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Hotter Than Fish Grease, Part II: Seating the Florida and Michigan Democratic Delegates and a Brokered Convention

I understand that there may be an effort by or on behalf of the Clinton campaign to have the delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. This is despite the fact that the DNC ruled that they wouldn't seat these delegates because those states moved their primaries up in contravention of DNC rules. Despite the fact that, in agreement with the DNC, both Obama and Clinton agreed not to campaign in those states.

But Hillary won Florida, so I guess she and/or her advisors want to change the rules.

I also hear that DNC Chair Howard Dean doesn't want a contentious convention and is urging a "brokered" convention in the event that Obama's and Clinton's delegate counts are too close for comfort.

Here I am, once again, hotter than fish grease with my own party.

First, I don't think the DNC should support any effort to change the primary rules mid-stream. If the Michigan and Florida delegates are to be seated, they should only be seated if Obama and Clinton BOTH have a chance to campaign in those states AND a second "do-over" primary is held. Let them both compete fair and square. But changing the rules in the middle of the game? Hell, you can't even do that in Monopoly at home.

Second, a brokered convention smacks of a DNC coronation by the super-delegates. We all know that Clinton has most of the super-delegates sown up. That's fair. But if Obama comes in so close that there has to be a fight on the floor, I think the party is grown up enough to reconcile behind the nominee no matter who it is, as long as the process of deciding the nominee is fair. Now, one could take issue with the fact that having super-delegates is inherently unfair, but at least the rules of the game were known to all at the beginning. But a brokered convention in the name of party unity when seventy percent of Clinton supporters would support Obama if he were the nominee and seventy-one percent of Obama supporters would support Clinton if she were the nominee? It isn't necessary and it overrides the process.

I say let the process play itself out. The party will risk losing young voters and voters new to the party if there is any hint that the candidate they supported won fair and square, only to be sold out in a brokered convention or as a result of unfair political maneuverings.

So Hillary, if you're paying attention, I think you would be well advised to back off the idea of seating the Michigan and Florida delegates. You already have integrity issues; this would only make it worse.

And Chairman Dean, you of the failed nomination attempt, you should be the last one advocating a brokered convention. Have some faith in the party to come together after the convention, will ya?


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