Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Important than You'll Ever Know

Long, long ago, in a primary seaon far, far, away, the several States became jealous one of another over which could go first. Iowa and New Hampshire, it was agreed by all, should always go first. But who should go second, or third? These early primaries, it had been noticed, tended to narrow the field considerably, and probably determined the winner of the Empire. All of the States wanted to be part of that process, to be relevant to the selection of the Emperor.

There was much fretting and gnashing of teeth in the fine-panelled meeting rooms of Statehouses and Governor's manses across the fruited plain. Many of the States moved their primaries to February 5. Two, Florida and Michigan, pushed the envelope into January, incurring the wrath of one Darth Deanius (rhymes with "genius"), Democratic Party Chairman.

It was Deanius who had led the Party to adopt the "50-State strategy", lending Party support to candidates in races in every Congressional district, even if they seemed hopeless. Why is this even a debated issue? Without candidates in every district, a party withers. Support only a few candidates, and watch the pendulum of change wipe you out.

But Deanius decided that the delegates from Florida and Michigan, those envelope pushers, would not be allowed to vote at the Party convention in Denver. Two populous States, the loss of either of which would likely mean November defeat in this era of close contests, were to be completely ignored because Denius needed to crush their rebellion.

As it turned out, the nomination was not determined by those few early States. Rather than the decisive media monentum giving the nomination to one candidate, division deepened along group identity lines, pitting the Party's coalition of the disaffected power brokers against one another. Oh, if only Florida and Michigan would have had proper primaries, then someone would have emerged early on and the Democrats could have united against their common opponent, our armed forces.

But now Florida and Michigan, having been slain by Darth Deanius, are more important than he could have imagined. No, that's not quite right: he should have known that denying Florida Democrats, the most paranoid of the disaffected and disenfranchised, would be trouble.

How ironic that the author of the 50-State strategy should be the one to ignore those which mattered most.
(w/t to Moe)

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