A couple of friends of mine and I were discussing the Democrat's issues with Michigan during the primary voting season. Michigan disobeyed the party's rules in an attempt to make the state more relevant to the primary season. As a result, the party has fired back and Michigan's leaders, who sold voters on this tactic, may have made the state more irrelevant during this historic primary. Michigan's party leaders are now attempting to place blame at the feet of the National Party and one of my friends buys into that position. FWIW, I disagree with his position entirely, but he brought up a point about how Obama's supporters were encouraging people to vote "uncommitted" in the Michigan primary and how in the Detroit metro area, "uncommitted" was understood to mean a vote for Obama amongst many voters (no word on what it meant outstate).
In reply to his comments, I turned the conversation a bit towards other topics that have been on my mind recently. I've been meaning to blog them here, but haven't due to busy times at work. So, since I shared them in email, I'll be lazy and copy and paste them here:
Taking a cue from your comments about Detroit votes, I'll ask the question that is the elephant in the room for Democrats during this election season: what happens if Clinton wins the nomination to the vast voting block of black people who are currently supporting Obama in the 92% range? If Democrats disenfranchise black voters today by nominating Clinton when Obama has a clear front runner status, will they lose millions of votes during the election from the black population? Will those voters stay home and if so, how will it effect states with large black voting population?
Thus far, I've seen and heard a lot of discussion about how young people might be disenfranchised if Obama doesn't get the nomination. Frankly, I shrug my shoulders at such thoughts because young people by and large don't vote in great numbers in the general election anyhow. Clinton's team makes the argument that she pulls in voters who can be counted on and that view has some historical validity. But, what happens if the black population decides that it no longer wants to be a doormat of the Democratic party (a constituency that is counted on the vote Democrat regardless much like social conservatives are to Republicans)? I've heard little discussion on that topic.
Last night on the way home from work I listened to Obama's speech in North Carolina where he overwhelmingly won the nomination thanks, in part, to the large black population of the state. His speech was inspiring and it reminded me of his earlier stump speeches (FWIW, Karl Rove's recent comments about Obama's speeches getting away from inspiration and getting mired down in policy positions as "hurting" his campaign was spot on, despite the fact that I loathe Rove). The speech was clearly aimed at pulling the party together no matter who gets the nomination. I didn't get to hear Clinton's speech from Indiana, but she would do well by the party to show some class and offer similar sentiments at this time.
A rant about Clinton's latest moves: Her gas tax pandering is really beyond the pall. With her joining McCan't on that issue and with him taking stabs at Obama and ignoring her candidacy (she is clearly a friend and colleague of his as well as the person that he'd rather face in the election), Clinton is playing up to one of the biggest criticisms that I've heard of her and her husband from the progressive wing of liberal voters: that she is "Republican Lite". I've spoken to several people that say if she gets the nomination they'll have to look elsewhere to place their votes because voting for Clinton is voting for a "Lite" version of Republican policies. I only slightly disagree with that position and think it's important enough this cycle to vote for the Democrat regardless of the nominee.