Gene Lyons On The Democrats' MI/FL Problem

By Big Tent Democrat

Speaking for me only

Via corrente, Gene Lyons on MI/FL:

As recently as 2000, Democrats were outraged that, due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush vs. Gore, not all of Florida’s presidential votes counted. In 2008, advanced thinkers supporting Sen. Barack Obama have persuaded themselves that fairness dictates that none of them should count. Nor Michigan’s, either. Better that the voters of two critical swing states comprising close to 10 percent of the electorate be disenfranchised than that Obama’s inevitable nomination be delayed. Nobody’s expected to notice the main reason that Team Obama faulted every suggested revote plan: He wouldn’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance of winning either state’s primary. Rather than face that unpleasant truth, his supporters proposed various compromises with one common denominator: that Obama be awarded delegates he hasn’t won. That this strikes them as reasonable reflects the deep unreality into which roughly half the Democratic party has fallen. Once again, with feeling: The votes belong to the voter, not the candidates.

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    Um, DUH. (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:27:20 PM EST
    Why can't the Obamans realize what weaponry we are giving the GOP by not allowing a re-vote or the seating of the delegates?

    We are NOT the party of disenfranchisement. It is NOT OKAY to ignore such a large portion of the electorate.


    Oh ok... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:29:17 PM EST
    But Hillary can negotiate with already pledged delegates and state she's willing to play the superdelegates?  It doesn't go both ways.

    Obama took Clinton delegates (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    in Iowa and in other states we are proudly told by Obama supporters.

    I detest the practice myself.

    I condemned it here.

    I also condemn Obama's blocking of revotes in FL and MI.

    Can you condemn ANYTHING done by Obama? I am positive you are incapable of doing so.


    Obama is already doing that (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Grey on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:31:39 PM EST
    In Texas.

    Same standards, please.


    Oh ok... (none / 0) (#22)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:38:53 PM EST
    So the postcard was going to magically turn the delegate?  Sending postcards = negotiating now?  Ignoring the fact that it was stated as a mistake.

    What about Obama's call to David Paterson? (5.00 / 5) (#29)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    The new Governor of New York?

    He's a pledged superdelegate for Hillary. Obama tried to poach him. Didn't work though.

    Really, I don't understand the double standards here. The superdelegates can vote for whomever they want.


    But he just called to congratulate (none / 0) (#36)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:47:00 PM EST
    the Gov.

    Um, I live in New York. (none / 0) (#56)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:01:11 PM EST
    He tried to poach Paterson.

    Paterson was Lt. Governor and thus a superdelegate prior to his elevation. He committed to Hillary a long time ago.


    i know. Campaign spin. (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:01:49 PM EST
    missed the snark. :-) (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:07:50 PM EST
    sorry, I'm new. :-p

    I'm supposed to be marking it. (5.00 / 1) (#75)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:12:31 PM EST
    Oh ok... (none / 0) (#40)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:49:02 PM EST
    Patterson was already a superdelegate before he became governor, he wasn't accorded superdelegate status because he's the governor of NY.

    Not quite (none / 0) (#37)
    by Grey on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:47:17 PM EST
    No.  It equals that both camps are doing it.

    Ahem (none / 0) (#59)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:04:23 PM EST
    One camp has stated they will do it without regard to the popular vote.

    what does that mean? (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by wasabi on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:58:19 PM EST
    "without regard to the popular vote"

    Poaching someone's delegate (other than the superdelegates) cannot be done w/o regard to the popular vote, since that is roughly how delegates are determined.


    Right, (none / 0) (#156)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:28:04 PM EST
    because sending a postcard = poaching.

    Oh, OK... (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:34:35 PM EST
    that has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue at hand, which is whether or not Michigan and Florida's votes should be counted. We cannot disenfranchise them and still call ourselves Democrats.

    The superdelegates are going to decide no matter what we do and no matter which candidate wins. Obama cannot win enough delegates to get to the magic number either.


    Obviously, the point is... (none / 0) (#21)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:37:09 PM EST
    You can't harp on "disenfranchisement" if your willing to have the leader in the popular vote lose because of a handful of superdelegates.

    How is Obama the leader in popular vote? (5.00 / 4) (#24)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:40:34 PM EST
    Why, by not counting Michigan and Florida, of course!

    The primaries are far from over. Big states have yet to weigh in.

    And once again, you miss the point. The point is that we are discounting the votes of Michigan and Florida. Not. OKAY.


    Seriously... (none / 0) (#28)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:42:36 PM EST
    Just curious, what was the turnout like in Florida and Michigan?

    Florida (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:46:51 PM EST
    I don't know Michigan but I can give you Florida turnout:

    Florida Dem turnout: 42.30%
    Average Dem turnout in closed primary states: 40.74%
    Median Dem turnout in closed primary states: 41.75%


    Michigan (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:38:25 PM EST
    594,398 people voted in the Democratic primary.

    HRC received 328,309
    Obama removed his name voluntarily and did not receive votes, but "Uncommitted" received 238,186

    In Florida, 1,749,920 people voted in the Democratic primary.

    HRC received 870,986
    BO received 576,214


    The reason it (5.00 / 2) (#85)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:17:05 PM EST
    wasn't a huge issue back then was the candidates were hoping that a clear winner would have emerged, rendering the issue moot. Come on, you know this.

    So Hillary's not allowed to change (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:48:39 PM EST
    her position based on the facts on the ground?

    We all criticized GW Bush for not changing HIS positions based on the realities of life.  

    True leaders change their positions based on the changing facts.   Nobody knew the race would be so close.  Now that it is, the races in Florida and MI need to be accounted in order to know who really won.

    Are you against recounting votes in close general elections, too?  Should the candidates in close elections state ahead of time that they won't recount votes, then be disallowed from changing their mind if the election is too close to call? I've learned in non-close races the vote counts are rather sloppy.  However in close races, the counts have to be more precise.  Fl/MI is completely analogous to that.


    Who's we? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:40:14 PM EST
    You attribute positions to people without at all making any attempt to evidence such position.

    oh ok (none / 0) (#27)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:41:22 PM EST

    A lot of people were screaming very loudly... (none / 0) (#78)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:13:53 PM EST
    and many of them were from Florida and Michigan.

    They are going to be very, very angry if something isn't done.


    Utter and total hogwash (none / 0) (#129)
    by Trickster on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:43:17 PM EST
    Try using citations and links and you'll get closer to stating what actually happened.

    Clinton is not negotiating with pledged delegates (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by Trickster on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:40:41 PM EST
    I know she made recent comments to the effect that "pledged" delegates are not actually pledged.

    This was a statement of fact.  She has never said she intends to lobby pledged delegates to break their pledges.  However, thanks to the avalanche of calls for her to drop out, she has been obliged to drop hints here and there as to the numerous ways by which things may not go as planned for Obama.  

