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Tilting at Windmills

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April 2, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

MICHIGAN AND FLORIDA....I have resolutely avoided blogging about how, why, and whether the Democratic Party should or should not seat delegations from Michigan and Florida, which were decertified last year for breaking party rules about how early they could hold their primaries. But this, from BTD, strikes me as odd:

Let me say this, that if Obama and the Democratic Party force themselves to exclude Florida and Michigan from the Democratic Convention [...] kiss Florida and Michigan goodbye for November. Chalk up 44 electoral votes for John McCain right now.

I've heard this before, and obviously it's central to the notion that we have to do something about Michigan and Florida. But is it really true? Obviously Republicans and independents don't really care about internal Dem feuding, so it's only Democrats who are affected by this. But is there really a sizable pool of Democrats in either state who are both (a) so committed to the party that they care about stuff like this and (b) so uncommitted to the party that they're willing to either stay home or vote for John McCain in November? Or is the argument that activists will be so pissed off that they'll refuse to man phone banks and knock on doors, thus scuttling Clinton/Obama's ground game? I'm not sure I get the logic here.

Kevin Drum 4:42 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (129)

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No Democrat will win Florida. No Democrat will lose Michigan.

The people saying this are mostly just Hillary supporters trying to scare everyone into changing the rules.

Posted by: soullite on April 2, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

If anything is done, just wait to see what states do for the 2008 primary season!

Posted by: John McCain: More of the Same on April 2, 2008 at 4:49 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I think the logic is that the Republicans will tell the voters in those states, "see, the Dems don't even think you count. We respect you blah blah blah."

As for "no Dem will win Florida," why would you think that, soullite? I mean, Al Gore arguably did. I find it hard to believe either state is out of play for either party.

Posted by: Glenn on April 2, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Hillary is the one that benefits the least from re-votes. And yet, she's supported all efforts.

Independents and fairweathers are pretty easily insulted, Kevin.

Posted by: Crissa on April 2, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure I get the logic here.

You were expecting logic from Team Hillary?

Posted by: Fasf on April 2, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

On the face of it this sounds idiotic. There are many other dynamics that will be at play, and in September / October who will really care what happened in January? It may as well have happened in 350BC.

Posted by: djangone on April 2, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Take anything BTD says about this primary with a grain of salt. He spends the vast majority of his time and effort undermining Obama and supporting Hillary. Then, to add weight to his criticisms of Obama, he'll throw in the occasional disingenuous disclaimer that he is an Obama "supporter," without ever writing anything positive about him.

Posted by: RollaMO on April 2, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

One thing it might affect is first-time voter turnout: there's been a huge wave of new registrations this year, but those new voters may not turn out in November if they feel that nobody cares what they think.

Regarding the larger logic of whether it's possible or probable: Florida's one of those competitive states where every little bit counts. A few hundred voters here and a few hundred voters there could tip the outcome.

Posted by: Gheby on April 2, 2008 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Although I've relocated on the east coast, my family back in the great state of Michigan consists of good Democrats, and they all voted in the January primary -- the Republican primary. Some voted for Romney, to stir the pot. Some voted for McCain, because they liked him best of all the Republicans. Since they all voted in the Republican primary, they would be disqualified from any do-over Democratic primary in June, and thus have zero interest in one. Nor do they think any delegation sent to reflect the January vote would be legitimate. And ALL will vote for the Democratic nominee in November.

This is anecdotal evidence, to be sure, but also a pretty common situation.

Any line of thought which argues that excluding delegates elected in the botched January primary will automatically doom the Democratic ticket to lose Michigan in November is pure and utter B.S.

Posted by: TAC on April 2, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

Another election with a asterisk after it like 2000 and 2004?

Posted by: R.L. on April 2, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

There have been polls among FL Democrats, at least, showing that a substantial number of them (one in four, it's reported) won't vote for a Democrat if their vote isn't counted in the primary.

I'd expect a similar dynamic in MI -- can't imagine why it would be different.

Maybe some of these voters are just expressing an anger that will go away. But these are swing states that can go either way, so antagonizing even a small percentage of these voters could very easily swing the election.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

In a letter to Howard Dean signed by Senator Carl Levin, among others, the proponents of the earlier Michigan primary stated, "New Hampshire and Iowa have had a hugely disproportionate impact on our presidential nominating process, with more access to candidates and visits from candidates than probably all the other states combined during the primary and caucus season. Other states, including Michigan, have issues critically important to them."

If part of this "disproportionate impact" that Levin and other Dems were complaining about included the influence of these early primaries on the eventual nominee selection, the decision is especially curious.

