Saturday, May 31, 2008

Time to Settle It, Once and For All

As the Democrat National Committee meets to discuss what is to be done with the Michigan and Florida delegates, it's worth noting a few things.
  • First, it is beyond dispute that both states scheduled their primaries before party rules said they could -- and apparently with both states' party leaderships' knowledge of the probability of severe ramifications if the rule was violated.

    You may not agree with the rule, but it is a rule. I'm sorry for the voters in Michigan and Florida. They did their part -- they participated. It isn't their fault that their states jumped the gun in scheduling the primaries.

  • Second, it also appears to be likely that this is going to settle things in the race for this year's nomination -- possibly before the primaries on Tuesday.

    I'm sorry if it turns out that a ruling on the Michigan and Florida delegations minimizes the importance of those final primaries -- but on the positive side, almost every state got to take part in a genuine debate over the Democratic nomination this year. That's a victory for democracy.

  • Third, we'll probably hear talk about "electability" from both the Hillary Clinton and the Barack Obama camps during this committee conference. That's important, but it shouldn't be the deciding factor in a decision about a rules violation.

    And supporters of neither candidate should threaten to punish the other by staying home on Election Day if their candidate doesn't win the nomination. Participation by all groups in this year's primaries has been admirable, but it's only half the battle. You have to vote in November if you want to help make your candidate(s) president, senator, congressman or governor.

    The only clear preference being indicated by any group of voters seems to be coming from Democrats themselves -- polls now show more than 50% of Democrats prefer Obama for the nomination and he has a double-digit lead in most surveys.

    But national polls show both Democrats leading John McCain among all likely voters by margins that are within the margin for error -- numbers that will fluctuate during the summer as running mates are named and conventions are held.

    Apparently, neither Clinton nor Obama can legitimately claim to have an advantage over the other against McCain -- at this stage.

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