    I think the "pledged" delegates statement was one of her more awkward ways of making that point, but I do agree that making that point in a number of ways has been necessitated by the Obama camp's withdrawal-pressure tactic.


    Good One (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:29:13 PM EST
    Very small minded decision, considering....

    Better that the voters of two critical swing states comprising close to 10 percent of the electorate be disenfranchised than that Obama's inevitable nomination be delayed.

    Now that is boneheaded.

    Yeah (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by david mizner on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:30:32 PM EST
    This is the one substantial piece of moral high ground that Clinton can lay claim to. Sure, she's supporting revotes for political reasons, but so what?

    It's painful to see alleged champions of people-power--like Kos--not strongly supporting revotes.

    They don't acknowledge that the voters of Florida and Michigan were disenfranchised by the stupidity of their elected reps, exactly the kind of elite error that the blogosphere should try to correct.

    There is no honor (5.00 / 5) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:33:22 PM EST
    among bloggers anymore.

    TEAM is everything now for most. Obama and Clinton supporters frankly.

    Mizner and I are the last 2 pure bloggers left . . .


    Ha (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by david mizner on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:44:56 PM EST
    You flatterer, you.

    Just trying to hang on to some principles and objectivity as the Obama bandwagon thunders past.


    Don't worry, the wheels are getting wobbly (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:10:59 PM EST
    and will probably start to come off soon. The thinness of his political resume and the fact that most of the bills he claims are "his" are turning out to be other peoples' with his name attached for political purposes is starting to spread among voters here. And down here in FL, the AA community isn't happy about the primary votes being blocked. And they don't like that Obama has anything to do with it. His glow is starting to fade as the real facts come out.

    And Bob Somerby (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by badger on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:47:49 PM EST
    And Digby (5.00 / 4) (#144)
    by Lysis on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:03:49 PM EST
    Make Them Do It

    It's a slightly larger group, but not by much.  BTD is far and away the best of any community site blogger, applying actual principles when writing.


    a couple things (3.40 / 5) (#61)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:04:43 PM EST
    I think it is important to make a distinction between nomination contests and general election campaigns. The standard of one person, one vote is freely ignored in nomination campaigns. Political parties are allowed to determine who gets to vote in their nomination campaigns. Even the widely touted "popular vote count" is not quite accurate, as, for example, people who showed up to caucus in Washington State are typically not counted, solely because the Washington State Democratic Party only reports state convention delegates, not number of supporters at the caucus. This doesn't mean that it is somehow illegitimate to argue for a nomination process that is more consistent with our standards for general elections. But it is extremely disingenuous to compare the MI/FL situation to the Florida 2000 situation.

    I think almost everybody in this debate thinks that nomination contests should have at least somewhat different rules than general elections. For example, many people have argued that the Democratic party shouldn't have open primaries, as why should we let people who won't associate with us help pick our nominee? So let's be careful with terms like "voter disenfranchisement," since I think we would all acknowledge that there is no fundamental right to vote in a Democratic primary. From that common ground, we can argue about how to reform the primary process to make it fairer and better, to make it serve the Democratic party better.

    That said, I agree that Obama is being very short-sighted here.


    Exactly. Primaries have different rules, ... (5.00 / 1) (#138)
    by cymro on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:54:28 PM EST
    ... and there is no immutable law of nature that requires a political party to use any particular method of selecting its candidates for the general election. The only purpose of the primary process is to select a ticket that will win the GE.

    Having said that, during that selection (primary) process, the party should avoid any actions that lessen the probability of victory in the GE. Such actions would of course include alienating supporters in key states, or alienating other large segments of the party's base.


    Ridiculous comment (none / 0) (#80)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:14:06 PM EST
    There is one solution to this problem: a national primay--closed.

    Exactly. (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:21:06 PM EST
    Two days - Saturday and Sunday.

    Instant runoff voting - winner takes the nomination.

    No Indy/Repubs allowed.

    No delegates, no superdelegates.

    Paper ballots only - maybe mail-in like Oregon?

    Power to the People, Baby! :-)


    a national primary (5.00 / 2) (#101)
    by david mizner on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:27:19 PM EST
    would only work in conjunction with serious campaign finance reform, probably only public financing, otherwise it would just go to the richest/best known candidate.

    meh (none / 0) (#113)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:32:46 PM EST
    the nomination process should mirror the general election process (which should be by national popular vote. . .).

    that is one solution (none / 0) (#120)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:36:29 PM EST
    Although obviously a closed primary "disenfranchises" voters. Not that I necessarily think that is bad -- there are arguments on both sides, completely independent from any arguments about the candidates. But making all these claims about "disenfranchisement" misses the point: the arguments should be about what process is the most fair, and the most beneficial to the Democratic party. ANY system is going to "disenfranchise" some voters, except for an national open primary.

    Nonsense (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:38:59 PM EST
    a closed primary for the DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION would not exclude any Democrat.

    of course it wouldn't (none / 0) (#133)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:46:46 PM EST
    and maybe when everybody gets all up in arms about "voter disenfranchisement" what they really mean is "Democratic voter disenfranchisement."

    But my whole point is that nobody has a fundamental right to vote in the nomination contest of a political party, and to imply equivalence with disenfranchisement of voters in a general election is false.

    This isn't to say that nomination processes can't be unfair. God knows this nomination contest has certainly had its share of unfairness. But high-strung claims of massive voter disenfranchisement are thrown around far too often, and with too little thought, that I wanted to quixotically push back a little. Again, I'm NOT arguing that the nomination campaign so far has been particularly fair, just to be clear. Simply that the rhetoric about "disenfranchisement" is getting overheated.


    No it isn't (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:49:19 PM EST
    All Democrats should be able to vote in the Democratic nomination process. Your point is a pedantic one designed to get people to shut up about Michigan and Florida.

    no, my point is (none / 0) (#141)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:59:59 PM EST
    a pedantic one designed to get people to tone down their rhetoric about Michigan and Florida, as I explicitly said in my previous post. If you think asking for more precise rhetoric is the same as asking people to shut up, well, frankly, I think you are part of the problem.

    It is very difficult to have a serious debate over how to create a fairer nomination system right now, because everything is so caught up in the Obama/Clinton race. But we can't avoid the debate, since in order to win in November we have to figure out a way to get a nominee that is widely seen as legitimate.

    My point -- my only point -- is that for Clinton supporters to go around shouting that the MI/FL situation is like Florida 2000 does not help. Nor does it help for Obama supporters to claim that ignoring MI and FL altogether is fair, simply because those are the rules. Of course the rules can be unfair, it is disingenuous to argue that because they are the rules they must be fair.

    I proposed in another thread that, absent a revote (which seems pretty unlikely right now), I thought a fair solution would be to split the MI delegation 50/50 and seat the FL delegation as is. I would like to hear what the Clinton supporters think a fair solution would be (again, absent a revote).


