Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Great Emancipator Equivocator

Smart, accomplished woman appplauds her mother

Politico reports that Senator Clinton has been comparing her fight for the Florida and Michigan delegates to struggles for civil rights.

Because those two states flouted the rules of the Democratic party and held their primaries early (rules agreed to by both Clinton and Obama), those states have been penalized by having their votes discarded.

But Clinton sees it (or says she sees it, perhaps because she "won" both contests) not as a penalty but as a disenfranchisement, a deprivation of the right to vote:

"This work to extend the franchise to all of our citizens is a core mission of the modern Democratic party," Clinton said. "From signing the Voting Rights Act and fighting racial discrimination at the ballot box to lowering the voting age so those old enough to fight and die in war would have the right to choose their commander in chief, to fighting for multilingual ballots so you can make your voice heard no matter what language you speak."

Having thus included racial minorities and the war dead into her argument, she adds heroes of the past, namely:

"The abolitionists and all who fought to end slavery and ensure freedom came with the full right of citizenship. The tenacious women and a few brave men who gathered at the Seneca Falls convention back in 1848 to demand the right to vote."

Finally, she threatened that Michigan and Florida would likely vote Republican in the fall because of ill will towards the mean people who wouldn't let those states' voters get away with breaking their own rules.

Now, I'm sorry if Florida and Michigan are miffed, but it's their own fault. They did not have their voting rights taken away. Their situation is not comparable to slavery. And the junior Senator from New York would not be fighting for their "rights" if she did not stand to gain most of the delegates.

This is not disenfranchisement; it's disingenuous.

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