Friday, May 30, 2008

When Did Rules Get so Sexy?

Tomorrow is an important day for a lot of ardent Hillary-supporters (I'll decline coming up with a tacky nickname for them like they've done for Obama supporters which is really demeaning). Tomorrow is the day the Democractic National Convention Rules committee meets. On the agenda is the Florida/Michigan situation.

Some Hillary supporters from around the country are planning on holding a protest outside the meeting. It's the most attention a rules committee has received in the history of rules committees. Robert's Rules of Order doesn't consider a situation like this.

So it got me thinking: what is it that they hope to achieve? Do they really think there's a shot in hell?

Apparently they do. And so many of them are wrapped up in feeling salty about the sexism that has faced Hillary's campaign that they've neglected anything else--including the fact that Hillary herself supported stripping Michigan and Florida of its delegates when she was the frontrunner. Now that she's the self-proclaimed underdog (and more accurately the bad penny that just won't go away) she's favoring the seating of those delegations. I can only ask those Hillary supporters planning to march--if Obama or Edwards or any other Democractic candidate were in this position, would you be marching on the Rules committee? And if the answer is anything but a vehement "of course not!" then you're lying to yourselves.

The fact is that it doesn't matter if Saturday's meeting ends with them deciding to seat Michigan and Florida in favor of Hillary. It's almost a moot point. The fact is that for months now, Hillary's campaign staffers and insiders have known that she has no chance. This has been an exercise in futility the purpose of which I'm still searching for.

There are two realities that need to be faced in this situation:
1. Hillary's support for the seating of these two states' delegates rings hollow seeing as she strongly supported their initial disenfranchisement and agreed not to campaign in those states, only leaving her name on the ballots for reasons unknown (symbolic maybe, financial also probably).
2. Hillary's "victories" in Michigan and in Florida are flawed...they aren't true victories. When you tell people that if you cast a Democractic primary vote it won't count, there are many Democrats (present company included) who would rather bite the bullet and vote Republican to screw with them. So even though Hillary won those states, they weren't true wins because many of the potential voters were effectively disenfranchised (and disillusioned) from the start.

What's fair? I support some sort of compromise. What's probably the ultimate mark of fairness is holding everything as it is and not allowing those delegations to be seated. I mean, those were the rules and it wasn't a miscalculation or ambiguity that led to this situation--it was a calculated decision, knowing the consequences full-well, in order to gain greater ground in the 2012 primaries. BUT, I realize that there is a desire to seat these delegates one way or another. So I think a 50/50 split amongst the remaining candidates is the only fair thing to do--it makes it even without disenfranchising two entire states (important ones at that) from the process. (For the record, I'd support the slightly skewed compromise as well, though I don't think it's as fair.)

But why are these Hillary people so rabidly anti-compromise? I have yet to hear a good argument to support her desire to have all of the Michigan and Florida delegates seated in her behalf. Fairness certainly isn't one since she knew the rules and supported them until she happened to be on the wrong side of them. So what is the real support for this argument? That the popular vote should count? Not only is this an argument that falls into the category of "how convenient" but it only is true if you give Clinton complete victories in Florida and Michigan and take away Obama's caucus victories...something which makes absolutely no sense.

Please, enlighten me. Because right now, I just see rules that should be applied when the rule breakers knew the consequences. Can I admit that I'd probably be pissed if the candidates' roles were reversed? Sure. But at this point, it's time to move on and heal the party and work towards beating McCain. Those people who don't care about that goal and only care about getting some light shone on the sexism in this campaign, though a laudable goal, are really only shortchanging themselves in the end.

Sadly, some of them are still too salty to get it.



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