Sunday, May 25, 2008

Endgame

While I have largely refrained from covering the election recently... leaving that in the able hands of my co-bloggers, this post marks a return to election punditry, something I was sworn off of.
From the New Yorker, Hendrick Hertzberg writes:
Last Wednesday, Clinton described the Democrats’ long-standing reluctance to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations in their entirety, a reluctance that she shared back when she saw her nomination as inevitable, in these words: “We’re seeing that right now in Zimbabwe.” In a speech in Florida, she invoked the Declaration of Independence, “the consent of the governed,” the abolition of slavery, “our most fundamental values,” the 1848 Seneca Falls women’s-suffrage convention, the sacrifice of soldiers, the tear gas at Selma, “equal justice under the law,” and the Voting Rights Act. Worse, she invaded the Democratic sacristy, picked up the chalice, and flourished it like a club, saying that

"right here in Florida, you learned the hard way what happens when your votes aren’t counted and the candidate with fewer votes is declared the winner. The lesson of 2000 here in Florida is crystal clear. If any votes aren’t counted, the will of the people is not realized and our democracy is diminished."

Well, that depends on what the meaning of “count” is, doesn’t it? Florida’s (and Michigan’s) votes in January’s rogue primaries were indeed counted, and everyone understood well in advance that the question of how they would be translated into delegates was, at best, problematic.

This is particularly a problem in our own rogue state of Michigan, where, as Hertzberg notes, "Michigan primary that is distinctly North Korean: Clinton, 328,309; Obama, 0". Under these circumstances, I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense to seat the delegates as is. I didn't vote in the primary for precisely this reason.
It seems to me bizarre and representing a egotism verging on megalomania that Hillary compared this struggle to the fight for freedom in Zimbabwe and the woman's suffrage movement.
I normally don't try to analyze pols personalities... pundits do that and to make up for their lack of substance, and it's maddening. I must make an exception in this case: Hillary has a self-righteous streak big enough to drive bus through. She has so utterly convinced herself of her righteousness and importance to this country that she is blind to all else, and is intent on leading the party or seeing it burnt to ashes around her.
(Posted by Ewan)

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