The Easy "Fix"

Let me stipulate a few things: (1) Debbie Wasserman Schultz, along with the entire Dem Establishment, from the top, President Obama, to the lowliest local official, wants Hillary Clinton to be the Dem nominee, (2) The debate schedule is travesty and is designed to minimize the exposure of Clinton opponents and (3) if there is a chance for the Dem Establishment to swing a close race to Clinton, they will take it (think Super Delegates.)

Now that that is out of the way, let me tell you about the easy “fix” the Dem Establishment COULD have done to insure a Clinton victory that would ALSO have been good for our democracy and our Party — end the Iowa/NH stranglehold on going first in the primary process.


Iowa and New Hampshire are simply unrepresentative of the country and especially unrepresentative of the Democratic Party. Simply put, there are few PoC in Iowa and New Hampshire. To top it off Iowa has an utterly undemocratic process, its ridiculous caucus system.

But DWS and the Dem Establishment remain awful at “fixing” things in every sense of the word.

Here, they could have “fixed” the nomination fight for Hillary and FIXED our broken primary system by at the least making Iowa and New Hampshire share the “First” stage. The fix is easy enough — have Iowa and say, South Carolina vote on the same day and then have NH and Nevada vote on the same day. Or if you wish, reverse them, have the caucuses (Iowa and Nevada) go the same day and the first primaries (NH and South Carolina go the same day.)

These aren’t even big tweaks. I’d rather have more states in the early mix (a Connecticut, Delaware or Maryland if you want smaller states, or a Florida and Michigan if you want bigger states), but at least this would have been something and frankly, would have made it easy for Clinton if that’s what they were interested in.

But DWS and the Dem Establishment suck at “fixing” things.

And also at fixing things.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Any state that has a caucus (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 01:34:35 PM EST
    Move them to the end.

    Thank you, BTD (5.00 / 5) (#2)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 01:41:19 PM EST
    Caucuses are entirely undemocratic, and have no place in modern American politics. I hate that my state's Democratic party insists on keeping the caucus system and refuses to recognize the primary system  -- which does exist, btw, but, because of misguided, pitbull leadership under Dwight Pelz, only Republicans take part in it now.

    DWS and the DNC are not trustworthy, and honest people know that.

    Yup... (none / 0) (#3)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 01:53:38 PM EST
    ...and while I can't remember the exact details, I do remember Michigan was a mess and the Super Delegates played a huge role in 2008, which are, more or less, status given to people who the party deems worthy.

    Michigan and Florida (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:40:30 PM EST
    "Jumped ahead", so they were told their votes wouldn't count.  (I can't believe how many people fell for this  - like they weren't really going to count two of the most important states for Dens in a general election).  Not sure about in Florida, but in Michigan, Obama and Edwards got together and took their name off the ballot (because the votes "wouldn't count"), but there were ads run by Obama supporters encouraging people to go play hijinks and vote in the Republican primary.

    When the party said that those votes would count after all (as anyone with half a brain knew),  then Obama and Edwards cried foul, so some of the delegates that HRC won, by process of people going and affirmatively voting for her, were instead awarded to Obama and Edwards on a prorated basis.


    Man (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:46:27 PM EST
    that was ugly. Let's hope we don't have to go there again.

    "Superdelegates" are ... (none / 0) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:51:13 PM EST
    ... unpledged delegates, meaning that they are not apportioned to candidates in accordance with primary or caucus results. Neither the DNC Chair nor the DNC Executive Committee appoints superdelegates. They hold that position by virtue of being current and former Democratic federal elected officials or state / national party leaders.

    That said, I'd prefer that our Democratic Convention rid itself of superdelegates, which is roughly the equivalent of the House of Lords. If current or former elected officials want to serve as delegates from their state to our national convention, then let them actually run for the seat at the state convention, same as everybody else.

    I would also note that we've made considerable progress in democratizing the process over the last half-century. Back in the day, primary elections were often little more than beauty contests, because most of the delegates to the national convention were appointed directly by individual state party leaders, which would either be the governor (assuming that the state had elected a Democrat) or the State Chair.

    It really didn't matter how voters felt about you in the primary. If that party leader pledged his fealty to you, then so did his delegates. That's what enabled Vice President Hubert Humphrey to bypass the primary election calendar altogether in 1968, because he had boatloads of delegates already pledged to him by virtue of his having cultivated relationships with various governors and state party leaders over the many years.

