Sunday, March 12, 2006

Shuffling the Democratic Primary Schedule -- and What About Oregon?

From the Washington Post:

The Democratic Party's Rules and Bylaws Committee yesterday dealt a blow to New Hampshire Democrats hoping to keep their coveted place in the presidential nominating schedule, agreeing by voice vote to a plan that would place one or two caucuses between the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 14, 2008, and the New Hampshire primary eight days later.

The proposal, which grew from recommendations by a commission studying how to make the nominating process more diverse both racially and geographically, would also add one or two primaries after the New Hampshire contest but before Feb. 5 -- the date after which any state is free to schedule a vote. ***

Most observers believe the additional states will come from the South and the West -- two rapidly growing areas that offer a diverse electorate. South Carolina, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Alabama and Mississippi are among the states under consideration.

Which for me raises two questions:

1. What states are most likely to result in an early victory by a dark horse other than the presumptive frontrunner? THOSE are the states we want to add, because power-broker-engineered juggernauts (more here) both are bad for democracy and, contrary to conventional wisdom, tend to result in candidates who lose in the general election.

2. Why are the only Western states being considered located in the Southwest? Marketing experts commonly test new advertising campaigns in Oregon because it's representative of the nation's overall demographics (it has everything from hippies to farmers to cowboys to millworkers), and because advertising costs are relatively low; those same factors, plus the fact that the state demographically mirrors parts of the more influential states California and Washington and would draw strong media coverage from those larger markets, make Oregon a great choice for an early primary.



lucretia said...

I hope Iowa is never again early in the nominarting schedule. Why? Because they have the caucus, which observing in 2004 is certainly subject to manipulation. The nominations should come only from primaries, which allow the voters to make the choice. Many people do not attend caucuses for one thing, and the caucus is ripe for control by party leaders.

Stephen Macklin said...

I can't say for certain if they are trying to help or hinder a given potential candidate. I think it is clear that party leaders want to avoid a repeat of Howard Dean in Iowa.

Of course the likelihood of having the media's favorite frontrunner take a beating in the caucus and respond with a hysteric screaming rant in the next election are probably slim.

What this is evidence of is the deep fracture within the party between the avowed liberals and the Clinton "moderates." (The more conservative Dems i.e. Miller and Lieberman have been effectively shoved aside.)

This split would probably be a big problem for the Democrats if the Republicans weren't just as bad off.

In everything but name, we basically have a four party system and none of them seem to know what they are doing.

lucretia said...

Re. Stephen's comment, you bet party leaders want to avoid Howard Dean because they sabotaged him in Iowa along with the Republicans. He was free of special interests control, ie. the corporations (oligarchs) because he got all his campaign millions from voters like you and me via the Internet primarily. He used a lot of the money to fight was going on in Iowa against him. Furthermore, it should be clear by now that Dean did not 'scream'. Diane Sawyer explained right afterwards, and others later, that the room had bi-directional mikes to pick up sound throughout the room; of course they had expected to win and should have. When Dean lost the primary, and was in third place, he was cheering up the supporters and going on to say how much more they would do. I knew volunteers from Oakland, CA who were there and his actions were in cync with the event. Nobody there knew there was anything unusual until afterwards.

Let me say this: CNN repeated that sequence of Dean's over 500 times that one week. Dean mentioned it later to some CNN commentator like Bliter, and used that figure.

Yes, of course there is a deep fracture or split within the Demo Party: Ean and the DNC represent regular Democrats,and they are building up the party at the grassroots in all the states which will give Democrats at last in the southern states a voice, and hopefully a big one.

The Democrats on the Hill are DLC/DCCC/DSCC Democrats which is of a different stamp: in the first place they're campaigns are financed by the corporations who then call the shots. The DLC was organized to go more than centrist.(Clinton is DLC, and he did some things I sure don't agree with,and of course my pet hate Lieberman sucks DLC). I think Gore does not feel this way, but he is stuck). It's just plain lite Bush: supporting war, meaning imperialism, lite on labor simply because business costs are less if wages and benefits are kept down, emphasis on upscale/professionals, no universal health care (preserve the brokers--HMO's etc. & pharmaceuticals which goes against the interests of the people at large, spend less on education.

Say someone likes Biden over Clark (who cares--they're both bought and paid for).

Unless people start to get this,and many do on DailyKos blog, we're just spinning our wheels. The Democratic Party has changed in the last 30 years and this is what's it has come to because of the growing dominence of the oligarchs. That's why the mainstream media printed nothing against Bush for a long time because it is controlled by five or six corporations: print, radio, TV.

So, the result is as far as the Hill Democrats are concerned, there's no there there. If they want to stay in office and keep their careers, they kiss ass.

Howard Dean and the work he is doing could save the party, and the country. His political philosophy and practical politics are much more evolved than the DLC types.

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