Since 1952, there have been 10 New Hampshire primaries in which there was no incumbent Democratic President running. Five of the primary winners eventually got the nomination.

Since 1972, there have been 7 Iowa caucuses in which there was no Democratic incumbent President running. Caucus winners attained the nomination only 3 times.

So, in a total of 17 primaries and caucuses with no incumbent President running, the winners got the nomination a total of 8 times, or 47% of the time. "Disproportionate" doesn't come to mind.

What's so incredibly ironic, of course, is that if the Michigan Dems had agreed to hold their primary later in the season, the state could have played a huge role in the contest between Clinton and Obama, given how the contest has developed. Michigan's 156 delegates are almost double New Hampshire and Iowa put together, and Clinton and Obama would have crisscrossed the state meeting the voters in cities and hamlets from the Upper Peninsula down to Detroit in search of those votes. Needless to say the state would have been crawling with national media and Michigan would have been in the hot glaring spotlight, as Pennsylvania will be shortly.

Nope, that wasn't good enough for the Michigan Democrats. These geniuses decided they had to gamble with Michigan Democratic primary votes on less than 50% odds, and they lost. Like investment banks on Wall Street, now they want a bailout.

As a Michigan Democrat perfectly happy to vote for either Obama or Clinton, I find the idea of a mature adult pitching a juvenile hissy fit and voting for McCain laughable. If partisans of either candidate are truly comfortable with allowing John McCain to nominate more right-wing ideologues to the US Supreme Court, privatize Social Security, and launch another war in the Middle East against Iran, then I suggest they dispense with the fiction that they are true Democrats and instead join Holy Joe Lieberman in his sanctimonious embrace of the GOP.

Posted by: bluestatedon on April 2, 2008 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm curious. Doesn't it matter that the Democratic Party apparatus in both states blatently broke the party rules? If the Democratic voters in those states have an issue, shouldn't it be with those who--broke the rules?

It's not like these rules were drawn up in the dark of night and that no one knew about them.

Has anyone asked the responsible people why they did something that a) they knew could disenfranchise a lot of Democratic primary voters and b)could really hurt the parties chances?

Just askin'.

Posted by: zak822 on April 2, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

It's a moot point since Obama has always intended on seating the delegations after he wraps up the nomination. All this noise is just Hillary's attempt to get their votes while it still matters for her campaign. Come November, it will have zero influence on the election.

Posted by: NHCt on April 2, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I should qualify my statement above: one in four Democrats would be less likely to support the Democratic nominee if their votes don't count.

But, again, a small number of non-shows can easily change the victor in a swing state, pretty much by definition.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:13 PM | PERMALINK

Don't be fooled all the dems and Indy's will vote for the Dem Nom. Here this now!!! This will be the biggest landslide victory for the Dems in the U.S History.Bank on it.......(just not with Bear Stevens)....

Posted by: john john on April 2, 2008 at 5:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm skeptical that McCain will benefit all that much. If he captures independents, it'll be because he's shifted to the center, which will turn off the rabid right, which will more-or-less counteract the gains among independents. If he runs to the right like he's been doing in the primaries he won't capture too many independents after they have time to think about the disastrous war and the disastrous economy. Does anyone think McCain will be able to pull off a chameleon act and appear at the same time right enough for the right and moderate enough for independents?

Posted by: Laz on April 2, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

It's a moot point since Obama has always intended on seating the delegations after he wraps up the nomination.

Except that it's hardly going to be a moot point if Obama will NOT have won the nomination had, say, the FL delegation been seated as based on the original primaries. In fact, it will only inflame things if that's the way it turns out; the resentment over being disenfranchise will be only greater in FL and everywhere else across the nation.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

"But is there really a sizable pool of Democrats in either state who are both (a) so committed to the party that they care about stuff like this and (b) so uncommitted to the party that they're willing to either stay home or vote for John McCain in November?"

I don't think this is the right question. I believe the right question is "are there democratic and lean democratic voters in Florida and Michigan who will not vote dem if they percieve the national party as snubbing them and their state.

The answer to that is almost certainly yes, for reasons of pure human pychology. The follow up question is "are there enough of these people to matter?" That's harder to answer. Right now polls show 25-30% of Florida dems saying it makes them less likely to vote dem in Nov. That number will probably shrink, but how much? Especially with the republicans stoking the fire as much as possible?

Posted by: Tlaloc on April 2, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

You're not seeing it because it doesn't exist. This is the latest flailing ploy by the Clinton campaign. The ends justify the means.