    (Sorry for the sexist exclusivity here, ladies, but also back in the day and with only very rare exception, women were not governors or state chairs. Electing women to high office is actually a fairly recent phenomenon. The first woman in the country to ever be elected governor in her own right -- that is, she didn't succeed her husband in office -- was the late Ella T. Grasso of Connecticut in 1974. I would note that the subsequent increase in the number of women holding elective office also parallels the internal process reforms which have been enacted by state parties, and would further suggest that it's not necessarily just a coincidence.)



    Democratic party needs to be rid of caucuses (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:54:59 PM EST
    The WA State Democratic caucus always takes place on a Saturday. I work on Saturdays. So do a lot of Dems I know. Imagine that. Working class Dems who work on the weekend.

    Our state's caucuses are also being held ... (none / 0) (#43)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:54:02 PM EST
    ... on a Saturday afternoon for the very first time, thanks to the deal cut between DNC Chair Wasserman Schultz and our own State Chair Stephanie Ohigashi, upon a promise that Hawaii would receive 10 extra delegate slots for our national convention.

    Ohigashi presented the party with what amounts to a fait accompli at the meeting of the State Central Committee (SCC) last month, and I can tell you, party members from across the islands -- myself included -- are downright livid with her, particularly since we've further learned since that meeting that DWS then reneged on her end of the bargain, and Hawaii will be receiving only three additional delegate slots instead of the ten that were promised.

    Ohigashi was told to her face by members at that SCC meeting that she had absolutely no right to enter into any such negotiations with the DNC, without first consulting with the SCC and obtaining its prior concurrence for the date shift. Her attitude was blasé at best, literally telling us, "Well, what's done is done."

    This has made members even more angry, and from my standpoint, I'd say that she should consider herself lucky if she's not formally censured or perhaps even suspended at the next SCC meeting in January, because a draft to that effect is now being actively circulated amongst committee members.

    What's makes this unilateral move by Ms. Ohigashi even more egregious is the fact the scheduled date of the our caucuses is March 26, which of course is the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and over three weeks after our former date on Super Tuesday.

    Not only will that likely render our caucuses completely irrelevant in the primary race for the nomination, but it also constrains the ability of our district chairs to secure public venues for the caucuses because Good Friday is a state holiday in Hawaii, so it's a three-day weekend.

    (Before anyone asks, Good Friday was a longstanding national holiday in the Hawaiian Kingdom, and it's my understanding that as such, it was grandfathered into territorial law by virtue of the 1900 Organic Act, which legally formalized the islands' 1898 annexation by the United States. Local lawmakers have since resisted any and all attempts to change its present status as a holiday, and the federal courts have thus far declined to take up any challenges, saying only that it's a state matter.)

    I've since been approached by more than a few people about the prospect of me running for State Chair next May, when we meet for our biennial state convention. It would be a major commitment on my part, given that I would be automatically become a member of the DNC itself, which would require to attend its quarterly meetings in Washington, D.C., but I'm definitely giving it serious consideration.

    Our party's been afflicted with incredibly inept leadership, and somebody's got to step up here, both nationally and locally.



    Do you want to keep the caucus system (none / 0) (#47)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:10:23 PM EST
    and make it "more fair" or swap it for a primary system?

    Personally, I'd prefer a primary election. (none / 0) (#50)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:31:30 PM EST
    But both major parties out here have stoutly resisted any such suggestion, and there's currently no support for the switch in the state legislature. And public support is basically mute.

    Maybe if I get elected state chair, I could perhaps convince people that caucuses are an anachronism, a political vestige from a century ago. But that's a big "if" and an even bigger "perhaps."

    Hawaii Democrats may be cutting-edge liberal on social issues, but on procedural matters they tend to be very old school and further, they are big sticklers for insisting that people follow long-established due process. That's not necessarily a bad thing, which is why there's an uproar about Chair Ohigashi's dismissal of party protocols when talking to DWS.



    lol, Donald. With views like that, (none / 0) (#95)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 11:44:49 AM EST
    you'll never get elected state chair.  

    For those that have a caucus (none / 0) (#61)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:43:18 PM EST
    maybe the DNC should consider cutting those state's delegates in half.

    Yeah, let's make it even more complicated (none / 0) (#86)
    by shoephone on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 10:23:40 PM EST
    What a brilliant idea.

    Alternatively, we could just do away with the caucus system.


    I agree with you (none / 0) (#87)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 05:25:37 AM EST
    but "we" can't do away with the caucus system. That's a decision of each individual state.

    And yes, the "super delegate" (none / 0) (#20)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:57:16 PM EST
    appointments are super stupid.

