Thank God. Just when we had reached the sporting calendar's purgatory, that time of year between the end of March Madness and the kickoff of another Notre Dame football season, our political process has stepped up to the plate and provided what could be one of the greatest spectator events of the season. I've already bought the chips and sodas so Elliott and I can settle couch-side Saturday to watch the Democratic National Committee's (DNC) Rules and Bylaws committee decide the fate of the Florida and Michigan delegates for the upcoming National Convention.
I’m not a consistent follower of this event, so I know less than the passionate season ticket holder. But what I do know is enough to make it very interesting. It seems Florida and Michigan felt like they didn’t get enough attention in the election process, so they changed their primary dates. This was after the DNC warned them against doing so. Their failure to comply would result in a substantial penalty, most likely the loss of all of their delegates at the convention.
Now all of this took place before anyone could envision the road the democratic nomination process would take to find a candidate. If Florida or Michigan could have seen this coming, the mention of changing dates would have instantly wilted the green grass on the other side of the fence.
But they did change their dates. In spite of neither Democratic candidate spending time campaigning in either state, they defiantly held their primaries, both easy victories for Mrs. Clinton, which sets the table for Saturday’s main event.
On Saturday, the rules committee for the DNC will meet to determine exactly what they meant by NO. Mrs. Clinton is hoping NO meant YES, and all the delegates will be seated. Of course if the rules committee goes for this option, without fear of reprisal Virginia might decide to hold a primary each summer for the next four years just to get ready for the 2012 election. Mr. Obama is hoping that NO meant MAYBE and a majority of the delegates will be seated, enough to offer some appeasement but not enough to derail what is an apparent clear path to the nomination. The rules committee, well I’ve never known a rules committee with egos small enough to allow NO to mean anything other than NO.
The likely compromise will be sending all the delegates, but each only counts for half a vote. This is troubling, because Elliott is sure to ask me to explain how a person counts as 1 in Ohio but a ½ in Michigan. After I assure him it had nothing to do with Ohio State’s 14-3 victory over Michigan in football last fall, I’ll gingerly introduce him to our political process. He’ll likely shake his head and ask me to change the channel to Sesame Street.
I find it unfortunate that unlike the break in the sporting calendar, there no longer appears to be one in the political process. Not long ago this process swallowed our governing bodies and many have not been seen since. Thank God we all have the power in our own families, churches and communities to do what is right and what is healthy by others each day.