And Charlie Crist is a fatuous moron.
Okay, now that we have the supposition stated, let’s proceed to examine the facts. Late last night, 01:00 CET, CNN International ran an episode of “Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer which started with the most audacious display of hyperbolic palaver and partisan meddling I have ever witnessed.
The topic: Should the Democratic National Committee pay for Florida to have a “do over” primary election? The sole guest: Charlie Crist, Florida’s Republican governor. Charlie Crist is a self proclaimed messianic nut job, a man who ran for governor because Christ told him he would. And, he is a Republican — what could he possibly have to say about who should pay for the Democratic nominating elections? Well, what he had to say, over and over and over, unchallenged by Mr. Blitzer, is that the “only solution” was a primary election, if the “National Democratic Party” paid the $18 million or more that would cost.
He then went on to proclaim that the issue of the “disenfranchisement” of his citizens by the “National Democratic Party” was not a “partisan” issue, that his buddy Sen. Bill Menendez (R-FL), former head of the Republican National Committee agreed with him, as did Sen. Bob Nelson (D-FL) who has egg on his face (along with Michigan’s Sen. Carl Levin) for trying to perform an end run around the clearly stated, member supported and voted on, DNC rules which stated that no state could move their primary prior to February 5th or would face the loss of seating rights for their delegations at the party’s national nominating convention.
Where do we start with the monumental idiocy of that chain of reasoning? Let’s give it a try. First off, no one is disenfranchised here. There is no franchise, no right, which anyone has lost. The citizens of Florida have no franchise in the Democratic party other than to the extent to which they may be members in good standing of that party. If their state leaders decide to break the rules of the party, clearly stated and agreed to, then they are no longer in good standing and have no rights. The only affront to the Constitution would be if Florida stripped the Democratic Party of its right of free association by meddling in how it chooses and credentials its delegates.
One big problem with the state administering partisan primary elections is that this makes people think that they are state functions. They are not, they are partisan functions. In this case a partisan function of the highest order, as we are talking about the nominating process for the head of the party. You don’t get much more partisan than that. Simply because Crist and Menendez, (R), and Levin, Nelson and Michigan Gov. Granholm (D) agree that their states should have do overs does not mean that it is no longer a partisan issue. What possible reason, for example, could Crist and Menendez have to care about this? Well, for one their state stands to gain from a huge influx of campaign spending, on the order of tens of millions of dollars. Making this last point was the only demonstration of backbone in an otherwise jellyfish like appearance by Blitzer, by the way. The other reason, the other purely partisan reason that these two distinguished partisans would care? Well, because since their party has already locked in a nominee, their membership and supporters would feel free to go and meddle in the Democratic do-over.
Oh my, the blood boils at just how ridiculous this entire display was last night!