The Lack Of Integrity Of The Pledged Delegate System

As we have known for a long time, the Democratic delegate selection process is a travesty. Starting with the disenfranchising caucus system, which shuts out legions of voters from the process, to the unbalanced proportional system of awarding delegates by congressional district (which produces such perverse results like a candidate winning 60% of the vote in a district receiving the same amount of delegates and a different candidate receiving 60% of the delegates with a 50.1% of the vote in another district), to the overweighting of regions arbitrarily and haphazardly (for example, in Nevada rural district were overweighted, in Texas urban districts were overweighted), to awarding low turnout states disproportional representation to high turnout states, the entire system is a travesty of democracy.

Let me put it bluntly, anyone holding up the pledged delegate count as representing the "will of the people" is simply full of it. It does not. It thwarts the will of the people. BY DESIGN. Now we have the latest bit of evidence that the pledged delegate system is a total crock:

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama succeeded in driving more supporters to the Nevada state convention than his opponent U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, who had won the state in the Jan. 19 caucuses. Obama essentially reversed Clinton’s lead from the caucuses, capturing 55 percent of the state delegates to Clinton’s 45 percent.

Remember when the likes of Kid Oakland and TINS were screaming about voter disenfranchisement at the Nevada caucuses in January? How about this utter disregard for those votes? Will there be any honest person in the Obama supporters camp willing to address this disgrace? Of course not. They will whoop it up.

This is a disgusting spectacle. A travesty of democracy. And to hear Donna Brazile and her ilk justify their ego driven blocking of the seating of the Florida and Michigan delegations in the face of this incontrovertible evidence that the RULZ are a disgrace just burns me up.

In my opinion, Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. At this point I believe he is the choice, by a very narrow margin, of the will of the people as I believe he still leads in the popular vote. But never forget this, the Democratic Party has shamed itself with its disregard for democracy and voters.

This disgraceful system can not stand any more after this nomination process is over.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only.

Comments closed

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  • BTD? (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:48:49 PM EST
    You're writing a heck of a lot today. Is it raining where you are?


    pea ess... (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:49:43 PM EST

    sort of... (none / 0) (#12)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:05:57 PM EST
    But I'm not sure that bringing up Brazile, TINS, and others is the reason to totally knock out the "will of the people" argument.

    To me, Brazile overstepped when it came to her actions...and that shouldn't be accepted.


    I do not follow you (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:08:03 PM EST
    I have been knocking the pledged delegate selection process since last September.

    I have been knocking TINS and Kid Oakland since their execrable behavior in January.

    Your comment does not compute for me.


    Yes...you have... (5.00 / 9) (#21)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:14:05 PM EST
    Not saying that you think they're actions have been laudable. I know that you have been on them for it...and Brazile too.

    But in some ways it feels like the "Obama will be the nominee" thing highlights that the odds are they are actually going to get away with it regardless of how execrable the behaviour is...

    I'm confused and more than a little frustrated with the idea that bad behaviour is going to get reinforced by the results.

    Does that make sense?


    That's how I feel (5.00 / 6) (#53)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:49:46 PM EST
    The rewarding of bad behavior, that is, be it outright nastiness or passive-aggressive shoulder patting.

    It's like announcing (5.00 / 2) (#56)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:53:19 PM EST
    an Open Season on those who disagree with you...and the mob mentality just gets louder and nastier.

    BTD is right; It is a disgrace! (5.00 / 2) (#149)
    by felizarte on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:59:23 PM EST
    That is not to say that it is an attempt to change the rules in midstream; rather it should be obvious to everyone that the system does not reflect the will of the people.

    For the life of me, I do not understand why the democratic party cannot parallel the electoral college system since that is the operative system in the national elections.  Any system that makes it possible for one who does not have the majority votes to have more pledged delegates is on its face, flawed.

    This has nothing to do with Barack or Hillary. It should be the first order of business for succeeding DNC leadership.


    Well (5.00 / 6) (#3)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:53:36 PM EST
    let's see where the vote ends up after June 3rd and go from there.

    Even Dean said that you can count the votes from MI and FL.

    August (5.00 / 4) (#29)
    by ChuckieTomato on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:28:05 PM EST
    That's when the decision will be made

    Repeating over and over that you have won the nomination doesn't make it so.


    Amen...Chuckie....Only Works For Repubs (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:40:05 PM EST
    some of the time.  I am not sure when obama became so enamored with the repug playbook.  Maybe when he decided to run for president, knew he wasn't up to the task and would try the easy way in.

    He is a weasel for sure....look at this:



    Obama continues reacting to Bush's (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by Josey on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:02:11 PM EST
    remarks on Thurs. with a 2-fer - specifically denouncing McCain as
    "the past", which includes Hillary.

    And here's an Obamamite insulting "the past."

    Wikipedia -
    >>>Rosie the Riveter is a cultural icon of the  United States, representing the six million women who worked in the manufacturing plants that produced munitions and material during World War II. These women took the places of the male workers who were absent fighting in the Pacific and European theaters.

    Do Obamamites actually think that insulting women is the way to get women to support Obama? Apparently the silence from their Leader is a green light.


    Ah yes the G'wan P!ss Me Off S'more outreach div (5.00 / 3) (#110)
    by Ellie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:28:19 PM EST
    ... to build upon the massive successes of brilliant strategies like the daily wave of Pester-bots.

    Good grief, if this is a brief taste of the Unity Hope Change "new" politics I'll take being kicked in the teeth by the Repugs anyday. At least that's bracing and kind of a pick-me-up.

    This strategy to whine and annoy me into numb compliance doesn't even have the so evil and yet so fiendishly audacious mark of Rethug SOP that 10-15% of my outrage always went towards pure, admiring shock.

    This is just lame on all fronts. On the upside, this dork will suffer a cold, desperate sweat for slamming Rosie the Riveter.

    Ideally, it will be a mile high during air travel when he realizes Rosie's superb level of craftswomanship and pride in her work are a vanishing standard that he is attempting to vanish from culture and memory.


    Actually, that kid doesn't realize (5.00 / 6) (#132)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:46:41 PM EST
    he is actually making a feminist statement by putting a "NOT" under Rosie's image. All the Rosies lost their jobs when the men came home from the war. Even the single ones. It was deemed more important for men, the breadwinners, to work than it was for women to work. Women made great strides forward during the war. After the war, they had to go back to "their place". Shortly after that, Valium was invented. And yes, there is a connection. Valium was the drug that was given to women with "nerves", depression, and whatever else frustration with their lives caused. When women got tired of being medicated into second-class citizenship, they rebelled. That was the 60's. The rest is history.

    Rosie was used when she was needed and then tossed aside when she wasn't. Sort of like what Obama does to voters. Heh.


    Mother's Little Helper! n/t (none / 0) (#144)
    by magisterludi on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:56:17 PM EST
    Indications of a mouth disconnected from brain (2.00 / 1) (#151)
    by felizarte on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:02:59 PM EST
    because such a sweeping statement as "the past" must certainly include the likes of Washing, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln and all those presidents who each contributed to this democracy.



    Edit: Washington (none / 0) (#153)
    by felizarte on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:03:58 PM EST
    even Reagan.  

    That's not Rosie-that's Hillary. (none / 0) (#163)
    by Joan in VA on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:09:37 PM EST
    No, But... (none / 0) (#116)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:30:27 PM EST
    I assume that you agree that it's over if Sen. Clinton announces in early June that she is suspending her campaign in the interest of party unity in the fall? Or do you keep on fighting until the bitter end even if your candidate is no longer contesting the nomination?

    And if Hillary wins can we count on your support (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by ChuckieTomato on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:42:19 PM EST
    Why would she do that?? (5.00 / 5) (#135)
    by FlaDemFem on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:49:29 PM EST
    Ted Kennedy didn't when he was running against Carter. No one else did as far as I can remember. And the convention is where the votes are cast, and the decision made. Why would she stop short of the finish line?? Let's go to the convention. That's what it's for. Remember?

    But is SOOOOO hard and boring! (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:07:03 PM EST
    Obama and his supporters remind me of spoiled children, stomping their feet, pounding their fists and demanding that they want the nomination NOW!!!

    I Believe' (none / 0) (#128)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:43:21 PM EST
    in the stars that shine--and the words I heard her say

    I too believe (5.00 / 0) (#177)
    by felizarte on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:18:58 PM EST
    in the righteousness of her cause and that lightning can strike any time.

    x (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by CognitiveDissonance on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:45:41 PM EST
    If that is the case, then Clinton is already ahead by about 30,000 votes. After the rest of the primaries, I expect the lead to be larger.

    Incidentally, someone pointed this out a few days ago:

    More importantly, however, is a number the Obama campaign and many media outlets haven't discussed: Clinton has now won the popular vote in 195 US Congressional Districts. That number is important because of the relative equality of each congressional district. This number is important because to date Barack Obama has only won the popular vote in 187 congressional districts. If you include Florida & Michigan's 2.3 million voters who showed up in record numbers on Election Day despite being disenfranchised, the congressional district victories look like this:

    Clinton - 227 Congressional Districts
    Obama - 195 Congressional Districts

    Clinton Extends Her Lead...

    Thanks!! I've been looking for these stats (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Josey on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:22:33 PM EST
    So, again, IOKIYAforO -- now, if delegates were to (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by jawbone on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:56:37 PM EST
    switch to Hillary prior to the first vote at the convention? What would the OFB scream? The MCM? The cable shouters?

    First, the Super Delegates were "supposed" to represent the will of the voters in their district/state/maybe in their dreams. Now, "pledged" delegates can switch with impunity?

    DNC leaders, your party discipline is completely disappearing.

    Maybe the Obama/Axelrod hostile takeover will succeed. I'd been thinking it was a stretch too far, but, gee, with this kind of thing going on.

    And recall that the initial "rules" for states skipping head of IA/NH was to lose half their delegate count (not clear if SD's were included in that). Then the DNC itself decided to abrogate the rules and came up with The Roolz, taking all delegates away. Wow.

