The Title Bout
Don Fowler, the former head of the DNC sent a letter to Democratic leaders and major contributors this week urging party unity. Intended to get resistant Hillary supporters on board, the unity letter is likely to produce the opposite effect. The letter repeatedly stated, “Barack Obama won. It’s over!” In other words, “Get over it,” or as an astute Clinton supporter put it, “Get in line, it’s not your time.” Mr. Fowler chided Hillary supporters, “I must confess a bit of fatigue and irritation with the people who continue to carp, complain and criticize the results of the primary and lay down conditions for their support.” The paternalistic nature of this statement and the implication that the issues raised by Hillary supporters are trivial is troubling. “It’s time to act in a mature fashion,” Fowler implored. Demographics will prove that20if Hillary supporters are anything, they are mature. Maybe there is wisdom in old age since they did not select Obama.
To illustrate that Clinton supporters are sore losers, Fowler compared the Democratic Primary to men’s basketball and men’s tennis. Attempting to appeal to the broadest base of Hillary’s supporters, women, by comparing the primary to men’s sports illustrates a continuing insensitivity to women and women’s issues by the DNC. In fact the DNC, the party of the people, has never had a female chair.
If sports were the metaphor of choice, the Democratic Primary is more like boxing than tennis or basketball. One could equate the primary to the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship. The two fighters in the ring, Senator’s Clinton and Obama, went the distance, 15 rounds, or in this case 52 primaries, but neither candidate scored a knockout blow. The fight will be decided by decision. The judges in this fight are th e superdelegates and they will announce their decision at the Democratic Convention. There is one caveat however. These superdelegates are not impartial and both a carrot and a stick have been used to get them to declare for Obama. Many superdelegates have had large sums of money donated to their campaigns by Barack Obama under the guise of the Hope Fund or the Hope Pac. Others have received warnings that the DNC will not support their next campaign if they do not support Obama and still others have had death threats from the African American community.
The referee in this title bout, the person entrusted by the people to ensure a fair fight is Howard Dean, Chairman of the DNC. Dean stood silently by as Dodd, Kennedy and Kerry called for Clinton to throw in the towel early in the contest. He was mute when the main stream media called Hillary a bitch or said she should be taken out behind the barn. Dean did not enforce with the full authority of his office to ensure a fair shot at the title for both candidates. Dean turned his back on the fight while Obama threw numerous sucker punches in the ea rly rounds of the bout. Obama won 93% (13 out of 14) of the caucuses and only 46% (18 out of 39) of the primaries. It is impossible to explain the disparity in primary vs. caucus results due to superior organization or demographics alone. Dean and the DNC turned a blind eye to the fraud, busing and data manipulation by Camp Obama at the caucuses. Not only did Dean not investigate voter fraud, suppression and intimidation, he further engineered Obama’s nomination by giving the Florida delegates, a state where Clinton had a commanding lead, half a vote each. In Michigan Dean orchestrated the decision that gave Obama delegates for punches Clinton landed and gave Obama credit for votes logged as undecided. When Clinton Camp tried to raise some of these concerns they were labeled whiners.
The bout is not over until the judges officially announce their scoring of the fight in Denver in August. The DNC wants to deny Hillary’s name being put in nomination and to prohibit a state roll call that reflected the results of the primary. The DNC wants the judges, in this case the state delegations and the superdelegat es, to declare that all votes went to Obama. But there was no knock out blow. In face based on the results in the swing states, the primary states, the blue states, the largest states, and by winning the popular vote, Hillary Clinton won the fight by decision. The referee can hold Senator Obama’s arm up in the center of the ring, but everyone watching the primary knows who won. If a football game is decided by an unfair penalty, a soccer game lost by an undeserved red card, a title match lost by a sucker punch, fans typically become embittered and resentful. Senator Clinton was the first significant female candidate to run for the presidency and her nomination was stolen by a corrupt party. No letter chiding Clinton’s supporters is going to change that. Red Sox fans will never become Yankee fans, and Clinton supporters are not coming home.
Dr. Lynette Long