    Yu want another McGovern?!!! (none / 0) (#38)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:17:58 PM EST
    That likely won't ever happen again. (none / 0) (#48)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:18:18 PM EST
    George McGovern built up his delegate count in 1972 because after the 1968 fiasco in Chicago, a serious effort was undertaken -- led by McGovern himself -- to weaken the virtual stranglehold that state chairs and governors then had on the selection of delegates to the national convention. It was decided that henceforth state primary and caucus voters, and not old white men in backroom deals, would decide which candidate received its delegation's support on the first ballot.

    However -- and this is a big however -- primaries were also declared to be winner-take-all. Thus, even though McGovern got only 29% of the vote in a tight five-way contest in California, he received all 271 of its delegates. He ran up a huge margin in the delegate count by virtue of repeatedly finishing first with a plurality -- not a majority -- of the popular vote. Nationwide, over two out of every three registered Democrats in 1972 voted for somebody else during the state primaries.

    Conversely, Hubert Humphrey, who ran a pretty close second to McGovern in the overall popular vote in those primaries, finished a very distant fifth in the delegate count, behind even Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm. That's because he had a lot of second-place finishes, but no first-place ones.

    And that was the basic recipe for the disaster which subsequently enveloped Democrats in the 1972 presidential election. Our party nominated a man who had the unflinching support of the party's activist wing but generally not the rank-and-file, who tended to distrust him. Needless to say, most state parties today allocate their delegates proportionally, according to the percentage of the vote a candidate receives in a primary or caucus.



    Not sure how easy it would be (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:33:26 PM EST
    Since primaries are set by the state and governed by state and local laws (caucuses are purely private and run by the parties).

    That being said, if there WAS a way to fix them, I'd like to see the country divided into 4 or 5 regions and then have one voting day for each region.  They could rotate as to who goes first.  Each region could be determined by geography and there could be one "Super Tuesday" election a month from February to May  (or June, if you have 5 regions).  This would allow candidates to have a month to concentrate visits and advertising.

    And caucuses just have to go.

    Oh really? (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:34:30 PM EST
    Tell it to Florida and Michigan.

    Um (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:41:31 PM EST
    That's why New Hampshire moved theirs up.

    State law.


    All Wasserman Schultz and/or Priebus ... (none / 0) (#13)
    by magster on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:48:22 PM EST
    ... would need to say is "if you don't do it our way, your delegates won't count."

    That would be great (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:55:57 PM EST
    Except, I don't think that will hold much sway in a state with a Republican legislature and/or governor.

    Or Dem (none / 0) (#19)
    by jbindc on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:56:55 PM EST
    Statehouse and/governor in Preibus' case.

    the thing that kills me is (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by CST on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:41:23 PM EST
    It's all completely unnecessary.  Clinton does not need any help to win the primary.  What she needs is Bernie voters to show up in the general election.

    As of two days ago (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:48:51 PM EST
    CBS poll says Clinton leads in Iowa (caucus) and Sanders leads in New Hampshire (Primary). So, yeah, if Clinton wins the nomination, then she sure as he[[ does need Sanders' supporters to show up for the general. Why this salient fact seems lost on DWS and some Clinton supporters is a mystery, I guess.

    I think (none / 0) (#33)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:48:19 PM EST
    that Debbie and the DNC think that people drawn to Sanders' take on the issues will eventually vote for the least worst candidate in the general, whom they think will be HRC.

    I don't see it.

    On the other hand, maybe Hillary is going after the Trump voters.

    She did, if I heard correctly, put down Obama for not arming Syrian "Rebels" when she was yakketting at him to do so. Not so subtly, she's blaming the mess in Syria on her good friend, Mr. Obama.

    The style and verbiage are different, but I think that HIllary and Donald are quite compatible.

    Maybe they'll run together - as an example of the new oneness of the people. The elimination of discord. A new beginning. The ultimate in "reaching across the aisle".

    Eliminate the aisle.


    Sometimes I suspect this (none / 0) (#51)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 10:01:29 PM EST
    salient fact escapes some Bernistas too.

    How hard is this to understand? (none / 0) (#52)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 10:37:04 PM EST
    The influence being exerted by DWS and the Democratic establishment is alienating some Sanders supporters. Therefore, it is going to be up to her and the big honchos in the party to convince Sanders supporters to come into the fold in November--provided Clinton wins the nomination. It is not the obligation of his supporters to genuflect before that same establishment that is seen to be putting its thumb on the scale.

    The need to explain the obvious has become rather tiresome.


    No need to explain. (none / 0) (#54)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 11:40:19 PM EST
    I'll be there, like always... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:49:44 PM EST
    but unfortunately for HRC and the DNC, so will Jill Stein...the next best Bernie.

    I can think (none / 0) (#31)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:35:53 PM EST
    of no better way to alienate Sanders voters than to treat their preferred candidate like so much garbage.

