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Saturday, May 31, 2008

Needed to Nominate

Consensus, Compromise and a Head-On Collision

As I watch the DNC Rules Committee hearing today, there are a couple of things that come into my mind.

First, though I hate that the Democratic process has been like watching the slow motion crunch of an Alligator Alley head-on collision, it is a really great thing that this is happening now instead of on the Convention floor in August. We need a nominee.

That brings me to the second thing. I have one word for the Rules Committee: consensus. I've heard them talking about compromise, but that means someone has to give up something they are attached to, like Hillary would have to let go of her campaign's dogged determination to seat and count every delegate in Michigan and Florida as they voted. Given her rhetoric in a May 22 e-mail:

"I'm so proud that so many people -- more than 300,000 of you -- are standing with me to ensure that the 2.3 million votes cast in Florida and Michigan are counted. It's such an important principle in our country: when the voters speak, we count their votes.

"Your commitment to that principle means a lot to me, and to the people I talk to in Florida and Michigan who want to make sure they have a voice in this election. Yesterday, I spoke to voters in Florida, and they are all too familiar with the consequences of not counting every vote.

"On May 31, we'll hear the decision from the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee on whether they'll seat the delegates from Michigan and Florida. And while we wait to hear their ruling, you and I must keep fighting together to win every last vote in the final three races."
-Hillary for President email, May 22, 2008

I would find it quite surprising that she would be willing to compromise, and an unwillingness for compromise is an unwillingness for consensus. To be sure, compromise is not needed for consensus because the latter means wanting what is best for everyone in the party. But Hillary wants what's best for Hillary, and her campaign seems to think that what is best for Hillary is what's best for the Party.

Yet the consensus that must emerge by the National Convention cannot be the result of a resignation or capitulation. Consensus here comes from realizing the consequences of continuing a potentially devastating intra-party fight. Consensus comes from stepping up and being supportive of the process, the Party and the nominee. There are no losers when we stand together.

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