Saturday, May 31, 2008

DNC subverts democracy

The Democratic party's rules and bylaws committee has just finished voting on what to do with Florida and Michigan. The result:

Florida's pledged delegates will be seated as they were chosen by the people, but each will only be given one half of a vote.

Michigan's pledged delegates will be seated as they were arbitrarily chosen by the state's Democratic party, with each given one half of a vote.

Both state's superdelegates have also been reinstated, with each given one half of a vote - despite the fact that many of them were the ones responsible for breaking the rules and jeopardizing the impact of their voters. But there is a bigger issue in the decision.

The result for Florida's pledged delegates makes perfect sense, as a compromise between the rules and the will of the people.

But the result for Michigan is a tremendous affront on democracy itself. Barack Obama did not have to take his name off of the ballot in Michigan, and once he chose to do so he completely forfeited any vote he could otherwise have gotten. 600,000 voters went to the polls, and they, by the very most fundamental rules of the Democratic party, are the only people with the power to allocate pledged delegates. This arbitrary decision of who gets how many, therefore, violates not only democracy in concept, but also the very rules supporters of the motion were supposedly seeking to uphold.

I don't think I have ever been this disappointed in the Democratic party. If, in this party, 30 people are allowed to impose an arbitrary allocation of pledged delegates and subvert the official will of 600 thousand voters, then I'm not sure I want to be involved with it. I think I'll register Independent.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Race That Never Ends

The race for the 2008 Democratic nomination for president has been going on for nearly a year and a half. When it began, I was 16. I'm turning 18 next month.

For most of that time, up until he exited the race, I was a Dennis Kucinich supporter (with the exception of a week or so when Ron Paul seemed to me to be the best - what was I thinking?). Since Kucinich dropped out, along with Edwards, I've been a Hillary Clinton supporter. I've always thought - and continue to think - that Clinton is a better candidate than Barack Obama. And I have serious issues with the concept of Obama being the Democratic nominee. He's a hypocrite - calling for a "new kind of politics" with one breath and attacking Clinton and McCain with the next, calling for an end to partisan bickering one day and casting another party-conformant vote in the Senate the next. He's too inexperienced to deal with the Republican election machine. He's too susceptible to attacks against which no defense is really adequate. If he makes it to office, he has promised to completely transform the political system in Washington, something that has never been done and probably can never be done, potentially crippling his hopes for a second term.

But I'm really only clinging to Clinton as the lesser of two evils. Indeed, since Kucinich dropped out, I haven't had very high hopes for things to truly change when the next president takes office. I simply think more things that need to change would change under Clinton than Obama, because at least she has the political skill and experience necessary to push through the things that she does intend to change.

The point here, though, is that since I'm only supporting Clinton as a sort of plan B for what I really wanted, I am prepared to support Obama as a plan C if things become truly hopeless for Clinton.

And while it did become quite a bit more hopeless for Clinton two nights ago in North Carolina and Indiana, I still don't think the race is over. Clinton will probably win West Virginia and Kentucky, but what I'm really waiting for is the Democratic Rules Committee meeting later this month to discuss Michigan and Florida. I think there's a very good case for simply counting the votes as they were cast on the days of those primaries; and if that happens, Clinton has good reason to fight out the rest of the race. If, however, the Rules Committee decides otherwise, the race will, in my eyes, be over; and at that point Clinton ought to drop out for the sake of unifying the party.

After all, even if I can't get the candidate I wanted (Kucinich), it would be nice to at least get a Democrat. That's what's most important to me now - even if it means voting for the ridiculously flawed Barack Obama in November.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I'm done!!!!

Earlier today, I checked out of high school, and got my cap and gown for graduation next week.

As of several hours ago, I am no longer a high school student.

This means I'll be able to write more. Tomorrow, for instance: I've finally found something worth writing a review for, and I will do so; and I will post my thoughts on the state of the Democratic primary race I've been following so closely.