The entire issue is utterly incoherent. She agreed that the Michigan vote wouldn't count...until she needed the delegates and the popular vote margin (which was assisted by a lack of competition.) If overturning an Obama pledged delegate lead is what she needs, that doesn't count. If overturning an Obama popular vote lead is what she needs, that doesn't count either. Caucuses don't count. States with too many blacks don't count. Red states don't count, unless Clinton wins then (in which case they count double.) It's been an Alice-in-Wonderland exercise.

The bewildering part, of course, is that Clinton and her allies never address the fact that *she agreed to and endorsed the disenfranchisement she is now complaining about*. Not even an apology, or saying she changed her mind. Because the argument is all about Clinton winning and has nothing to do with Florida or Michigan in the general election at all.

Posted by: Marc on April 2, 2008 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

Good point Zach.Now we know first is not always the decider.FL and MI should have kept there primaries where they where and could have been the deciding states.

Posted by: john john on April 2, 2008 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Given that this one is seen different by the two Dem camps... there will be plenty of fireworks.

My prediction is much more humble:

Doesn't matter if it is Hillary or Barack for the dems. Florida is going republican and Michigan is going democrat.

Not a very risky prediction, but I suspect quite accurate.


Posted by: koreyel on April 2, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

If the Democratic party really wants to seat the Florida and Michigan delegation, but not just as a reward to Hillary for campaigning where other Democrats did not, there is a simple procedure still possible. Do a beauty contest poll, not legally binding. Do it by the cheapest possible means not open to fraud or major error. Then seat half of each delegation in proportion to the vote cast. Michigan and Florida are penalized, and they original primary vote is not counted. But at the same time votes are awarded according to an actual contest, not according to a set of rule one side honored and the other did not. State laws don't prevent beauty contests, even when the forbid late primaries and causes. Heck, if no other means is allowed, do a public opinion survey with a polling firm and a methodology Hillary and Obama can agree on. And parties can legally seat who they want; so no opportunity for mischief by rethug state legislatures.

Posted by: Gar Lipow on April 2, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

I believe the thinking is, if they come in then Hillary wins. And if Hillary is the nominee, she'll retain her voters in those states, whereas if they stay out and Barack is the nominee, Hillary voters will switch to McCain.

I don't know if that's correct, of course. I just think that that is how the hidden argument is suppossed to run. Angry voter in MI and FL, deprived of their voting rights, will never support Obama, basically.

Posted by: diablevert on April 2, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Marc,

Look, you can make all the arguments you want, but you can't get around one basic fact: if you don't seat delegates from FL and MI, and do it as fairly as possible consistently with the will of the people of those states, you are undermining a basic principle of democracy, which should certainly guide the selection of the nominee most especially in a close election, where the possibility for resentment on one side or the other is so great.

While your interpretation of what Hillary said is not really fair to the context in which she uttered it, mostly it doesn't matter.

What matters is that there be some genuine reflection of the popular will, as best it can be assembled.

That's why so many people strongly favor the use of the popular vote, including, as sensibly as possible, whatever results we can get out of FL and MI. In polls, the American people seem to strongly back up (by a factor of about 2-1, as I recollect) the idea of using the popular vote as such a metric, as opposed, say, to the pledged delegate count.

I have very little doubt but that, if push comes to shove over the issue of FL and MI, and the popular vote vs. the pledged delegate count, the American people as a whole, and the people of FL and MI in particular, will strongly support the position of including FL and MI, and basing the selection of the nominee most importantly on the popular vote.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Here's how this is going to be settled: a credentials committee controlled by Obama supporters will grant Michigan and Florida representation at the convention, according to some formula that will be reasonably fair, but that still imposes some penalty, and that will not affect the results.

The committee will be controlled by Obama supporters because it will be controlled by delegates from states other than MI and FL, and Obama will have more of them.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 2, 2008 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Except that it's hardly going to be a moot point if Obama will NOT have won the nomination had, say, the FL delegation been seated as based on the original primaries.

Somebody needs to take a long, close look at those numbers. And shut up for five minutes while he does it.

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Also, frankly0, while something based on the popular vote is feasible in Florida, it isn't in Michigan, where Obama and Edwards weren't on the ballot, and CNN's exit poll says that if they were, a majority of Michiganders would have voted for someone other than Clinton (and this includes some voters who voted for her).

In any case, I think that this will wind up moot; Obama has a large popular vote lead at this point even if Florida is included.

Posted by: Joe Buck on April 2, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck,

My understanding is that neither Obama nor Clinton will have a majority of members on the credentials committee, and there will be about 25 members selected by Howard Dean.

In any case, a vote of the credentials committee to contrive the delegate seating count of FL and MI so that Obama wins, when the results of the primaries would suggest that the delegate count would NOT allow him to win, is only going to aggravate greatly a pre-existing sense that FL and MI voters are being screwed.

