Saturday, May 31, 2008

"Lipstick on a Pig" and the Democratic Process

Democrats agreed to compromise on the Florida and Michigan delegates.

Tidbit from the AP article:

Alice Huffman, a Clinton supporter on the committee, explained that the compromise giving delegates half votes was the next best thing to full seating.

"We will leave here more united than we came," she said.

Some audience members heckled her in response. "Lipstick on a pig!" one shouted.

I listened to most of the committee meeting on C-SPAN. Which also meant I had the pleasure of listening to an hour or so of telephone callers berate, condone and debate the proceedings.

I'm not against boisterous proceedings. Ever since the legislative process was first conceived, the Senate floor has been a place where punches were thrown and pistols were fired. And that was when it was only elite men. So a certain level of noise and chaos is to be expected and can be taken as a good sign.

But this is the kind of sentiment late-in-the-primary-season Clinton is inspiring? It is true that Obama has the luxury, according to his numbers, of being gracious. So he gets to appear the cool cucumber and his supporters in the meeting can promote compromise. And I have no idea what kind of a fool I'm going to be if Obama doesn't clinch the nomination since he does have the majority. Bu it makes me more than a little nervous. I wonder how much of this energy has been fed by Hillary's racialized behavior? Or was it latent anger that she didn't contribute to but is guilty of tapping into in order to get the nomination? Why do Clinton supporters demand that every person should have a vote and in the same breath condemn the Democratic National Committee for considering the Michigan proposal which accounted for the wishes of all the voters in the state by splitting delegates between both candidates according to exit polls?

Ladies and gents: You can't have it both ways! Correction: You aren't entitled to have it both ways.

If you're argument is that the nation was built off of one person, one vote, then celebrate the decision of 50/half that was made. Florida and Michigan played with the rules, but this is an extraordinary contest, and so it is only right that these states play a role. And the fact is we will never know if a normal primary may have given either candidante (or any of the three candidates, once upon a time) more delegates or fewer. Especially when Obama and Edwards weren't even on the Michigan ticket. And we can assume that just like every other state in the country, the support would probably have been split in some fashion. Best way to respect that and give each state a say is a 50/half divide--50% of the delegates to both candidates.

If you say you are in favor of party unity, then celebrate the compromise that was possible when superdelegates from all three camps (Clinton, Obama and Uncommitted) came together. A compromise that occured even though the two states broke established rules. Again, an extraordinary contest means extraordinary decisions must be made. Best way to do so while also setting a precedent for the future is to only give those delegates half a vote. [Note: This does not consider the politics of why the two states broke the rules, primary politics that I find interesting and compelling but are too complicated to go into here.]

50/half. You get everything you want and need according to the claims you've made.

Instead we get "Lipstick on a Pig"?

Since a picture says a thousand words, here is a reuse one of my favorite images for an explanation of why this type of attitude gives me serious, serious pause:

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