    Setting a great example there, folks. Why should elected delegates follow party rules if the pary itself won't?

    Well, then I abstain from voting. (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 04:58:40 PM EST
    I disagree with you.  I think Hill will have the pop vote, thus the "will of the people" and I do not understand why you are arguing against that.  

    Not to speak for BTD, masslib, but I think (none / 0) (#17)
    by Teresa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:09:18 PM EST
    he does agree with the popular vote being the will of the people. He just thinks Obama will win that. I hope he's wrong on that one.

    Few others think that. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:10:17 PM EST
    agreed (none / 0) (#139)
    by isaac on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:52:19 PM EST
    it seems even the obama folks are acknowledging this, by attempting to minimize the importance, or how obscure the whole thing is

    I looked at the link, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:02:52 PM EST
    but it made no sense to me.  You mean that the people attending the convention can then choose whom to vote for?   Like the old conventions where a handful of party faithfuls (and I realize this was not handful) met and chose their primary winner?

    Well, like those dispirited Clinton folks who stayed home--I will too.  How about a third party, us?

    It made no sense to you (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:04:12 PM EST
    because you know peiople camoe out and voted in January and their votes have been utterly thwarted by a process DESIGNED to thwart their votes.

    Tell Donna Brazile to stick her RULZ where they belong.


    I Live In NV And Rec'd An Email Asking Me To (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:13:10 PM EST
    attend the caucus for choosing delegates...They called me back to tell me they already had enough people and didn't need any more.  That seems odd, given what happened.  And as a recent transplant to NV...I HATE THE CAUCUS SYSTEM.

    Um, I hate to suggest this (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:39:19 PM EST
    but are you 100% sure that call came from the Clinton camp? I saw a video of a girl in TX who spoke to an alleged caucus rep on speaker phone who was telling her the date & time had been changed and she busted them as being Obama supporters who were calling Clinton delegates. I wish I could find the link or could remember the girl's name, but I saw it with my own eyes.

    The Original Notice Came By Email And I (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:43:00 PM EST
    responded.  The turndown came via phone.  And if I was had by the obama camp, I am going to....not sure, I already despise him more than I thought possible.  I hate lying, cheating and underhanded tactics!!

    It sounds like you got had by these thugs. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:51:45 PM EST
    I can not fathom they would have wanted any of their delegates not to show up.

    "slapping my forehead" I Did Think It (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by PssttCmere08 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:11:09 PM EST
    a bit strange when they said they had enough people...I got punk'd!!  This majorly sucks...

    Retrieve the e-header and get some cyber-CSIs (5.00 / 3) (#117)
    by Ellie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:31:36 PM EST
    ... on it. That Unity Hope Change crap needs exposing, or, if it came from the Rethugs, that should get looked at too.

    The full header is of utmost (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by kredwyn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:09:44 PM EST
    importance when it comes to trying to determine where the email actually came from.

    Agree. I called phone-banked before (none / 0) (#70)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:05:20 PM EST
    our leg distr caucuses to plead with people to show up, alternates or whatever, because we might need them.    

    My first caucus training with the Dean campaign emphasized everybody showing up at the next level caucuses -- so we could grab some spots if the lazy Kerry delegates didn't show.

    BTW I'll never campaign for Dean again for anything after what he's done this campaign cycle.


    thank you, sir (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by kempis on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:03:08 PM EST
    BTD: Let me put it bluntly, anyone holding up the pledged delegate count as representing the "will of the people" is simply full of it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    I cannot believe that people make that argument, but they do. In fact someone argued with me just yesterday that the pledged delegate count was a more accurate measurement of the will of the people than was the popular vote. I just didn't know what to say  to that, so I just shook my head and moved along. Been doing a lot of that lately.

    So thank you.

    Oh my goodness, no! (5.00 / 3) (#23)
    by Fabian on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:15:22 PM EST
    From caucuses, to weighting for later primaries for weighting voting districts and counties, to open, closed and semi open primaries - the delegate count is in NO way representative of voters.

    I can't even imagine trying to plot a map showing the registered Dem voters per delegate, and the I and R voters per delegate, and additional numbers for historic GE turnout, current primary turnout and the projected total current GE voter turnout.

    But that map would show you an amazingly wide variation in the number of registered Dem voters represented by a single delegate.

    It's just mind boggling.  


    Mind boggling is right (none / 0) (#172)
    by ruffian on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:17:13 PM EST
    I've been trying to come up with an analogy, but it defies even that.

    If the voting system for 'American Idol' were this screwed up, Fox would have had so many complaints they would have had to take the show off the air 5 years ago.  Not that that would have been a bad thing.


    But (none / 0) (#16)
    by kempis on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:09:02 PM EST
    Gotta disagree with you here:

    In my opinion, Barack Obama will be the nominee of the Democratic Party. At this point I believe he is the choice, by a very narrow margin, of the will of the people as I believe he still leads in the popular vote.

    It all depends on whose votes are counted, and frankly the caucuses make it darned hard to ascertain the will of the majority of voters in those states.


    I cound EVERYONE'S votes (3.50 / 2) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:11:41 PM EST
    I am just as disgusted by Clinton supporters who believe the votes of caucus goers should not count.

    That is the flip side of the disgraceful Obama supporters who cheer this thwarting of the will of the people.

    I find both groups equally loathsome.


    to clarify, I'm not arguing that caucus votes be (5.00 / 3) (#27)
    by kempis on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:26:57 PM EST
    disregarded. I'm arguing that caucus votes are an inadequate measure of the "will of the people" in a state.

    We need to get rid of the damned caucuses. Primaries allow more people to vote, and the Democratic party should be interested in letting as many people as possible vote.


    It is the system that exists to count votes (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:29:39 PM EST
    in some states. I loathe caucusues. But I will NOT disregard caucus voters.

    again, I'm not sure who here is for not counting (none / 0) (#73)
    by kempis on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:07:13 PM EST
    caucus votes. But it's not me.

    All I'm saying is that the system needs to change. Until it changes, however, yes, we should include them in popular vote tallies. Sadly, though, they will not contribute much to our understanding of exactly what the will of the people in their state is.


    Caucus votes should count but too many doubts (5.00 / 2) (#37)
    by bridget on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:37:24 PM EST
    linger re the Obama caucus votes IMHO

    I read more than one eyewitness account about caucus process in this primary, the last detailed one from a Texas HC supporter - describing how Obama people tried to dominate the process. AFAIK Thousands of complaints were made by those who witnessed questionable stuff. I expected to hear about it later. But nothing happened. Why not?

    This is the first time ever that I am seriously doubting the accuracy of the caucus votes in any primary so far. And its only because I got the impression that  some of the Obama supporters who worked the caucuses v. aggressively tried to get the upperhand any which way in order to gain votes.

    my two cents


    The Tx powers that be (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:40:05 PM EST
    decided not to investigate any complaints or cheating of the rules or any disturbing irregularities at the caucuses. Many complaints were made (to Hillary's offices as well)but nothing was done. My experience was relatively calm compared to what I read and heard about..alot was written on this website. How can we count these?

    Many issues were settled (none / 0) (#198)
    by wasabi on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:34:27 PM EST
    Many issues in Travis county (Austin) were settled in the county credentials committee prior to the county convention as per an insider.  All challenges were decided unanimously.  Obama lost several delegates.

    Caucus votes should count. (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by alexei on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:52:21 PM EST
    But, if there were primaries in those states as well, I believe that the votes from the primaries should be the ones to count in the popular vote total.  Caucuses are unrepresentative and undemocratic; that is why, I think that those primaries should be counted for the popular vote.

    I never said they should not count. (none / 0) (#22)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:14:10 PM EST
    I still think Hill will end with the pop vote.

    I did the TX 2-step-voted and (none / 0) (#32)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:30:03 PM EST
    caucused. How can you count (or count-on) votes organized by people who don't know what they are doing, don't know rules and accepts causcusers who may or may not have voted earlier through standard voting (which was required). This is fair?...from what I know, so many rules were not followed, broken, side-swept etc. How do we know that we are truly represented? Dean wants us to look to tomorrow to build up the party and perhaps thought this stupid delegate system was good...we are broken from this system...I wonder if when he and Obama are looking into the future, they see themselves as old or older and disenfranchised and insulted by the party!! Hope I kept on subject..I tried.

    I do NOT count the Texas caucus votes (5.00 / 3) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:34:03 PM EST
    Their votes were counted in the Texas primary.

    Texas' system is especially disgraceful.


    But, but you just said to count (1.00 / 1) (#35)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:36:49 PM EST
    caucus votes and legit (I'm paraphrasing). So my vote didn't count? How is that fair. How is a caucus representative government when all of the people did not have the means to vote. It probably is what it is, but it isn't fair and should be discounted. Florida and Michigan voted when they didn't even have to and their votes are going to be discounted (to favor one over another probably). Is that fair?

    What was Hillary counting (none / 0) (#67)
    by makana44 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:02:39 PM EST
    on the conference call yesterday when she told everyone she was 50,000 votes ahead?

    The entire process is (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:04:40 PM EST
    ... alienating, imo.

    And Obama was my first choice. But between the spectacles of this primary and the behavior of his supporters, I have been led right back to where I was before the invasion of Iraq: convinced that the political process has little or nothing to do with me and serves only those with the loudest mouths and the most money.

    I am, iow, quite nearly entirely disaffected.

    Loudest mouths and most money. You are (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Teresa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:07:15 PM EST
    right as usual. I hope your house hunting/buying went well.

    I gave them until Monday - which was a freaking mistake, as I'm dying here from anxiety!

    But fingers crossed, all goes well and I am, by this time next month, a virtual real estate tycoon with my city home and my country home. Gad, I must be insane! :D


    It burns we up too. And no, you won't hear a (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by Teresa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:04:48 PM EST
    word. They are what they have preached against all this time. Not just those two, but millions of them.

