Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Disconcerting goings on at first Colorado DNC delegation meeting

A report from Enik Seth over at Enik Rising on the first meeting of the Colorado DNC delegation. Seth is a Colorado Obama delegate to the Democratic National Convention and gives us a peek inside that first meeting and the first Obama/Clinton dust-up amongst the delegates. The flare up came when the delegates had to choose a Vice-Chair (State Party Chair Pat Waak was chosen as Chairwoman, she is an uncommitted Superdelegate).

A Clinton supporter took to the floor and said that we needed to come up with a solution that served our whole state delegation and not just a simple majority of those of us in the room. He then said that if the Clinton people were not satisfied with the outcome, they would walk out and permanently deprive the meeting of a quorum, and they would tell the media that they'd been railroaded. Several Obama delegates shouted "Blackmail!" at this point.

Seth is kind and makes a point of saying that he is not trying to slam the Clinton delegates and actually admired their organization. That is a charitable reaction and I applaud Seth's ability to empathize with the Clinton delegates.

All of that said this is pretty disappointing behavior and does not portend well in regards to how the rest of the primary and nominating process will play out. I was hoping that much of the rhetoric I had been seeing from Clinton supporters was just the result of overheated passions in the midst of a heated primary. Alas it appears that the Clinton supporters are willing to act on their past threats and shut down the entire process if they do not get their way.

This was really an uncontroversial vote. Obama won the caucus in March going away. His supporters enjoy a nearly 2 to 1 advantage in the state delegation. They had every right to vote as they wished and elect one of their own as Vice Chair. That Clinton's delegates would go to these lengths to shut down an uncontroversial vote amongst the Colorado delegation concerns me greatly. All of the delegates should be free to vote their conscience and no minority delegation should hijack the proceedings to force a favorable outcome.

The delegates were chosen in the state wide caucus in March. They were chosen according to Party rules and as such the delegate count should be respected as the legitimate outcome of that process. The Clinton delegates may not like being in the minority but that doesn't change the fact that they are in the minority. That they arrived in the minority through a perfectly legitimate and sanctioned process doesn't seem to enter into the equation at all. That is what concerns me.

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