    This could wind up with a Hubert Humphrey type of convention - in which young voters, and anti-war voters, were treated like unwanted outsiders, shunted aside and worse, and then expected to cast their vote for the nominee.

    We wound up with Nixon.

    And we might well end up with Trump.

    At this point, I am so disgusted I find it really hard to care.


    Bernie is not being (none / 0) (#40)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:45:35 PM EST
    mistreated too badly.

    The DNC did quickly relent on the data issue.

    Bernie gets on t.v. a lot.

    The timing of the debate should not hold him back too much.


    Maybe (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:02:38 PM EST
    the shenanigans of the DNC won't hurt Bernie.

    But it really speaks to the ethics, or lack thereof, of the Democratic Party establishment that they would resort to this arrogant stupidity.


    Not here (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by sj on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:05:40 PM EST
    Bernie gets on t.v. a lot.
    He didn't even get on TV when he visited although the crowd was quite large. There was a nice online article though.

    Here the coverage is pretty much all Donald Trump on the local shows that I watch. They do have the best weather and traffic reports though...


    Not according to research (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:57:10 PM EST
    So in terms of stand-alone campaign stories this year, it's been 234 minutes for Trump, compared to 10 minutes for Sanders. And at ABC World News Tonight, it's been 81 minutes for Trump and less than one minute for Sanders.

    Bernie Sanders polls equal to or better than Donald Trump in every single poll, but the corporate owned network news divisions have given Trump nearly 30 times more airtime than Sanders. These same broadcast networks also spent nearly the same amount of time covering the bogus Republican email scandal as they did discussing Hillary Clinton's campaign, so it's not as if the networks are anti-Sanders and pro-Clinton.

    Trump is far in front in his race (none / 0) (#73)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:19:19 PM EST
    Sanders is far behind in his. For comparison purposes the only person you can compare Trump with is Clinton. You can compare Sanders to Cruz if you'd like to make the argument.

    the comment was that Sanders (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:37:24 PM EST
    Is on T.V. a lot. My response was to that statement, but if you want some comparisons to Republicans who are trailing far behind Sanders, I'm happy to oblige.

    Trump received more network coverage than all the Democratic candidates combined.

    *Trump has accounted for 27 percent of all campaign coverage his year.

    *Republican Jeb Bush received 56 minutes of coverage, followed by Ben Carson's 54 minutes and Marco Rubio's 22.

    Did you notice the Bush figure? He's garnered 56 minutes of network news coverage, far outpacing Sanders, even though he is currently wallowing in fifth place in the polls among Republicans. And you know who has also received 56 minutes of network news compared to Sanders' 10? Joe Biden and his decision not to run for president.

    While Ted Cruz has only received seven minutes of coverage this year please note that "Cruz has only recently risen in the primary polls, whereas Sanders has been a solid second for many, many months. (A new poll this week shows Sanders leading the New Hampshire primary.)"


    Sanders isn't running against any Republicans (none / 0) (#77)
    by CoralGables on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:38:37 PM EST
    Good thing I never said he was (4.67 / 3) (#78)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:59:40 PM EST
    I was showing how much media coverage the various candidates were receiving. BTW, your previous comment lacks valid criteria for an accurate comparison.

    You can compare Sanders to Cruz if you'd like to make the argument.

    That would be a completely misleading comparison since the minutes were for the year and Carson was in second place or leading in early primary states for most of the year.

    Now please continue to argue with yourself over whatever criteria you chose to select next.


    From (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 09:31:33 PM EST
    my point of view, it doesn't matter how much Sanders in on TV.

    I mean, it does matter, but that isn't what I was talking about.

    I was talking about the way the Democratic National Committee was treating Sanders, and by extension, people who are drawn to him because of his stands on issues.

    The DNC seems to think it can sh$t upon Sanders and still count on the "liberal" voters going for their candidate of choice, Mrs. Clinton, when push comes to shove in November.

    I don't think they realize the anger and frustration out there in the country over the never-ending wars, the lack of income equality and the loss of personal liberty.

    Those who see in Clinton a person who is locked into the Bush "regime change" agenda, and locked into an unhealthy relationship with Wall Street and the banks, are already reluctant to cast their votes for her.

    And treating Sanders with such contempt is going to make them even more reluctant - and more likely to sit this one out or vote third party.


    Honestly, I have no idea how anyone with (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by Anne on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 07:01:46 AM EST
    a reasonably well-functioning mind can consider sitting out an election after considering the guaranteed horror that a GOP presidency would be; Clinton is not my ideal choice, and it's possible my fairly-reliably blue state would hold off the GOP without my vote, but I am here to tell you now that if what's on the other side of Clinton is Ted Cruz, Donald Trump or Marco Rubio - or a combo pack with any two of them - the last thing I will do is sit out this election.

