Saturday, May 24, 2008

Cry me a Lake Michigan

When I was a child, my mother would beat me (white folks call it spanking) if I did something I wasn’t suppose to do. That leather belt and my father’s backhand introduced me to rules and regulations at an early age. I learned early that “no” means “no” and if you break it, you bought it. I wonder, is it too late to beat the leaders of the Michigan Democratic Party?

In 2007 the Democratic National Committee stripped Michigan of its 156 delegates, because they decided to move their primary to Jan. 15, 2008. Apparently they were upset that Iowa gets all the attention with their caucuses. Michigan acts like the ugly daughter that’s mad because the good looking daughter gets all the attention. Why does every state get “penis” envy because Iowa gets all the attention during a general election year? We only pay attention to Iowa every four years. What else is Iowa known for beside their primary? If you took that away from them, they would go back to being unknowns. Michigan on the other hand is known for cars and crime. They already have a niche, so they don’t need any attention. Every year when the crime statistics come out they are always talked about. They get attention every year versus Iowa’s four year deal.

Anyway, the defiant party leaders decided that they would buck the current system. Because of the punishment, the votes were not going to be counted in their primary. Therefore, it made sense that the democratic candidates would take their names off the ballot. It makes sense unless you are Senator Hillary Clinton and then common sense goes out the window. Why would a person leave their name on a ballot when their votes wouldn’t count? Maybe she knew something we didn’t? With Clinton and uncommitted on the ballot, the good people of Michigan came out anyway.

According to Lori Hansen Riegle who had a post on The Huffington Post, titled Michigan's Fake Primary Produced Fake Results - May 1, 2008.

· 45 percent of Democratic voters cast their ballots as “not Clinton” - 40% voted the “Uncommitted” line and 5% voted for one of the remaining candidates that were not viable.
· An additional 27,694 voters did not have their votes counted, most of these likely due to “write-in” votes – anyone writing in Obama, Edwards or Richardson’s name had their ballot ruled invalid and discarded.
· “Uncommitted” won more votes than Clinton did in major cities such as Grand Rapids, Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Ann Arbor. The “not Clinton” vote also won in Wayne (the state’s most populous county), along with several other counties. If write-in votes had been counted, the results would likely have tipped against Clinton in several more cities and counties.

Now if you think this is new to the citizens of Michigan, think again. Déjà Vu!!!!! In 2004 Terry McAuliffe, then the head of the DNC, threatened Michigan leaders with losing half their delegates if they move up their date. They took the threat seriously and backed downed. I guess Howard Dean, current head of the DNC, isn’t scary enough. The funny thing is Terry McAuliffe, now a senior aid to the Clinton Campaign, is now trying to get Michigan’s votes counted.

The Michigan Democratic Party leaders cheated the citizens by not following the rules. They should be punished and their punishment should be used as an example for other states to see. The fact that the rules are being side stepped for political purposes is a troubling sign. In the future will more states try to go after early dates? How early can states go before it gets out of hand? Will people one day end up voting on Halloween because they want to show up Iowa? One thing is for sure with the Michigan Democratic Party track record. We will be doing this all over again in 2012 and Iowa will still be the prettiest girl in the room.

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