Sunday, June 01, 2008
Bad rules lead to bad results. The loyalty with which the DNC Rules Committee defended enforcing its terrible rules was very disheartening.
It may have seemed like a good idea at one point to try to prevent the nomination process from being too long by barring states from having early primaries (as if that worked...) But once it became apparent -- a long time ago -- that Florida and Michigan were going to become problems, the rules should have been changed -- a long time ago!
The rule as applied to Florida, for example, gave Florida Republicans, who controlled the state legislative process, another chance to dirty trick the Democrats by legislating the Florida primary date ahead of the deadline; thus, effectively creating a problem for the Democrats in the state.
Regardless of who was responsible for setting the Michigan date early, bringing more Democrats to the polls to support the primary process was much more important for winning the state in November than leaving the primary results unconvincing and just hanging there waiting to disenfranchise or de-enthusi-ize the Democratic voters.
Anyone who thinks it is more important to uphold a bad rule than to mobilize and motivate voters in a state to vote Democratic in November should not be on the DNC.
Since Obama would have been almost as surely the nominee if they had seated the two delegations according to the most pro-Clinton formula as he is with this "compromise," it would have been much wiser to acknowledge the failure in practice (however well intentioned they might once have seemed) of the "timing" rules and seat the delegates, than defend the "principle" of following a rule (however bad) and exacerbate intra-party conflicts, resentment, and general bad feeling in two crucial states for the Democrats.
The object and purpose, after all, of everything the DNC does is to elect Democrats. Why insist on rules that work against this goal? Rules don't exist for themselves. They exist for a purpose. So when the rules are working against the purpose, instead of for it, you change the rules.