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”.