is a big part of why I’ve just gotten so sick that I’m NOT willing to be a team player anymore.

    W and the Republicans disenfranchised one state — and they’re totally Eevihl and mad and nasty and wrong and die-die-die.

    Obama does it or strongly advocates for it, and … he’s somehow different?

    The Republican-controlled media tears into any Democrat the minute they open their mouths, blatantly biased. They suddenly become equally evilly biased in favor of Obama and… that’s different?

    I’m waiting for him to get in and pull back in Iraq only to attack Afghanistan (I’ll bet a steak dinner on this one with anyone, but as I’m not really eating meat anymore, I’ll just take a nice bottle of red wine). Again, that will be okay, because … it just will.

    It’s not evil if the Democrats do it.

    That’s why I’m not buying the “we’re more similar than either of us is to John McCain. No you aren’t.. Between Clinton, McCain, and Obama, TWO of you are in favor of lying with impunity, dangling the media, and disenfranchising voters. ONE isn’t. That matters, damn it!

  3. Darrell Prows says:

    On the one hand, I agree wholeheartedly that the voice of the people must be heard, and their will allowed to prevail.

    On the other hand I simply won’t say that the “wrong” outcome will drive me to the sidelines. A box of rocks in the Whitehouse would be better than what we’ve had, and there is no way in hell that McCain will ever rise to even that level.

  4. Janis says:

    “Wrong” doesn’t belong in quotes. Again, that word matters.

  5. Janis

    FYI – We are already in Afghanistan and for all intents and purposes we have more business being there than Iraq. After, initially we went after Osama in Laden (and Al Quaeda) in Afghanistan.

    And yes, fundamentally Clinton and Obama are more alike, in fact their voting records are nearly identical, since Obama has been in the Senate. McCain is more akin to Bush.

  6. Janis says:

    Pamela: I’m looking beyond just the two individuals to the whole structure of their party and the process that puts them in place. This isn’t just two disconnected individuals taken out of the context of that process that I’m considering.

    Darrell: I guess what I’m saying is that if you say, “I think that’s wrong but I’ll go along with the process anyhow,” particularly if the wrong if egregious (and it sure was when every liberal and Democrat in the country was moaning like crazy in early 2001), they you are by definition already putting yourself on the sidelines. “I consider it evil but will not interfere.” In this case, participating IS playing along (noninterference).

  7. Bridgette says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more Gilbert. I am so disheartened by the lack of sensible reasoning by the Dem leaders. This party isn’t supposed to be about the elite. I thought this party was about supporting the average working American. I thought this party was about supporting everyone and letting everyone have an equal say. How can that be when it is this party, the Dems, who are willing to leave millions of people out of the election?

    These are tough times for every American. There is a lot at stake and every American deserves to have a say in how things are corrected and how we turn this country around. What is happening is undemocratic. It is not what I believe in and it is certainly not what my party used to stand for.

    Splitting delegates 50/50 or seating them after a nominee is chosen is still not giving these people a say. Rules, whatever, it’s just wrong. Anyone that is willing to stand in the way of these people’s voices does not deserve to become President of this country.

  8. Janis

    I’m of the frame of mind that we will fix more of the messed up process if we have a Dem in the White House and gain more Dem seats in Congress this year.

  9. Even just since waking up this morning I’ve seen two graphs that help explain why it matters far more than some will ever admit which party takes the Presidency. I glanced at my curerent copy of Business Week magazine and saw that the growth rate of our economy was higher in the ninties than in either the eighties or this decade. Secondly, our local paper has a story on the price of jet fuel with a graph showing the ninties as a trough on this parameter.

    More prosperity and lower cost of living is a combination that ought to be attaractive to every thinking voter.

  10. Peace Out For Unity says:

    How about the soul of America and the First Amendment ! Count the votes or re-do it !

  11. Woody says:

    You are only half right. We can’t just count the original votes in FL and MI because they were cast in a contest that was meaningless as agreed to last year by the DNC and each presidential campaign. As a result of that agreement, some people did not vote, some voted in the other party’s primary, and others were forced to choose from an incomplete list of candidates.

    It’s unfortunate, and we can complain about it till the cows come home, but changing the rules now can’t make tainted FL and MI votes fair. It is NOT disenfranchisement to discount an unfair vote!

    If FL and MI are to participate this nomination process, they must re-vote or accept a negotiated solution. The political leaders of those states must figure out a way to fix the problem they knowingly created.