Essentially, the party leaders Mark Brewer, Debbie Dingell, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm want to make sure you are unable to cast a vote for Senator Barack Obama. They want to be kingmakers.
They want to deliver the nomination to Hillary Clinton. It is slipping away from her, and from their control.
You see, they’ve messed this thing up from the get-go.
Originally, they weren‘t totally committed to Clinton, at least, Brewer wasn’t. He preferred John Edwards. But what the Democratic leadership is totally committed to is . . . power.
They thought that by moving the primary to early January they could make a big difference in the choice of the nominee. At first, nobody, not they, nor I, thought the Senator from Illinois with the African father and the exotic name had any chance.
They also didn’t think the party was serious about punishing them for breaking the rules. But the party did punish them.
None of the serious candidates campaigned here.
Most took their names off the ballot. Hillary Clinton did not. She told New Hampshire public radio it didn’t matter because Michigan’s vote “is not going to count for anything.”
Well, it is now clear that she very much wants it to count. She needs it to count. On Super Tuesday, Obama fought her to a dead heat. On Saturday night, he beat her in devastating landslides in three states as different as can be.
He won Democratic Washington and solidly Republican Nebraska by more than two to one. He won overwhelmingly in Louisiana, and took the Virgin Islands for good measure. Yesterday, he easily won Maine.
He has the momentum now, and is taking in far more money. But strategists for both Clinton and Obama now calculate that neither is likely to reach the convention with enough to win.
Not without Michigan and Florida.
That means Michigan Democrats absolutely HAVE to have a caucus and do this over, or face certain disaster of some kind.
Consider this: Let’s say they deliver the delegation to Clinton but Obama wins anyway. Where does that leave Michigan?
Let’s say Brewer and Co. deliver this delegation to Clinton, and that gives her the nomination. African-Americans and all Obama supporters are going to feel robbed again and justly so.
Can you see them working hard for Hillary Rodham Clinton in November? What I see is President John McCain.
But it’s still possible that the convention might not seat Michigan at all. That’ll sure give us a bigger voice in the process.
The Democrats can avoid this mess. They know how to hold a fair and inclusive caucus. They did four years ago. Then, whether Clinton wins, or Obama wins, it will be legitimate, and accepted.
They need to do so this. Because if they do, Michigan may well be the state that determines the nominee, fair and square. As comedian Yakov Smirnoff used to say … What a country.