Let there be no mistake. The only reason why Michigan and Florida are now back in play and causing such heartburn is because the junior Senator from New York, one Hillary Clinton wants to change the rules. There is nothing democratic about this process we are all enduring at this moment. This is not about ensuring that the voters' voices are heard. This is, pure and simple, about breaking the rules (again) in an attempt to change the result.
I remember receiving an email from Hillary Clinton's campaign after the Florida primary back in January, celebrating her "resounding victory" there, and thinking to myself, "what is she on?" Why is she trying to pull the wool over her supporters' eyes? She didn't win in Florida. There was no contest there. And the pundits of the world agreed with me. I distinctly remember John King on CNN absolutely shutting down the possibility that either Florida or Michigan could or would count. As far as I remember he said it was a mute point. John King. He knows what he's talking about. I felt comforted. I also remember having a discussion with a friend about Florida and Michigan back in early February. He was convinced that Hillary would pull some kind of shenanigans and I shut him down, too. "No way," I said, "no way." "Not possible!" "That's idiotic!" Thems were the rules. It was all very clear. Michigan and Florida broke the rules and that was that was that.
Boy, was I ever wrong. I guess I was operating on the (naïve) assumption that those rules would be followed, that clear, logical thought would rule the day. But I was the idiot. The Democratic Party is not operating in a logical world, in a logical way, in a logical fashion. The Democratic Party is kow-towing to the Clintons.
If Howard Dean had any spine at all he would have cracked his whip a long time ago (maybe not the best analogy this week but hey!), and said "no!" Both state parties went in to this with their eyes open. They both knew that they were breaking the rules and chose to break them anyway. It is a bit late now, in hindsight, to cry foul. That is what Howard Dean could have said. And he could have gone on to say something like this: what Hillary and her supporters are trying to do now is akin to going to the ref after the third quarter of a football game and insisting that you get to play the second quarter over because you discovered, in the third quarter, that the opposing team's star player, was, well, better than you expected, and you want to change your tactics. Or, another one, changing the three strikes you're out rule to four strikes in a baseball game at the bottom of the ninth inning with the bases loaded. It's not fair, it's not right, it's not how the game should be played. (I'm not the best sports analogist you will ever find - if you have a better one, please, feel free).
Add to this the news that Puerto Rico is now moving to change it's caucus to a primary because, according to the Clinton supporting Democratic Chair there, the race is so "competitive" and you've got to wonder, should we be calling in the international election monitors? Is this a bastion of Democracy where apparently the rules can change depending on whether or not the Democratic Establishment likes the results?
And that in itself bares the question: How much does the Democratic Establishment want to have Barack Obama in the White House? I've heard him speak ... we all have ... and we know that when he talks about Washington he describes it as a place where "good ideas go to die," a bureaucratic hell hole, where cronyism is rife, where divisive politics is politics as usual, where lobbyists rule the roost and nothing gets done. These are hard truths. These are truths that much of the political establishment does not want to hear from a young idealist from Illinois. They would rather resist his message of change. Who does he think he is, coming in like this, disrupting the status quo? "Stop him now!" they cry. And they are trying in every way they can. Breaking the rules, changing the rules...
If this was the Super Bowl would you stand for it?