    I know what you're saying... (none / 0) (#92)
    by lentinel on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 08:13:28 AM EST
    and I am truly sympathetic to your point of view...

    I understand voting out of fear for the alternative.

    I don't think I will be able to do it, however.

    In my opinion, HRC is so drawn into the mindset of the Bush family that I see no future for us were she to be elected president.

    The latest gaffe, from my point of view, was her declaring that the dreadful state of the war in Syria is due to Obama's not listening to her soon enough about arming the rebels.

    This is right out of the worst of the worst of the Repubs.
    And, to my surprise, there is absolutely no outcry on the part of Obama partisans, liberals, progressives --- nobody.

    She can say anything. She's a moderate. She's a progressive.
    Whatever. No one cares - thanks to the specter of Trump or the other lovelies lurking in the wings.

    She is not campaigning in a way that would attract me as a voter. She is appealing to a different audience than me.

    I also know that the election between McCain and Obama was supposed to be a defining one.

    War = McCain.
    Obama = Nobel Peace Prize (!)

    But here we are - still in Iraq. Still in Afghanistan. Gitmo still a disgrace, deepening involvement in the civil war in Syria...

    And look at the treatment accorded our wounded veterans. The incredible sloppy indifference. That should tell us something.

    Clinton even used the Bush phrase, "he killed his own people" in her incitement regarding her Assad regime change agenda. That little gem makes me realize that she would vote for the Bush Iraq war resolution again. Her "I got it wrong" is hollow. The only "wrong" part that I think she feels is that it probably cost her the nomination the last time around.

    So, now, we are killing his own people.
    Could anything put bigger targets on our poor little backs?

    Not to mention the abuses of the NSA, the treatment of whistleblowers, the forced deportations under Obama's watch - Two and a half million and counting.

    Going way back in time - there was the stark contrast between Goldwater  the crazy man and Johnson. We got Johnson, and we a mindless war in Vietnam. 50,000 Americans dead. For nothing. Could Goldwater have been worse? (And, speaking of "a reasonably well-functioning mind", can you imagine anyone being a "Goldwater Girl"? Under any pretext? For any reason?
    Can anyone have been so... I don't know what?)

    Sorry. I digress.

    I need to vote for someone who is interested in attracting my vote. I need to feel that. I can't bring myself to exert the effort it takes to vote for someone who I feel doesn't give a damn about me.

    My stomach, my guts, my head... they won't let me.

    But I respect your right to do so.
    And please don't think that I am indifferent to what you have written.


    Re: DWS etc (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 03:01:11 PM EST
    The first step in fixing a problem is acknowledging there is a problem.  You are going to find a buttload of commenters here who are willing to bend logic to the breaking point to avoid doing that.

    I think the DNC is (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 03:02:01 PM EST
    great at "fixing" things, in the sense of putting its thumb on the scale for the preferred candidate, but clearly, it isn't very good at facilitating an open and fair election infrastructure.

    I think part of the problem is the interest the states have in making sure they preserve the economic boon these early contests represent; I have to think that having presidential campaign staff more or less camped out in Iowa or NH - especially given how long the campaign season has become - brings in tons of dollars - and I don't think they particularly want to share them.

    I like the idea of adding more diverse states to the mix early; that deserves some consideration.

    As I said, I'd like to see the DNC become more of a facilitator than the controller it now is; there is no way a DWS should be decreeing that candidates can only participate in DNC-sanctioned debates, and foreclosing any who go outside the DNC's control from participating in any later debates.

    I'm pretty much disgusted with the machinations that keep the voters from really having their say in the process.

    It's a little odd (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 03:41:09 PM EST
    To see the parties almost switching their methods.  The RNC is feckless and powerless and the DNC turns more into a back room.

    DNC (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:27:38 PM EST
    The debate schedule is travesty and is designed to minimize the exposure of Clinton opponents...

    Undemocratic and corrupt.

    Works for me.

    It was gratifying to have (5.00 / 6) (#39)
    by sj on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:20:52 PM EST
    BTD say it since there has been so much denial of it.
    The debate schedule is travesty and is designed to minimize the exposure of Clinton opponents...
    More like a relief, actually.

    Question: Are any of "we" feeling part (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by Mr Natural on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 11:46:07 AM EST
    of the "Dem establishment?"

    With the ruling in Citizens United (5.00 / 3) (#99)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 12:34:58 PM EST
    and the corporate and big money influence on the media and the two parties, I find it hard to feel a part of a democratic process let alone part of the Dem establishment.

