Sunday, August 03, 2008

Screw Michigan AND Florida

I'd really like to see the DNC ignore this plea from Obama and tell Michigan and Florida they'll get their half votes or no votes at all.

I liked Howard Dean as a candidate, but he needs to start asserting his authoritay or this jockeying for primary position is going to get out of hand. It will get out of hand and we'll be lucky to live through it.

There was really no good reason to give the delegates from those states even half votes, except that it was necessary to accelerate the official end of the primaries. Now that the party has its nominee, it's going to give total absolution? But why? It's very hard to believe the almost purely symbolic issue of delegate seating is going to weigh heavily in either state in the general.

Of course Obama's going to ask for you to seat them. But how about showing some institutional integrity? It's just a thought, but I can't see how it helps the Democratic brand to have the national party get disrespected like a substitute teacher.

Deciding what to do with the state primary calendar, including maybe just getting rid of it and having a national primary, cries out for some kind of national decision making entity. A committee perhaps. Like a Democratic National Committee. And the rules could be such that if you had a state primary when you weren't supposed to, you were SOL no matter what the eventual nominee had to say about it.

Plus, it might be a benefit for Obama politically to not get his way here. I'm all for Team Obama merging with/acquiring the Democratic Party for the purposes of the campaign, but it might be helpful to throw a contrary data point in the Stalinist-rise-to-power narrative.

If it would really hurt his November turnout in either state, I would feel differently, but I think Florida's and Michigan's Democrats will have more than enough time after the convention to get over it. And they'll have learned what it means to disrespect Howard Dean.

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