    Thank you for your integrity BTD. You are on the side of the voters and fairness and you can't ever be wrong with that choice.

    Even Cokie Roberts sees the light (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:08:52 PM EST

    Cokie has been my go-to girl (none / 0) (#182)
    by ruffian on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:22:46 PM EST
    for a few months now.  She is very astute about these primaries, though I don't always agree with her on other national issues.

    The 'popular vote' (5.00 / 2) (#24)
    by eleanora on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:15:41 PM EST
    is kind of a misnomer anyway, when you look at places that had both caucuses and primaries. In WA and NE, most calculations are counting the caucuses in the popular vote totals instead of the primaries where more people turned up to vote. Do those additional voters just cease to exist because no delegates were at stake? Kind of an "if a tree falls in the forest..." argument, if so.

    And I'm still concerned that four states haven't released vote totals for their caucuses. If they don't keep track of how many people were there, how on earth do they allocate delegates? And how can the DNC just accept the numbers the state parties offer without some hard numbers to back them up? People had to sign in under a candidate to participate in every caucus, just take the sign in sheets and count. every. vote.

    Exactly (5.00 / 3) (#55)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:52:47 PM EST
    It was at that point (caucuses in states that also had primaries) that my "yeesh, what's the point of even voting?" antenna went up.

    Should have been in TX (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by RalphB on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:13:16 PM EST
    it was an unholy mess.  Makes you want to scream screw it as loud as possible.

    I was "not on the official list" (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:09:50 PM EST
    of delegates when I went to the next level caucuses. Thank deities they kept the original forms, where I'd signed in. But somehow was left OFF the handwritten delegate list. None of BHO's were missing (tinfoil rustles).

    And while I kept insisting I see the handwritten originals, the Dem official was telling me "It's OK, we're not going to steal votes, we're not Repubs, don't worry."  



    dem upside downism (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by pluege on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:16:51 PM EST
    doesn't winning a corrupt system prove that Obama is the better candidate for the democrats in the fall?

    Corruption isn't the same (none / 0) (#26)
    by mg7505 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:25:22 PM EST
    from system to system. TLers have a lot of analysis about the electoral college, which is the corrupt system that we have to worry about when choosing a nominee.

    So I guess (none / 0) (#59)
    by magisterludi on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:54:20 PM EST
     a winner-take-all system would please you?

    Well, that's closer to the Electoral Votes (none / 0) (#64)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:01:05 PM EST
    system, which is after all how GEs are actually won now. In which case Hillary would have sewed this up long ago.

    Yes, under the same system the Repubs have, she (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:03:40 PM EST
    would likely have earned the nomination on Super Tuesday.  Obama and the Dem's who support him(tepidly or otherwise) can go ahead and annoint him, but he'll have done so without any sort of mandate.

    You know, this is just as bad as when BO (5.00 / 2) (#33)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:30:50 PM EST
    goes out and declares himself the winner.  Your arguing that BO will narrowly lead the "will of the people", which is clearly an unknown, just adds to all the voices saying she won't, she can't, don't even try it.  It depresses participation.  It's bad stuff.  

    I hope all the women in the swing states (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:44:37 PM EST
    where Hill won their vote by a hefty margin make all the jerks who couldn't just let a tight contest play out make the Dem's rue the day they annointed the candidate who thought we needed more more arabic translators in Afghanistan.  They may be close on the issues but they are worlds apart on preparedness, character and intellect.

    He also thinks KY is next to AK (5.00 / 4) (#138)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:52:05 PM EST
    among the plethora of reasons Obama is giving as to why he will lose KY (so he's not going to bother with it either) he said:
    "What it says is that I'm not very well known in that part of the country," Obama said. "Sen. Clinton, I think, is much better known, coming from a nearby state of Arkansas. So it's not surprising that she would have an advantage in some of those states in the middle."
    Dumbo -- KY actual borders IL, so by your reasoning you should be better known there then Hillary. Lordamercy -- this man is running for President of the Unites States -- all 57 of them.

    I agree... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by The Troubadour on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:37:15 PM EST
    ...that the proportional delegate system for the Democratic primaries is horribly flawed. Obviously, there should be direct, popular representation. (Don't even get me started on the electoral college for the GE.)

    That said, the flawed system cannot be used as a wedge to JUSTIFY that the nomination should in any way be Clinton's. Why? Both campaigns strategically campaigned and operated under the working assumptions contained in this flawed delegate system. It is precisely why Clinton lost: Penn was an idiot in his strategic planning for the caucuses and primaries after February 4th.

    So while I would agree with any Clinton supporter that the system is a terrible mess currently, both candidates played by the same flawed rules, and understood well (I hope) how the game worked.

    Should the rules be changed? Absolutely. But when the NFL changed rules this past year to improve certain aspects of its game, it didn't retroactively go back and change results according to those rule changes. To do so would be, well, ridiculous.

    The rules were stacked (5.00 / 3) (#186)
    by denise on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:24:15 PM EST
    against Clinton from the beginning since they took away 2 big states that she would probably have won.

    Considering this and other things, one could wonder whether the nomination was being rigged.


    States she could win (5.00 / 3) (#192)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:29:08 PM EST
    and in fact, did win.

    Where do I use it as a wedge (2.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:40:04 PM EST
    Indeed, I state EXPRESSLY thaty I believe that Obama is and will be the narrow choice of the the people.

    This type of straq crap is what so infuriates me.

    Address what I write please. do not make arguments to refute.

    Stop it. Now. I get very hot about this subject.


    You haven't BTD... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by The Troubadour on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:43:06 PM EST
    ...I was responding to this sentiment that is often expressed: that the flawed system makes the popular vote a better measure currently. It simply isn't true.

    It was not my intention to suggest that you were arguing such, and I should have made that clear.


    Of course it is true (3.33 / 3) (#47)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:44:49 PM EST
    Obama is leading in the popular vote right now.

    It is ridiculous to argue the popular vote is not the best measure of the will of the people.

    I can not believe you can argue it is not with a straight face.


    BTD.... (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by The Troubadour on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:48:05 PM EST
    You understand that my argument is sound in this case. The campaigns strategically campaigned and focused resources based on DELEGATES, and not popular vote totals. This is why you had a disproportionate investment on the part of the candidates in districts with odd numbered delegates.

    In any normal setting the popular vote would of course represent the will of the people better than delegates. But when campaigns are working under the assumption that delegates are what matter, and focus to accumulate delegates instead of vote totals, then the will of the people is not the best indicator.

    You know this to be true.


    That is ridiculous (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:57:45 PM EST
    What exactly did they do that they would NOT have done if the metric was only the popular vote?

    I do not buy that BS for one second.


    BTD (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by The Troubadour on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:06:30 PM EST
    You've followed this process closer than most. And you are well aware that each campaign has not only sent the candidates to specific locations based upon odd-numbered delegate districts, but their surrogates as well. The entire strategy has not been based on blanketing regions, and accumulating the largest popular vote totals, but instead on siphoning off delegates in unbalanced congressional districts.

    And this works for everything, BTD. Mailers, robo-calls, you name it. They are all strategically placed based on delegates to maximize investments made financially, given the cost of these endeavors.

    Look, here is where we both agree: THE POPULAR VOTE--ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE--is how this system should work, and it needs to be reformed.

    Unfortunately, this is not the rule we're playing by currently, and so popular vote cannot necessarily be an indicator in the current primary of which campaign has garnered the most support.

    This is simply the facts on the ground.


    One person one vote IS (5.00 / 3) (#134)
    by Raven15 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:49:25 PM EST
    in effect here, 35 million times over. You can't rationalize away the popular vote totals. The delegate count is one metric, the popular vote total is another. True D/democrats would argue that the PV is a much more important measure--and less flawed, as BTD argues here.

     Obama and supporters should spend more time trying to win over people's votes than finding myriad ways to dismiss them.


    "Dear old golden rule days" (none / 0) (#112)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:28:43 PM EST
    Nonsense (none / 0) (#133)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:48:54 PM EST
    Sheer nonsense. I do not believe a word of it. Provide me some evidence of that. That is pure unadulterated BS.

    This doesn't make sense to me (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:16:25 PM EST
    You're arguing that we can't fairly make a nominee selection based on popular vote because both campaigns operated under the paradigm of delegate math, and admittedly Obama did better at this. That's fair. I agree.

    But that does not translate into the argument that the popular vote is not a better representation of the will of the people. I took it that what BTD was talking about was what best represents the will of the people, not what system the campaigns operated under.

    These points are not mutually exclusive - popular vote can best capture the will of the people, and at the same time, it can be the case that both campaigns knew they were operating under a delegate system.


    Dr. Molly... (none / 0) (#98)
    by The Troubadour on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:21:02 PM EST
    Again, I'll state that I believe that the primaries (and GE) should operate on a popular vote model.

    If you don't understand the direct relationship between strategic targeting of delegates and delegate accumulation, and popular vote totals as ancillary to the principal targets, then there's nothing else that can be said.

    Unfortunately in this case, under these rules, they are mutually exclusive.


    "Round and Round It Goes (none / 0) (#109)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:26:59 PM EST
    where it stops no one knows"

    "It's Gotta Be Me, Wonderful Me" (none / 0) (#103)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:23:53 PM EST
    It wasn't just Kid Oakland and TINS (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by frankly0 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:48:15 PM EST
    who were on their moral high horse about "disenfranchising voters" in Nevada. It was Josh Marshall, and John Kerry, and just about every other pompous hypocrite on the liberal side.

    And now, not a single peep out of those phonies about voter disenfranchisment and the will of the people.

    Really, this was the first issue that fully exposed, to me, just how deeply biased and dismissive and arrogant a sizable portion of the liberal movement and blogosphere really was.

    delegate system is a travesty (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by democrat1 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:53:57 PM EST
    If pledged delegate total is sacrosanct, how come already pledged delegates are switching their votes? Who gave them their right when they are supposed to represent the will of the people. It is hereto believed that they can not change their vote until at least the first round of voting. If they change their vote even before that, what happened to their pledge or will of the people who voted?