    I think it's been established (none / 0) (#97)
    by CoralGables on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 11:51:26 AM EST
    that the use of "we" means "I" when wanting to feel more the part of a whole.

    Well, I would (none / 0) (#98)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 12:28:46 PM EST
    venture to guess that Donald in Hawaii does, and some other commenters on this blog.
    Not me, though.
    As I have been saying for years now, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me."
    But, yes, I still virtually always vote Democratic in the elections (with a few votes here and there for the Green Party), mainly because the Republican alternatives are too horrible to contemplate.
    But I am d@mned sick and tired of voting for the "least bad alternative."

    I'm not sure if this subject would result in ... (none / 0) (#4)
    by magster on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:17:10 PM EST
    ... voter backlash in those two states, but to the extent it would, there shouldn't be any fixes unless done by both Dems and the GOP. In 2000, NH gave Bush the election and Gore barely won in Iowa. Even a 1% voter backlash by NH and/or IA voters against the Dems for ending their vaunted status in the nomination could make a world of difference.

    That (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:19:07 PM EST
    actually is one of the reasons I think they keep those states in the beginning.

    I've been (none / 0) (#5)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 02:18:12 PM EST
    saying we need to get rid of caucuses for a long time now. They are stupid and yes it would help if a more demographically diverse state such as California was moved up in the primary system.

    You mean, like, (none / 0) (#41)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:49:11 PM EST
    our votes in the Primary out here would actually matter?



    Or at least (none / 0) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:27:33 PM EST
    flip around more. This whole IA NH thing really doesn't make a lot of sense these days. Perhaps they could put states on a rotating basis where every so many years they would be 2nd. Let Idaho have a chance or something. Or somehow IA and NH need to be made not relevant. I remember years where who won IA never mattered and never made a difference on down the line. Same for NH.

    Iowa hasn't always been a caucus (none / 0) (#23)
    by oculus on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 03:02:06 PM EST
    state. Given the weather on caucus night, not to mention he contentiousness, I kind of think many likely primary voters would prefer a return to the primary system.

    The whole idea of a cacus (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 03:43:48 PM EST
    Seems completely nuts to me.  Who's idea was this?  Or who thought this was a good idea and why?

    I have to admit I'm not sure I would do it.


    Well, it certainly (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:19:34 PM EST
    suits the loudest, most fanatic partisans of the two Parties, because all they have to do is show up at the caucus and vote (and scream louder).
    You could argue that this is the rawest form of "direct democracy," somewhat similar to ancient Athenian democracy, where the citizens (quite restricted, actually, and all male) showed up in the assembly (ἐκκλησία) to directly vote.  If you didn't show up, you didn't vote.
    I think that this country has gone way beyond where this kind of thing actually more or less worked, and the Parties need to dump the caucuses.
    And I'm sure that the loudest, most partisan screamers got there way, too, in the ancient Athenian assemblies, although far be it from me to denigrate my ancestors.   ;-)

    Honestly (5.00 / 3) (#37)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:08:16 PM EST
    In terms of modern politics it almost seems designed to limit participation.

    To the most rabidly partisan.   I can see why some might think that was a good idea.  I'm not one,


    I agree (none / 0) (#45)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:07:25 PM EST
    They need to be dumped.

    Speaking of the loudest (none / 0) (#74)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:31:38 PM EST
    I was thinking that a cacus with Trump supporters could be an interesting thing to see.

    How well did it work out (none / 0) (#75)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 05:37:08 PM EST
    when they voted to go to war with Sparta?

    Not too well (none / 0) (#79)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:03:02 PM EST
    Although, I have to say, as far as we can determine, none of my Greek ancestors actually came from Athens.  I was using "Greek" in the generic sense.  ;-)
    My folks came from Crete and Sparta.
    "No retreat, no surrender!"  

    Come back with your shield or on it (5.00 / 3) (#81)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:09:30 PM EST
    and with a couple of gyro sandwiches with extra sauce.

    LOL! (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:48:03 PM EST
    How much are you willing to pay for my "secret" Tzatziki sauce recipe?
    Fishcamp got my recipe for free, though, so you could ask him for it.   :-D
    Happy Holidays and a great New Year, jondee.

    (BTW, I prefer souvlaki/kebabs to the gyros meat.  The meat is better in souvlaki, and the gyros cones are made from ground up lamb and beef, usually, spiced, and pressed together into those cones.  OTOH, if you have good pita bread, plenty of Tzatziki sauce, lettuce, tomato, onions, and feta, you could put an old piece of shoe leather in there, and it would taste good.)


    Now I'm officially hungry (none / 0) (#84)
    by jondee on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:55:23 PM EST
    Happy holidays and a wonderful New Year to you too, Zorba!

