Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bolitics, Wolitics et al

With the news that Edwards is going to drop out of the primary race, I can't help but think- the primary process is super duper fucked up. Essentially, a bunch of libertarians in New Hampshire, a bunch of farmers in Iowa and a bunch of drawling South Carolinians made most of the choices for the rest of the country. Not to mention that the Democrats stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates for voting earlier, disenfranchising those big, politically important states. By the time Pennsylvania votes on April 22, long after the upcoming "super Tuesday," I'm sure I won't even have any choices left at all. What a stupid process.

Should you vote all at once? Probably not- cross-country campaigning is too costly for a lot of the candidates. The localized process makes it so that the Bill Clintons and Mike Huckabees get their message out and gain momentum. Once again, the highly monetized political system in the US sinks a good idea.

How about voting in regional blocks, separated by a few weeks? Four or five regions? Debates in between. That keeps travel somewhat manageable and it keeps the issues slightly narrowed- Michigan is more similar to its midwestern neighbors than it is to, say, South Carolina.

I suppose I'm most disappointed because Edwards was the guy who refused to give in to the Democratic campaign's "sporting event" vibe. While Obama and Clinton were busy scoring media points while making oblique statements about grand ideals like "change,""leadership" and the like, Edwards was talking about poor people and health care. He basically sunk his own campaign by refusing to give in to the media's sound byte boxing match and instead talking about boring shit like policy. I guess he got what he deserved for thinking people were voting on the basis of competence rather than voting for the person with whose personality they would most like to project themselves.