I have avoided this one for a while, but this morning I bit down hard and swallowed. No, it was not my morning bowl of oatmeal. It was not even the lukewarm coffee I drank in haste as I ran out the door. It was something far worse…
CNN’s American Morning featured an interview of Texas Democratic Party Chairman Boyd Richie and, his wife, Betty conducted by John Roberts. Now, this was not a story about the influence of politics on 40-plus year marriage, it was not even a focus on the political status of Texas as the state prepares for the March 4, 2008 Democratic Primary. No. This interview focused on the fact that both Boyd and Betty were Super Delegates. That’s right BOTH of them.
Boyd, full of the same southern charm that convinced many that it would good idea to elect a cowboy into office in 2000, assured John Roberts that his wife is a “independent thinker” and that she wouldn’t be influenced by his decision. Normally, I would give a nod of approval. That’s fantastic of ol’ Boyd, recognizing that his wife could make decisions for herself. However, Betty Richie was NOT making a decision for herself… she was making a decision for thousands!
Last week on MSNBC, Dan Abrams delivered a devastating statistic on his program. Abrams relayed the total number of Democrats who voted in the subsequent primaries, next he provided the number of Super Delegates allocated across America. Now, here’s the devastating part, his conclusion was that 1 Super Delegate represented roughly 9,439 Democrats. Excuse me for saying so… but that’s disgusting. Did we not just visit this back in 2000? The disenfranchisement of voters in Florida during the general election only eight years ago and now we are seeing it again!
Boyd, charmer that he is, told John Roberts that he would go whichever way the wind blew him. That is to say, that he would vote for the Presidential Candidate who sported the most delegates before Super Delegates cast their votes. Here’s hoping that Boyd’s democratic approach to his Super Delegate vote rubs off on his wife. Betty’s answer of “I don’t know who I am going to vote for yet,” doesn’t fly right now. Democrats deserve more than this. The nearly ten-thousand Americans represented by Betty Richie are receiving the message, “Why Bother?”
2007-08, up until this point, can be characterized as a year that voters were inspired to come out and vote. Democrats have a black man and a woman running for the party’s Presidential nomination. Change much? Unfortunately, this aforementioned newfound inspiration for change is now showing signs of a vast many undermined by the privileged few.
Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson must be smiling…