Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Change the rules; I'm losing

Jonathan Alter, in last week's Newsweek, posted an article titled "Popular Vote Poison: How Hillary's latest math hurts the party." Alter explains the problems with Hillary's popular vote argument (counting Florida and Michigan, excluding caucus state voters, counting Puerto Rico), and points out that, since the party chooses its nominee by delegate count, this argument is at best specious and at worst - as when the Clintons use it to evoke the 2000 presidential election, or Zimbabwe, or the pre-Voting Act days - a terribly divisive way to push one's personal ambition at the expense of the party and the people it represents.

The Bobby Kennedy thing aside, and forgetting the "working people, white people" comment, and the suggestion that McCain would make a better president than Obama (and Geraldine Ferraro's blatant racism) - putting that all aside - this argument about the legitimacy of the nomination process is extremely irresponsible and destructive.

When this is over, I hope the Democrats make some changes in the process. There should be fewer superdelegates (not more than 10% of the total), and they should commit themselves the same day as their state holds its primary. The allocation of delegates should be proportional at the state - not district - level. The states should be free to schedule their primaries and caucuses - between February 1 and April 30. States that can't fit in that window should have no expectation of participating in the process.

And candidates should pledge at the outset that the rules once adopted will be regarded as legitimate and will not be described as otherwise in public statements, no matter how badly they feel about losing.

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posted at 2:01:00 PM by Neil

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