Everyone knows that a convincing win on "Super Tuesday" is a one-way ticket to a balloon drop at the Democratic National Convention (DNC). Personally, I was more than ready for a clear winner of the primaries. I've been biting my fingernails over this race for too long - I want to know what bumper sticker to buy.
Unfortunately for my cuticles, neither Clinton nor Obama 'won' the day. And neither really 'lost.' This is aggravating, but not entirely unexpected. Maybe, I hoped, the close race will inspire the candidates to even greater feats of derring-do in an effort to win my vote. I do so love being wooed.
Then I found out about "super delegates," and their key role in the DNC. And now I'm pissed.
Just in case you weren't aware, we do not live in a democracy. We live in a republic, meaning we elect representatives to make our decisions. While this does save us the time and effort of voting on every little thing (we would not get the budget passed ever again), in some areas it makes us incredibly vulnerable to misrepresentation. We don't actually choose our party's nominee, any more than we elect a president. We put our votes and trust with a group of delegates (or the electoral college during the election itself), who purportedly vote our way at the national convention. These people are under no stronger compulsion than their own 'pledge.' And if they break that pledge there are no ramifications whatsoever.
If that wasn't bad enough, there are almost 800 political insiders who act as unelected super delegates. And now, with the race so close, candidates are focusing more and more attention on them. Because it's so much easier to win over one person than it is to win over a whole bunch of people you would be representing. *sigh*
Dad assures me that the nominee has always been hand-picked by a small group of political insiders, and that it's the elected delegates that are new. The conventions also moved out of the smoke-filled rooms into brightly-lit stadiums, ditched the brandy and added confetti. I think he was trying to be comforting ... or maybe he wanted to nip my idealism in the bud, before it had a chance to become dangerous.
Okay, I'm done ranting. I've got to keep the bigger picture in mind. Where's a "Insert Democrat Here 2008" bumper sticker when you need one?
Update: Apparently, I am like Stephen Colbert on Wikipedia ... I think it, and it becomes true! Erin is my heroin. Without an 'e' because I am addicted to her.