Monday, February 25, 2008

Unfairly Influencing the Mandate

I have had more than my share of emails from MoveOn recently- one even titled "Obama-mentum." Cute! MoveOn is currently running a petition campaign titled "Will the Democratic Party Live upto its Name?" Here's what MoveOn writes: You've probaly heard about the "superdelegates" who could end up deciding the Democratic nominee. The superdelegates are under lots of pressure right now to come out for one candidate or the other. We urgently need to encourage them to let the voters decide between Clinton and Obama-and then support the will of the people. Can you sign this petition to the superdelegates right away?

How disingenuous of MoveOn! Telling the superdelegates to "don't do like I do- do like I say." MoveOn did not wait to see whom the voters would choose between Clinton and Obama and then support that candidate. No, they put to work their entire machinery and resources in supporting the candidacy of Obama and asked the voters to choose him. And they see nothing strange about asking others not to interfere in the "democratic process." They must think the voter is a putz to be manipulated by them.

I can't even vote in these elections as I am not a citizen and yet, it galls me that an organization I thought well of has turned out to be just another influence-peddler. In a special editorial for the New York Times today, Geraldine Ferraro writes of the role played by superdelegates. As she correctly points out, most democrats have not made their voices heard during the primary season. Even with an invigorated primary season this year, less than 30% of democrats have likely cast their votes in favor of one or the other candidate, which would mean that going strictly by primary vote counts, the nation could end up with a democratic nominee supported by around 15% of democrats at most! Not a sweeping mandate by any yardstick. Anyway, don't listen to me, but do give Ferraro a few minutes of your time- she is certainly more knowledgeable and eloquent than I on this issue.

And most importantly, Don't do as MoveOn tells you to do. Research your candidates, think through their policy stances and vote your conscience.

The political cartoon is from the strip State of the Union by Carl Moore. This particular strip is from the 2nd of Feb., 2008.

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