    That shows there is no meaning for the pledged delegates.  We should value only the popular vote totals and abolish caucuses and pledged delegate system.

    Or if we want to have some sort of proportional representation, we should mimic GE's electoral college with the restriction that only registered members of the party can vote in a primary

    How to Game the Democratic Caucus System: (5.00 / 8) (#60)
    by suskin on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:54:21 PM EST
    1.    Round up as many supporters as possible; it doesn't matter how old they are (15, 16, 17, it's all good); it doesn't matter whether they live in the State or a particular district, or whether they are registered Democrats, Republicans, or unregistered voters (in most cases same day registration and re-registration is permitted, and there will be no way to verify eligibility until it's too late).
    2.    Bus those supporters to the caucus minutes before the sign in period ends.  The crowd will overwhelm the workers so most of your supporters won't have to sign in at all.  Confusion is your friend. For those supporters who do sign in, there is usually no ID requirement. New and re-registrants can scribble their names and addresses if anonymity is preferred.
    3.    The "crush" will serve the dual purpose of creating confusion and extending the length of the caucus.  The longer the caucus, the greater the odds that your Opponent's supporters will leave due to familial or employment obligations, or medical needs.  The elderly are particularly prone to leave early, especially if there is no seating available and they have to stand in line for hours, which is usually the case.  
    4.    In this same vein, extend the speech making portion of the caucus as long as possible.  
    5.    Employ peer pressure.  Remember, the elderly are especially good targets.
    6.    Make sure to tell your supporters to "caucus" near the door, that way any late comers can join in when no one is looking.
    7.    Be creative with your hand count; since it's an on-your-honor system, it doesn't matter if you pad your numbers because no one will know.
    8.    If you are in a State where the vote is taken by sign in sheets (like Texas), download the forms from the State Democratic Party website early and have supporters who can't attend the caucuses "sign in".  Then slip the sign in sheets into the pile when they are collected at the caucus - there will be confusion so no one will know.  Also, tell your supporters to "sign in" on multiple sheets, that way they can "vote" more than once.
    9.    If the caucuses follow primary voting, get supporters to serve as election judges or poll watchers, or otherwise stand outside the polling doors and tell  your Opponent's supporters that there isn't going to be a caucus tonight.  
    10.    Once the caucus begins, get a supporter elected Caucus Chair, if possible, and close delegate nominations before your Opponent's supporters can agree on delegates to nominate.
    11.    If the precinct heavily favors your Opponent, have a supporter pose as a supporter of your Opponent and run for Chair/Secretary.  Also have them run for delegate - they can change their presidential preference later. If your supporter is elected Chair/Secretary, have him/her hold off sending the results to the County Chair as long as possible - and if your Opponent's delegate lists get "lost" all the better.  
    12.    Following the caucuses, have your supporters call your Opponent's delegates (they can get the lists from the county chairs), and tell them they have been replaced by another delegate and don't need to come.  Have them call your Opponent's alternates and tell them the delegate slots have been filled and there won't be room for alternates to attend. A follow up call telling them that the Convention has been cancelled or rescheduled wouldn't hurt either.
    13.    Tell your supporters to go to the county convention "in mass" even if they're not delegates or alternates.  The more people, the longer the lines, and the greater the confusion.
    14.    If your Opponent's delegates and alternates don't show, your alternates will be able to step into the open delegate slots. If you don't have any available alternates, anyone will do (in most cases no one will know).
    15.    If there is sufficient confusion, your supporters may also be able to pose as delegates in precincts where your candidate didn't win delegates. Or, they may be able to pose as supporters of and be elected delegates for your Opponent - they can change their preference later.
    16.    Where state delegates are apportioned by caucus votes, your supporters can out smart your Opponent's supporters even when they are out numbered. Train your supporters to get your Opponent's delegates to vote first.  If they split their votes among multiple nominees, your supporters can "team vote" in one of their delegates.  If your opponent's delegates cast all their votes for one nominee, your delegates can pick up alternate slots with as little as one vote.  
    17.    Getting control of the county convention is key.  Your supporters should get themselves appointed to the credentials committee, rules committee, or better yet, chair, etc.  Have them hide their presidential preference or pose as your Opponent's supporters so they can maximize coverage.  Control of the convention will permit creative application of the rules to maximize delegate counts.  
    18.    The longer the convention, the more open delegate seats you will be able to pick up if your Opponent's delegates leave.  It is particularly effective if the convention runs past midnight, especially if sign in commences at 10am.  Plan to have a second shift of supporters come who can take delegates' seats if they have to leave.  In many cases, delegates will have tags they can easily remove and give to replacements so no one will know.  
    19.    The same strategies apply to the state level conventions, remember, confusion will be your friend.
    20.    Don't be concerned with after-the-fact verification of voter/delegate eligibility.  In most cases the results will stand even if a voter/delegate is disqualified since the vote counts are more often than not by hand, and thus, it will be impossible to determine how any one voter/delegate voted.  Further, as a practical matter, it's not likely that voter eligibility verification will ever be conducted. The Democratic Party does not want the public to know how vulnerable and corrupt the caucuses are. The Party believes that caucuses are party builders.  If word were to get out that the caucuses are corrupt, it might undermine that goal, not to mention the integrity of the entire Democratic Nomination process.  So, mums the word.

    You went to the same caucuses I did! (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:13:41 PM EST
    Describes it exactly at both levels.  I didn't have the stomach to continue on the the next level.  Fortunately at that level lots of other folks did for our side.

    sounds like (none / 0) (#166)
    by isaac on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:12:34 PM EST
    you've done this before.  what an idiotic system, and what a corrupt campaign.  from what i've heard this persistent gaming of the system is too widespread not to be a coordinated strategy.  they are as bad as rove, they do it to their own

    Calling it... (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:01:58 PM EST
    ...for what it is:

    As we have known for a long time, the Democratic delegate selection process is a travesty.

     We have? The collective "we" that has known this is, apparently, the Clinton camp, which prepared a shock and awe strategy designed to end the nomination process after Super Tuesday.  Outmanuvered by a smart, cost-efficient grassroots campaign, a large percentage of anti-war progressives and a media that, to be fair, was suffering from anti-Clinton bias and a perverse sexism, the strategy was disastrous.  

     Regarding Florida and Michigan, I concur, the Dems screwed that one up royally, but only from a PR perspective.  No one has the "right" to participate in a political party's primary process.  But those were not contests, and the Clinton camp is not doing itself any favors by calling for the delegates to be seated as is, at least in Michigan.  The notion that Michigan Democrats who would have preferred a chance to vote for Edwards (as my family was planning on) or who would now support Obama (ditto) will be placated by seating a Clinton delegation is not only absurd, it is insulting.  Politically Michigan is a 50-50 state, for all intents and purposes.  The only reason Senator McCain doesn't have a chance in hell is because of the economy.

    If you were serious about how absurd the primary rules are, you would also be attacking the inclusion of Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.  You're not, however, which leads me to conclude that you're simply upset that the Clinton campaign did not have the foresight and vision to contest caucuses and primaries, that they did not have the organizational skills to pull it off, and that they are now in a position where they are making an ugly electability argument that assumes, inter alia, that whites will not vote for Obama.

     I'm in favor of discussing possible changes to party rules to make it a straight popular vote calculation, but I have yet to see a "travesty" as you do.  

    Which is more fair? The way the (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by MarkL on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:08:17 PM EST
    FL delegates were selected, or the way the TX and NV delegates were selected? There's no question that the FL primary represents the will of the people far more than either of those travesties.
    YOU represent the will of the DNC, not the will of the people.

    Outrageous (5.00 / 3) (#78)
    by andgarden on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:09:12 PM EST
    the Dems screwed that one up royally, but only from a PR perspective. No one has the "right" to participate in a political party's primary process.
    Have you ever heard of Smith v. Allwright and the All White Primary?

    Intentionally disenfranchising certain categories of people who are otherwise eligible to vote to serve some other purpose (party building, controlling the calendar, etc.) disgusts me.


    Like... (none / 0) (#88)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:15:36 PM EST
    ...closed primaries?

    No, not like closed primaries (5.00 / 2) (#92)
    by andgarden on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:18:07 PM EST
    unless we apply different rules to those who register in a party than those who register in general. I don't know of a state or a state party where that is the case.

    I disagree (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by cmugirl on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:16:08 PM EST
    As a born and raised Michigander, I think McCain has an excellent shot at winning Michigan.  You have the conservative Republicans of western Michigan, the conservative Democrats of "up north" and the UP, Macomb County and the rest of the "Reagan Democrats" and what's left for Obama to pick up?  Detroit, Flint, Benton Harbor, Ann Arbor, and Lansing?  Don't count on it.  Plus any Hillary supporters who just won't vote the top of the ticket (my mom being one, and my dad will probably vote for McCain).

    McCain is pretty popular there.  And if Romney is the VP, plus a pretty unpopular Democratic governor - that's a recipe for Michigan to be red.


    I grew up there too... (none / 0) (#101)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:22:44 PM EST
    ...and campaigned there in the last two presidential elections. Actively, for pay.  There's no chance in hell. I doubt even Romney could pull off a victory, and he rebranded himself an economic populist and hometown boy to win the primary.  

    Seriously (none / 0) (#108)
    by cmugirl on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:26:08 PM EST
    You think he'll win the UP, upper Michigan, Grand Rapids, Traverse City, Kalamazoo, the Thumb, Macomb County and the south?

    Have you bothered... (none / 0) (#137)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:50:23 PM EST
    ...to check out how Kerry and Gore won Michigan? You think it was by winning GOP strongholds?



    People who voted (5.00 / 2) (#142)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:54:19 PM EST
    for Kerry and Gore weren't disenfranchisedin a primary.

    Honestly you believe what you say Alec (5.00 / 1) (#107)
    by Stellaaa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:25:46 PM EST
    Outmanuvered by a smart, cost-efficient grassroots campaign, a large percentage of anti-war progressives and a media that, to be fair, was suffering from anti-Clinton bias and a perverse sexism, the strategy was disastrous.