    Clearly, the only fair solution (5.00 / 1) (#153)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:24:57 PM EST
    is a revote.

    so what do we do if there isn't one? (none / 0) (#157)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:29:18 PM EST
    This is a serious question. Since it looks like there probably won't be a revote, what is the way forward from here?

    Does the lack of a revote mean the nomination process is hopelessly tainted and neither candidate can ever claim to be legitimate, no matter what happens?


    That is my fear (5.00 / 1) (#158)
    by andgarden on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:30:59 PM EST
    and it is why BTD is absolutely right that Obama needs to win the popular for by at least 500,000.

    IMO (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by Nadai on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:15:00 PM EST
    Absent a revote, I don't think there is a fair solution.

    I think they should seat both of them (5.00 / 1) (#171)
    by FlaDemFem on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:20:40 PM EST
    and let the chips fall where they may. Obama took his name off the ballot in MI, too bad for him. Hillary thought the voters should have a say, even under threat of it not counting, and she stayed on the ballot. Obama took his name off because it wasn't to his advantage then to have it on. So he didn't get any votes. Too bad. He should NOT be given ANY of Hillary's votes, if he wants some votes from MI, let him settle for the undecideds. I am really mad that our primary isn't going to be counted, our primary date was set by REPUBLICANS to do exactly what has happened. So, by not seating the delegation, the Democratic party is allowing the Republican party to dictate which Democrats have votes that count in selecting candidates. Why no one in the DNC has noticed this is a mystery to me.

    I couldn't agree more (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:33:59 PM EST
    with that quote. I was not planning on voting for Clinton (don't hate her though) and I knew Florida would likely go to her. But when this happened last summer I knew it was wrong. It never should have mattered which candidate benefits. Or what the rules allowed. Voting rights should be sacred.

    Even more to the point... (5.00 / 2) (#20)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:36:33 PM EST
    it was the Republican legislatures that moved up the primaries. Now, Howard Dean is punishing the Democrats in those states because of what the Republicans did!

    This makes no sense at all.


    But does it matter? (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:44:24 PM EST
    If the Florida legislature was composed entirely of Democrats and we had a Democratic Governor it still would not justify disenfranchising the voters over the actions of the state government.

    The DNC can not control what state governments do. They can control how they react. And their reaction, regardless of who was at fault, was wrong.


    Good point! (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:48:16 PM EST
    I just think it's so ironic that the Republicans are being given so much power in our elections...even in a Democratic primary!!

    Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#100)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:27:08 PM EST
    Now that they see the chaos they caused in Florida this year, what is to stop them from doing it again next time?

    Voting Them Out (none / 0) (#112)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:31:29 PM EST
    GIven? (none / 0) (#111)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:31:00 PM EST
    The republicans were given their power by voters, like it or not.

    Forgive me.... (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:14:50 PM EST
    but I don't have too much confidence in the Florida voting process. :-p

    But the real point is that it's a national party, and the state legislatures should not decide when their primaries are going to be.

    As I said before - a national primary would make all of this stuff irrelevant. And I completely agree with public financing for elections. I also would like to see free and equal TV time for each candidate, and the debates should be on network TV, not on cable, which many folks cannot afford. We should also have a much shorter primary season - 6 monts max. And why can't we have actual debates instead of these weird semi-scripted things where people ask what baseball team or Bible quote the candidates prefer???

    I'm a radical leftie, I tells ya! ;-)


    frankly, (none / 0) (#55)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:00:44 PM EST
    considering the negative perception of disenfranchising voters, I think Dean/DNC should give some wiggle room on Florida since the primary stayed within the DNC rules and occurred after the first 4 states.
    But fairness and practicality now seem to be based on first accessing potential harm to Obama, since he's the Dem establishment candidate.
    Apparently the CW is for Obama to run out the clock while the media skewers Hillary, Obama becomes the nominee and FL/MI delegates are seated.

    Who's afraid of the big bad revote? (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by Grey on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:36:07 PM EST
    This is utterly ridiculous.  Let the people vote and let those votes count and be counted before the convention.

    Why in the world is the completely arbitrary punishment decided by the DNC taking precedence over democracy?

    Clinton said it very well last night on Greta: "Let's have the Democratic Party go on record" saying that the votes and voters of FL and MI "don't count, three months before the election.  I don't think that's going to happen."

    Nor should it.  DNC, pick up that gauntlet and do something with it.  You, too, Obama.

    Ugh (5.00 / 0) (#45)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:52:57 PM EST
    Sorry but I have real problems with that study. I posted a diary at MyDD about it.

    It drives me insane that it was posted so many places without anyone giving it a critical look. According to them we should have had a 68.89% Dem turnout in Florida.

    Why didn't the authors of the study (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by Josey on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:07:21 PM EST
    compare 2004 and 2008 primary voter turnouts?

    >>>They compared the primary voter turnouts to 2004 Presidential votes in oder to calculate the missing voters from Florida and Michigan


    IMO (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:18:03 PM EST
    I think they didn't because it becomes more obviously complicated.

    In 2004 the Dem nominee was decided prior to Florida's primary. You would have to go to at least 1992 to find a primary with a vote that mattered I think.

    I wish they had included their data. They have enough points on their graph to have included open primary and caucus state. I'd like to see all those numbers and how they related them.


    I look insane (none / 0) (#62)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:05:39 PM EST
    This comment was in response to a comment that must have been deleted. It shouldn't be used as proof that I am insane and respond to invisible posts.

    You are not insane (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:09:58 PM EST
    The link you are responding to broke the margins.

    It was to the ridiculous So callled "Wharton study" of FL/Mi turnout. An embarrassing work form so-called academics that has been thoroughly discredited.


    You may be insane (none / 0) (#180)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:26:36 PM EST
    but it's not because of that. :-)

    FL and MI voted (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by po on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:58:01 PM EST
    and the votes were counted.  By definition, there was no disenfranchisement.  Delegates were awarded (or could be if they haven't already).  Now its time for whatever states who haven't voted to get on with it and get this thing to Denver where the real fun begins.

    The problem is not the citizens of X state voting or the counting of those citizens' votes.  That has been done.  The problem is that the DNC is threatening not to seat those delegates awarded by the State Democratic parties because the parties in MI and FL (as well as others, but that's not so important at the moment) allowed the citizens of those states to vote too early in the process, which is controlled by the parties themselves.  This DNC policy was announced in advance of any voter voting in any Democratic primary / caucus in any state in the union.  The Democratic candidates at the time, including the 2 continuing to run at the moment, all agreed that not seating the delegates those 2 states awarded based on any vote occuring before X date was an acceptable punishment, this again before anyone voted in any Democratic primary or caucus anywhere in the union.  

    All was well in Whoville.  Hillary was inevitable and wouldn't need every individual's vote any way.  She was going to smoke 'em.  Didn't happen and now we hear all this talk about disenfranchisement.

