Great Moments For Democracy

Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, the New York Times homepage presented its readers with the following juxtaposition:

Great Moments for Democracy

Moderate Republican Dede Scozzafava committed the unforgivable sin of supporting abortion rights, marriage equality, and the economic stimulus package. She had the endorsement of the RNC, Republican leaders in Congress, and fer chrissake Newt Gingrich; more importantly, she reflected the views of her district’s Republican voters. This was not enough for a coalition of mostly D.C.-based crybabies from throwing huge amounts of money and high-profile endorsements (yes, that means Sarah Palin) at Douglas Hoffman, whose qualifications for office consist of being a millionaire and supporting tax cuts.

It’s a little uncomfortable for me to admit that I pretty much wholeheartedly agree with Newt Gingrich’s comments on the affair:

“I felt very deeply that when you have all 11 county chairman voting for someone, that it wasn’t appropriate for me to come in and render my judgment,” he said. “I think we are going to get into a very difficult environment around the country if suddenly conservative leaders decide they are going to anoint people without regard to local primaries and local choices.”

The whole thing conveniently ignores that States’ rights idea the right like to throw around when it supports their thinking. Meanwhile, RNC Chairman Michael Steele has cheerily flip-flopped (“Doug’s campaign will receive the financial backing of the R.N.C. and get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat Bill Owens on Tuesday.”), demonstrating the kind of courage in one’s convictions he hasn’t become famous for.

So what does this have to do with a corrupt president appointing himself to another term? Mainly just the one very important overarching theme: The Democratic process getting cornholed. In one case we have utterly disconnected party elites hand-picking an unqualified candidate because he passes the litmus tests that qualify him as the type of bonafide right-wing moron that lost the 2006 and 2008 elections for the GOP. In the other case, we’ve got a sham electoral process driving an opposition candidate from the race. In both cases, the voter loses the right to back the candidate of his or her choice. Democracy FAIL.

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