Friday, August 8, 2008

Elected or Designated: Democratic Nominee in Historical Perspective

OPINION: By Faith Chatham - DFWRCC - August 8, 2008
Howard Dean and some so called "party leaders" are demanding that Hillary Clinton not have her name entered into nomination. News pundits have referred to the prospect of her being nominated as "unprecedented." Others discuss how having her name in nomination will take the spot light off of Obama.

The voice of 18 million voters seems inconsequential to Howard Dean and those who are threatening Senator Clinton, trying to force her not to allow her voters to be represented democratically at the Democratic National Convention.

A look at historical data shows that the "presumed nominee" does not always win the nomination. In fact, the "underdog" sometimes goes straight to the White House.

Instead of splitting the party, entering her name into nomination and allowing her delegates to represent the preference of 18 million Democratic Voters will unify the party. Unless her name is entered into nomination, a signification number of her 18 million voters will either 1. sit the election out, 2. vote only for down ticket candidates, or 3. vote for a candidate of a different party.

Democratic voters demand that the party treat every candidate fairly. Neither Senator Obama nor Senator Clinton should be marginalized or discriminated against. A fair, legitimate, honest election at the National Democratic Convention is necessary to energize and sustain the party. Howard Dean should step down as chair of the DNC because he just does not understand the importance of upholding the sacred American principal of one person one vote.

Jimmy Carter - 1981 delegates
Ted Kennedy - 1225 delegates
Uncommitted - 122
No way Kennedy could win, but his name was placed in nomination.

John Kerry: 2192.5 Pledged delegates
Howard Dean: 114.5 Pledged delegates
Dean had already dropped out with no chance of winning, but his name was placed in nomination.

Barack Obama: 1766.5 Pledged delegates
Hillary Clinton: 1639.5 Pledged delegates
The contender is being told to shut up for the sake of the party.

In addition, Teddy Kennedy has had his name on that first ballot in 1968 (12 votes), 1972 (12 votes), 1976 (1 vote), 1980 (1150 - he lost some supporters along the way).

Jesse Jackson has had his name on that first ballot twice: 1984 (465 votes), 1988 (1218 votes).

Howard Dean fails to lead. Instead he dictates and manipulates. In addition to threatening viable candidates, he appointed a third of the members of both the Rules and By Laws Committee and the Credentials Committee. Decisions by these committees to strip her of a significant number of her delegates through imposition of penalties for A RULE VIOLATION while similar penalties have not been imposed on other states where there are MANY DOCUMENTED RULES VIOLATIONS created a false perception that Senator Obama is the inevitable Democratic Nominee for president.

These committees have violated the trust of the members of the Democratic Party. Their role is not to DETERMINE who the nominee will be but to insure that there is a fair and honest process which honors the votes of American citizens.

The Chair of the Democratic Party is not elected to be a "king maker." Howard Dean's actions during this election cycle more closely resemble that of Josef Stalin than of an American leader. Chairman Dean should retire. Democrats deserve better. The American people deserve better.

Every candidate deserves to be treated fairly and respectfully.
In order to "unify the party" the nominee must win FAIR AND SQUARE. The manipulations of the Democratic Party to curtain fair electoral processes representing all candidates at the Democratic Party violate the precepts upon which the party was created.

This op-ed was posted on Daily Kos and has attacted a lot of heated comments by Obama supporters. The attitude shown by many on that site is what many Clinton supporters face in the community. There is a lack of understanding of the process and a lack of respect for the process.
If you want to join in on the discussion, register as a user of Daily Kos. Twenty four hours after you register you can comment and post.

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