    So, maneuvering trumps people's votes.  Got it.  
    "cost efficient", have looked at the millions thrown at advertising and the money Axelrod  makes?  

    By the way, can you have Obama send Ferraro a thank you note, she was in charge that made the rules so that he could maneuver them.  Maybe the rules do favor his candidacy.  


    Yup.... (none / 0) (#123)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:41:44 PM EST
    ...I honestly do.  Running a smart campaign is what wins you primaries and general elections.  

     Saying that someone is outmanuvered in a campaign doesn't mean that something has "trumped" the votes.  Rather dishonest insinuation.  



    Oh my. (5.00 / 4) (#131)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:45:01 PM EST
    Saying that someone is outmanuvered in a campaign

    When he loses in November?

    That's outmanuvered, dude.


    And don't forget (5.00 / 2) (#143)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:55:53 PM EST
    blocking revotes in MI & FL -- superior strategy indeed.

    Word angie (5.00 / 5) (#174)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:18:14 PM EST
    And don't forget race-baiting in order to consolidate the AA vote before certain important primaries - another vital part of any successful strategy.

    Bush and Rove (5.00 / 4) (#171)
    by Stellaaa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:14:40 PM EST
    kept winning.  What did they do to the Republican party?  What did they do to the nation?  

    Outmaneuvering  is akin to sophistry in my world view.  Not a very virtues or honorable conduct.  The means are just as important as the ends.  But I guess the standard has been set.  

    I know that Axelrod and Obama wanted to "show" the old party how to do things.  It's not over.  

    "Smart" is not in itself of value.  A smart campaign would have added to the coalition, learned from the Democratic past and not subtracted large swaths of voters.  

    I am sure you are young, 82, my be the birth year.  


    People who care about voters (5.00 / 2) (#141)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:53:01 PM EST
    know it.

    People who will say and do anything in defense of Obama will pretend to not know it.


    It seems a bit unfair... (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:11:25 PM EST
    ...to suggest that those of us not having conference calls with Senator Clinton or Senator Obama "will say and do anything" in defense of either one of them.  I don't know that it is a "travesty" at all.  The idea of superdelegates deciding the nomination is very troubling from the perspective of a little "d" democrat, certainly.  And as I said, I am upset with how the party treated MI and FL, and there is certainly an argument for just seating FL, but MI has always been trickier, in my mind.  But arguing that seating MI as is will reflect the will of voters in MI is such a stretch that I cannot take it seriously.



    Are you jealous for not being invited? (5.00 / 2) (#200)
    by felizarte on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:38:04 PM EST
    Didn't BO invite you to something similar?  Is it the fault of those who were in the telephone conference that the candidate thought enough of them to have a direct conversation?

    Let's face it:  Hillary values her supporters or those who give her a fair chance to be heard.


    "They all ran after (none / 0) (#94)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:19:20 PM EST
    the butcher's wife...."

    Cmon (5.00 / 12) (#77)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:08:43 PM EST
    We all know how this works.

    If Clinton games the system, it's evidence that she's ruthless and will do anything to win, that b*tch.

    If Obama games the system, it's evidence that he's running a superior campaign, which is one more reason why he ought to be the nominee.

    Like BTD, I'm pretty much resigned to it at this juncture.  There's no prize for intellectual honesty in politics anyway.

    Actually (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:19:24 PM EST
    My point is different. I do not begrudge Obama anything. I am slamming the DNC. as we can see there is not a damn thing sacred about this peldged delegate process.

    Seat the effing FL and MI delegates and stop the BS donna brazile. Sit down and shut up please. And go away too.


    Sure (5.00 / 8) (#156)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:05:56 PM EST
    I don't mind Obama's tactics.  They're fair game.

    I mind his supporters who argue that everything Obama has done is Right and True and Just, while everything Clinton has done is pure evil, even though they're playing the exact same game.

    My favorite is the people who will argue that MI broke the rules but NH did not, even though they broke the exact same rule, on the grounds that NH got a waiver.  That's the whole point!  NH was allowed to break the rules, while MI wasn't.  But somehow the waiver, because it favors Obama, becomes part of the "rules" itself.  If MI and FL retroactively got a waiver, though, end of the world.

    I am not kidding when I say that from this end of things, it feels exactly like Florida 2000 all over again.  One dishonest, self-righteous argument after another, given validity by a complicit media, and there's nothing you can do about it.  It's enough to make a guy bitter.


    What if...... (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by Mrwirez on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:18:35 PM EST
    Clinton squeaks out a win in Oregon and BLOWS him out in Kentucky, and Puerto Rico? Obama has not won jack, other than NC which was 33% black voters, yet only won by 14%. He won in February, but nothing really after the Rev. Wright/Bittergate. Think about it. Do the Dems and their delegates not want to win in November? It's the map not the math. Some of her delegates have switched, could they switch back?

    OT: I just came from a family gathering in suburban Pittsburgh. There were probably 45 people young and old, white, middle to upper middle class, 50% college educated, a Dentist, businessmen, etc. The other 50% were skilled union craftsmen, nurses and teachers, etc. From that there were about 50/50 split Democrat/Republican. Want to know how many are gonna vote for Obama? ZERO. Some of the Republicans actually think Hillary would be a good choice, all the Dems like Hillary hands down and the rest mostly men were for McCain but could vote for Clinton if she were in it. I find that out of 45 people I know NONE will vote for our presumptive Democratic leader?? NOT A GOOD SIGN.

    I thought it was 38%. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:25:36 PM EST
    And it was not 24 points.  15k votes for BO were counted twice and subsequently tossed, that accounts for 1% of the total vote.

    Sorry, not 14 points. (none / 0) (#113)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:28:43 PM EST
    This is funny... (1.50 / 2) (#115)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:29:20 PM EST
    Clinton squeaks out a win in Oregon and BLOWS him out in Kentucky, and Puerto Rico?

     Complaining about party rules for U.S. states while hoping that Puerto Rico could be decisive for Clinton is...amazing.


    Now you want to throw out Puerto Rico? (5.00 / 5) (#119)
    by andgarden on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:34:45 PM EST
    Fine, let's also lose Idaho, Utah, Nebraska, etc.

    Even though Puerto Rico (5.00 / 4) (#126)
    by Mrwirez on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:43:02 PM EST
    does not vote in the GE it sure as hell counts in the primary. Tell that to the millions of Puerto Ricans in the US who do vote in the US general election, and the other MILLIONS of Latinos across America that love Mrs. Clinton. Do not be fooled.... it is very important to win Puerto Rico. Just think Puerto Rico's votes DO count and Florida and Michigan's do NOT. Funny how stuff works. If Puerto Rico was not that important, Michele Obama would not be there, nor any of the Clinton's.

    THINK First...


    why would that amaze you? (5.00 / 5) (#129)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:43:48 PM EST
    I want to hear your argument on that.

    Because... (1.00 / 2) (#195)
    by Alec82 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:32:07 PM EST
    ...it has no role to play in the GE, and at bottom this seems to be an electability argument.  Those votes certainly won't be decisive in the GE.  The same goes for the Virgin Islands, etc.  

    Yo, Puerto Rico? Under the bus for you!!! (5.00 / 8) (#178)
    by ruffian on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:19:56 PM EST
    It was only a matter of time.

    Heh (4.00 / 4) (#188)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:26:16 PM EST
    How well I remember Alec82's posts complaining that delegates are awarded to Democrats Abroad, the group Obama won decisively.

    The rest of you may not remember those posts, but look, just take my word for it.


    The day I read (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:40:08 PM EST
    this post, was the day I knew there was more going on.

    interesting data, poor analysis imo (none / 0) (#196)
    by boredmpa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:32:22 PM EST

       1.  Maybe caucuses select for more progressive voters (the leftiest of the left) and these voters are biased towards Obama
       2. Maybe caucuses create more progressive voters (by fostering intraparty meetups) and these voters are biased towards Obama
      3. Maybe caucuses select for highly motivated voters of any ideology, and the Obama campaign was especially good at harvesting/creating these voters
       4. Maybe Obama voters are better at pulling undecideds over to their side when they meet, in person, at the caucus

    1. Not possible as Obama is not progressive compared to hillary or the other candidates.
    2. See 1)
    3. Partially correct, but it should really be highly mobile and available.  Elites and young people/college kids fit that bill.
    4. What % of undecided voters are going to go to the hassle of showing up at a caucus?

    It IS disturbing that he won all the caucuses on super tuesday and NV (even though he didnt win Nevada), because national election chances are being destroyed by highly discriminatory caucuses.  Sure, the caucus is good for red/purple states to build party coherence/infrastructure/buzz, but it's definitely disturbing when it swings our primary.

    Correct (5.00 / 2) (#150)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:00:04 PM EST
    I had no problem with Obama getting POLITICAL mileage out of the lawsuit because hey, that's politics.

    But claiming that it's ACTUALLY wrong to litigate the rules in court is just a bizarre thing to see from progressives.

    It's not exploiting the rules to the hilt that bothers me.  It's the hypocrisy of claiming that your opponent is doing something evil by trying the exact same thing.

    This is Spot On (5.00 / 2) (#179)
    by facta non verba on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:21:00 PM EST
    In Idaho, there were 18 delegates at stake. 20,000 people voted. In New Hampshire, 22 delegates were at stake. 300,000 people voted.

    In California, delegates are apportioned by Congressional Districts. If a candidate wins 70% of the vote, that candidate wins all the delegates from that district. If the vote goes 61 to 39, the split nets the winner two delegates. If the vote goes 59 to 41, the split is even.

    I apologize for the vitriol (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:29:05 PM EST
    though I do not regret it. I believe the person I aimed it at deserves it.

    Nonetheless, I am suspending myself for today and tomorrow for my violations of the site rules.