    And finally, forget whether a revote is fair to obama or clinton -- what about the fairness to the voters and Democratic parties of the other 48 states, plus territories, which have voted are will vote shortly?  Allowing FL and MI to do it over to correct their sloppiness, over-reaching and bone-headed maneuvers does a disservice to all the rest of us.  FL and MI made their beds, knew what the punishment would be, had the opportunity to do something about it and decided not to, until now.  Sorry, actions have consequences, some quite unintended.

    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:03:08 PM EST
    Sorry, actions have consequences, some quite unintended.

    I cannot imagine a more vacuous excuse for the decision not to give two states a say in the nominating process.

    Florida 2000 all over again.  Gosh, maybe those old Jewish people should have looked more closely at the ballot before they accidentally punched the hole for Pat Buchanan.  "Actions have consequences, some quite unintended."


    And one of those (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:05:56 PM EST
    unintended consequences could be the loss of MI & FL to McCain in November. But hey, roolz r roolz.

    Steve, c'mon... (none / 0) (#69)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:08:06 PM EST
    The fact remains that Hillary was A OK with this until the numbers did not look right, AND that comparison shouldn't even be made.

    Sorry (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:13:54 PM EST
    I am tired of Obama supporters treating the estoppel argument as the be-all and end-all.  You want to ignore the fact that the voters of two states are being shut out of the process in favor of some giant Tim Russert-style game of gotcha.

    Yes, Hillary refrained from making a big production out of the MI/FL ruling for the exact same reason both candidates signed the pledge not to campaign, and the exact same reason Obama took his name off the MI ballot: to pander to the early states.  Big deal.  The idea that what Clinton said to some random radio show in New Hampshire should be dispositive of the issue just boggles my mind; no one on either side would take the argument seriously if it weren't for the echo-chamber effect.


    Steve (none / 0) (#81)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:15:12 PM EST
    Here's your estoppel argument once again ;-)

    And here I was (5.00 / 0) (#60)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:04:30 PM EST
    thinking there was some issue about whether the delegates from MI & FL would be seated at the convention in accordance with the votes of their respective states. Silly me.

    That's not the standard anyway (none / 0) (#83)
    by po on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:15:56 PM EST
    Delegates are not necessarily tied to their state's popular vote under the rules as they now stand.  Supers can do whatever they want.  The disenfranchisement re popular vote argument is entirely bogus.  There is no enfranchisement for Democrats only in the Democratic Party's nominating process and disenfranchisement is just being thrown around as a cute buzzword that gets people talking like the sky is falling because their vote didn't count and its 2000 all over again.  It's not.    

    So you support (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:20:27 PM EST
    the seating of the MI & FL delegations as determined by the January primaries? Because if you don't, then you are admitting your argument is crap.

    I seem to remember that (5.00 / 0) (#146)
    by wasabi on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:09:24 PM EST
    this was the same argument used by Bush in Bush v Gore.  How can you count ALL the votes in Florida, when recounting will make my vote less powerful.  It sucked then, and it still sucks now.

    I am not clear how the early votes (5.00 / 0) (#162)
    by hairspray on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:53:08 PM EST
    the MI/FL have hurt me here in California.  Can you explain how bad that is so I can understand why the punishment fits the crime.

    I think (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by cmugirl on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:13:30 PM EST
    The DNC is trying to say to MI and FL something like "Bad, doggie!" while they are holding a rolled newspaper in their hand.

    I think it's like (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:26:07 PM EST
    the way gay marriage weakens all our straight marriages.

    Gotta love Gene Lyons (5.00 / 1) (#82)
    by Dadler on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:15:22 PM EST
    He raked the MSM early in the Clinton years, and was spot on in doing so. Fools for Scandal is a great book, and a greater title.  No surprise he gets it so right on this issue.

    I've said this before (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by ruffian on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:24:20 PM EST
    and I'll say it every time I have to.  Florida Dems, led by Sen. Bill Nelson, were protesting this long before it became a national issue - back in the early fall, when Hillary was supposed to be 'inevitable' and it did not look like these delegates would be needed to decide the nomination.  He protested it precisely because the Dem party cannot be the party that does not count votes in Florida.

    It was the FL Republicans that changed the date of the primary by attaching it as a poison pill to the vote to give the electronic voting machines a pater trail, something the Dems had put forward and had to support.

    Overestimated (5.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Trickster on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:45:08 PM EST
    Probably because nobody in their wildest hallucinations could ever have imagined that the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination would be unwilling to allow the votes from the most important swing state in Presidential elections to vote on who should be President.

    They must have assumed sanity.


    I think Obama is sane (none / 0) (#183)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 08:02:17 PM EST
    so I'll go with your alternative that he's a coward.

    I am confident (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:24:40 PM EST
    that the vast majority of HRC supporters have believed all along that it was unacceptable not to count MI and FL.

    You want to deploy the hypocrisy argument, at least make it based on some semblance of fact.

    You are right about one HRC supporter. (5.00 / 2) (#104)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:27:48 PM EST
    I just love the mind-reading abilities of Obamans. ;-)

    I care (5.00 / 3) (#106)
    by Step Beyond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:28:45 PM EST
    I was shouting about this last year (search my posts as I provided links yesterday to some of my posts last summer/fall).

    So you are obviously wrong when you say "Nobody acutally cares about the voters." Want to try again with a discussion on the merits instead of a discussion on the motivations you want to assign people you don't know?

    I'd be more willing to vote for Obama (5.00 / 1) (#128)
    by stillife on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:41:28 PM EST
    if he's the nom, if he would follow Karl Rove's advice (yes, I know! I can't believe I'm invoking Rove) and agree to seat the FL and MI delegates.  It would be a noble gesture and it would signify to this skeptical Hillary supporter that he is sincere in his expressed desire to rise above old-style politics.  

    As KKKarl said, though, it's not gonna happen.  I grew up in Chicago and I know Chicago-style politics when I see them.  This is not the politics of hope, it's the politics of hype.

    No (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:55:10 PM EST
    that doesn't make it transparent. It simply means that in a non-tight race, MI & FL wouldn't have mattered, so the Dem nominee would allow their delegates to be seated at the convention. The key is they would NOT have been disenfranchised in that case. This is what Kos kept telling me, and it's how it played out for the GOP.

    But now that we have a very tight race between two candidates, every single vote matters. There is simply no principled reason for disenfranchising MI & FL. You can point your cynicism at the motives of Clinton and Obama all you want, but on principle having the votes of FL & MI count is the correct principle regardless of who is advocating for it.

    I feel as if I have fallen into an alternate (5.00 / 0) (#173)
    by countme on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:26:40 PM EST
    universe where the republican Florida gov is in favor of counting votes.  Since when do democrats not count votes?  This is one of the reasons why I have been seriously questioning what the democratic party stands for.

    I think there is a difference between (none / 0) (#2)
    by DodgeIND on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:27:06 PM EST
    a party run primary nomination and a federal mandated/ran presidential election.