Imagine if the delegate count based on the actual vote in FL would put Hillary over the top, yet Obama supporters squash that result, and grant far less delegates to Hillary.

Do you really think the voters in FL wouldn't notice, and get tremendously angry, and feel that their votes didn't count the way everyone else's votes counted? Is this the recipe for reducing resentment in FL, and across the nation?

I don't think so.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

Eeesh. Counting the primary votes here in Michigan would disenfranchise more voters than not accepting the current results. Voter turnout was low, 'cause we were told that it wouldn't count (however right or wrong it was to do so) and half the candidates weren't on the ballot.

It's a bad argument on the part of Clinton and her supporters, intended to scare everyone into handing her delgates from a primary that everyone initially agreed was invalid.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 2, 2008 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

BTD's comment is just stupid. I'm taking my ball and going home!

Posted by: luci on April 2, 2008 at 5:42 PM | PERMALINK

hillary logic.

Posted by: mestizO on April 2, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Buck,

Certainly some formula can be adopted, based on the vote combined with exit polls out of MI so that some reasonably fair representation of the popular vote can be pulled out of that primary.

If it's all you've got, you make do with it.

Everybody knows that it was the Obama team that pretty much quashed the possibilities of a redo in MI, so they hardly have a good reason to cry foul if the best approximation to the popular will is some sort of formula based on the flawed primary in MI.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Counting the primary votes here in Michigan would disenfranchise more voters than not accepting the current results. Voter turnout was low,

Except that in caucus state after caucus state, the turnout was only a small fraction of the size, proportionately, of any primary, and we count those, don't we?

Even in WA state, the caucus, which did officially count, got, I believe, only half as many voters as the primary, which did not officially count.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

All of this stuff may once have had merit, but it's now moot. Complainers should have raised these questions last year when the DNC and the state parties were making their decisions. Having failed to do so, you have waived your objections and are now estopped from asserting them. (Gee, it must be over forty years since I used language like that.)

Posted by: Henderstock on April 2, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, this sounds like Hillary's typical attempts to muddy the waters, like saying that since she's done better in large purple states during primary season, that automatically means she has a better chance of winning those states in the general.

I think the only factor that might carry over from the primaries to the general is increased voter registration, which will help the Democrat no matter who the nominee is. Otherwise, arguing that the outcome of the race between two Democrats is somehow indicative of how either Democrat will fare against a Republican is either ignorant or dishonest (or both).

Posted by: David Bailey on April 2, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think I've ever been in a primary election, before this year, in which votes in my state actually mattered. Does this mean that I was disenfranchised?

This "issue" is being raised by Clinton partisans, full stop. It is being fanned rather than being calmed by Clinton partisans. I don't respect these arguments because I didn't hear them in December. I don't respect them because I think it was a lousy idea to cram all of those primaries early in the season - they started far, far too early in the calendar. I don't respect them because it will get exponentially worse if the parties lose all control over the calendar and we have primaries more than a year before the general election. There are principles other than "whatever benefits my candidate."

Posted by: Marc on April 2, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

Glenn, it's been trending ever more red in every election since 1992. It's overwhelming population of elderly people and John McCains age. The fact that Republicans control the state and love to use their power to disenfranchise people.

No Democrat will win Florida.

Posted by: soullite on April 2, 2008 at 5:52 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0--

They have no one but their own state governments and state party leaders to blame for the mess. Don't you think it's likely most people will blame the people actually responsible for the mess? Don't you think FL and MI voters understand that they would have actually had MORE impact on the election if their states had followed the rules and voted at the approved time? Historically, MOST states have little impact on the primaries because most states haven't even voted by the time the primary was decided. How can people be angry about losing a "right" that they almost never historically had to begin with, and that they would have actually had in this case if they had followed the rules to begin with??? That is the height of idiocy.

Posted by: Kapelmeister on April 2, 2008 at 5:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Yeah, this sounds like Hillary's typical attempts to muddy the waters, like saying that since she's done better in large purple states during primary season, that automatically means she has a better chance of winning those states in the general."

From QUinnipac today:
Florida: Clinton 44 percent - McCain 42 percent; McCain beats Obama 46 - 37 percent;
Ohio: Clinton beats McCain 48 - 39 percent; Obama gets 43 percent to McCain's 42 percent;
Pennsylvania: Clinton tops McCain 48 - 40 percent; Obama leads McCain 43 - 39 percent.


But....but....WWTSBQ????

ROTFLMAO!!!


Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Franklyo, you state that failure to seat the delegates (in porportion to their preference) undermines democracy. You don't state why it does.