    After reading all these comments, at least (5.00 / 3) (#199)
    by bjorn on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:36:12 PM EST
    it seems the one thing everyone agrees on is that the current system is flawed in one or more ways.  If Obama wins the nomination, do you think he is going to change anything to make the system better?  I doubt it because as flawed as it is it did favor him in the caucus states.  Caucuses must go, I doubt Obama will do a damn thing to reform the system.

    Top Two Primary Got A Pass from Supreme Court (5.00 / 1) (#204)
    by fctchekr on Sat May 17, 2008 at 09:55:51 PM EST
    The top two system allows the top two candidates, regardless of party affiliation,to run against each other. Both parties will probably sue because it will definitely mean less party control over elections. Other states are looking into it. I see Top-two as a way to remove the control of both parties. That's a good thing.

    Both are corrupt and more interested in power. What's evidenced by Obama's new coalition, which  doesn't encompass the values and beliefs of traditional voters, is that we are made to feel unrepresented by our party this year.  

    Personally, I am a bit surprised at the overall lack of rigor here and the willingness to accept some of the outrageous things the party has done to US, the voters.

    If Hillary is not on the ticket, I'll bolt.

    One Person One Vote (5.00 / 1) (#205)
    by chopper on Sun May 18, 2008 at 12:52:18 AM EST
    Superdelegates and the media need to open their eyes and stop coddling a loser.

    Hillary is ahead in the popular vote. Remember what Pelosi said "the will of the people".

    Hillary is ahead in electoral votes. The ones it takes to win in November.

    Hillary won most of the big states, again needed to win in November.

    Obama ticked off FL and MI by blocking their votes, which Hillary won overwhelmingly. Say what you want, the fact is Hillary won FL and MI.

    Obama ticked off TX voters by reversing Hillary's win in the primary with his corrupt caucuses. People don't like to be pushed, blocked, threatened, have documents stolen, etc. and forced out of caucuses unable to vote or have their vote overturned through corruption.

    Buyers remorse is setting in. People are realizing Obama is a lot of hot air with no record of accomplishments, very poor judgement based on the fact that it took him 20 years to figure out his preacher is a racist, anti-American adulterer, when it took Oprah a very short time.

    And, based on his deals with indicted Rezko, his money laundering with other Chicago crooks. And, his long-time friend and boss who help him launch his campaign, the unrepentant terrorist bomber, Ayers. The money men, Auchi, the Iraqi billionaire, the PLO people, and others.

    And, his continual lying about Hillary, her programs, plans, and thoughts. Lying about his stand on Iraq, past and present. He didn't hear the preacher, then he did. He "doesn't" take lobbyist money. He tells Canada don't listen to him, it's only political rhetoric, and on and on.

    The superdelegates should realize that the popular vote represents the will of the people.

    The electoral votes represent the chance of winning in November.

    The pledged delegate system is totally inequitable, corrupt, and meaningless.

    what a joke (5.00 / 2) (#206)
    by DandyTIger on Sun May 18, 2008 at 02:15:44 AM EST
    I didn't even know it was this bad. OK, so how the state votes or caucuses doesn't even matter when it comes to the next tier of selecting delegates. So you can cheat at the caucuses, then cheat at the state conventions, at at each tier get a completely different proportion of the vote from the original. What a pathetic joke. And on top of that we don't count MI and FL.

    OK, so here's my big question, why have a primary at all? Why not just have a pow wow and have the big wigs and the press select who they want. Why makes us actually think we can vote a candidate we like and who could be a good president and who could win in November if who the majority of Democrats vote for isn't who is selected.

    And tell me now this is better than the Republicans in 2000?

    You know, I've got better things to do during the general election. I think I'll have to wash my hair.

    What We Can Agree On (3.00 / 2) (#104)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:24:24 PM EST
    Let's focus on what we can all agree on:

    1. There is room for future improvement in the Democratic nominating process;

    2. Both Clinton and Obama operated under the very same rules and there is no evidence that either of them was involved in violations of those rules that effected the outcome; and

    3. To change the rules in the middle of the contest -- as some have suggested with FL & MI -- to benefit one particular candidate over another would not be in the best interest of a party that prides itself on standing for principles of basic fairness.

    Heh (5.00 / 5) (#127)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:43:06 PM EST
    the DNC changed the rules when they stripped FL of its delegates.



    Really? (none / 0) (#157)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:05:57 PM EST
    If that is true, has the Clinton campaign challenged it in court? If yes, what was the outcome? If no, why not?

    In court? (4.75 / 8) (#161)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:08:27 PM EST
    Are you daft? do you not know anything about the process? the May 31 meeting is where the challenge will be heard.

    My gawd, does any Obama supporter in this thread know anything?


    Of Course... (1.00 / 0) (#176)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:18:55 PM EST
    I know the DNC rules require the May 31 DNC meeting to resolve the dispute. But if -- as you claim -- the DNC itself is guilty of violating its own rules, then there would be nothing stopping a candidate with a solid legal case from challenging the DNC in court. However, if the claim that the DNC "violated the rules" by refusing to recognize the Florida result were only a talking point in the court of public opinion, I can understand why the candidate would not seek redress in the legal system.

    What would stop it (5.00 / 2) (#185)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:24:15 PM EST
    is a lack of jurisdiction.

    Well (5.00 / 6) (#190)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:28:58 PM EST
    I gather you must not be a lawyer.

    As a general proposition, you do not get to take an organization to court for violating its own internal rules, no matter how clear the violation may be.

    If the DNC or the Elks Club or your Tuesday night bridge game violates its rules, that does not mean the courts will adjudicate the dispute.  The courts would be awfully busy if they had to serve as referees for every private organization.

    The only way the DNC can be sued is if they violate substantive election laws.  As far as their internal rules are concerned, the only controlling legal authority is the DNC itself.


    Look, Spikey, (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:29:23 PM EST
    obviously Fl and MI are in play or you wouldn't be trying t present some sort of argument about them.

    Obama would not be where he was today if those two huge states were in play.

    To pretend otherwise is to think the rest of us are stupid.


    There is evidence that Obama did (5.00 / 5) (#146)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:57:34 PM EST
    He ran ads in FL before the primary. That is a violation of the ROOLZ.

    Kennedy endorsement (5.00 / 6) (#175)
    by Stellaaa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:18:25 PM EST
    was the day before the Florida primary.  As I remember, the air waves were filled with the "Obama" aura and the torch being passed.  You think the Obama campaign did not plan that?  You think it was by accident?

    No, it was no accident (5.00 / 3) (#184)
    by angie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:23:35 PM EST
    However (and you know I never defend Obama) isn't the same as running ads in FL -- but it does belie to his argument that the primary in FL wasn't "fair" because the people "didn't know him there" -- For pete's sake, he is making that same argument as to why he is down in the polls in KY -- just how stupid does he think we are? The race has been going on for more than a year. Does he really think there is anyone who votes in primaries who doesn't know who he is? The real problem is that the people in KY know exactly who he is.

    True (5.00 / 1) (#194)
    by facta non verba on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:31:35 PM EST
    And he does so much through the back door. He made national media buys on the cable networks so technically he wasn't in violation of the rules. But the other candidates bought media buys by market.

    You forgot #4 (5.00 / 7) (#181)
    by Dr Molly on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:22:16 PM EST
    4. Obama's lawyers blocked re-votes that would have been the only way to legitimize the nominee. Of course, if he hadn't blocked them, he wouldn't BE the nominee.

    On this, we can all also agree.


    Maybe some truth to that... (none / 0) (#197)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:33:08 PM EST
    but the stalemate on a revote wasn't only because of Obama's lawyers. The state parties and the DNC were both challenged by the need to come up with a solution that both candidates could agree upon in a very limited timeframe within serious financial constraints. That proved to be just too difficult in the middle of a campaign. The die was cast back in December when Michigan and Florida decided to ignore the rules.

    I don't care about (none / 0) (#125)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:42:20 PM EST
    what may be.  Iive heard enough about that from thedem leadership since Bush took over.

    I care about this election.  She's the better candidate.

    End. of. story.


    So... (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:07:59 PM EST
    ...you're not objecting to the process, only the outcome of the process.

    Um,no. (none / 0) (#187)
    by pie on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:25:25 PM EST
    Your arguments are weak.

    If you think we all agree on nos. 2 & 3 (none / 0) (#145)
    by Raven15 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:56:40 PM EST
    ...then you must have been in a coma for the last few months. I wish you a speedy recovery.

    Really? (none / 0) (#154)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:04:14 PM EST
    So you think that Obama has gotten an unfair advantage over Clinton because they were operating under two different sets of rules? If so, please explain.

    You think it would have been fair to change the rules in the middle of the race to benefit one candidate over the other? How would that be fair?


    A couple things (2.33 / 3) (#74)
    by kid oakland on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:07:37 PM EST
    First, Nevada was about a lawsuit brought to thwart pre-agreed rules in Nevada after a labor union had made an endorsement that did not favor HRC.

    Bill Clinton supported that lawsuit, which would have shut down pre-agreed to caucus sites and prevented voters from caucusing on the Strip, ie. suppressed their participation. Yes, that's wrong. Further, Bill Clinton mischaracterized the situation with the Caucus sites on the Strip implying that they would be weighted disproportionately in their favor. In fact, the opposite ended up being the case. (Of course, typical of the Clinton camp, now you complain about that Armando!) And, further, HRC won those caucus sites.

    Second, Armando, you've consistently twisted my position on Nevada and conflated it with your stance on Michigan and Florida. It doesn't seem to matter to you that I've written here to clear that up. You just keep attacking using your false claims.

    I'm consistent. Pre-agreed to rules created a penalty for Michigan and Florida for changing their primary dates. The candidates pledged in 2007 to honor those rules and not to campaign in MI and FL. Clinton went back on that pledge and has, since she decided to go to Florida to claim "victory" in a primary no one competed in, claimed that the MI and FL results are valid as they stand.

    Once again, pre-agreed to rules were thrown out the window by the Clinton campaign to suit their argument of the moment.

