dear superdelegates

everybody is talking about it this week, especially after the anti-climactic results of tuesday’s indiana and north carolina primaries: hillary should bow out.

you, the superdelegates, have the clout to make it so. a few of you had the good sense to wake up to the light on wednesday morning and declare support for obama. some of you even had the gumption to switch your support from clinton to obama - reborn, brave, strategic? whatever, we'll take it.

i can’t begin to speculate about the psychology of a superdelegate, never mind the fairness of a system that affords you such power, but power it certainly is. given how critical the situation is, i say wield it. what are you waiting for? don’t you want to take over the white house more than make some sort of unclear, ill-timed point?

while it smacks of anti-woman sentiment akin to the anti-Black undercurrents that have me enraged, some of the harsh commentary this week couldn’t be more on point if the head was this continent and the hammer was falling from space. in march 6th's new york daily times, columnist
mike lupica blasts clinton for a vanity campaign run amuck. monday, his colleague thomas defrank submitted that clinton’s resistance to forfeiting comes from a crass desire to capitalize on the fears of racist voters. you can’t go two clicks of the mouse through wired news without landing on more of the same, disturbing suggestion.

with the voting math soundly against her and the temperature rising among voters who are ever antsier to turn the campaign against presumptive republican candidate john mccain instead of increasing the damaging democratic party divides, one has to wonder what exactly hillary is fighting for.

an outright win? empirically impossible now. and her contention that the equation be amended to include the illegal florida and michigan results simply won’t fly: how could the democratic national committee alter formulas at this 11th hour, especially in a way that would penalize obama for actually abiding by party rules?

a strong showing? she’s already got one. she began as the one to beat, got up each time the going got tough, and has done everything possible to stay til the end – adjusting everything from personnel to strategy to tone. it is impossible to deem her campaign anything but impressive.

her dignity? politics should ALWAYS be about dignity – so let’s leave the needless bloodying to the UFC ring, shall we? the longer hillary stays in this race, the more imperiled her dignity is. everyone loves a fighter, but human nature requires us to cringe when that fighter stays past the moment when a win is viable, or even safe. to step aside is the best thing hillary can do for her dignity at this point, while she has some political capital and future left. before we pity or resent her to the point of no return.

for the sake of democracy? c’mon. it is one thing to wish mightily for a democracy that celebrates process, access, and a level playing field. it is quite another to cling so tightly to such a notion in the face of a reality that dictates entirely otherwise. we all now how skewed the US electoral system is towards the privileged, the dominant culture, the elite. hillary’s ongoing candidacy does not a crusade for electoral reform make. the longer we consider this battle a testament to some romantic notion of democracy, the more we risk gift-wrapping a victory for the republicans at a moment in moment history when the fewest people want it and the planet simply cannot afford it.

if democrats were really enamored by or committed to true democracy, elevating the voices and struggles of the proletariat, or designing a process that allowed real access to ordinary aspirers, the US political field would be home to more than just two overbearing parties. there's be proportional representation and quotas for underrepresented demographics. we’d be holding a kucinich/rdwards ticket by now, OR BETTER. we’d be celebrating, not vilifying, ralph nader’s candidacy. we’d be shaming hillary’s (or anyone's) personal campaign injection of 11 million instead of excusing it. how easily we stomach our own hypocrisy.

this is all strange coming from me, i’ll admit. i fancy myself more of a ‘fuck the status quo’ resister than it would seem now. but my plea to you, the superdelegates, is spurred more by a panicked desire to see a serious, post-bush shift in washington than some kind of callousing towards the game of politics. if life is a series of battles, i say seeing this democratic nomination process through to it’s formal (and let’s face it, embittered) end is not worth it. things are getting uglier by the day: the slung mud is reeking more and more of racism, sexism, classism, elitism, of Nasty ... all of which will inevitably harden into unwieldy, crusty divides within the politicized Left. not only can we not afford that, we really shouldn't be ABOUT that.

and don't even get me started on those colours or states or income levels some claim obama can't win in the general. i've combed the voter breakdowns and polling data, too. it ain't as clear as all that and too much of a straw man argument for me. plus it only leads us back to that horrible and inappropriate dichotemy, because isn't the reverse that hillary can't deliver black voters in the general? electoral politics is surely a complex ball of wax, but sometimes reality can be this simple: neither can win everyone, but the sooner everyone gets behind someone, the better chance we have of rallying most.

besides, any way you slice it, democracy has already spoken. the numbers tell the story of a smart and trialed-by-fire candidate named obama. what more could we possibly expect of him before green-lighting him into a general campaign? he’s weathered the ‘upstart’ and 'poet-not-politician' labels. he’s weathered realtor-gate and Muslim-gate and every other feigned hurdle constructed for his passage. the most ominous obstacle he’s weathered, perhaps surprisingly? a certain passionate and provocative preacher named reverend wright – dubious ally turned dubiously media-hungry.

you play the hand you’re dealt, it is said. and where the US electoral system is concerned, it is an ingrained and unfair hand, indeed. but unless we’re prepared to suspend all electoral activities in the world’s so-called superpower – and i mean an outright moratorium on politics as usual – in favour of getting messy with some genuine electoral reform, then jagged pills for us all. hillary’s may be the most bitter, but fold her hand she must – if not for the sake of her party, then for us - the progressive global community at large that so eagerly desires the republican toppling to begin. STAT.


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