Tuesday, June 3, 2008

About Saturday's DNC Rules and By-laws

Newsflash: I’m a Floridian! I’ve been a resident of the sunshine state for over a decade. So of course I was riveted by the spectacle the DNC rules and by-laws turned to because for the second time in less than a decade, I felt my votes didn’t count. That is a lot for my young brain to comprehend.

For the first time in my voting life, I seriously considered changing parties because I was tired of what the spineless Democrats were doing (or not doing). In 2006, many Americans sent a clear message to Washington they wanted change and the Democrats gained both the House and Senate. And in that November election, as one of those Americans, I voted all-Democrats in my ballot for the first time.

However, I’m dumbfounded by the day to what my choice party has become. I’m yet to see the change I voted for in 2006. The war is still going on and funded to the max. According to Senate Majority leader, Harold Reid on a recent “Daily Show” said $5,000 a second is being spent on the Iraq war. Give it up for the majority Democrats!

Then you’ve got this election season and my state along with Michigan is at the center of the national spotlight. For Floridians, it was a painful reminder of the “hanging chads.” I still remember that debacle of 2000 as if it was yesterday. I remember Florida being the butt of the late night talk shows jokes, even a few of my family from other parts of the country were asking “what’s wrong with you people down there?” I can understand their line of questioning; I would admit Florida is one complicated state.

It’s neither a blue state nor a red state. Florida is what some pundits call a “purple state.” For the most part, South Floridians tend to lean left and North Floridians tend to lean right. And the other parts are just a combination of the two parties. As some national pundits found out last January, the folks from South Florida tend to talk as if they are from the northern parts of the country and the folks in North Florida tend to talk like the south; think Mississippi. Are you confused yet?

Then in South Florida, there is a hodgepodge of distinct communities like the Jewish community, little Havana, little Haiti, a vibrant Caribbean and international melting pot. Some of these demographics have been moving towards the central part of the state but there is no doubt, the core of such diverse communities still remains in South Florida. So you could only imagine how that plays out in state politics not to talk of a National one – actually, it did in 2000.

And here we are again up till last Saturday with Florida Democrats demanding their votes be counted. This shouldn’t have happened. First of all, the Primaries were moved up under a Republican legislature and a Republican Governor. Second, the Democrats could have followed the real rules by just punishing the state for half its delegates like the Republicans did. Seriously, can you believe the Republicans actually did something the clean way? They should be commended. Third, they shouldn’t have gone further by not campaigning in the state. Who thought of such plan?

Finally, in the spirit of democracy (wow, what a unique word in relation to the Democratic party), they should have listened to major Democrats such as Sen. Bill Nelson who petitioned since last summer to reconsider their flimsy decision of shutting Florida out.