Living in Chicago, I probably see a disproportionate number of parents (who, truth be told, skew older) who have an annoying habit of letting their children run roughshod over every situation they encounter. These hapless parents, disheveled and distracted, call out to their children in ineffectual attempts to retain control only to have the little shits smirk and continue to harass the rest of us and generally make and ass of themselves.
Howard Dean is that parent. After telling states who threatened to jack up the Democratic primary schedule that doing so would mean losing their opportunity to seat delegates at the convention in Denver, he's now taking heat from the Governors of two states and the Clinton campaign to willfully look away and let the kids do what the fuck they want.
To be fair, it's not THAT bad. Dean isn't bending all the way over for these dopes. In fact, he says that the offending states (Florida and Michigan) need only come up with a new plan for their primaries—a do-over, if you will—and then the DNC will recognize their delegates.
"All they have to do is come before us with rules that fit into what they agreed to a year and a half ago, and then they'll be seated," Dean said during a round of interviews Thursday on network and cable TV news programs.
Still though, these states were TOLD they'd lose their voice at the convention if they moved their primaries up too soon and they did it anyway. So why backtrack now and tell them that all is forgiven if they just do it over?
Look at who's asking for it.
In Florida, we have a Republican Governor, Charlie Crist, who signed the law moving Florida's primary up despite being told doing so would disenfranchise Democratic voters in his state. Hillary Clinton "wins" the unrecognized primary and now Crist wants wants those delegates seated. He was hedging and he won. If Obama had "won" the primary, I doubt we'd hear much crying from Florida Republicans that their Democratic brethren are being left out. Obama outpolls GOP nominee John McCain by double-digits.
In Michigan, we have Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Clinton supporter (shocker!!!) issuing a joint statement with Crist reading, "We each will call upon our respective state and national party chairs to resolve this matter and to ensure that the voters of Michigan and Florida are full participants in the formal selection of their parties' nominees."
Both states say they moved their primaries up to counteract the influence of states like New Hampshire and Iowa in determining the party's nominee. The irony being that had they stuck with the original schedule, Michigan and Florida primaries would have come at crucial times and likely would have determined the nominee.
So, who gains by all this?
1. Hillary Clinton – She "won" both contests, but was the only candidate on the ballot in Michigan and took advantage of a loophole in the candidates' agreement not to campaign in those states by holding allowable fundraising events in the days before the voting. How convenient...
2. The GOP – For years, Republican talkingheads have been begging for a Clinton run. The Clinton name does more to galvanize their base and raise money than a Ronald Reagan costume party. After 8 years of Bush, the party is desperate for ANYTHING to distract voters from such a dismal record. The Clintons are nothing if not distracting.
3. John McCain – Given his personal story and the years of service he's given his country, NOBODY cares that he's running for President. He doesn't excite anyone except hardcore social conservatives who have already said they'd never vote for him. The rest of the country has grown tired of his lame "maverick" story and rightly see his sucking up to Bush as the same political hucksterism that has undermined the GOP as a valid alternative policy machine. Oh, and he loses to Obama by at least 14 points nationally, so a match against Clinton sounds pretty good right now.
So, as McCain wanders the countryside looking for loose change and a friendly face, the DNC has to decide how long to let him simmer while his own pot boils over. Since we're considering using touch football rules to settles this mess, I am calling All-Time Quarterback right now. Check out my Statue of Liberty play!