An increasingly firm Howard Dean told CNN again Thursday that he needs superdelegates to say who they’re for – and “I need them to say who they’re for starting now.”Howard Dean's words appear to violate the spirit, and indeed the law, of the Charter of the Democratic Party of the United States (pdf). Actually, the charter has lots of charges to the Democratic Party, one of which is:
“We cannot give up two or three months of active campaigning and healing time,” the Democratic National Committee Chairman told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. “We’ve got to know who our nominee is.”
After facing criticism for a mostly hands-off leadership style during much of the primary season, Dean has been steadily raising the rhetorical pressure on superdelegates. He said Thursday that roughly 65 percent of them have made their preference plain, but that more than 300 have yet to make up their minds.
The national party chair, who has remained neutral throughout the primary process, said again it’s his job to make sure both candidates feel they are treated fairly – but not to tell either of them when to end their run. (Political Ticker)
"Establish standards and rules of procedure to afford all members of the Democratic Party full, timely and equal opportunities to participate in decisions concerning the selection of candidates, the formulation of policy, and the conduct of other Party affairs, without prejudice on the basis of sex, race, age (if of voting age), color, creed, national origin, religion, economic status, sexual orientation, ethnic identity or physical disability, and further, to promote fair campaign practices and the fair adjudication of disputes.[Article I; Section 4] (empahsis mine)Huh. I don't see any where in the charter where it says that a nomination should be decided before all participants have had a chance to make their voices heard. Howard Dean's job is to make sure ALL Democrats get to participate. This should be his highest priority. If it's not, he should resign.
For the first time in decades, states that have not previously had a say in selecting our Party's nominee have a chance to have an influence, and I will be damned if their voices will be silenced because Howard Dean is worried about
Furthermore, and a lot of people may not realize this, but it is the National Convention which is the highest ruling authority of the Democratic Party, not the National Committee. In fact, this is true at the county, state and national level.
The National Convention shall be the highest authority of the Democratic Party, subject to the provisions of this charter. [Article Two, Section 2]On the other hand, the National Committee
...shall have general responsibility for the affairs of the Democratic Party between National Conventions, subject to the provisions of the Charter and to the resolutions or other actions of the National Convention. [Article Three, Section 1]So, why is the national chairman of our party trying to take the nominating process out of the hands of Democrats, and worse, out of the hands of the delegates to the National Convention? If we must know who our nominee is now, why bother with holding a convention at all? If we must know now and start campaigning now, then the Convention will be nothing more than a collossal waste of money orchestrated under the authority of the DNC, rather than the DNC operating under the authority of the National Convention. Gosh, we could just save ourselves time and money and get on with using that money for ad buys. Or campaign lit. Or phone lines. I mean, really, why bother if the nominee is predetermined?
One of the most exciting things about our county convention was NOT knowing the end result. When all was said and done after a long day in Lyon County, we split our delegates right down the middle, and everyone is eager to proceed to the next step: the state convention in May, where again, the end result IS NOT KNOWN. So why, exactly, must we know NOW who our nominee is?
From the preamble to the Charter:
We, the Democrats of the United States of America, united in common purpose, hereby rededicate ourselves to the principles which have historically sustained our Party. Recognizing that the vitality of the Nation's political institutions has been the foundation of its enduring strength, we acknowledge that a political party that wishes to lead must listen to those it would lead, a party which asks for the people's trust must prove that it trusts the people and a party which hopes to call forth the best the Nation can achieve must embody the best of the Nation's heritage and traditions.
"...must prove it trusts the people..."
In 2004, Howard Dean ran on a platform of people power. We who supported him called him "People-Powered Howard."
Well Howard...DO you trust the people?