Friday, February 15, 2008

Of Delegates & Endorsements

It seems the news this week, main stream media and otherwise, has been plastered with endorsements and the premature fear of where delegates pledged previously to certain candidates or promised via superdelegates will go.

The headline of the Washington Post tonight reads, "Some Black Lawmakers Rethink Endorsements." However, the headline is a bit misleading in that the black lawmaker rethinking his endorsement is the civil rights legend Rep. John Lewis (D-Georgia) and there have only been "conversations" among the Congressional Black Caucus.

How significant is it that Lewis is considering supporting Obama? In terms of electoral math, probably not all that significant given the voters favoring Obama by a large margin in the Georgia primary. In terms of superdelegates, Lewis being one of them, it doesn't appear to be all that significant either. Superdelegates are all over the place at this point with the Republican party attempting to get behind McCain and many in the Democratic party waiting it out to see what will transpire. It simply is too early to know what this move on the part of Rep. Lewis, or any other superdelegate, will amount to.

Part of the Post article that struck me was a quote from the neutral Rep. Clyburn (D-South Carolina): "It's emotionally a problem for all of us[...] This is a moment I thought about sitting in a Columbia jail in 1961." I am assuming Rep. Clyburn is referring to members of the Congressional Black Caucus here and I am trying not to assume that Rep. Lewis is rethinking his endorsement due to the fact that Obama is black. Is this bandwagoning?

The reason I point this out, by all means I don't want to contribute to the hysteria surrounding delegates and endorsements, is because over the past week I have found myself appalled in many respects. Despite wishing the news of John Glenn, a personal hero of mine, endorsing Hillary Clinton would have received a little more publicity in a swamp of endorsements like those of Mitt Romney and George H.W. Bush for McCain, I was hoping the news might turn elsewhere.

Think about this: If each of the writers for the major news outlets as well as the national blogs had spent equal time writing about the severe breach of the United States Constitution that has resulted from the fear forced upon us by the Bush administration and the congressional dereliction of duties associated with this week's vote on S. 2248 (the FISA Amendments Act of 2007), the Democrats may not have had to walk away from Congress for a long weekend having accomplished nothing and the President of the United States may have actually been rebuked by public opinion for denying the rights of the American people in order to protect the telecommunications industry.

Yes, it is a presidential election year. Yes, public discourse is appropriate and needed so that our future success will be ensured. No, our time does not need to be monopolized by the insanity of endorsements and superdelegate hysteria while our Constitution goes quietly away.

Black, white, purple, Republican, Democrat, or Independent, we are all Americans. As Americans in this time of delegates and endorsements we continue to hold the responsibility to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Now is the time to spend our energy ensuring the traditions of our nation endure until we elect the next president of the United States.


Jared said...

Tara, quick question:

Are you against the entire FISA bill or just the immunity for the telecoms?

Tara A. Rowe said...

I don't have many problems with the 1978 version of this legislation, but have serious problems with the amendments to it and the bill that is now waiting in the House.