Barack Obama, John Edwards, Bill Richardson, and Joe Biden have pulled out of the Michigan primary. Michigan’s original primary date was February 9th, but they decided to hold their primary on January 15th instead. The candidates are angry about this because that would make Michigan’s primary occur before Iowa and New Hampshire’s.

Yes, it’s unfair that Michigan is trying to cut in the front of the line. My state was one of the first to try to do it and I must admit, it felt a little dirty. But here’s the thing…

Where in the Constitution does it say that Iowa and New Hampshire need to go first?

Here’s a hint… it’s not in there. Primary dates are a political party thing.

The reason these candidates are angry is that Michigan’s primary move screws with their campaign strategies. This would hurt the guys that have invested the most money in Iowa and New Hampshire. The candidates have already started running ads there. Also, no one’s been polling residents of Michigan the way they’ve been polling Iowa and New Hampshire for the past…well, forever. Now they have to start paying attention to Michigan out of nowhere! Their voter statistics couldn’t be nearly as accurate. It would, basically, make it much harder to plan and execute their campaigns in the same traditional way.

(The partisan political reason for their outrage …because there always seems to be one… stems from the fact that the Republicans have ignored the RNC’s unenforced rule that says the candidates cannot campaign in Michigan or Florida unless the primary dates are returned to where the RNC and DNC want them. While the Democrats have avoided those two states, the Republicans have visited “frequently”.)

For this, Edwards, Obama, Biden, and Richardson are willing to stand together, united, and hold hostage the votes of 10 million people in Michigan.

My question is, while the front-runner candidates are upset, why should any of us peasant Americans care? I mean, honestly, who can say that they really love any of these media darling candidates on either side of the aisle? Everyone I’ve talked to is just trying to figure out which one is the least disturbing.

I actually think the move could be good for us. I wouldn’t mind if the candidates didn’t have perfect statistical voting data to manipulate us with. I wouldn’t be upset if a state with more non-white people had a bigger effect on this election (after all, look at what Iowa and New Hampshire have helped give us lately). I also doubt it would be bad thing to see the candidates thrown off their scripts a little (or a lot) and expose a few extra flashes of unrehearsed honesty.

The easy fix for this would be to say that since so many primary dates have changed, let’s just simplify the issue and have them all on the same day. It’s easy. It’s fair. Let’s move on. After all, the date of the primaries is not a Constitutional issue.

However, the loss of our habeas corpus rights, the spying and eavesdropping of the Executive branch, and the build up of a lawless private military certainly are. We also started an illegal war. And the Executive branch is trying to start another.

Which brings up another important point: Shouldn’t our current Senators, Governors, and future Presidents of the United States be fighting these injustices right now?

Where is that united outrage for the sake of the Constitution, that piece of paper that they have all, at one point, took an oath to protect?

Jen Clark  

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