Monday, April 28, 2008

Howard Dean pitches the series

The haranguing continues regarding how the Democrats will get out of 'this mess' of a primary season. I will say again that the primaries are a mess, thanks to party rules and state impatience and greed, but Howard Dean had nothing to do with making this "mess." He's umping the game, but he didn't invent the game or make up the rules.

And why do so many consider this such a "mess" anyway? The timing is a mess. The order of states is a mess, some haphazard, some stuck in a decades old rut. But the close contest is not a mess. Close contests are not disasters or defeat. They are what competitive democracy is all about.

Since when is a World Series that goes deep into the 7th game a mess? Since when is a Super Bowl that's won in the last few seconds of the game a mess? Since when is democracy not about getting the most votes possible in the most primaries possible?

Dean is right on. The primaries end June 3rd. The votes will all be counted (we hope accurately), and then what will count most? I believe it will be the popular vote which will hold sway, as that is the measure of every vote cast in the five months of the primary season.

Howard Dean didn't create these rules and arrangements. Rules and steering committees in the Democratic Party established the ground rules long ago. The candidates know the rules, and they also know strategy. After June 3rd, it will be up to the two of them together to come to terms they can accept. To Dean, it is Party Rules of Order and a little bit school principal and pitching out a few fast balls. To the candidates, it's high stakes blackjack and the bottom of the 9th.

Dean, John Edwards, Nancy Pelosi, Al Gore and others have been wise to wait until after June 3rd to say much more than they have already said. For another five weeks, let the voters have their say.