I dunno about you people, but I’m getting a bit tired of all the whining and wailing about the Florida and Michigan Democratic primaries.
“Our votes should count!” “We’re being disenfranchised!” “We want to have our say!”
Folks, the time to bitch was before you voted.
The Democratic National Committee set its schedule — as is its right — for the primaries. The state parties all had their chances to argue before it was set, and even after. You folks are represented by those state parties, and they are the ones who decided to ignore the rules and play “chicken” with the DNC.
Guess what? They didn’t blink. They said, up front, what the price would be if you didn’t play by their rules. And the penalty was “your votes don’t count, because you didn’t agree with the rules beforehand.”
You got a problem with that? Take it up with those who decided to ignore the rules — your own state parties.
Both Clinton and Obama agreed — in writing — to not participate in either of your primaries, in accordance with the DNC. Clinton, naturally, didn’t keep her word, but that’s only to be expected from her. Obama did, naturally, because he’s a newcomer and didn’t realize that rules don’t matter to Clintons when it means they might lose.
The arguments being made now for counting the results anyway and seating the delegates — or holding a “do-over” — all boil down to a few points:
“We didn’t know the process would still be going on this late!”
“We didn’t know our votes would make such a difference!”
“We thought the DNC would wimp out!”
(OK, on that last one they might have a point. Democrats tend not to be overly resolute when faced with tough decisions, as well as having problems with making rules and keeping them, so it’s almost understandable that people would be caught off-guard when they do find their backbone.)
“We’re Americans, and we want our vote to count!”
What so many people fail to understand is that this is NOT a public election. It is a private process, the wholly-owned enterprise of the Democratic National Committee. They grant the state parties some leeway in running the elections, but reserve the right to set certain rules — and enforce them. Scheduling is one of them, and they said that Florida and Michigan would have to wait their turn, or else.
This is the “or else.”
The most disgusting (but least surprising) part of this is the role Hillary Clinton is playing. She cheerfully signed on to the DNC’s conditions, agreeing to not campaign in either state. But she “allowed” her name to be placed on the ballot (unlike Obama, who foolishly thought that the rules applied to everyone) and made at least one “non-campaign” visit to Florida. So she wants credit for the votes she received — after signing an agreement to not do so.
In the end, it’ll be up to the DNC and the Democratic parties of Florida and Michigan to settle the matter. But right now, the status quo is that “your votes don’t count — just like we warned you long before you voted.”
This reminds me SO much of listening to my friends who have children. The Democrats in Florida and Michigan could teach those kids lessons in whining to get what you want.