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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

Memo to my fellow Democrats: Dump the Clintons--now!

Every Democratic Party platform embraces tolerance and embraces diversity and eschews racism and bigotry. Senator Barack Obama has been the victim of vicious, hateful, racist, religiously bigoted e-mail and whisper campaigns. Senator Clinton’s campaign has on multiple occasions aided and abetted this attack. Several Clinton campaign officials, including Bill Clinton, have attempted to malign Obama’s reputation. When given a chance to "reject and denounce" the hateful e-mail campaign, Senator Clinton qualified her response (“not that I know of”) just enough to stoke the suspicions of those who stand gullibly ready to believe the e-mail slander.

Senator Clinton compounded the insult and injury by effectively endorsing John McCain over Barack Obama. Beyond making a great attack ad for the GOP, she has eliminated her own ability to campaign for Senator Obama when he becomes the Democratic nominee.

While it is clear that Republicans have voted for both Clinton and Obama, it is also clear that the Republicans who voted for Obama will return to vote for him in November. Those who voted for Clinton will not.

So, is there any principle the Democratic Party loves more than it loves the Clintons? What does the Democratic Party stand for?

Decision time, Democrats: Hope for Change with Obama or keep rolling in the mud with the Clintons. Here's a petition by some Obama supporters, to be sent to the DNC, stating that if Senator Clinton becomes the Democratic nominee for the presidential election, you will either: (a) abstain from voting in the general election; or (b) support a third-party-candidate during the general election.

Garry Sisco

Carollton, TX

Mar 13 2008 - 10:18pm

Web Letter

I want to thank you for this article, for the history and detail. As anregistered unenrolled (independent) voter, leaning heavily to theDemocratic Party candidates, I will watch carefully the actions of theSuperdelegates. Should the Superdelegates overturn the popular convention vote by favoring a candidate who accumulates fewer regular delegate votes, thenany semblance of credibility will be stripped away from the DemocraticConvention.

If there is a clear leader, and this abuse occurs, the Democratic Partywill forgo any arguments relating to the 2004 election and the loss ofthe election despite achieving the popular vote. They will reducetheir position to simply shaking their fist in righteous indignation.

The Superdelegates' actions will be a clear demonstration of the partiescommitment to democracy itself.

Gardner Trask

Danvers, MA

Feb 20 2008 - 3:55pm

Web Letter

If Obama ends up with more pledged delegates, then based on what Clinton has said about a similarly undemocratic aspect of our elections, she would surely have to concede the nomination, right?

"I have thought about this for a long time," Mrs. Clinton said at a rally in an airport hangar in Syracuse. "I've always thought we had outlived the need for an Electoral College, and now that I am going to the Senate, I am going to try to do what I can to make clear that the popular vote, the will of the people, should be followed."

She said she wanted "to be on the side of the democratic process working," and so would support the effort to establish direct presidential elections.

"I believe strongly that in a democracy we should respect the will of the people."

[New York Times, Nov. 11, 2000]

Jason Guthartz

Chicago, IL

Feb 13 2008 - 11:59pm

Web Letter

Certainly the Clinton name is some part of Hillary Clinton's strength. It is a type of branding that differentiates her from other Senators who would also consider themselves candidates. The Democratic Party is well aware of this and it is one of the several reasons that she was favored as a candidate early on by the Party. She could be considered a surrogate for the former Clinton presidency, which holds sway, and she has capitalized on its successes. She started the primary campaign with over $100 million dollars ,which should be enough to intimidate her rivals. Many of the Democratic super delegates owe political favors to her husband for furthering their careers.

With all of these advantages she should have obliterated her competition, especially since the majority of the votes come from the party base, but she has not. She had the further benefit of early voting, which gave her a substantial lead in the most populated states and gave her the bulk of her support. Some of those voters cast ballots before they were aware of the message and momentum of Barack Obama. Her early lead was erased quickly and her momentum has disappeared.

All of this tells us that Barack Obama is the stronger candidate, more with voters than the party. Superdelegates should use caution and consider that this when deciding what is best for the nation, especially if they need the support of its people.

Bill Hague

Hoboken, NJ

Feb 10 2008 - 1:48pm

Web Letter

The superdelegate system that Democrats have makes a farce of their primary election. The party operatives should pledge to mirror the expressed preferences of the party voters. The current system smacks of an elitist "We know what's good for you" attitude.

Steven Kalka

East Rockaway , NY

Feb 8 2008 - 4:39pm

Web Letter

I was a delegate coordintor for Jesse Jackson in 1988. At the end of the campaign, we actually fought for some rules changes that tried to limit the superdelegates and increase the power of the grassroots. We were able to win reforms at the Democratic convention in Atlanta that eliminated hundreds of superdelegates (very few of whom had been for Jackson, of course). However, many of those superdelegates quickly got their status restored, because all the candidates running for chair in late '88 and early '89 had to promise to restore the superdelegate status of the DNC members or they would never have had a chance to win their votes.

I should also note that the 15 percent threshold to win delegates is a result of the Jackson '84 campaign, which got it lowered from 20 percent.

Steve Cobble

Washington, DC

Feb 3 2008 - 12:04am