Broder on Dem calender shuffle

David Broder — a fellow University of Chicago alum — wrote a great article on the Dem calendar shuffle which I have written on here and here. First he points out the history of Dem calender rule-changes:

This way lies madness, and madness is what the Democrats have wrought. When they started tinkering with their rules after the 1968 election disaster, they unleashed a fierce competition among the states to be at the head of the line, where the contests have the greatest impact on weeding the field and crowning the eventual winner.

He also points out that the diversity argument is the kind of thing that leads to the Balkanization of the party that Democrats are often accused of:

This Democratic version of affirmative action leaves a lot to be desired. Unions are a major source of Democratic votes and money. Maybe Rhode Island should be rewarded for being a stronghold of union activity at a time when labor elsewhere is beleaguered. And gays vote Democratic; shouldn’t the states that are home to San Francisco and Key West be allowed to vote early? And if Jewish contributors keep the party solvent, shouldn’t New York be up there with the other pacesetters?

He uses the standard New Hampshire argument that they are uniquely qualified to do vet presidential candidates:

Historically, New Hampshire has fulfilled that responsibility. Voters there — in both parties and especially among the numerous independents who also vote in the primary — take their role seriously. They turn up at town meetings and they ask probing questions. So do the interviewers at local papers and broadcast stations. So do high school students.