How Dirty Does This Campaign Get?

I will give the entitled attitude of New Hampshire voters credit in at least one instance.  If they feel like their entitlement is threatened, they have no qualms crying foul.

But first, my personal opinion on how the primaries go.  I’ll be honest, I don’t necessarily believe that Iowa and New Hampshire are exactly the best places to vet candidates.  They don’t provide a wholly accurate cross section of the American public, and so that does perpetually sit as a bothersome point for me.

This is not to say that I advocate having all primary contests on the same day, however.  While many will argue that the way primaries are established now is entirely undemocratic, I will point out that there is at least one good thing to come from them.  Having states hold their primaries at different dates allows for the not so famous to get their message out, and gives opportunity to rise to prominence to some politicians who might otherwise never even get looked at.

Just think about it for a second.  We’ve heard plenty from Senator Gravel and Dennis Kucinich.  Both particpated in a good amount of debates, and both received coverage in the media they would have otherwise not received had the primaries all taken place on one day.

This is because having states go one at a time in the beginning allows for smaller candidates to still participate.  In other words, if you have to build a national organization for one days worth of votes, the little guys wouldn’t even get invited to the shindig.  But with the first two states being relatively small and having so much media focus, candidates with even slim means are able to make their money last as they work to get one vote at a time.

Look at Mike Huckabee, for instance, who wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar had Iowa not received as much attention as it really does.  So yes, the downside of primary schedules is that one state influences another, but that is also a good thing in that more people have a shot than if it was all on one day where probably only the big names would ever get any headline ink.

So while I may not be in full agreement with how primaries are scheduled, I am of the mind that the parties set their rules and they should be followed.  If they aren’t, you’ll find folks in places like New Hampshire ready and willing to point out the discrepencies.

For instance, it seems that there are a few folks in New Hampshire that are none too pleased with Hillary Clinton’s behavior in regard to previously established rules and agreements.  More specifically, they aren’t happy with the fact that after pledging not to campaign in Michigan or Florida, Hillary kept her name on the ballot in Michigan, campaigned in Florida, and is fighting to have the delegates in both states reseated.

I shouldn’t need to tell you exactly how much of a foul this is.  And no, this is not about stifling the voice of the people; if Hillary had not signed the pledge in question, that would be one thing.  But she did, and she has chosen to break that pledge when it suits her best.

This is similar to what happened with Nevada.  There Hillary along with the rest of the Democratic candidates were all in agreement about the at large caucus sites right up until the Culinary Workers Union decided to endorse Senator Obama.  That’s when the Clinton campaign (in the form of Bill Clinton) decided that all of a sudden the At Large caucuses weren’t fair.

But, and this is important, when the at large sites went mostly for Clinton, you didn’t see the Clinton campaign in a moment of raw integrity, fight to have the results for those sites stricken.  Fairness, shmairness.

Which brings us back to Florida, where Marc Ambinder succinctly makes clear that Clinton is pushing the rules to the breaking point.  There a poster advertises a “victory” celebration for Senator Clinton starting at 7pm, but it should be noted that some polls don’t close until 8pm.

If you think that’s flimsy, then so be it.  There were still the two fundraisers in Florida she held as pointed out over at the American Mind blog.

There’s a reason this is significant only part of which is that Hillary Clinton is doing whatever she can to go back on a pledge see signed.  The other part is that her opponents are actually honoring their pledge.  In Michigan, Hillary was the only candidate on the ballot because she was pushing the boundaries of her pledge, and now in Florida she’s aiming to make political hay out of an inevitable win there, but the state is going uncontested.

She seems to have no interest in a fair fight.  Had Obama or even Edwards decided to play dirty, it’s highly unlikely that Hillary would walk away with such huge margins of victory, but they didn’t, and Clinton is set to start cheering this on like it’s some great accomplishment.

When really, it’s just dirty politics, only this time not through mud slinging, but through outright dishonesty and disregard for the rules.

If you ever want to know why I so vehemently oppose Clinton’s nomination, just look at this.  This kind of politics, should it succeed, will become synonymous with my party, and I’m not all that anxious to shoulder that kind of shame right now.

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