    At least I see the difference.  

    I see the difference too (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:30:22 PM EST
    if I squint really hard and look directly into the sun.

    Sure there is (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by eric on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:40:54 PM EST
    a difference, but that difference isn't material in a normative sense.  On a very basic, fundamental level, people who vote want their vote to count.

    But the similarity is that (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Joan in VA on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:50:48 PM EST
    human voters participate in both. Or maybe not the second if you anger them with the first.

    Really? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:32:13 PM EST
    So you think we should not count all those caucuses?

    Hillary Clinton would love you for that position.

    There is nothing funnier than an Obama supporter who has no idea that he has undermined his own candidate's position.


    I'm a democrat first and foremost right now. (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by DodgeIND on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:46:07 PM EST
    I also don't support all the divisive propaganda and  us vs. them in this party.  I also can see the difference between a General Election and a party-driven primary to find someone to actually run for president.  It has nothing to do with caucous' vs. primaries.

    Perhaps if you ran this site with less bias ism and with more objective material you could see that.  You play more into destroying the party than helping it.

    You're not alone with it.  Almost every other blog does it.  However there is a disgusting trend in your front pages that shows everything postitive for Clinton and everything slightly negative for Obama.  You can't deny it.  You also outright attack the community of dKos in another thread by calling them all idiots.

    Even if you still think Clinton is far less negative/more positive than Obama, you might as well try to live by your candidates principles.


    Oh please (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:55:35 PM EST
    You said absolutely nothing in that comment.

    You simply do not know what you are talking about.

    Primaries are government run elections.

    Caucuses are not.

    You do not even know the most basic things about the process.

    You are not worht discussing this with.

    Carry on with others. No more with me.


    Well... (none / 0) (#52)
    by Aye B2 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:57:18 PM EST
    You certainly didn't deny it.

    I would prefer primaries NOT to government paid (none / 0) (#137)
    by jerry on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:51:36 PM EST
    I think the actual election should be, and that we need election funding reform, but I think a lot of the problems we have in terms of party politics, and closed vs. open elections, and election schedules would be a lot easier to deal with if parties paid for the primaries themselves.

    To the best of my knowledge, parties ain't in the constitution and our founders were against them -- I think rightfully so.  So anything we can do to eliminate them, the better, and I say that as a lifelong and proud Democrat.

    If parties paid for the primary they could choose vote, caucus or bizzaro world texas caucus rules, or rock paper scissors.


    Also: (none / 0) (#5)
    by DodgeIND on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:28:51 PM EST
    I don't see how Obama is at fault here?  He didn't put those two states in that situation.  Also, what if each plan given to him...

    ...first of all, has there ever been anything published as to how many plans and what those plans were that were presented to him and those that he rejected?...

    ...what if each plan given to him were unfair towards him?  Would you agree to something that is unfair and unjust?

    I wouldn't.

    A revote is unfair to Obama because? (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:29:39 PM EST
    Unfair: (none / 0) (#41)
    by DodgeIND on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:50:23 PM EST
    Provide me with the detailed plans of each revote idea and I will tell you if it's unfair or not.

    Example:  Do all people have access to the revote?  Closed/Open primary?  What about the people who already voted in the the Rep. Primary?  Do they get to vote again?

    Who would pay for it?  I think it's a very dangerous road to walk down when we have private financing for it, especially when those financier's openly support one candidate.


    This blog has provided all those answers (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Cream City on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:54:53 PM EST
    so just look up past thread and you'll find them.

    Perfect example (5.00 / 8) (#49)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:54:55 PM EST
    of how quibbling over the details becomes a strategy for ensuring there are no elections at all.

    There was no concern whatsoever from Obama supporters as to whether the Texas system was fair, or whether it even made sense.  No concern about whether it made sense to have a primary in Washington if the votes weren't going to count for anything.  No concern with whether the caucus system in general is fair to voters.  Indeed, it was widely deemed to be Hillary's fault that she couldn't manage to compete according to the rules as the states decided to lay them out.

    But when MI and FL, two pro-Clinton states, decide to have a revote, suddenly it's critical that everything be done absolutely perfectly.  Beautiful.


    Heh. (5.00 / 4) (#63)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:05:55 PM EST
    It's fascinating that Hillary won the primary and lost the caucuses in Texas, yet this doesn't seem to give Obama supporters any pause whatsoever.

    It seems pretty bizarre to have two different votes on the same day to me, but I heard that it developed that way over time, and no one cared before because Texas "didn't count."

    Maybe this is the year we decide to totally reform our primary system for the next election cycle. It certainly could use an overhaul.


    this is a bit silly (1.00 / 1) (#74)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:12:02 PM EST
    All of the examples you mention have long established, detailed rules that have existed since well before Obama or Clinton got into the race.

    In this case, MI and FL are proposing to create entirely new rules in the middle of a contested election campaign. While I think that Obama should have agreed to a revote, a change in the rules in the middle of a contest should surely be subject to more scrutiny than long-established rules set up before the contest begins.


    Sorry (5.00 / 3) (#86)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:17:19 PM EST
    A system where only white people can vote is not fair just because everyone knows about it 6 months in advance.  Nor is a system where people can't vote unless they can spare 3 hours for a caucus at a set time.  

    We heard no complaints about the basic unfairness of procedures like Texas, because they favored Obama.  But suddenly when MI wants to revote, it's an outrage beyond belief that people who voted in the Republican primary in January might not be allowed to vote a second time in the Democratic primary.

    Yes, it's not going to be perfect, but either we're going to make a good-faith effort to determine the will of the people or we're not.  


    jeez, cool down (1.00 / 1) (#109)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:30:46 PM EST
    A system where only white people can vote is not fair just because everyone knows about it 6 months in advance.  Nor is a system where people can't vote unless they can spare 3 hours for a caucus at a set time.

    Jim Crow and caucuses are not, and never will be, anywhere close to morally equivalent. I understand that you were probably exaggerating to make a point, but still, come on.

    Furthermore, I'm not making an argument about fairness here. I'm saying that changing the rules midstream and operating by previously agreed upon rules are not the same thing, REGARDLESS of whether those rules are fair. Obama is perfectly justified (if, IMO, wrong), it wanting to be able to carefully scrutinize any revote proposal before agreeing to it. He did, after all, get to carefully scrutinize all the other procedures in the nomination contest before deciding to get in.

    And it would be quite possible to construct rules for a revote that favored one candidate or the other.


    It's just a game (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:35:05 PM EST
    If you can't see that finding something unfair with every single proposal for a revote is a way to stop a revote from occurring at all, then I don't think we're ever going to see eye to eye on this.

    I've said twice (none / 0) (#126)
    by tsackton on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:40:06 PM EST
    that I think Obama is wrong on this, despite my support for him overall.

    But I think that both sides have legitimate concerns about the MI/FL situation, and Obama has a legitimate reason to be cautious about agreeing to something that is not concrete.

