Will Obama be the new Jesse Jackson or Gary Hart, after winning primary after primary and raising tons of cash to face the well-oiled and established Clinton political machine? Or will the votes of the people from Texas, Ohio and Kentucky be accepted as the will of the people and decide who wins the nomination before the convention in August?
I believe the decision of who will face McCain will be decided by the political machinations of the Democratic "superdelegates." These are operatives who hold positions from governors to local city council members, and few are eager to make a commitment this early when much is to be obtained politically by waiting until August. The overt courtship is in full display and the primaries in Alabama, Pennsylvania, and Colorado may have little to no effect on the outcome of the eventual nominee if the party's old guard elite has its way. It will be their voices and their votes -- not answerable to the party's electorate -- that select the Democratic nominee. Out the door goes the highly praised theory of a representative government of, for and by the people.
Now the question is: Who does this undemocratic process favor, Obama or Clinton? The disconnection between the rank and file democrats and the "superdelegates" brings all of the worst concerns of race, class, and gender inequalities to the forefront. A cursory glance at any major periodical shows that blacks will vote for Obama and Hispanics will vote for Clinton; women will vote for Clinton and the youth will vote for Obama; the poor will vote for Clinton and the rich will vote for Obama. The truth of how all of this is evaluated will influence the decision of the uncommitted "superdelegates" to make a selection I believe will be based largely on their own political careers and ambitions.
As I see it, the Obama-Clinton race is about which minority the nation is ready to see in a position of authority. Is America ready for a female president or is America ready for a black president? The "superdelegates" may have a say in the nomination, but with the Democrats voting at 9 million in the primaries and the Republican voters reaching barely 6 million, the next president of the United States should be a Democrat. Only a "crabs in the barrel" theory can stop a Democrat from winning the White House, and by the way the race is shaping up across the nation, this could be the opportunity McCain savors.
Only a poor selection by either candidate in choosing his or her running mate could negate a Democratic victory. That is, unless the undemocratic process destroys the party from within. And history will be the arbitrator in this power struggle for the most prestigious political position in the free world. As we observers and believers in true democracy watch, I only hope our process reflects the will, the voice, and the spirit for which this nation stands, with liberty and justice for all -- not just the insiders.
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Albion Monitor February
15, 2008 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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