Because it doens't. We all know that there are rules to elections. We all know that breaking the rules means a vote doesn't count. If I vote today, when there is no election, it won't count for anything. If my mail in ballot arrives late, if I vote in a primary that I am not eligible for , if I vote in an election that I know is not going to be certified, well I'm an adult and I know those things will mean my vote won't count. But it does not mean democracy has been undermined.

On the other hand if you mean that there might be some childish spoiled brats in Mi and FL who will pout and sulk, and encouraged by HRC's selfserving and dishonest arguments, get into a faux outrage snit--well that might be true.

I don't have a problem with a revote if the offending states pay for it and the rules are fair ( none of this scamming to deny Obama supporters a vote as in MI!) but it isn't necessary to uphold democracy. The purpose of revotes is to reduce resentment levels of people who either don't want to live with the consequences of their state's decsions or who are childishly blaming the national party for local decisions.

Posted by: wonkie on April 2, 2008 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

But is there really a sizable pool of Democrats in either state who are both (a) so committed to the party that they care about stuff like this and (b) so uncommitted to the party that they're willing to either stay home or vote for John McCain in November

One other requirement: our hypothetical voter must also (c) fail to recognize that their local party, in flouting the rules, is ultimately to blame for this fiasco, and that failing to vote for the national candidate because of this issue is misguided as best.

Posted by: Matthew Baldwin on April 2, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0: Except that in caucus state after caucus state, the turnout was...

Next time, frankly0, try not to lift the quote out of context. You left out the second part. That makes you look dishonest.

Even leaving that out, you have to contort yourself in order to make things fit...you're making a bad comparison between turnouts in legit primaries and caucuses (caucusi?) to one that had been called, for weeks, a beauty contest that didn't count.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 2, 2008 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

As to BTD tenor and tactics, check out BTD/Armando's response to this comment:

http://www.talkleft.com/comments/2008/4/2/102750/2548/12#12

And to think I used to like Armando.

Posted by: Bob on April 2, 2008 at 6:02 PM | PERMALINK

The media was full of the threats/warnings from the DNC about the consequences of these two states moving their primaries to unsanctioned dates. While I do feel sorry for them, the voters in Florida and Michigan knew they were taking a chance.
In both states, Democrats that already have one or more election behind them, will support the nominee. Not as enthusiastically as possible maybe, but any defections will be within the expected norms (has any nominee in this country ever gotten 100% of their party's vote?).
New Democratic registrees might, emphasis on might, sit out the election only if their registration was based solely on electing one of the candidates; otherwise I would expect them to vote for the Democratic candidate. The same reasoning applies to actual independents (as opposed to any Republicans hiding under the independent label).
That could make a difference in Florida, but is less likely to do so in Michigan.
Whichever Democratic candidate gets the nomination will have to make continued, concerted efforts to reach out to their rival's supporters. And the loser is going to have to support the national ticket wholeheartedly. Which is the best reason to let the race go to the convention so it can be settled in public by the delegates.

Posted by: Doug on April 2, 2008 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

To "count" the MI and FL results as is, you need to argue that (a) candidates campaigning in those states v. not campaigning in those states will only negligibly affect the outcome, and (b) not having a candidate listed on the ballot will only negligibly affect the outcome.
High, low turnout... whatever. If you can't argue for (a) and (b), an argument to "count" the MI and FL results as they are now is ridiculous on its face.

Posted by: dallas on April 2, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

"Because it doens't. We all know that there are rules to elections."

The rules in question have been applied unfairly - many states broke the rules, but FL and MI got punished more than the normal amount and the others weren't touched.

But ok, say the Repubs got their way and maneuvered our side into excluding millions of our voters. The rules say revotes are allowed. FL and MI are within their rights to revote, and anyone standing in their way is antidemocratic.

And, mirabile dictu, revotes are approved by the DNC. They are the only fair way to proceed. Obama needs to support the democratic solution to achieve legitimacy as the nominee if he can't pull out a clear victory however those states would have revoted. And he needs those revotes to help him in November.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK

Well I'm pretty sure Armando won't vote for Obama unless they're seated. Maybe Jerome and Jeralyn. Not too many others I can think of.

Oh yeah, Taylor Marsh.

Anyone else?

Posted by: MNPundit on April 2, 2008 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

Are MI and FL Repub voters going to abandon McBush because the GOP cut their convention votes in half as punishment for holding early primaries? This sounds like another example of Rethug talking points controlling the discussion.