    Just because I personally think that the risk Obama takes that the process turns out to be unfair to him is relatively small, and the benefit of settling the issue is huge doesn't mean that there are no other legitimate points of view.


    Bull (none / 0) (#107)
    by po on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:29:42 PM EST
    Re: "We heard no complaints about the basic unfairness of procedures like Texas" -- why you ask, because they weren't viewed as basically unfair until Hillary started seeing she didn't do so well in caucuses, liked primaries much better and wouldn't reach the right number before Denver.  

    Each state's party has rigged the system for years so as to keep their particular insiders having influence and getting elected.  Cry all you want about the process each party has developed (and there is tons to argue about on the Democratic side), but it's not these candidates' fault that the process is set up how it is. and mid-season is not the time to cure all the "problems" the party has apparently discovered in its process.  


    You must be new (5.00 / 2) (#99)
    by waldenpond on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:26:01 PM EST
    The rules allow and have alway allowed a re-vote.  No new rule, same rule.  Always there, always an option.

    you would think, wouldn't you (none / 0) (#89)
    by po on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:20:37 PM EST
    but not if your candidate needs more delegates apparently.  then, all's fair (in love and war (and politics)) and that's ok.

    Of course (none / 0) (#51)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:56:35 PM EST
    A point I overlooked. Thank you for reminding us of that.

    Something to consider. (none / 0) (#44)
    by DodgeIND on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:52:28 PM EST
    I want to add also, that if the plans are complete and fair I could be in support of a revote.

    But the one thing that gets me ultimately is that the state government broke the rules knowingly at the beginning of the game. Yes the voters didn't do it, but we live in a representative government, not a true democracy.  The voters in MI elected the people who screwed it up.

    It's something to think about.


    The details WERE provided (none / 0) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:53:04 PM EST
    You seem to not know one darn thing about this issue.

    But Obama just spoke to Thurman about (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:32:00 PM EST
    FL.  Give the guy some credit.

    Sorry (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by Coral Gables on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:41:10 PM EST
    Obama in Florida is doing nothing more than playing  a public relations card. He doesn't support seating the delegates based on the January vote and he didn't publicly support a revote. Coming out now and talking about a cure is an attempt at minimizing the damage already inflicted.

    Hey, maybe more Floridians than just myself told the Obama campaign to forget about contributions this year when they made Florida phone calls earlier this week looking for money. It's was a simple reply..."Don't count Florida. Don't count on me".


    Heh (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:33:37 PM EST
    It's a problem... (none / 0) (#31)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:44:32 PM EST
    With no good solution. Revotes would have been the best of the bad choices, but even if we remove Obama from the picture, they would have been a long shot at best. The Florida House delegates were absolutely opposed to a revote there, and it appears there are constitutional issues with a revote in Michigan. With Obama in the picture, defending his interests as any candidate would, there's really no hope...especially at this date.

    So...do we seat them without penalty? That basically  rewards states for not playing by DNC rules. How do we prevent states from scheduling primaries in December, November, October....whatever it takes to be first? I can't imagine the DNC taking this option...I wouldn't if I were in their shoes. You have to have the ability to enforce basic party discipline, and as any parent knows, maintaining discipline means following through on what you say.

    Do we seat them with a 50% penalty? That would conceivably work in Florida, where everyone was on the ballot, but how do we realistically seat the MI delegation? Nobody (excepting the most die-hard Hillary partisans) sees the Michigan results as legitimate, since Obama wasn't even on the ballot. Do we just give him all the uncommitteds? Send the to the convention as free agents? Neither option is appealing, and the inability to resolve MI in anything resembling a fair fashion makes it all the more tempting to just exclude Florida and Michigan entirely. (at least until it doesn't matter any more)

    I'm seriously beginning to think that the best option is for the Supers to get off their collective butts and make a decision, one way or the other. They're ultimately going to be the ones making the decision anyway, and people are going to be just as happy/unhappy about whatever they decide if they do it now rather than in August. But if they do it now, we'll have 6 months to bury various hatchets and move on rather than 2.

    If Obama had gone along (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:52:10 PM EST
    we would have revotes in both FL and MI. You deny the obvious.

    I don't think so. (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by sweetthings on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:06:12 PM EST
    Obama, as all-powerful as he is, cannot change judicial rulings in Michigan. And it's not at all clear how a revote in Michigan could be done in compliance  with this ruling. The Michigan Democratic Party is saying it can't be done. I realize Marc Ambinder disagrees, but frankly, I suspect he's the more partisan player in that discourse.

    And the Florida plan, as we've discussed, was held up largely by Clinton surrogates, not Obama's people. (probably because Obama doesn't have many people in Florida, but still...) I realize you think that if Obama had pressured them, Debbie and the gang would have stepped down, but I'm not sure that's true. One of the few things you and Markos agree on these days is that Debbie's been a bad, bad girl, (DK is upset at her with reasons not related to the revote, but that gang is quite upset) and it hasn't seemed to faze her any.

    Mind you, all I said was that even with Obama out of the picture, revotes were a longshot. I stand by that. However, I fully agree that having Obama in the picture makes them all but impossible. Revotes offer more risk than reward to Obama, so of course he's going to be leery of them, and only go along if he has no other choice. And, for good or for ill, he has lots of other choices at the moment.


    Ambinder is correct (5.00 / 1) (#161)
    by Trickster on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:52:41 PM EST
    DNC Rule 2.e. states:

    "No person shall participate or vote in the nominating process for a Democratic presidential
    candidate who also participates in the nominating processes of any other party for the
    corresponding elections."

    Someone in the MI Sec. of State office did not read this rule closely.  This rule does not require states to implement any specified process to assure that persons may not vote in both nominating processes, such as by consulting a list. Read it: it applies only to "persons," not to "states." If Michigan makes its best effort to comply with this DNC rule, for example by making people sign a statement saying they didn't vote in the GOP primary, there's no reason under the sun that this rule would bar them from conducting a primary that is fully compliant with DNC rules.


    Actually, I kind of like... (none / 0) (#47)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 02:54:02 PM EST
    the idea of them voting in June. All the primaries will be over by then and they can really look at all factors involved. The race is so close now that I hope they don't decide quite yet.

    If they decide in June, then we will have months for our nominee to go after the real enemy, John McCain.


    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:06:56 PM EST
    And we can leverage them to be less wishy washy about leaving Iraq.

    Authors Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) and Jeremy Scahill (Blackwater) have written an important article about ending the war. The central thrust of the piece is that we should be using this prolonged primary to leverage the two candidates against each other on the issue instead of joining in the fun and games of primary politics.


    There is a plan, A Responsible Plan to end the war. Neither candidate is backing it.


    There's no chance (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:13:23 PM EST
    of the major voices in the blogosphere taking that approach. I offer into evidence as Exhibit A DailyKos, which has abandoned almost every principle it once stood for in order to shill for one candidate over another.

