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April 03, 2008

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Also: These are votes for Party Nominations. This is different that voting for the President in November.

The Parties are free to make up all sort of crazy delegate allocation formulas that ensure that some individual voters have more say in the nomination process than other voters.

NC gets extra delegates because it is holding a late primary. Texas awards delegates by state senate district based upon voter turnout in the respective districts during previous election cycles. Iowa and NH gotta go first. And on and on.

The rules are the rules. They are not, strictly speaking, fair. They are not even supposed to be fair. Changing the rules after the fact to help one party win a nomination just ain't persuasive.

There's a delicious irony here. Democrats have been griping for years about being disenfranchised. Florida voters were disenfranchised by the butterfly ballot. Ohio voters were disenfranchised by long lines. Hispanic voters are disenfranchised by reminders that it's illegal for non-citizens to vote. Voters everywhere are disenfranchised by Republican voter suppression.

Is it any surprise that a Democratic candidate would roll out the disenfranchisement claim in a hotly contested nomination battle? After all, disenfranchisement is a vintage bottle in the Democratic whine cellar, and it appeals to the inner victim who lives within every true Democrat.

The argument is particularly absurd because the staggered election schedule typically means that people in many if not most states aren't supposed to count. Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Mississippi, even Texas and Ohio weren't expected to be players in the Democratic nomination - just as they weren't players in the Republican contest.

Strangely, no one was worried about disenfranchisement back in January.

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