The Democratic National Committee has taken action against
Democratic leaders voted Saturday to strip
of all its delegates to the national convention next year as punishment for scheduling an early presidential primary in violation of party rules. Michigan
In spite of the vote, some party leaders and officials said they believed the delegates would eventually be seated at the convention.
, with 156 delegates, has scheduled a Jan. 15 primary. Democratic Party rules prohibit states other than Michigan Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevadaand from holding nominating contests before Feb. 5. South Carolina was hit with a similar penalty in August for scheduling a Jan. 29 primary. Florida
. . .
Saturday's vote further diminishes the significance of
's Democratic primary. All the major Democratic candidates have already agreed not to campaign in either Michigan Michiganor because the states violated party rules. And in Florida , most of the major candidates won't even be on the ballot. Michigan
Democratic candidates John Edwards, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson and Joe Biden have withdrawn their names from the ballot to satisfy Iowa and New Hampshire, which were unhappy Michigan was challenging their leadoff status on the primary calendar.
. . .
officials defended their early primary, saying it helps provide geographic, racial and economic diversity early in the primary calendar. They also complained that other states that were allowed to hold early votes were receiving preferential treatment. Michigan
. . .
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said in a statement: ''The threat not to seat the delegates of
Michiganand at the Democratic convention is a hollow threat. They will be seated, and when they are, it will be plain for all to see that the privileged position that New Hampshire and Iowa have extracted through threats and pledges from candidates is on its last legs.'' Florida
. . .
With the DNC's work Saturday, the primary calendar appears to be set. The panel approved some final shifting of early contests, approving the
Iowacaucuses on Jan. 3, the New Hampshireprimary on Jan. 8, and the primary on Jan. 26. South Carolina
The system as it exists privileges rural white voters—long framed in the media as more authentically American than urban voters or voters of color—and acts as a conservative shot in the arm at a crucial point in a heated presidential campaign to a party with purportedly progressive goals and values. But the risks of standing up to the Iowa/New Hampshire mafia and losing the nomination are apparently too great for anyone to challenge the status quo.
The only benefit I can see coming from Iowa/NH picking the nominee while the rest of us watch from the sidelines is a prediction I read in a post or comment thread the other day, I forget where. Given: (1) irrational hatred of godless communist/socialist/lesbian/feminazi