    It Is Soooo Boring (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:23:59 PM EST
    To repeat the same thing ad infinitum, even idiots must need a little distraction now and then from that sort of thing. I am not optimistic, but it is worth pushing for. At this point both candidates are getting a free pass courtesy of two jockeying fan clubs who see each of their candidate as walking truth and unsurpassed godness.

    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:28:16 PM EST
    but where are you doing to push it? DailyKos allows you to post a diary, but it will get ZERO attention, except perhaps from those who want to accuse you of writing yet another hit piece against Obama.

    Kos (none / 0) (#177)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:10:42 PM EST
    Will have to take the lead on this, for the good of us all.

    I agree. (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:25:50 PM EST
    It's really sad what's happened to that site and many others. A non-stop Hillary Hate-fest. They don't even care about pretending to be even-handed.

    I'd prefer to save my hatred for Bush, Cheney and the rest of the evil empire.

    I used to think that Obama and Hillary should run as the Dream Team. Now I am afraid that Obama cannot win the General Election because of Wright.

    I guess we will see what happens in the next few months.


    Not A Biggie (none / 0) (#114)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:33:04 PM EST
    That scandal will blow up in the GOP's face, imo.

    gosh (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:39:12 PM EST
    that a relief

    it's also a complete crock (5.00 / 2) (#147)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:12:36 PM EST
    but i really don't want to wake him from the dream.  :-)

    Considering You (none / 0) (#149)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:18:08 PM EST
    Labeled BHO as unelectable and attested that you could never vote for him in the GE, all before the Rev Wright scandal surfaced, your opinion does not carry much weight on this matter.

    pardon me for being honest (1.00 / 1) (#155)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:27:54 PM EST
    you should try it, you might find you like it.  though reality would have to creep in, so maybe not.

    by the way, your opinion has no value to me either.


    I hope you're right... (5.00 / 1) (#150)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:20:38 PM EST
    but I don't think so.

    If we nominate Obama, we are giving the GOP audio-visual evidence that our candidate "hates America." And what about the fact that he has a weird name? And doesn't wear a FLAG PIN!!!!1111!!!!!

    Never mind that it's not true. "God Damn America" is one powerful soundbite. McCaca and the McCain Stream Media will not let it go away.

    Again, I could be wrong, but this is my fear. Sigh.


    it's not just the candidate (5.00 / 1) (#159)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:31:31 PM EST
    that bothers me.  it's every democrat who's running being tarred with it.  as i think i've said before, they all may as well tattoo "God Damn America" on their forehead.  i know lots of democrats are in denial about it, but the ad campaign will play well in peoria.

    I'll Take (none / 0) (#170)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:18:30 PM EST
    God damn America anytime over your comment:
    frankly, the democratic party has for a long time now been the infected appendix of the american political system.


    Isn't that the general position of the neocons. Michael Leeden said something like that, didn't he.


    you are welcome (none / 0) (#181)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:58:31 PM EST
    to God Damn America and probably deserve it.  since you don't have the guts to condemn it.  

    how can you not know that this plays into the hands of those who have been pounding away for years that liberals and democrats are the "blame america first" crowd.  on second thought, if you are any gauge, i guess they are right.


    Compared To (none / 0) (#154)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:26:36 PM EST
    The legion of right wing evangelical hate speakers that McBush/McSame and his party has embraced, I think we are ok on this one.

    I am not interested (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:00:50 PM EST
    in arguing with you but I would like to point out how misguided this argument is because I keep hearing it.
    there may be no difference to you between Wright and the "right wing evangelical hate speakers" as you call them but to the great unwashed, mostly white, voting population there is really no comparison at all.
    the hate speech you refer to is largely about gays and sadly most americans, even if they would not say such a thing themselves, are not inclined to get all that agitated about it.  it is, in fact, quite main stream.
    trust me, I have been gay for a long time and I know this to be true.
    Wright on the other hand with his paranoid hate america stuff pushes every button the republicans want or will ever need to push to destroy any chances Obama has of winning.
    why this is not obvious to everyone is still something I am trying to understand.
    feel free to have the last word.

    American Dissent (none / 0) (#166)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:10:47 PM EST
    Is a long honored value.
    ....Wright on the other hand with his paranoid hate america stuff pushes every button the republicans want..
    Good thing that we are not dependent on that crowd to put our candidate into office. Most Americans are able to understand that hating America in this case amounts to hating BushCo policies that have hurt America and her status in the world at large. Saying god damn America easily translates into god damn BushCo and McSame.

    MSNBC/WSJ Poll (none / 0) (#176)
    by squeaky on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:08:33 PM EST
    According to C&L, the poll gives Obama a boost from the Rev Wright scandal.

    The poll wasn't all good news for Obama. In the wake of the Wright controversy, Obama's numbers among Republicans have fallen off, but he's making up for it with support from independents.

    Except that no Democratic (none / 0) (#179)
    by gyrfalcon on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:25:18 PM EST
    527, never mind candidate, is going to run TV commercials against McCain featuring evangelical preachers.  Not gunna happen.

    The Republican counterparts will have no problem at all running ads against Obama featuring an angry black preacher yelling "God damn America."


    more than that (none / 0) (#182)
    by RalphB on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 07:02:52 PM EST
    McCain has not called one of those right-wing preachers his spiritual mentor nor sat in the pew for 20 years while they ranted away.  this comparison is too bogus for words.

    Great idea! (none / 0) (#73)
    by madamab on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:11:18 PM EST
    We will find a solution (none / 0) (#54)
    by Manuel on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:00:24 PM EST
    Looking in the proverbial crystal ball I see a party funded firehouse primary in MI with absentee voting.  FL is murkier.  The firehouse primary will work there as well.  An alternative in FL is Bill Nelson's plan to seat the delegation based on the January results with some sort of delegate penalty (as set forth in the DNC rules).  This is the best we can make from a bad lot.  When all you have is lemons ...

    I think this topic has been exhausted (none / 0) (#72)
    by Edgar08 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:11:03 PM EST
    As BTD -- and I wholeheartedly agree -- has noted if Clinton is within 500k of the popular vote at the end of all this Obama is tainted.

    So OK then, some "Party Leaders" are trying to pull the chair out from under Clinton at this point.

    Super delegates are lining up behind Obama -- if that's the case -- because Clinton has been too negative.  Have they noticed Obama's campaign to rewrite Democratic success stories from the 90s as failures and pile on the accusations that Clinton is a serial liar.  Short of saying McCain is more trustworthy I don't know what else they could do!!! No.  Those super delegates, maybe they haven't noticed that???   Or maybe, worse, they agree.   Do they just want an expedient end to a contentious and divisive Primary?  And they're willing to step on the sanctity of the vote to get that.

    Some of those party Leaders don't like the Clintons.  For whatever reason, that's up to them, but that doesn't mean they are acting out of concern for the party either.

