07 May 2008

Another late night

I stayed up way too late last night, close to 4am Dublin time, watching the results come in from the North Carolina and Indiana primaries on CNN. The Indiana contest was actually pretty dramatic, watching Hillary's lead decrease as each urban district reported in kept me from my bed, and really it was not until the final votes were counted that the result was known. This was something interesting to see on US TV news, as time and again the networks rush to call the result as soon as the polls are closed and before the first vote is even counted. CNN refused to do this and it made for genuinely exciting viewing.

While Hillary won in Indiana the margin of victory was so small, especially in comparison to Obama's win in North Carolina, that she is going to come under increased pressure to stand aside as the chances of her securing enough delegates to win are almost negligible. Two things have struck me throughout the recent campaign, one is her determination to win at all costs; her appeals to the super-delegates to overturn the will of the voters is so blatantly autocratic that I am surprised that the blue-collar workers she is courting let her away with it. In effect she is saying vote for me, but if you don't then your votes don't really matter, as you are not smart enough to know who you should vote for. Her appeal to allow the Michigan and Florida votes to count also says that rules don't count, as long as the result is the right one.

The second area that concerns me is her adoption by the blue-collar workers as a champion of the working man, John Edward's traditional base. Hillary, originally a Republican in college, was a board member of Walmart for six years, and Walmart has never been accused of supporting workers rights. As the company time and time again battled to remove union influence from its workplace, Hillary was paid $18,000 per year for her directorship. During her current campaign she has received at least $20,000 in donations from Walmart lobbyists and executives. I cannot reconcile her new image as a beer-drinking champion of the downtrodden man with her entanglement with one of the biggest union-busting corporations in America.

While I doubt she will do the decent thing and step aside this week, the only way this contest isn't over is for the DNC to ignore the will of the people, and impose her upon America. If they do that, if big business triumphs over the hundreds of thousands of newly excited voters across the country, it will be the final proof that democracy in the US is an illusion.

But then again, we've known that all along, haven't we?

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

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