Count the Vote.
This has been the rallying cry of every good Democrat for the last 2 election cycles. During the 2000 election cycle, the debacle in Florida and the Republican refusal to count all the votes absolutely broke my heart. I lost faith in the electoral process, I lost faith in my country. I was shocked that such a thing could happen in my country. I could think of nothing worse… until I witnessed the actions of the 2008 Democratic Primary Rules and Bylaws Committee.
I will not talk about the reasons or circumstances behind the initial decisions, but sufficed to say that both Florida and Michigan entered this primary season with their delegates stripped. The two states still held their primaries, but in a very different fashion. For the purposes of this rant, we will focus on the Michigan Primary… the focus of the Party’s most egregious actions.
Just before the Michigan Primary, New Hampshire and Iowa requested that the candidates remove their names from the Michigan ballot as further punishment for moving up their primary dates. Both John Edwards, Barack Obama, and several others agreed to do so. Interestingly enough, Obama had to do it twice because after removing his name, a state representative put it back on. Obama actually went so far as to sue the state to get his name removed once again.
There were two democratic candidates that refused. Hillary Clinton and Dennis Kucinich. Both of their names appeared on the ballot as well as a spot for “uncommitted,” a recognized status for those that don’t like any of the candidates on the ballot.
Once the Michigan primary rolled around, Obama and Edwards wanted to blunt the perceptual win that Clinton would have, even though the delegates did not count at that point. Their decision was to get their supporters to vote “uncommitted.” Keep in mind that ALL of the other candidates pushed for this, not just Obama. The result was that a great number of Obama supporters and Edwards supporter voted ”uncommitted” and even though Hillary still won by a huge margin, they did get a decent chunk of the votes.
Ok, so now we fast forward to the end of the primary season and the RBC meeting. Because the race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton had become so unbelievably close (along with a few other reasons), the Democratic Party was forced to re-examine their decision to strip the delegates from both states.
Florida was an easy decision… give them all the delegates, but only a half a vote each. Fair enough. All of their names were on the ballots in Florida, so they were all on equal ground.
Michigan is another story entirely. The Party decided the award Barack Obama all of the delegates from the voters that voted “uncommitted.” These people did not vote for Obama. They voted for “uncommitted.” All of these people did not even intend to vote for Obama, many intended to vote for Edwards and others, and quite a few intended to vote for exactly what it is meant to be… a vote for no one. The party unjustly gave their votes to Obama.
Then in a step that is an absolute anathema to every thing I believe in, they took this travesty of justice one step further… The Rules and Bylaws Committee of the Democratic Party actually took pledged delegates away from Hillary Clinton and gave them to Barack Obama.
This means in essence that, in the most literal sense possible, CHANGED the votes of 600,000+ people. They literally substituted their judgement and decisions for the VOTES of the people.
The action of the RBC is the single greatest flaunting of voter justice I can think of in modern American history. This is far worse than anything the Republicans have EVER been accused of doing.
At least the Republicans had the decency to pretend that the votes were counted properly and that there was no subversion of the will of the people or tampering with votes.
The Democrats publicly that 600,000 votes were to be ignored and the prize awarded to the candidate that the RBC chose, not the candidate the voters chose.
This is the night I became a PUMA for good.
And I will not stop until those that perpetrated this horrendous injustice are out of MY party.