Monday, March 10, 2008

Florida and Michagan

There is a lot of talk about what to do about the fact that Florida and Michigan are not allowed to seat delegates in the Democratic Convention. Basically the State's of Florida and Michigan moved their Primaries up to a date that was not allowed by Democratic and Republican National Committee rules. So the Democrats disallowed the states delegates from having a voice in the convention and the Republicans allow the delegates to vote but cut the number of delegates to half. Sounds like the Republicans are acting like adults here. The democrats also requested the candidates to take their names off the ballots in the offending states and to not campaign there. Every one did that in Michagan except for Hillary and the other learned their lesson in Florida and kept their name. No one campaigned in Florida for the Dems.

So what should we do. Should we follow the rules set forth when the election began and ignore Michigan and Florida. Should we say no, all people who want to vote should have the right to vote and their vote should count. This in many ways is a lot like Florida in 2000. In that instance I felt the right thing was to follow the laws as set out originally and end the election. Here I feel differently. What is the difference. Well the people of Florida got to vote in 2000, and the official count of the vote was used to decide who the president was. They voted, it was counted and the results were what they were. In this situation, all votes are being thrown out. Their is a time to follow the rules and their is a time to fight those rules. When people begin discounting votes a whole state, then it's time to fight those rules and see them changed.

I also want to talk about the 2000 election. I find the anger of Democrats over the 2000 florida incident an embarrassment. Was it awful, yes. Why was it awful, it was the Democrats. Here is why I have a problem with it. When the vote was so close, there should have been a recount. And Al Gore and the Democratic National Committee had a chance to do the right thing and ask for a complete state wide recount. But they didn't. In an effort to ignore the will of the whole state, the Dems cherry picked the three most democratic counties in the state and asked for a recount there only. Dade County then proceeded to recount only the Democratic precints. When it was obvious to the Dade county Officials that more counting would actually increase Bush's lead, they quit their count. The Dems also tried to have the absentee voting thrown out because absentee voters tend to be mostly military and they tend to vote republican.

After the 2 and 1/2 counties were counted, the time to request a recount expired and Bush's lead had grown. According to state law, the vote was certified. Then the Dem's sued. Eventually the Florida Supreme Court got involved and decided unwisely to have another recount but wisely insisted that it be state wide. Which is what it should have been from the beginning. However, the law had been followed, the votes has been allowed, counted and delegates assigned according to that law.

For me the difference was that there was a good faith effort to cast and count the votes in 2000. In 2008 there is an actual democratic policy that throws out all the votes of two of our most important states. One did unintentionally miscount or possibly cause the intent of the voter to not be understood but that was purely unintentional and it effected the votes of a small minority. Here it is intentional and it effects all Dems in the two states

I also want to say the manipulation of a national election for president being forced down to a recount of three Heavily Democratic counties in Florida was the worst, ugleist, most machivelian, tainted politically move I've ever seen in my life. Worse than Nixon and watergate, worse than Reagan and Iran/Contra and worse than the Monica Lewinsky tragedy.

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