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Friday, January 18, 2008

Discrimination, Disenfranchisement, and the Democratic Party:

I abandon the biting sarcasm of my previous post, and choose instead to use brutal, unforgiving honesty. This topic has bothered me for a long time, and I've wondered how to properly broach the issue. Finally, I decided to do what I do best on this blog: Piss people off and damn the consequences. Specifically, I'm taking a very hard line regarding the Democratic Party's decision to strip Florida and Michigan of all of their delegates, while choosing not to punish Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Nevada. I find it very odd that a party whose former Presidential candidate famously said, "Ignoring votes means ignoring democracy itself. And if we ignore the votes of thousands in Florida in this election, how can you or any American have confidence that your votes will not be ignored in a future election? That is all we have asked since Election Day. A complete count of all the votes cast in Florida," has chosen to ignore the votes of every last person in two major states. That's not entirely true. I don't find it odd; I find it amazingly and disgustingly, yet unsurprisingly, hypocritical. By contrast, the Republican Party merely halved the delegates from Wyoming, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Florida. It's truly a sad day when the Republican Party is the sole example of fairness and respect for the right of every person to vote. If the Democratic Party wanted to punish the various state parties for their choice to ignore their edicts, that's fine, and is their right. However, to do so in such a draconian manner is unconscionable.

Let us dissect exactly how many registered voters were disenfranchised by the DNC. I'm going to cheat more than a bit, and use the number of people who voted for Kerry in the 2004 election from each state. According to Wikipedia, that leads to a total of 3,583,544 disenfranchised voters in Florida, and according to the state of Michigan's web portal, 2,479,183 disenfranchised voters in Michigan. By contrast, Bush and his allies are accused of disenfranchising a few thousand voters, an assertion that has yet to be proven conclusively all these years later. Compared to this year's Democratic Party National Committee, Bush is just a piker.

While I know good people who are Democrats, and while I happen to support a Democratic Party candidate for president, I must take issue with a party's leadership who has chosen to deny over 6 MILLION people the right to vote over an internal squabble. I suppose their reasoning was much like that of Josef Stalin when he infamously said, "A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." But at least they're fair about their policy of disenfranchising voters, except they're really not. Why these two states, and not Iowa, or New Hampshire, or Nevada, or South Carolina? One might even consider this a form of censorship from a party that claims to be devoted to the right of every voice to be heard. I guess that's only as long as it doesn't upset their party leadership too much. For the record, I don't blame Edwards or Obama, or even the lesser candidates on their ticket. Had they not toed the party line, they may have faced sanctions from the Democratic Party leadership, and as we've seen, they're not exactly ones for subtlety or restraint. No, I blame Hilary Clinton, who despite being the only major name on the Michigan ticket, in violation of the spirit of the DNC's fatwa against Michigan's primary, only edged out a win over "uncommitted" by 15%. She was the only major name on the ticket, and "uncommitted" got 40% of the vote to her 55%. That's fucked up. And then, her proxies in Nevada sued to further disenfranchise other voters, a suit that was rightfully eviscerated by the judge. Ah, nothing quite like the smell of hypocrisy in the air. Smells an awful lot like BULLSHIT to me.

Enjoy the music.


Lizzy said...

Wow, I don't know why I hadn't thought about that before, but you're right.

Just another bonehead move by the Dems...and that's hard to say, considering I'm one of them.

1138 said...

A bonehead move by the state paty not the national, and it's the least of the dumb things the democrats have done of late.