Saturday, May 31, 2008

Something is wrong

When I was in Florida sitting at the bar watching the Kentucky primary results come in, I started chatting with the pool bartender. He made it quite clear how angry he was that Florida delegates might not be seated. It had never occurred to me how the people of Michigan and Florida might feel. And what they feel is pissed off.

A professor of politics will explain over a three-hour lecture why these people just don't understand the brilliance of the American electoral system. But they seem honestly angry with the Supreme Court in 2000. They are angry with the Electoral College. They are angry because they think that the each vote should count and the voters should pick the president.
The Democrats may have good reason to punish Florida and Michigan for moving up their primaries. Perhaps they think in the long run, it will be better for the primary process and democracy. But they are doing a rotten job of explaining it to people.

This matches up with what I said over at 11D:

I will say that from the perspective of the average person, Clinton and Obama are tied. I mean, I'm a smart person and politically savvy, and really, I just can't see how it's so obviously an Obama win. Yes, I know, delegate numbers and stuff I don't quite understand. What's happening is that there is a *process* that is accepted by insiders but doesn't seem to match up with a democratic vote. Obama has been ordained the "obvious" winner, and yet state after state continues to give Clinton 10- to 35-point margins of victory. You will have to excuse the average voter for being unclear on the matter.

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