Posted by: Paul R on April 2, 2008 at 6:14 PM | PERMALINK

"As to BTD tenor and tactics, check out BTD/Armando's response to this comment"

BTD's point is that the argument has been beaten to death on TalkLeft for a month. In fact, beaten to death every day for a month. Anyone can argue it again on an open thread, but making repeatedly refuted points on a substantive post isn't welcomed there any more. They have limited resources for keeping discussions from getting out of hand and a lot of surly new posters, so they aren't especially patient with ignorance, Chewbaccaing, trolling, or nonsense.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 6:25 PM | PERMALINK

I live in Michigan, and I don't know anybody who is outraged about the delegation not counting. Maybe that's because the people I know are intelligent enough to know that it's the state party's fault. I don't think this decision will affect the Michigan race at all. Florida, who knows?

Posted by: Ethan on April 2, 2008 at 6:35 PM | PERMALINK

"Well I'm pretty sure Armando won't vote for Obama unless they're seated."

He's on record as saying he'll vote for the nominee period. A lot of (in my view idiotic) Clinton supporters say otherwise in blogs, just as a lot of (in my view idiotic) Obama supporters say they won't vote for Clinton if she "steals" the election. Whatever the true number is (mostly people who are happy to have an excuse not to schlep to the polls in Nov), it's not helpful to the party to insult a good fraction of 10% of the electorate.


"Are MI and FL Repub voters going to abandon McBush because the GOP cut their convention votes in half"

This demonstrates a failure to understand the argument. The Republican process was not determined by those states. The Democratic process might be. If that seems like a likely scenario, Obama gets an asterisk in the eyes of many swing-state voters.

The Obama stance is just stupid here - he is still highly likely to be the winner even if he allows FL and MI to be enfranchised, and it helps him in Nov. It's the course of action dictated by his rhetoric, it would show some leadership, and it would get him a lot of excellent press. Instead he looks scared and gives HRC an issue and useful uncertainty in the numbers.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 6:39 PM | PERMALINK

Rilkefan -- Where is it written Armando has to respond at all, if that was true? If he really felt the need to respond, and he already had, how about posting a link to some past discussion that would illuminate the subject? As a new reader, I, at least, might have benefited.

Sorry, but it clearly seems to be an act of someone who can't handle a serious and reasoned disagreement. I'm irked, because I let myself get all worked up when he was "outed" by NRO. Perhaps I should believe the rumors that he basically left DKos because of excessive rudeness to commenters.

Posted by: Bob on April 2, 2008 at 7:11 PM | PERMALINK

As someone who actually has family in both states, I can say that I do know plenty of people who are annoyed with the Obama campaign for throwing up roadblocks to any sort of re-do in either state. Frankly, it doesn't matter whose right and whose wrong on the finer points of assigning blame for the situation. Obama is the focus of their discontent.

In my albeit limited sampling of FL & MI voters, people wanted their January vote to count and barring that they want a re-do. These are people who have consistently supported the party over the years.

Posted by: nittany on April 2, 2008 at 7:25 PM | PERMALINK

A few responses, then I'll make my own point.

Obama has always intended on seating the delegations after he wraps up the nomination

This is about the worst answer possible. Please don't patronize the electorate of Florida and Michigan by pretending it's about tickets to the Convention as opposed to having a voice in selecting the nominee.

The bewildering part, of course, is that Clinton and her allies never address the fact that *she agreed to and endorsed the disenfranchisement she is now complaining about*. Not even an apology, or saying she changed her mind.

Really distressing to see how often this one gets thrown out, even though it's not even a 3rd cousin to the truth. The candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida and Michigan, but none of them was so foolish as to endorse the position that those states wouldn't be seated at the convention or allowed to participate in the electoral process. None of the candidates, far less Clinton for whom those are two of her strongest demographic states (Florida because of old folks, Michigan because of union members/working poor).

My understanding is that neither Obama nor Clinton will have a majority of members on the credentials committee, and there will be about 25 members selected by Howard Dean.

In any case, a vote of the credentials committee to contrive the delegate seating count of FL and MI so that Obama wins, when the results of the primaries would suggest that the delegate count would NOT allow him to win, is only going to aggravate greatly a pre-existing sense that FL and MI voters are being screwed.

Just to clear something up, because there's really a lot of confusion here. The Credentials Committee's vote is not final, and it doesn't really matter who has a majority on the Credentials Committee. All that matters is whether you control 20% of the Credentials Committee. Anybody who controls 20% or more can have the Committee issue a Minority Report containing the names of the delegates they propose to be seated for Seat X, and then the Majority and Minority Reports are sent to the Convention Floor for vote by all the delegates.