    I thought it was (none / 0) (#80)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:08:16 PM EST
    Funny, they don't look (none / 0) (#83)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 06:50:23 PM EST
    Greek to me!  ;-)

    Primaries are better (none / 0) (#36)
    by sj on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:02:05 PM EST
    I don't know about other states, but in Colorado caucuses are also where the process of developing the state Democratic Platform begins. That part is great fun.

    And yes, I agree it is inherently undemocratic so caucus attendees have a huge influence in the Party platform. As the author of more than one plank in the platform I found it very gratifying.  Attributed to Benjamin Disraeli (although I suspect it is apocryphal) is the quote "History is made by those who show up". I don't know about that, but decisions certainly are.

    Still, for choosing candidates, primaries are better.


    Causcuses are cheaper too (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 08:51:05 PM EST
    But Oregon seems to have this dialed in best. Full mail-in voting.....

    It's the same with Washington (none / 0) (#46)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 09:09:00 PM EST
    And mail-in balloting has been deemed a success. I love it. I get the ballot and the ballot issues pamphlet about two weeks before the election, which gives me more than enough time to really pore over it and make decisions, unhurried, and in the privacy of my own home.

    I don't even have to pay for a stamp, because there's a free drop-off box down the hill from my house.


    I like this option the best (none / 0) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 10:54:36 PM EST
    It accommodates people who work more than one job or odd hours.

    It eliminates the long lines (primarily in Dem areas) that have been so prevalent in the last several elections. Hard working people can ill afford to spend hours in line to vote.

    It also gives you a copy of the ballot so that you can research propositions prior to voting.


    Or campaign finance reform so that (none / 0) (#26)
    by ruffian on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 04:31:58 PM EST
    candidates can stay in the race if they do badly in the early states. That would fix more than just that problem.

    In theory (none / 0) (#27)
    by ragebot on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:10:31 PM EST
    small states offer lesser known candidates a chance to get their names in the mix and have a better chance to compete with better known candidates.  If the country was divided into super primaries I doubt Bernie would have any chance against Hillary.  If he does manage to pull off wins in NH and IA at least he has a puncher's chance in later primaries.

    There is also the idea that a energetic candidate can visit all the counties in IA and press the flesh in NH with the result there is a lot more face to face contact in smaller states and bigger states can view the results in smaller states as an indication of how candidates do in these face to face encounters.

    There is also the issue of ethanol.  Remember when McCain took a big hit for not supporting ethanol.  Not just the farmers but the big energy companies who make big bucks from ethanol would probably be against moving Iowa back.

    Disclaimer:  This is more of a devil's advocate post and no one should think I am a fan of IA and NH going first.

    Those are (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:23:41 PM EST
    the arguments for IA and NH. The problem is they just aren't very representative for either party. I remember years ago nobody even cared who won IA or NH. I think that is kind of the problem. Not that they're really first but that they've been given too much significance.

    The problem is (none / 0) (#32)
    by FlJoe on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 05:47:34 PM EST
    there is no theory behind it. This country has a bizarre way of choosing a president.

    We are not looking for someone who can visit every county in Iowa and press the flesh in NH  like some up and coming regional salesman.



    Iowa is set up so that (none / 0) (#34)
    by CoralGables on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 06:05:40 PM EST
    Professor Harold Hill could win it.

    Delaware and Connecticut are small (none / 0) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 22, 2015 at 07:59:29 PM EST
    Why not them?

    IA and NH (none / 0) (#55)
    by ragebot on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 10:00:01 AM EST
    are better choices because they are more up for grabs than DE and Conn.  As noted earlier both IA and NH have been closely contested and crucial in previous elections so neither party views them as safe states.  DE and Conn on the other hand are what many folks would view as safe states for the Democrats.

    Again I will close with the disclaimer that I am not a fan of giving such importance to these two states early political activity.  But that does not mean giving such importance to two other states would be any better.


    Debate schedule (none / 0) (#56)
    by Coral on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 11:58:07 AM EST
    Frankly, with a small number of candidates, I don't think a greater number of debates would be helpful. However the timing is absurd.

    My greatest worry is the general election. I'm terrified of a President Trump, or, more likely, Cruz.

    I think the opposite (none / 0) (#58)
    by sj on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:10:28 PM EST
    Frankly, with a small number of candidates, I don't think a greater number of debates would be helpful.
    Given the small number of candidates, and the fact that these particular candidates bring substance to the table, more debates would offer the opportunity delve deeper into their positions on a larger number of issues.

    That assumes (none / 0) (#59)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:18:04 PM EST
    There would be a drastic change in the debate format.