    Armando, the persistent fallacy in your argument about Michigan and Florida is that the rules provide for a negotiated outcome regarding Michigan and Florida and have done so all along. The problem for HRC is that the rules give the advantage to the winner of the pledged delegates in conjunction with the DNC members of the Credentials and the Rules Committees to negotiate that settlement.

    In effect, Armando, you have been hyping Michigan and Florida for months, ignoring the fact that there was always a path to an equitable solution according to the pre-agreed to rules regarding their delegations. The problem was that that solution did not favor Hillary Clinton who, it's been clear for months now, has pretty much lost the contest for pledged delegates on which the nomination process is based and which would have given her the votes needed to seat the MI and FL delegations as they stand.

    Armando, to go on a public conference call with your candidate and have her drum up blog support for the concept that she has somehow won the "popular vote" and to participate, once again, in an attack on states that held caucuses, makes your current pander on Michigan and Florida and primary reform out for what it is...another in a series of arguments slanted to favor a candidate who has, by all measures, lost any credible claim to a path to the nomination by the one standard agreed to by all parties ahead of time: that the winner of the contest for pledged and super delegates by the pre-agreed upon rules would be the nominee of the party.

    Clinton said as much before this process began.

    Now she is talking about the popular vote and "The Map" and not addressing the contest for pledged delegates.

    And, Armando, you, once again, are engaging in misleading and inconsistent attacks on me in a blog post while complaining that the rules should be thrown out the window because they are unfair.

    I will happily discuss reforming the nomination process. There is a time and a place for that; the midst of heated nomination contest filled with personal attacks is not it. I agree that the situation in MI and FL is one whose resolution...even by the pre-agreed to rules...was mishandled by the DNC and the MI and FL State Parties. We may well pay a price for that political error.

    However, for a Clinton supporter to claim that the rules are all unfair and ask that they be rejected while HRC is losing according to those same pre-agreed to rules (rules that weren't a problem before this nomination process began) is a bit rich.

    I'm consistent. Respect all the voters. Respect all the pre-agreed to rules. Respect the process. Use that pre-agreed process to achieve a settlement regarding MI and FL that respects the candidates and the States and voters that played by the rules.

    There's one yardstick: the nomination goes to the winner of the contest for pledged and super delegates by the pre-agreed to rules. I've said that all along.

    Every last candidate knew those conditions going in.

    This primary season was scheduled in such a way that a candidate like Clinton could have put it away on Super Tuesday. HRC did not, despite the schedule, the polls, and every last aspect of Super Tuesday favoring her. (Many Californians, for example, voted BEFORE the Iowa and NH primaries.)

    That's not a problem with the rules. That's a problem with how Clinton ran her campaign.

    And not a word of concern for the Florida (5.00 / 12) (#81)
    by andgarden on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:11:17 PM EST
    or Michigan voters. This is the problem with you. This is your hypocrisy.

    Again and again and again (5.00 / 17) (#85)
    by Steve M on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:13:51 PM EST
    If Obama's delegates force a "negotiated resolution" to MI and FL, that's within the rules and perfectly fine.

    If Clinton's delegates force a reversal of the previously assessed penalty, that's stealing the nomination.  Never mind that the rules permit it just as much as they permit a negotiated resolution.

    Rules which favor Obama are immutable.  Rules which favor Clinton can be freely set aside pursuant to other rules.  As BTD has said all along, the rules are rules, except when they are not.

    When will you come to understand that these arguments have validity only within your own echo chamber?  For the rest of us, it's Florida 2000 all over again.  Rule of law, rule of law, rule of law, but only so long as it favors the other guy.


    The problem is that... (5.00 / 5) (#86)
    by citizen53 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:14:00 PM EST
    too many pretend that the will of the people is carried out when it is anything but.

    "That old black magic (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:16:53 PM EST
    has me in it's spell"

    There is one yardstick (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by lilburro on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:19:38 PM EST
    2209.  Let's see who hits that, and why.

    BTW (5.00 / 4) (#105)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:24:48 PM EST
    I believe your linking to an April 20 comment at Talk Left is just another example of your shameless falsehoods.

    Link instead to your POSTS in January at daily kos.

    you are shameless in your mendacity.


    This is what you wrote (5.00 / 7) (#111)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:28:37 PM EST

    The definitive moment of the 2008 presidential primary may have happened in Nevada, but it's possible none of us have seen it quite yet.

    Barack Obama, as Ari Melber reports in the Nation, may well have lost the popular count in Nevada, but won the most resulting delegates. This effect is what I'm calling Irony in Las Vegas.

    But that's not what I'd like to address tonight. Tonight I'd like to talk about voter suppression tactics and Bill Clinton and the 2008 race for the democratic nomination.

    you are not a honest person.


    your diary (5.00 / 9) (#120)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:37:21 PM EST
    This Link here proves you to be mendacious in this thread and a shameless hypocrite who will do or say anything to support Barack Obama.

    More from this ROOLZ diary of yours:

    Four years ago, I wrote a piece on DailyKos in the aftermath of our election loss in 2004 and inspired by Howard Dean and the chorus of activists speaking out about what happened in Ohio and Florida: it was called To Be a Fighting Democrat. (That was before Rahm gave the expression a different, more literal, twist.)

    Here was a key passage:

    I think one thing is clear to me now, that wasn't two weeks ago.  When you get right down to it...if you can't fight for election reform, you are not a fighting democrat.

    Some election reformer you are. You are a shameless mendacious fool. you continued:

    In other words, as Democrats we stand up for the right of every citizen to vote and we fight like hell to ensure that happens. As Democrats we know that voter suppression is always wrong, for Democrats, voter suppression never pays...or it shouldn't.

    The ROOLZ!!! No, the voters. Proving again your mendaciousness.

    You continued:

    Josh Marshall put it well when referring to the Nevada lawsuit that sought to shut down the At Large Caucus sites that in large part gave Senator Clinton her victory today:

    If there's one thing that's core to the modern Democratic party is that voter suppression tactics are always wrong. Much of the US Attorney purge scandal was at root about Republican voter suppression tactics. I suspect this is doubly wrong -- both in the sense that the suit is meritless on its face but certainly also in the sense that you don't decide how easy to make it for people to vote depending on who you think they're likely to vote for.

    You and Josh Marshall do not give a fig about voter rights. NOT a fig. The two of you will say and do anything to support Obama.

    Please leave these shameful tactics to Republicans.

    Indeed Kid Oakland, You should take your own advice.

    Stop the falsehoods. Stop the hypocrisy.


    More ad hominem (2.00 / 4) (#202)
    by kid oakland on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:50:42 PM EST
    and an argument that simply does not make sense.

    The Nevada Democratic Party submitted procedures to the DNC and got them approved. Then when the Culinary Workers Union endorsed Obama some of those very same NV Party members helped bring a lawsuit to stop those caucus sites.

    Bill Clinton came out in support of that lawsuit and mischaracterized the situation to the press. That was wrong.

    Josh Marshall used the term "voter suppression tactics" to characterize that move. He was right.

    How is that comparable to MI and FL where all three candidates agreed that there should be a penalty for MI and FL's state legislatures violating the DNC rules?

    It's not.

    The voters in the states where the candidates did campaign have preferred Barack Obama by all measures.

    The Clinton argument is that the votes of voters where the candidates did not campaign and which she agreed would not count might  justifiably be used to overturn the results of all the other states.

    That's patently not fair to the voters in the states that observed the rules. Is also backs off Clinton's previous agreement.

    There is a clear negotiated path that can bring the MI and FL situation to a conclusion within the pre-agreed to rules. It is not perfect, but representatives of the voters of MI and FL have put these proposals forward as a way forward.

    Why won't Clinton accept the current MI and FL proposals? Those proposals would seat both delegations.

    The answer is clear.


    BTW (5.00 / 14) (#152)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:03:38 PM EST
    You engaged in an outrageous ad hominem attack on me:

    Armando, to go on a public conference call with your candidate and have her drum up blog support for the concept that she has somehow won the "popular vote" and to participate, once again, in an attack on states that held caucuses, makes your current pander on Michigan and Florida and primary reform out for what it is...another in a series of arguments slanted to favor a candidate who has, by all measures, lost any credible claim to a path to the nomination by the one standard agreed to by all parties ahead of time: that the winner of the contest for pledged and super delegates by the pre-agreed upon rules would be the nominee of the party.

    You are a worthless jerk Kid Oakland. I can point to all of my previous work and prove that unlike the shameless hypocrite that you are, I have consistently argued for seating Florida and Michigan and against the outrageous and against the rules actions by the DNC.

    I can refer to ALL of my posts criticizing the pledged delegate selection system from September on.

    I can refer to my constant championing for the popular vote LONG BEFORE we had any idea who would lead in that metric. Indeed, I expect Obama to WIN the popular vote.

    Unlike you, I will noty say and do anything to support a candidate. Unlike you, I will not sell out my principles on a dime, I will not say and do anything to support a candidate.

    Unlike you, I will live by the words I write and admit where I was wrong.

    Unlike you, I will tell the truth to the best of my ability.


    Once again (1.00 / 1) (#114)
    by kid oakland on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:29:18 PM EST
    you use ad hominem.

    Ad hominem is not an argument and it discredits whatever other argument you make.

    The voters of MI and FL were done a disservice by the DNC and their State parties and legislatures. They broke no rules. They just voted. Just like the Las Vegas strip workers who caucused in Nevada and gave HRC her victory in Vegas. However, in accordance with the pre-agreed rules, the voters on the Strip were caucusing for pledged delegates and the voters in MI and FL were not.

    By those rules no one campaigned in FL and MI. That's a disservice to those voters, too. You don't talk about that, Armando.

    How would it be fair to the voters in the states who preferred Obama, to decide the nomination based on primaries in which he did not campaign?

    It would, in fact, not be fair to any voters.

    That's why we have rules and elections are governed by laws.

