Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Who does the DNC represent?

I'm really confused about these primaries which started in January and are scheduled to end in June.

Howard Dean and Donna Brazile and Nancy Pelosi and the media and the Kossacks & family all insist that the campaign has to stop today for the good of the party.

Now, let's take the media first. They wanted it to be over after the Iowa caucuses. Why? What were they planning to talk about for the 8 months until the conventon? As I've posted before, the networks have practically stopped covering the conventions because they are just free advertising for the parties. This year, a convention might be worth paying attention to. But the media aren't interested. Weird.

But back to the DNC. So they made some rules about when primaries could be held, and the primary purpose of the rules, as far as I can tell, was to keep Iowa and New Hampshire at the head of the pack. Florida and Michigan, primarily because of Republicans, moved their primaries up in defiance of "The Rules".

Ignoring the question about the rules and credentials, etc., what Florida and Michigan were trying to do was to be relevant because, as current DNC commentary goes, the states at the back end of the primary schedule are not supposed to count.

Democrats across the country (and Republicans, too, if McCain had not emerged as the leader) are thus in a no-win situation. If they move their primary dates up front, their votes won't be counted because of "The Rules". If they leave them at the back of the schedule, their votes won't count either: because the nominee will have already been chosen (McCain) or because the Party wants the winner to be selected before the primary season is halfway finished.

This is a classic Catch-22 of course. So it makes me wonder just whom the DNC represents, because it doesn't seem to represent or much care about the preferences of ordinary voting Democrats. Why then even bother with an expensive primary season? The DNC should simply get together in January of the election year and choose the candidate, just like back in those old smoke-filled room days. It is cruel and unusual punishment to, with one hand, give Democrats across the country the right to vote for the candidate of their choice and, with the other hand, take it away because it is divisive.

One last thought: if it were Obama vs. Edwards, would there be all this yak about how Edwards should get out for the good of the Party?

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