Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Florida Delegates Dealt Out

The Orlando Sentinel publishes the sad details:

The Democratic National Committee can penalize the Florida party by stripping the state of its convention delegates because it is holding an early presidential primary, a federal judge ruled today.

I know there are a lot of people in Florida that think the DNC is the evil guy in this story. Stripping Florida of its delegates for moving its primary to January 29 seems pretty harsh when you consider that the RNC only stripped Florida of half of its delegates. I'm just going to call it like it is.

The real Dr. Evil in this is the Republican Party. Make no mistake about it. This was a calculated move on the part of Republicans who control the State House and Senate to create disallusionment among Democrats in Florida. Does it seem reasonable, even plausible, that Republican party leaders in the state had some kind of deal worked out with their own party? It does to me.

The ads on this, including emails to Democratic voter lists and radio ads, have been telling the Democratic voters in Florida that Democrats don't want Florida to have a voice in the Presidential Race. The messages essentially say that Florida voters aren't important to the Democratic Party.

While this is essentially untrue - party nominations at the national conventions are coronations, not actual political processes - the message is playing well. At our county Executive Committee meetings, this has been a favored topic - the national party deserting us. At our local Democratic Club meeting, several new converts have expressed similar concerns.

For the first time in 20 election cycles, it looked like Democrats would make significant inroads in every level of the political spectrum. Only disenfranchisement with the Democratic Party could have undermined that. That was what this play was all about.

Do I feel punished? No. I am more resolved than ever to take the Republican Party to the woodshed. But, it does point out, once again, the ability of the Republican machine to manipulate the system to their best advantage, even with despicable actions like this.

In the end, it may not be much, but for now, it's causing a ripple.