Thursday, February 14, 2008


No matter how attractive it is, uttering "And so it begins" is hardly ever warranted. Take Hillary Clinton for example: its hard to say her campaign's dismissal of party rules from running in Michigan and Florida to the recent run on the superdelegates is a strategy wholly unforeseen. But it would be nice just for once to not be prescient:

Mrs. Clinton’s aides said they would also argue to superdelegates that they should give less deference to a lead from Mr. Obama because much of that had been built up in states where there were caucuses, which tend to attract far fewer voters than primaries, where Mrs. Clinton has tended to do better than she has done in caucuses.

I think for superdelegates, the quality of where the win comes from should matter in terms of making a judgment about who might be the best general election candidate,” said Mark Penn, Mrs. Clinton’s senior campaign adviser.

Unfortunately, Senator Clinton's campaign aides are right; the democratic races in caucus states, even in this heated political season, are attended far less than those in primary states, and even more frustrating, often these races are thrice removed from the popular vote. In Washington, for example, the caucus on Feb. 9th only served to elect delegates to a district caucus held on May 17th at which point the actual Convention delegates are elected. This sort of tiered voting is a far cry from true popular vote democracy, and therefore lowers the quality of the results, which is a hard pill to swallow. However, as you can see in the table in my previous post below, Obama cleaned up in recent primary races, races run in true democratic fashion (as true as could be hoped at this stage at least).

The other tough pill that her campaign is selling is the question of the Michigan and Florida primaries, both of which Clinton won by ignoring the party's ban on campaigning in each state by doing just that (and by keeping her name on the ballot in Michigan). Michigan is a red herring, for she was the only popular candidate on the ballot, and a choice of one, practically -- Mike Gravel et. al really don't count, is a non choice: if you can only vote Hussein, he'll win. But, Florida is unfortunately not. Any argument for democracy must be based on widespread voter enfranchisement, to argue that Florida can not count because they at the state level broke arbitrary rules is disingenuous to the whole democratic experiment. This is a completely infruriating conclusion. In the end, it will come down to, in a framed debate, a matter of allowing votes from neither or both states, and the argument on those terms is over before it started.


kirkunit said...
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kirkunit said...

Yeesh. This whole business is like Alien Vs Predator. Whoever wins, we lose.

The marketing team selling the Hillary toothpaste is getting stranger and stranger. I don't understand why they're volunteering such damning details about their plans. It's as if they're doing the Obama toothpaste team's work for them. Have we come so far into the realm of fictional democracy that it's become science fiction? Will the next president announce in advance that he's going to lie repeatedly to build up a case for aggressive war, and then do it?

I hope Obama wins. His marketing message is especially pleasing, aesthetically. It will be like 8 years of (global war and) Apple commercials.