OK. I think a few folks have already pointed out why this actually is a danger. It's because, in a close election, known swing states like Florida and Michigan can be expected to be very close. It won't take tremendous amounts of votes to swing them, and "disenfranchised by the Democrat Party" is a stick Republicans can use to beat on Democrats in that state. It really can make the difference.

But my real fear is for elections down the road. Folks, this is the most exciting, engaging, publicized, and contested Democratic primary race ever. Floridians and Michiganders who see this thing go right down to the wire--if it does, which is a strong possibility--beg for the vote, and aren't allowed a meaningful vote, won't just be mad this November, but they could remember this for the rest of their lives.

Posted by: Trickster on April 2, 2008 at 7:31 PM | PERMALINK

>I'm not sure I get the logic here.

Logic. From Humans?

Your making Mr Spock laugh. A lot.

Posted by: James on April 2, 2008 at 7:36 PM | PERMALINK

rilkefan >"...The rules in question have been applied unfairly - many states broke the rules, but FL and MI got punished more than the normal amount and the others weren't touched...."

Name any (all ?) said states.

Ethan >"...I don't know anybody who is outraged about the delegation not counting. Maybe that's because the people I know are intelligent enough to know that it's the state party's fault...."

EXACTLY

Those people are adults and understand the facts.

Got a complaint ? Take it up with the people in the state that caused the problem. I`ll believe there is really an broadly supported issue when the groups responsible are run out of office.

Let`s talk about real issues.

"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

Posted by: daCascadian on April 2, 2008 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

Yo Humans...

Democracy is JUST a process for elections, i.e. RULES to an election process. Nothing more.

The rules were broken by Mi and Fl. Too bad, they are out as far as that process called Democracy is concerned in the nomination process.

Next time, don't have rules where States will not have their primaries count; or at least have a back up plan if the rules are broken again.

You will need such a plan...You are, after all, only Human....Hahahaha.


Posted by: James on April 2, 2008 at 7:47 PM | PERMALINK

Allowing complete chaos in primary scheduling the next go around is a predicatable consequence of a revote. The very fact that Clinton partisans have hitched their wagon on this particular excuse is a very good example of why this sort of garbage gamesmanship (by the state parties) should be ruthlessly discouraged. If Florida and Michigan had stuck to their original dates they'd have had more influence. The bizzare thing about this discussion is that there is no apparent interest in the actual issues about the primary schedule; it's simply a tool for Clinton supporters.

Similarly, reacting badly to a consistently negative campaign by the Clintons is somehow "disenfranchising" millions of voters. Good lord, after watching the performance of her campaign I am incredibly grateful that she isn't going to be given the chance to crater in the general election. We'd have 100 phone calls per household here in Ohio, she'd ignore perfectly winnable states, and there would be no coherent strategy behind the campaign at all. Obama, my third choice for a candidate (after Gore and Edwards) has impressed me far, far more with his tactical skills.

Posted by: Marc on April 2, 2008 at 7:50 PM | PERMALINK

The other early states moved up their primaries, contravening the party's rules.

"Let`s talk about real issues."

Right, like how to organize revotes so that critical swing states are enfranchised, legitimizing the nominee and making it more likely that those states will help us beat McCain.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

No. There can't be a revote because it took too long to organize one - and Clinton only decided to push the issue when she lost a lot of primaries through lousy organization. At this point the election is over, and nothing in those two states will change it.

I contest the idea that a revote is a good idea because of the terrible example it will set the next go around. I think the state party leaders deserve any bad feelings that result, and view the situation as no different than it is for any voter in any state where the primaries are decided before they get a chance to vote. And the way that the Clinton campaign is pushing this destructive narrative crystallizes everything I detest in her campaign. The odds are good that nothing can be done even if folks wanted to. But she's ensuring - and promoting - the idea that voters in two important states are being cheated because she thinks it'll give her a tactical edge. No matter that it could hurt the party in the fall; it's all about Clinton, like always.

Posted by: Marc on April 2, 2008 at 8:05 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not sure I get the logic here.

There isn't any. That's not BTD's specialty. His specialty is being an obnoxious prick.

Posted by: Xanthippas on April 2, 2008 at 8:09 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever the true number is (mostly people who are happy to have an excuse not to schlep to the polls in Nov), it's not helpful to the party to insult a good fraction of 10% of the electorate.

Which is exactly what BTD is doing with one anti-Obama screed after another. As far as I'm concerned, he could stay home with his vote as long as he'd just shut up.

Posted by: Xanthippas on April 2, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

It's not too late to revote if Obama will agree to follow Dean's call and cooperate.

It's crazy to blame and punish FL voters for a republican-organized mess.

