August 28, 2007

Smackdown of Florida Democrats is no solution

Jon M. Ausman, Florida Member of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), wrote:

"When elected officials blatantly blame the DNC for enforcing its rules and ignore the complicity of Florida Democratic elected officials in creating this situation they are not serving the Democrats of Florida well. They may get headlines, they may get support, but they are being demagogues rather than leaders.

"It is time for leadership. We represent the Democrats of Florida and since our legislative Democratic elected officials have failed us, we need to make sure that their votes, in caucuses, count."
No, Mr. Ausman, you did not, and do not, represent me. Glaringly, your letter asks not for opinions or suggestions, but for Democrats in Florida to follow your own "leadership," as opposed to the leadership of elected "demagogues."

I am not an elected official, a politician, or someone who aspires to be either: I am a voter in Florida. How the DNC/RBC got us into this internecine slugfest - or what portion of the blame can be attributed to various groups and factions - is not my problem. Remember, I'm just the forgotten Florida voter. But I have observed a few things:

  • The Florida smackdown is an ill-advised strategy for the party - assuming your goal is the election of more Democratic candidates (except for the "demagogues" who disagree with you, of course).

  • A handful of manipulated caucuses in Iowa - or in Florida, as you suggest - are no substitute for the democratic primary process that Florida, or a group of states on a rotational basis, would provide in selecting the best candidate to win the presidency and unite a badly divided country.

  • Tell me again how the "winnowing process" in Iowa and New Hampshire worked terrifically well in 2004. My memory is short on that smashing success.

  • When did Nevada and South Carolina become more significant than Florida - or any other state - in the election process? Adding those two states to the early primary mix appears to be, at best, a token nod to needed change.

  • If the DNC is determined to punish someone for the mess it has created and mismanaged, I have a suggestion: Censure the state that enacted its own special "law" requiring that its primary vote be held at least two weeks prior to that of the other 49 states.

  • The DNC is no more bound by New Hampshire law than by Florida law, or Michigan law, or any other state's laws. Will the DNC, in all its wisdom, perpetuate the tail wagging the dog because that works best for party insiders?

  • Yes, "rules are rules" - and we know who created the rules.

  • Real democracy abhors edicts from on high.

  • In politics, the way things were is never the way things will be.

Please reconsider the course you are taking. Thank you.

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