02 June 2008


In my opinion, an American presidential campaign is the greatest spectator sport on earth. There are the money players, the utility players, scouts, front office staff, minor leagues, and rabid fans.

All this came to mind Saturday as I watched the DNC Rules and By-laws Committee in action. They spent the whole day deciding what they would do to two states who had intentionally broken their own rules. It made the "infield fly rule" seem simple by comparison.

I can sympathize with Florida to a certain extent. The Republican Party controls the legislature and the governorship. Of course, the Florida Democratic State Committee could have run their own primary in accordance with party rules, but it would have had to spend its own money. So, I have only a modicum of sympathy for them.

Michigan was another story. Senator Carl Levin ranted, in tones reminiscent of the State's rights arguments of the 1850's, another time that the Democratic Party failed the Nation, "We had to violate the rules because Michiganders are more important than those New Hampshiremen." Abe Lincoln must be rolling in his grave.

It is not the first time in recent history that Michigan has revived the issue of State's rights. Back in the 1980's, the Governor of Michigan claimed the right to prevent the Federal government from sending a Michigan National Guard engineer unit to Central America. Representative Sonny Montgomery of Mississippi, Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee espoused the right of the federal government to control the Guard. Jeff Davis also did a few spins.

So, Senator Levin's claim that Michigan has a better right to be first than does New Hampshire rings hollow.

No comments: