January 16, 2008

BY CB Buchholz

Lately, the media and political pundits decried the Michigan primary situation, in a state where the unemployment rate was higher than the national average. The DEAF DEMOCRATS editors beg the question – how many Deaf and Hard of Hearing voters are unemployed in Michigan? Also, did they vote in the primary yesterday, either Democratic or Republican??

Before we go on to discuss the results of the Michigan primary, a point of clarification is needed here. When the state of Michigan decided to move up its primaries (both Democratic and Republican) to an earlier date, it got penalized for breaking party rules. The Republican National Committee cut the number of delegates in half, down from 60 to 30, to represent Michigan at its national convention. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) cancelled all of Michigan’s 156 delegates (including 28 superdelegates) and forbade them to vote at the upcoming national convention.

Because of the DNC’s decision, all the top Democratic candidates withdrew their names from the Michigan ballot, and the only exception was Senator Hillary Clinton along with Dennis Kucinich and Mike Gravel. Thus, the Michigan Democratic primary yesterday was more of a “beauty contest” with no real rewards.

The Michigan primary win must have been a bittersweet victory for Hillary, considering the fact that she had not campaigned in this state and yet received 55% of the Democratic vote. Also, since the Michigan primary is an open primary, meaning that a voter can cross party lines to vote otherwise, several blogs and alternative and underground newspapers have been buzzing loudly, encouraging Michigan Democrats to do one of the 3 things — 1) vote for Hillary; 2) vote for “uncommitted”; or 3) cross party lines and vote for Mitt Romney, a native son. The logic behind this 3rd option is to further splinter the Republican presidential field and leave it without a clear frontrunner.

This strategy seemed to have paid off yesterday, with Hillary Clinton winning 55% of the votes, the “uncommitted” got 40%, and Mitt Romney won the Republican primary. The “uncommitted” vote was meant as an anti-Hillary vote, and yet she got away with more than half of the total Democratic vote. The unfortunate part was that no delegates would be awarded to her or any other Democratic candidate.

Our Deaf eyes say that in several months from now, people will say that the primary in Michigan today has been sneaking under the radar like a Sleath bomber, about to drop bombs and missiles on the political landscape. Any presidential candidate will need to win Michigan, one of several crucial electoral states, to ascend to the presidency. For both the Democratic and Republican parties to penalize and/or ignore Michigan, a working woman/man’s state with a very high unemployment rate, seemed a rather gross misjudgment.

In closing, I want to tell all the Deaf and Hard of Hearing voters in the great state of Michigan that this article is not intended to offend you at all. On the contrary, my “crystal ball” tells me that your great state will play a pivotal part in the Democratic convention this coming August and also during the November presidential election. Furthermore, I have utmost respect for Michigan, the home of the late President Gerald Rudolph Ford of Grand Rapids, the only Republican presidential candidate I have ever cast a vote for in my entire voting career!



  1. Just for the historic fact: Jackson, Michigan is where the very first statewide convention of the newly formed Republican Party in July 6th, 1854 (although, Ripon, Wisconsin claimed the birthplace mantle for the GOP). In a way, the Republican Party actually began in Michigan. The reason for its being? To stop the slaveholders’ political ventures and expansion of slavery into the new territories. Ironically, the first members of the Republican Party were ex-Whigs and Democrats. 😉

  2. Ah, so that’s why a certain GOP think tank is called the Ripon Society. I’d wondered about that.

  3. Thanks for the info on, Rob….good to know.

    Dave, Curious, maybe I’m just a dumb registered Independent, but what certain GOP think thank? Care to elaborate? 🙂

  4. According to Wikipedia, the Ripon Society is a “centrist” Republican think tank. Says there that in 1965, it issued a report calling Goldwater’s losing presidential bid “one of the dullest, emptiest, lowest-level campaigns in the history of American presidential politics…amateurish, almost never profound, occasionally tasteless, and almost always ineffective.” You can imagine how popular that made them. The Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute are much better known nowadays. No doubt after the coming debacle in November, they’ll all be pointing fingers and blaming each other for the fiasco.

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