It’s disturbing to me how often I hear of lobbyists or lobbying groups using political strong arm tactics to try to get their way. I am floored more than I care to admit over how much influence lobbying groups have in our political landscape. At times it seems they can simply walk up to the steps of the capitol building and slap the collective legislative branch (or even worse, the executive branch) across the face with a wad of cash and leave having gotten their way. The current lobbying culture reminds me of old mafia movies…money greases the wheels and damn those in the way.
The most recent example that sticks out to me is the letter written to Nancy Pelosi, current Speaker of the House, by a list of 20 or so Hillary Clinton backers warning her to, “reflect in [her] comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates,” in response to comments she made where she stated that she felt that it would be wrong of the superdelegates to overrule the will of the voters. They’ve basically threatened to withdraw their funding of the Democratic party if Speaker Pelosi didn’t respond to their letter by saying that the superdelegates were free to make up their own mind. While I’m not advocating robot superdelegates that don’t think for themselves, I’m sick of all this negativity being thrown around, and I’m pissed that these people would threaten action unless Speaker Pelosi withdrew her comments. She was saying that the voters matter! She was saying that the superdelegates have a responsibility to follow the will of the voters! But all credit to Pelosi, she’s not backing down. Good for her. I don’t want to see the craziness of this campaign hurt the eventual Democratic candidate’s chances for election, but I don’t want to see us leave our democratic senses, or betray the principles of our republic and our standards of the will of the people (remember: no matter what they say…OUR COUNTRY), for the sake of brevity. I’m not necessarily backing Hillary, but I don’t want her to drop out until it’s clear that the people have spoken. Even as a non-Hillary supporter I have to admit that it’s still too close to call and Clinton deserves the right to carry on as long as she feels she’s in the race. The Washington Post wrote a great editorial in which they said:
“No doubt the Democrats have gotten themselves into a fix with rules that may leave the final decision to unelected superdelegates — but why is the answer to that less democracy? Why not give as many voters as possible a chance?”
There are things left undone and unfinished in the Democratic primary, issues still not yet hashed out, and we’re stuck slinging mud instead. Obama and Hillary both need to step up to the plate and speak to the issues. If done right, this protracted campaign doesn’t have to weaken either candidate. It could very easily created an amazingly strong Democratic candidate that has already been weighed and measured, has fired up the Democratic voters, has won the hearts and minds of their constituents, and has come out with the broad support of their party. This will, of course, take a bit of rising above the fray from both candidates. Are they up for it? One can only hope.