Thursday, May 8, 2008

Florida Voters: Change That May End Up in Court (Again)

I think it’s going to be weird when they introduce Barack Obama at the Denver Democratic Convention as a potential presidential nominee. How will they put it?

“Ladies and gentlemen….Barack Obama….Democratic Party nominee for next president of the United States except for Florida and Michigan!”

Howard Dean seems to believe the problem will go away if he doesn’t mention it, yet it continues to grow. A friend in Florida who voted for Hillary Clinton tells me he’s very angry about the ban on his vote. If you knew that friend, you would know that almost nothing makes him angry. I haven’t seen him angry since basic training in Fort Benning, Georgia many years ago. Nor has anyone else. He’s the most amiable, agreeable, optimistic person you’d ever meet. For him to describe himself as “angry” is about as much an anomaly as seeing the Pope stamping his feet and shaking his fist at the Vatican. Whoa…what’s up there?

It’s always the same with Iowa and New Hamshire. It’s the one thing unchangeable, like the Rocky Mountains. If Barack Obama himself truly believed in “change you can believe in,” he’d advocate for the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegates. That would be change I could believe in. As things stand, Obama’s campaign slogan should be “change that will end up in court.”

States have rights and those rights supersede those of the private club called the Democratic Party. Already voters in Florida and Michigan have filed court legal challenges to the disenfranchisement of their votes. Legal battles stemming from the disenfranchisement of angry voters could undermine any nominee for many years to come, and are certain to handicap Democratic Party candidates in the fall. As an essentially independent voter in the closed primary state of Pennsylvania, I registered Democrat to vote for Hillary Clinton. I will certainly vote for John McCain in the fall should the Michigan and Florida Clinton voters be stripped of their constitutional rights.

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