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Steven Grossman's Departure from Democracy

By       Message Stephen C. Rose     Permalink
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Steven Grossman is a guy from my old home state of Massachusetts who has been a chair of the DNC and who is now a supporter of Hillary Clinton. He has inadvertently revealed the underside of the thought processes of those who intend, if they can, to defeat the democratic process and emulate the mentality of those who did this back in 1968, a time I remember because I was in Lincoln Park fighting the Steve Grossmans of that era, good Democrats all. He is a year older than Hillary and ten years younger than me. Funny what a little time can do. The ten year youngers like Grossman and Clinton seem to have a deficient gene when it comes to thinking reasonably about things -- like national security, fairness and even what the nation needs.Grossman wrote his fellow superdelegates and urged to vote their own minds and not "to be mindless tabulators of primaries and caucuses won, or popular votes amassed."

Hillary Clinton is engaging in other efforts, besides yours, to defeat the democratic process. Challenging caucuses where she lost. Claim victories the DNC invalidated.

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So that readers will know that you in fact said what I say you said, herewith, a copy of your sad communication. I have bolded the more offensive statements.

But just in case anyone feels that you are operating as a wise counselor, rather than a simple Hillary Clinton operative, your statements about the actual campaign are simply untrue. Barack is pulling away from Hillary in elected delegates and narrowing the gap in the number of superdelegates who have moved to him.

And do you know why?

Because everything you say about exercising judgment about what is best for country and party can be answered with the name Barack Obama, and you are simply trying to stop history in its tracks. Since you wrote this, no one has moved into Hillary Clinton's superdelegate trove.

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And as the next month unfolds I am confident that the disparity will narrow until Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are tied. What will you write then?

An Open Letter to Democratic Party Super Delegates

From Steven Grossman, Former National Chairman,

Democratic National Committee

Like many Democratic activists and officials honored to have been selected as so-called super delegates to this year's Democratic national convention, I've spent most of my life engaged in the fight for the values that the Democratic party embodies. These values were perhaps best articulated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his second inaugural address: "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."

Like some of my colleagues, my commitment to the Democratic party and my passion for its most cherished principles can fairly be said to be part of my DNA. In my own case, my grandfather, father, uncle and I were all given the opportunity to serve as delegates to Democratic national conventions over the last 60 years. Indeed, my grandfather and father comprised the only "father-son" team among the delegates to the 1948 convention in Philadelphia that chose Harry Truman as the party's standard bearer. Given that family history, it will be understood how proud I was to serve first as Chairman of the Massachusetts Democratic Party and then as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Some commentators, observing the current deadlock between Senators Clinton and Obama as they vie for the Democratic presidential nomination, have suggested that as super delegates, our function is to be mindless tabulators of primaries and caucuses won, or popular votes amassed. Despite the super delegates' lifetimes spent working on state, national and international issues, and thinking seriously about the grave challenges, and the dangerous adversaries, facing our country, these commentators demand that we suspend our independent judgments and jettison our profound responsibilities--to the party and, frankly, to the country itself. Even though the very party rules that provide for super delegates contemplated that we would exercise those independent judgments and fulfill those responsibilities, there are those who believe that we should confine ourselves to adding up numbers.

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But super delegates were not selected by the national party to be either potted plants or rubber stamps. We were selected because under party rules that have been in place for a generation, our party concluded that we had demonstrated the ability to act as stewards of the national party--and of the national interest. By dint of our experience in the community and our public service, we were adjudged fit to fulfill a moral responsibility to act in the best interest of the country as we saw it--and to be strong enough to withstand the criticisms of those who might object to the political impact of the independent conclusions we reached.

Our duty to our party and our country is a fiduciary one, a sacred trust. We are obliged to regard ourselves in a real sense as trustees, charged with making conscientious judgments on behalf of the party but, more importantly, the country we care, and worry, about.

Any dispassionate analysis of the current nomination fight shows that Senators Clinton and Obama are breathtakingly close in terms of delegates won and popular vote recorded. It is likely that after the remaining primaries and caucuses have been held, the already narrow gap in delegates will shrink yet further, and the equally slim gap in popular vote will also close, with Senator Clinton having a meaningful chance to overtake Senator Obama's popular vote total altogether, particularly when the collective will of Florida’s and Michigan’s primary voters is finally taken into account. At a minimum, the nomination process must be permitted to run its full course, so that not only are the candidates' qualifications, character and positions fully vetted, but everyone who is entitled to vote is actually permitted to do so.

This means that, in the first instance, those super delegates who have not made up their minds or who have decided to remain neutral until all the votes have been cast should resist the pressure to abort the process.
We are, after all, electing not a student council president but the President of the United States of America, the leader of the free world and, in real terms, the most powerful person on the planet. There is no amount of prudence and care which can possibly be excessive, under the circumstances.

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http://stephencrosehome.blogspot.com
Born in NYC, attended Oberlin & Trinity Schools, then Exeter and Williams (Phi Beta Kappa 1958). Worked with the Reverend James Robinson, finished Union Theological Seminary in NYC (1961). Joined Student Interracial Ministry in Nashville. Founded (more...)
 

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