Who’s to Blame for the Cockamamie Michigan Primary
By Angela Haddad
Apparently, the fate of the free world hangs on the seating the full Michigan delegation at the Democratic Primary Convention. At least this is what we would think if we listened to Clinton, her surrogates, and the state party “leaders” that orchestrated this mess. While these players are now exorcised about Michigan voters being represented and the democratic process, they were unconcerned and uninterested in counting the votes of anyone other than Hillary Clinton when they set off on this ill-advised venture.
Party insiders such as Mark Brewer, Debbie Dingle, Granholm, and Carl Levin got together and made this decision to supposedly raise Michigan’s profile in the primary process. As Sen. Levin put it, these Democratic state party leaders defied the party to put an end to New Hampshire’s “cockamamie” first-in-the nation role (Politico Oct 24, 2007). At the time, the party insiders neither consulted Michigan’s democratic voters nor considered the sanctity of our votes when they moved the democratic primary before February 5 in defiance of the party rules.
In complete disregard for the votes of democrats who did not want to vote for Clinton or Dodd, Michigan’s Democratic Party “leadership” scheduled a primary on January 15. Much like the uncontested elections of totalitarian states like Cuba and Saddam’s Iraq, only the name of one notable candidate appeared on the ballot, Clinton. Unlike the citizens of these undemocratic states, Michigan’s voters did not acquiesce and give the notable and inevitable candidate 99 percent of the vote. Instead, a grassroots movement encouraged Obama’s and Edwards’s supporters to vote uncommitted. “Uncommitted” garnered 40 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 55 percent.
What is really, truly “cockamamie” about all of this, is that Clinton and the likes of Dingell, and Brewer now claim that they only want all the votes to count.
I know many voters in Michigan who did not show-up to vote in the primary because they were told their vote did not count. As Clinton herself said while campaigning in Iowa in January everyone knows “those votes don’t count for anything.”
It is neither fair nor democratic for the national party to seat delegates that were selected through a sham election. It would be even more unfair to reward the behavior of a few bad actors by awarding Clinton the proportion of committed delegates she would have received if this were a real Democratic election.
While it is not fair that we the Democratic voters of Michigan may not receive our full allocation of delegates for the Democratic Convention, it is also not fair to blame the Democratic National Party, or the Obama campaign for this fiasco. Blame should be placed squarely where it belongs: at the feet of those who orchestrated this mess. I suspect that Michigan voters will make sure that the so-called “leadership” of the state’s Democratic party knows they do not like to be played.