    In the end, they will only make things even worse.  They PROFOUNDLY MIS-JUDGE the depth and loyalty of Clinton's support.   Make no mistake about that.

    They really have no idea.

    The votes belong to the voter, not the candidates.

    This isn't a statement of protest and people well get over it, it's an organic fact of American existence.

    I (none / 0) (#77)
    by Claw on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:13:40 PM EST
    Condemn/renounce/reject Obama's behavior with regard to the revotes.  Especially in MI where his help could have, I think, easily brought about a pretty fair revote.  FLA always looked like a mess to me.  I do think equating this with Bush v. Gore is a tad bit of a false comparison, however.  In one case, there was an actual election where people actually campaigned, actually had their names on the ballots (you get my drift).  FLA and MI were told that they would suffer consequences if they went ahead with the early primaries...and consequences they did suffer.  Both Obama and Clinton accepted the DNC rules at the beginning of the campaign and, though these states should count, it really isn't comparable to a situation where the SC appoints a President.

    Could be (none / 0) (#94)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:24:00 PM EST
    It doesn't matter who.

    Like sands in the hour glass (none / 0) (#102)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:27:25 PM EST
    So yet another polemic about how undemocratic and unfair the world is.  Throw in a dash of bashing Obama supporters and we have what passes for political analysis today.

    Let's just assume the following since it is abundantly clear.

    1. The Florida and Michigan voters are getting screwed out of their vote.  While I don't completely exonerate them, it is mostly not their fault.

    2. There is no mechanism in the rules to count the delegates for Florida and Michigan before the convention at this time.  What can be done is to get both candidates to agree, before the convention, to some delegate count.  This would, in effect, get them to count before the convention but.....

    3. Neither candidate is going to accept a delegate count that runs counter to their interests.  All the hand-wringing in the world isn't going to change that.  Clinton and her supporters are, for the most part, completely fine with counting Michigan's 79 Clinton delegates to Obama's 0.  Obama and his supporters are fine with not counting ANY delegates from either state.  This is the way things are.

    Those 3 points are incontravertible unless we are willing to accept the notion that the DNC will simply create new rules on the fly, which is very unlikely.

    So we can either complain about the way things are or offer a solution that complies with the above rules.

    NOTE: If you disagree with what I consider incontrovertible, please point out HOW it is wrong rather than simply saying that I am wrong.

    So the voters got cheated fair and square. (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by MarkL on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:42:20 PM EST
    I think Clinton is correct: if the delegate count is close, the pressure to count the results in FL and MI will be overwhelming. Giving Obama the uncommitted primary vote is the obvious, generous way to handle MI. Florida? Obama saturated Florida with TV ads. He had his shot, and he lost.

    Cool it (none / 0) (#152)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 04:24:32 PM EST
    Normally your comment is not worth cautioning about but a subsequent thread turned nasty so I ask you nicely, keep it cool.

    OK BTD (none / 0) (#178)
    by flyerhawk on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 06:15:02 PM EST
    I wasn't trying to poke sticks at anyone.  

    But I would like to hear realistic solutions to the problem and I don't seem to be getting any.

    It's all well and good to chide Obama for not being willing to do what one may wish him to do.  But it isn't going to achieve a thing.  When you have the law on your side, argue the law.  

    So other than simply accepting the situation what are the other viable options.  

    I really would like to go beyond the "Obama/Hillary is a big meanie!" arguments because, when it's all said and done, we are likely going to have some unhappy people.  If we can come up with a solution that, while not exactly satisfying for either side, is acceptable to both,call it The Great Compromise of 2008 :), we can get back to worrying about what's really important, defeating the Republicans in 2008.


    And no one (none / 0) (#110)
    by Warren Terrer on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:30:47 PM EST
    really cares about hope or change either. It's just power politics.

    Really? (none / 0) (#115)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 03:33:08 PM EST
    I guess if you want to ignore every word written in the blogosphere during that period, you could reach that sort of conclusion.

    I certainly know what I believed back in August.  I know what my friends believed.  I know what every single Democratic activist I know believed.  Not a single one of them thought it was no big deal if MI and FL weren't counted.

    BTD is right.  We didn't know how good we had it with jgarza.

    Michigan January 15 Primary Unconstitutional (none / 0) (#164)
    by jsj20002 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:07:40 PM EST
    In an earlier post I referenced the Michigan Democratic Party's fear that the January 15 primary was unconstitutional because it provided the names of persons choosing either the R or the D ballot to only the R and D parties respectively. Although a ruling by the Michigan Court of Appeals concluding that the election law was indeed unconstitutional was set aside by the Republican Gang of Four on the Michigan Supreme Court, the U.S. District Court in Detroit just set aside the Michigan Supreme Court decision and the primary election law.  The election law had a poison pill provision stating that should any part of law be declared unconstitutional the entire law was invalid.  I believe this makes the whole January 15 primary irrelevant and certainly makes using the names of those people who voted in the Republican primary to disqualify voters in any Michigan mulligan election.  The ruling was made by U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Edmunds, appointed to the bench by President George H.W. Bush in 1992.  I have no knowledge of Judge Edmunds record, she may well be a top notch jurist, but once again, we have Republican appointees deciding whether the Michigan primary was or was not legal.  Using this ruling, Barack Obama has ample ammunition to oppose seating any of the Michigan delegation based on the results of the January 15 primary election.    

    You claim too much (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Steve M on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:09:36 PM EST
    Judge Edmunds herself said that her ruling in no way nullified the election.

    I did not say that. (none / 0) (#174)
    by jsj20002 on Thu Mar 27, 2008 at 05:45:24 PM EST
    I said that Barack Obama would have ample ammunition to claim the election results were invalid.  I assume Judge Edmunds limited her ruling to the question before her, as any good jurist would do.  What I am saying, and I have said before, is that the Michigan results should be ignored because Hillary was the only major candidate on the ballot.  All the B.S. about the number of voters who took part (and would now be disenfranchised) sort or reminds me of the Soviet Union's elections in which they had 99% turnout but the voters could only vote for one candidate or not vote at all, which might cost them their job. In Michigan we had more choices than that:  Clinton, Gravel, Kucinich and Dodd, but we could not in anyway vote for Edwards, Obama, Biden or Richardson because the Secretary of State (a Republican) ruled (probably correctly) that write- in votes for those individuals would not count.  While my crystal ball was pretty good that some court would set aside the Michigan law, it is a little cloudy on who might have won a Michigan primary or caucus conducted legally on February 9.
    Personally, I believe that Edwards might well have won a Michigan primary and that would have caused him to stay in the race a bit longer than he did.  I don't blame Edwards, Obama or Clinton for the Michigan fiasco.  I blame Karl Levin, Jennifer Granholm, Debbie Dingell, and Mark Brewer.  Perhaps part of a solution would be not seating the Michigan superdelegates and dividing the rest of the delegation equitably.