    Please link proiperly (none / 0) (#6)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:02:22 PM EST

    system counterpressure (none / 0) (#31)
    by boredmpa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:30:00 PM EST
    BTD, is it logical to assume that the caucus method is implemented in many states to bolster the party there?  The two reasons I am assuming it has support at a local/state organizational level are a) cost and b) local party building.

    I'm not sure if the cost assumption is correct, but party building in mostly red, rural states would be important (conventions, meeting all the other interested dems).

    If those two assumptions are correct, then there would clearly be pressure to keep the system as is...

    Also, and I hate to say it, but since MI and FL don't appear in play for Obama....maybe he doesn't care.  And neither do the other states that are hoping to see Obama movement increased turnout and funds in the GE.  In other words, there may be a lot of state politics going on...politics that might lead to benefits in this election but could also significantly damage support with FL/MI and sympathizers.

    I think caucuses would be just fine, (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by eleanora on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:37:25 PM EST
    as long as the DNC sets up a strong, unified framework for states to follow to make sure that accurate records are kept, and no voters get shut out because they of who they support. But they also have to add an absentee ballot requirement to the caucuses so that everyone can participate, including military, the elderly, shift workers, etc.

    Building party unity and strength will only happen if everyone gets a voice.


    The Party power players in WA State like (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:53:53 PM EST
    the caucus system. IMO it "keeps the riff-raff out."  One of my Leg Distr newsletters had an article on how wonderful caucuses were, and they were cheaper, and they couldn't be rigged by Repubs (oh yeah?).   We'll have to crowbar the hands of the powers-that-be off the caucus system. Can't come soon enough.

    Yeah, it's a great system. You go and get so disgusted you never go back again. So it's self-selecting for who hangs around.

    (gets another WA State Dems funding plea and writes H*ll No! on it again)


    Link for above from LD chair is (none / 0) (#62)
    by LHinSeattle on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:59:16 PM EST

    Sorry, it's a PDF.

    Oh, and about that "open primary" the LD chair hates, and said was never gonna come back (in same article)?  Guess what, it did! Decision approved just recently. Heheheheheh.


    Party building? (none / 0) (#118)
    by Molly Pitcher on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:31:41 PM EST
    I am pretty sure from living in this rural area for 40 years, that it is only the same old people who go to party conventions.  Even the party headquarters (repub, of course) appear dead.

    traditionally, it's more cohesion i guess (5.00 / 1) (#203)
    by boredmpa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 08:12:59 PM EST
    if you're massively outnumbered and rarely win elections then making individual people feel heavily involved/respected is a good way to keep them motivated.

    As a different example, consider a church's financial committee/leadership positions help keep people involved and the organization on target.  Sure, a professional could do the finances in a smallish church and the minister could make the decisions or do a full floor vote, but a finance committee is cheaper and gives people meaningful roles.  That sort of thing is important because a  church is effectively a volunteer based non-profit that services its own members and is funded by them.  Same thing with parties.

    In the case of the Obama movement, i think the hope is probably to infuse that infrastructure with new faces and actually build the party out in some states.  So turn party cohesion into actual party building.

    and for the record, i'm not an obama supporter, i'm just learning/interested in the caucus state political considerations and how small and caucus state politics impact the overall primary system.


    I always hear the party building statement (none / 0) (#183)
    by Joan in VA on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:22:50 PM EST
    but wonder how that happens. The stories you hear about actually participating seem like it's not a great experience. Is it just because the party gets names or what?

    Totally agree. (none / 0) (#48)
    by BostonIndependent on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:45:33 PM EST
    I just don't get these States that have one-two and three different steps.. it's not exactly like we have three-four elections for President!

    But.. does any of this matter? Will the party heed any calls for reform/change after this disgrace?

    Or will it be business as usual.. democracy is "whatever a chosen few define for the rest of us"?

    What will it take to change the system?

    Nope, I only get one vote, (none / 0) (#50)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:46:40 PM EST
    but in order to vote in the evening caucus, you had to bring proof you had voted earlier. Some had it, some didn't. They never checked, said if you were there to caucus that "of course you voted earlier in primary" I have no idea how my vote counted. So if there was so much confusion in this primary in Tx, what about other caucuses. I'd be curious to hear others experiences in their caucus of other states. Do I feel I will be represented at the state convention and onwards...nope!

    You are speaking in riddles (none / 0) (#63)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 05:59:59 PM EST
    I thought you were complaining about your CAUCUS vote in Texas not counting.

    I answered it should NOT count because to participate in the caucus you should have already voted in the primary.

    You were whining that you did not get to vote twice.

    your latest comment makes no sense to me.


    BTD (none / 0) (#75)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:07:39 PM EST
    My caucus vote was very flawed. You asked me if I thought my vote counted 2 times and then asked me if I was nuts! I am neither nuts, nor did it count twice. I feel, however, through the system in TX I am represented through the popular vote, and I wasn't respresented to send a delegate(s) to our convention and up to the national level. Had you been here, in Tx, and perhaps you were, most who attended the caucuses knew nothing about them (I didn't even know we had the 2-step). I'm not complaining if Sen. Obama received more caucus votes, I'm questioning the validity of that vote and how it was completed. I'm wondering if it was lawful as to how it was handled. And then not to take the complaints seriously by the State was further infuriating. I voted how my state asked me to vote....my state let me down.
    But, that's a State issue I guess.

    BTD one more note please (none / 0) (#82)
    by zfran on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:11:41 PM EST
    It was note checked whether we had voted in the ballot vote earlier, nor were any id's checked to find this out. No one checked, everyone lined up in the line of whom you wanted to caucus for, we signed a form and off we went. There's more to my experience, but I'll save the space. It was a disorganized travisty (on both sides).

    I think BTD agrees with you (none / 0) (#162)
    by RalphB on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:09:22 PM EST
    but you're talking past each other.  He's counting your primary vote which nobody has complained about, so far as I know.  But not counting your caucus vote since that would be a second vote for you and we shouldn't get counted twice.

    So long as the two party system... (none / 0) (#69)
    by citizen53 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:04:15 PM EST
    remains, nothing will change.

    The system is corrupted and so are the political parties.

    I am so naive. (5.00 / 3) (#71)
    by masslib on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:05:54 PM EST
    I didn't realize that at all until I watched this process play out.

    It is magnified by the money... (none / 0) (#83)
    by citizen53 on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:12:29 PM EST
    injected into the process and the media manipulation where MSNBC now resembles Fox.

    It's only going to get worse.  As Bill Moyers recently said, the corporations have a vested interest in making the system dysfunctional, and the political parties play along.


    Agree and I rieterate my plan as one solution (none / 0) (#130)
    by Saul on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:44:08 PM EST
    for the next time.

    My answer to all this is the following.

    Everyone goes to a primary method. No Caucuses

    No Super Delegates

    All the primaries will be held on one day.  That day should be in late May.  That way all the candidates will have from Dec to May to campaign where ever they want to.

    This way no one has an advantage and every candidates gets an even playing field. Then it's over.  If no one gets the number of delegates required  then whoever gets the most popular vote is the winner.

    Here's the thing (none / 0) (#136)
    by lilburro on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:49:53 PM EST
    what is the likelihood that Barack Obama will even hit 2025 pledged delegates?  Even if you say MI/FL shouldn't count, the rule is still that you must attain an exact amount of delegates, not a majority.  

    Barack Obama needs 119 more pledged delegates in the 48 state scenario.  I really don't think he will get them.  

    So that leaves it up to the superdelegates for him too.  That's why the integrity of the pledged delegate system is an issue.  Neither of them will win by it.  It's usefulness is flawed.  Hence the pop vote argument.

    It's 2210 (5.00 / 2) (#173)
    by dwmorris on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:18:04 PM EST
    Sorry, But That's... (none / 0) (#148)
    by Spike on Sat May 17, 2008 at 06:59:17 PM EST
    the way it's supposed to work. If a candidate doesn't reach a majority with pledged delegates alone then the superdelegates come into play. Obama will end the nominating season with more than 2025 delegates because he will have the lead in both pledged and superdelegates. The popular vote is nothing more than a talking point that might influence superdelegates; it has no standing whatsoever as a criteria to determine who gets the nomination.

    I know. (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by lilburro on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:14:29 PM EST
    The superdelegates ARE in play.  That's why the pledged delegate system is an issue - it is a flawed way to measure the popularity and suitability of a nominee, even if it is a favored way.  It's just one criteria by which superdelegates can judge.  The popular vote is another.  

    That's why carrying this to the convention is appropriate.  Because that is the only time when superdelegates will really cast a vote.  

    At this point, pledged delegates are themselves "a talking point."  Because they aren't decisive.  

    Those are the rules.  


    In your scenario (5.00 / 1) (#180)
    by Stellaaa on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:21:28 PM EST
    why have a convention?  why have the process that takes place in the convention where the delegates cast there votes when Obama gets to pick a date to declare victory?  

    Well That's for Sure (none / 0) (#155)
    by kaleidescope on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:05:10 PM EST
    The ONLY thing that can possibly be in any way democratic would be for all registered Democrats NATIONWIDE to mail in ballots for their choice for the nominee and then whoever got the most votes would be the nominee no matter what elected Democrats or the un-democratic Democratic activists or the sexist pig misogynistic media or anyone else thinks.

    And you should be able to mail your ballots anytime over approximately four months, but no preliminary totals should be announced, ever.

    And all campaigns should be limited to spending EXACTLY the same amount of money.  Nothing else would be democratic.  If someone spends more then their candidate should be disqualified.

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#168)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat May 17, 2008 at 07:13:34 PM EST
    This is a classic example of making the perfect the enemy of the good.

    CRAZY SELECTION PROCESS (none / 0) (#208)
    by CLK on Sun May 18, 2008 at 08:29:27 AM EST
    We Democrats will get the nominee what we deserve.
    Just as we Americans get the President we deserve.
    That has been the insanity George W Bush for 2 terms, 8 years.
    Democracy, however skewed, in action!
    We are sooooooo smart.