Friday, March 07, 2008

The Audacity Of Dopes: Florida and Michigan

Yesterday, I argued that there is a fallacy to the thinking that the prolonged Democratic Primary process represents an opportunity to keep getting their message out there. I think that's wrong, for many reasons, mainly owing to the fact that the media wants to report on process, which will leave little room for the Democratic "message." Neither candidate is going anywhere soon, but I believe there are some things that the Dems still have control over and can resolve quickly so that some of the process stories can get put to bed.

For this reason, I'm disappointed that the Party has not resolved the matter of Florida and Michigan. The best option they have is to seat those delegates, perhaps by revoting. The Dems can't afford too many more days of media figures asking about it, and allowing the revote will eliminate any need for continued conversation as to whether democratic principles mandate that these voters have a voice.

Look, I can appreciate that rules were made in advance and that everyone was aware of them. I can respect Governor Dean for sticking up for principles. But this is one of those instances where taking the high road doesn't lead you anywhere. The Dems will win no medals, receive no political capital, and secure no public good by standing up for obscure intra-party regulations. If Dean wants to take the state party leaders in those two states out to the woodshed and beat them up, then, by all means, lower the boom and dole out some punishment. But, clearly, the best option they have is to seat those delegations.


Thehairyape said...

I couldn't disagree more. What would embolden the stereotype of soft-skinned, weak Democrats than the party not even following it's own rules. Not to mention, Clinton broke those rules by participating in the primaries. The only viable option to including the delegations of wither state is to have a new primary - which I would welcome, hey bring back Edwards, the Kush, Dodd/Biden, the Latino Gov, and Crazy Alaska for it too. Ok, maybe not. But the point is, not just the states broke the rules, one candidate did as well - that alone should cause the disqualification of the results.

KCinDC said...

I don't think a simple revote is enough. Hell, a revote at this point rewards them for breaking the rules, by making their primaries even more significant than they would have been if the earlier primaries had counted.

If there's going to be a revote, the number of delegates should be halved. That was the base punishment that was raised to losing all delegates. Letting Florida and Michigan off scot-free will only lead to more chaos next time, since states will have zero incentive to abide by DNC rules (admittedly the rush to the front of the line may be calmed by the way this primary battle was prolonged).

al-urdun said...

If the delegates are to be seated in some capacity, there has to be some kind of revote. It's not like FL and MI didn't know what they were getting into.

This article brings up the possibility of a revote by mail, which, were it to bring costs down, would be a great idea. One question: does Carl Levin not know that Oregon does all of its voting by mail? Works fine here. Maybe he just does not have faith in his own state (or more likely, Florida)...