Another Crack in Our Broken Primary System

DNC Strips Florida Of 2008 Delegates
No Convention Slots Unless Later Primary Is Set

By Michael D. Shear
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 26, 2007; A01
The Democratic National Committee sought to seize control of its unraveling nominating process yesterday, rejecting pleas from state party leaders and cracking down on Florida for scheduling a Jan. 29 presidential primary.
The DNC’s rules and bylaws committee, which enforces party rules, voted yesterday morning to strip Florida of all its delegates to the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver — the harshest penalty at its disposal.
The penalty will not take effect for 30 days, and rules committee members urged officials from the nation’s fourth-most-populous state to use the time to schedule a later statewide caucus and thus regain its delegates.
By making an object lesson of Florida, Democrats hope to squelch other states’ efforts to move their voting earlier, which have created chaos in the primary structure that the national party has established. But the decision to sanction such a pivotal, vote-rich state has risks.
Hard to make an OBJECT LESSON without defining the OBJECT, but the Primary System as we know it is certainly at risk of sinking without a trace.
As presently (and precariously) defined, primaries are of advantage to absolutely no one outside the advertising industry. The field of candidates
  • Are dead-tired already, with 436 days yet to go to election day
  • Cannot possibly keep an issue alive through the 62 weeks yet to come
  • Risk a meltdown with every utterance
  • Make a mockery of the debate process
  • And, finally, have worn out the entire country

Who cares? Who reads what Hillary or Mitt has said only yesterday in some obscure pit-stop along the road to nowhere? The country cannot be governed and mercilessly politicked at the same time, particularly during divisive times.

It’s a choice.

* For more in-depth articles by Jim on Civil Rights, check out

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