One of the things that has startled me throughout the Democrat nominating process is that it’s a good glimpse of what a future dominated by the Democrat party would look like. In their quest to legislate fairness into their nominating system the Democrats have found themselves with a byzantine rules structure that, in the words of George Will, is utterly rococo-esque in it’s complexity and ornamentation while creating a result that is anything but fair.
This is the party that complained bitterly about the importance of the popular vote after the 2000 election, downplayed it in 2004 while pointing to the importance of the electoral vote centering on Ohio, yet has effectively crowned a candidate that as of today is losing the popular vote among primary and caucus voters. For a party that often references disenfranchisement and non-democratic allocation of votes, indeed arbitrary in this case, it is bitterly ironic that this is exactly what they are doing with Florida and Michigan.
It would be amusing were it not for the seriousness of the event at hand. I am never hesitant about stating my conservative ideology and Republican party membership, but the truth is that I believe in democracy above party politics and hold dear the belief that a robust democracy creates the conditions upon which the United States can continue to thrive. By robust democracy I mean competitive parties that put forward the best candidates, but as I sit here in 2008 with an appreciation of the tremendous advances we have made as a country in our brief history I have to wonder if this is really the best we can do.
The chaos and vitriol seemed to confirm Democrats’ fears that they might blow an election that should otherwise be an easy victory for them. Nor did the compromise fit well with the Democrats’ oft-voiced commitment to voting rights. They decided they would give Florida and Michigan half of their voting rights — one of the more arbitrary compromises since the 1787 decision that a slave should count as three-fifths of a person — and voted to award Obama 59 Michigan delegates, each with half a vote, even though his name wasn’t even on the ballot in the state.