    As it stands, there isn't really much information given on positions past talking points.

    The Democrats look so much better because they manage to hit the talking points on substance, while the Republicans are just, well, insane.

    But in no way are these great places to delve deeper into to their positions on issues.


    Well, it seemed to me that in the last (5.00 / 2) (#62)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:50:13 PM EST
    Democratic debate, there were times when the candidates began to drill down into the details, and each and every time, the moderators shut them down.  I have no idea why, other than "rules."

    Which, I understand, the candidates agree to in advance, but if all of the candidates agreed during a debate that they wanted to spend more time on an issue, why not? I'd love to see them devote each debate to an issue, and have them seated at a table discussing it in depth, with some facilitation so it's not all cross-talk.

    I think we, the voters, would benefit greatly by this, but the problem seems to be that it's viewed as making them strategically vulnerable: it's hard to game-plan when all your cards are on the table.

    I just don't think it can ever be a bad thing to have as much information as possible, and sometimes it feels as if the people who need that information - the voters - have to take a back seat to the all-important win, and are expected to trust that the candidate's talking points extrapolate to a true representation of who that candidate is, what his or her plans and agenda are.


    Eliminate the DNC and the media (5.00 / 5) (#71)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:52:20 PM EST
    (hacks) I mean moderators from the process and bring back debates by the League of Women Voters.

    Dreaming I know but wouldn't it be nice to really have a democratic process in this country.


    Somehow, (none / 0) (#63)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 03:58:28 PM EST
    someone who cares about us has to be in charge of these questions. These people asking the questions are not of this planet - it seems to me.

    And maybe a rule should be that if the candidate makes a cursory reference to the question asked before launching into a packaged spiel on some other subject - that candidate should be summarily thrown off the stage and barred from all further "debates".


    Might need to change the name (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:06:05 PM EST
    To interrogations.   We coukd water board them I guess.

    I think (none / 0) (#64)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:04:16 PM EST
    your first paragraph kind of explains why nobody learns anything from debates. First of all the moderators never seem to be knowledgeable on the subjects and are just reading off questions probably compiled by somebody else. And i say this not just for primary debates but it's the same for presidential debates.

    Honestly we probably could do away with debates if the press would actually research policy positions...


    Hiw about this (none / 0) (#66)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:07:13 PM EST

    why are "moberators" even needed?


    To keep (none / 0) (#67)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:08:40 PM EST
    fist fights from breaking out :)

    Best reason (none / 0) (#68)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:16:39 PM EST
    To eliminate them.

    Seriously.  Did Lincoln and Douglas have a moderator?

    That's actually a question.   I don't know.


    Doesn't look like (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by fishcamp on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:36:11 PM EST
    Lincoln and Douglas had moderators during their seven debates, according to Wikipedia.  Douglas usually spoke first for 60 minutes, then Lincoln spoke for 90 minutes, with Douglas then speaking again for 30 minutes.

    Well the corporate overlord sponsors (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by jondee on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 08:05:59 AM EST
    of today would never be able to accomodate speakers who were weaned on Cicero and Pericles's funeral oration..

    And intellectually engaged people of a philosophical turn of mind aren't the ideal target audience for folks hawking padded bras and suvs..


    The LD debate format (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by ragebot on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 04:40:46 PM EST
    does not have a moderator.  From wiki

    "The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder." The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates."

    Even back the the media was biased.  The wiki link is a good read on that.

    I have posted more than once that saying anyone won what passes for political debates now is a joke.  The only rule seems to be "there are no rules".  As a former debater I would love to see a move towards more formal debates with real rules.

    Problem is it is not as good as entertainment as the current format can be.


    Maybe an alternative would be (none / 0) (#89)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 07:45:21 AM EST
    joint appearance on some thoughtful talk show, rather than an official 'debate'.

    I think Jon Stewart could host such a chat better than any of the so called journalists that have moderated the debates.

    I w dear if rule preclude that someone? And of course it would take courage on the part of the candidates  


    Your penultimate sentence is (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 07:56:49 AM EST
    a head-scratcher!

    Wonder (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by MO Blue on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 08:49:24 AM EST
    Ooops! Autocorrect ! (none / 0) (#94)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 24, 2015 at 10:11:54 AM EST
    Wonder if somehow

    I know you are comfortable with (none / 0) (#60)
    by sj on Wed Dec 23, 2015 at 02:29:06 PM EST
    the status quo. You consider that being "realistic" rather than fatalistic. But just because one (or a network or Party leadership or a moderator) doesn't take an opportunity, it doesn't mean the opportunity isn't there.

    Moot point. The debate schedule is what it is.