FL/MI: I Had a Revelation
by BPK80, Sun Jun 01, 2008 at 08:32:55 AM EDT
I could be totally off-base with this assertion, but I had a jolt of party-based optimisim as I had my coffee this morning.
It's no secret that the RBC decision to halve the delegations from Michigan and Florida and to fabricate imaginary delegate spreads for Michigan isn't sitting well with Sen. Clinton's supporters. To us, the RBC is the breathing reincarnate of the 2000 Supreme Court, filled with shrill uncompromising partisans (Scalia/Brazile) and vigorous dissent (Stevens/Ickes). By association, the blame is also being squarely spread among the DNC, the party at large, and Barack Obama.
It's not a smart move, politically. We all know Obama has a current lead in pledged delegates that would not be severely compromised by seating those states fully, or by acquiescing to the 73/55 Michigan delegate spread (rather than the much more controversial 69/59, a net of 4 delegates).
At a time where disunity is reaching a boiling point (see exit polls from Pennsylvania, Indiana, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Kentucky), an appearance of impropriety is the last thing the party needs in its implicit determination to appoint Barack Obama our nominee. Given that the same result could just as easily be achieved by fully seating Michigan and Florida, why would the party opt for a non-results changing but utterly more divisive solution?
This is when I started thinking.
It was just way too dumb empirically.
I think the party is setting the stage for Obama to break from the RBC and personally move to seat Michigan and Florida fully. He will wait until the last primaries conclude and he accrues an insurmountable delegate lead. The RBC right now absorbs the blame for being a draconian undemocratic rules-authoritarian machine, and by appealing to the humanity in all Democrats, Obama has an opportunity to reframe the conjugation by separating himself from that machine. He would be the hero; the RBC would be the villain.
Although wonkish attendants to detail like myself would still be disturbed with the mechanisms he used to defeat Hillary, the greater PR impact for non-rules hacks would not only erase the damage this ruling has done to the Dem electorate, but it might even net him some approval. It would also remove any taint of illegitimacy the 49 state strategy (48 + 1/2 + 1/2) casts on the nomination process.
I don't condone Obama's tacit (and in some cases express) opposition to the Florida and Michigan elections. I don't care for his character or his repeated shunnings of the gay press and GLBT community.
But if this is the desired outcome (framing the nominee as the hero rather than a complicit culprit), it would at least restore some of my faith in the party's leadership, which based on the RBC ruling, demonstrates an F in political savvy. This is especially true given that John McCain intends to seat his party's Michigan and Florida delegations 100%, a factoid I'm sure he wouldn't hesitate to remind voters in both states if we don't follow suit.
And the more I thought about Obama moving to seat Michigan and Florida (well after he reaped the advantages of their exclusion), the more I realized I'd be much more open to voting for him if he would make efforts like these that shows he cares about my vote. Burying a head in the sand and saying "Oh I don't believe Clinton supporters who say they're disaffected; they'll come around" isn't going to cut it.
Am I being overly optimistic or is this RBC coup just an indicator of more rules-authoritarian backstabbing yet to come?
Thanks for reading.