It's ludicrous to allow particular states, esp. small ones, to hijack the party nomination procedure. The DNC should go with the democratic option now - revotes - and come up with a sensible system for next time. The order of voting should rotate, for one thing.

"But she's ensuring - and promoting - the idea that voters in two important states are being cheated"

Oh no, HRC is ensuring and promoting the truth. She wants the voters to be allowed to vote, as the rules permit - or their votes to count, as the rules permit. Happily Obama supporters are choosing the Scalia&Co. 2000 roadmap in order to save us from electoral chaos.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

rilkefan, you have a lot of gall considering you tried to palm off so much hot air from Carville as somehow being a geunine offer from the Clinton campaign to pay for a Florida re-vote.

Sorry, but you and many other Clintonites are playing fast and loose with the truth here, and it stinks.

Posted by: David W. on April 2, 2008 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. - that is, if "rilkefan" is even a Democrat. Never underestimate the mischief a committed Limbaugh Democrat can create!

Posted by: David W. on April 2, 2008 at 8:16 PM | PERMALINK

It's crazy to blame and punish FL voters for a republican-organized mess.

Which every Florida Democrat except one voted for.

It's not too late to revote if Obama will agree to follow Dean's call and cooperate.

Every Democratic member of the Florida House delegation, including Clinton supporters, thinks it is.

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 8:18 PM | PERMALINK

I for one am sick and tired of the retroactive bitching from Clinton supporters about Michigan and Florida, which in my opinion would have never existed if Hillary was ahead at this point. Better for you to have complained ahead of time about it, than to opportunistically kvetch about it now.

Posted by: David W. on April 2, 2008 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

I just know I'd be pissed if I was in either state. I'd be pissed at my elected officials and be pissed at everyone trying to keep a revote from happening. And I'd be pissed at Kos and obamites for self-servingly saying that the voters of Florida/Michigan deserve what they get (and either not count the states or undemocratically splitting them 50/50)

It may be oppo-research straw grasping, but if Obama and his supporters are seen as trying to keep the states away from the convention, I suspect he could lose a few votes in the general. A few votes in Florida might matter and the oppo-research teams will archive the data just in case. These guys are morons from Liberty and they probably get paid by the pound.

Posted by: B on April 2, 2008 at 8:30 PM | PERMALINK


"Well I'm pretty sure Armando won't vote for Obama unless they're seated. Maybe Jerome and Jeralyn. Not too many others I can think of.
Oh yeah, Taylor Marsh.
Anyone else?"

Yeah. Me. White, upper-class, Ivy-League educated, $150K+ earning, tree-hugging, Gore-supporting, Volvo-driving, died-in-the-wool liberal who has looked closely at Obama and thinks there is no There There.

Me plus about 70% of the Democratic party that Mr.Unity has alientated.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 8:33 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know what you guys will do when Hillary steps aside.

When was the last time a state went to the democratic convention without a meaningful delegate. There's a fundamental principle here and the name of your party is a hint.

Posted by: B on April 2, 2008 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I see you've attracted the Limbaugh Democrat demographic to your comments section.

What? You say you can't tell? Precisely.

Posted by: David W. on April 2, 2008 at 8:39 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah. Me. White, upper-class, Ivy-League educated [sic] , $150K+ earning, tree-hugging, Gore-supporting, Volvo-driving, died [sic] -in-the-wool liberal who has looked closely at Obama and thinks there is no There There.

Because you don't give a shit about anyone but yourself, and your $150K+ will carry you through the obstacles of another Republican presidency. There are a lot of people who won't be so lucky with McCain in the White House.

With "Democrats" like these, who needs sociopaths?

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK


Oh yes I love Rush, listen to him constantly.
Constantly.

You guys prove my point every time you open your mouth.

I am not a low-info voter.
I do not listen to Rush.
BO needs me to vote for him.

And he's losing me. Big time.

Clue in people. Jeebus.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 8:50 PM | PERMALINK

Next time, frankly0, try not to lift the quote out of context. You left out the second part. That makes you look dishonest.

I assumed that you were mainly focusing on the low turnout of the MI primary as being its disqualifying factor, and I pointed out that caucuses had only turnout.

If you mean by the part I left out the fact that in MI not everyone was on the ballot, then I have addressed that point elsewhere: one can base the formula upon which MI delegates might be seated on a combination of election results and exit polls that could allocate the "uncommitted" vote. Is doing this flawed? Certainly, to a degree. But it's also certainly better and fairer than counting no votes at all, and completely disenfranchising voters in MI. Among other things, a number of Obama supporters in MI strongly urged Obama voters to vote "uncommitted".

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

BTW, here's a poll showing that the vast majority of Democratic voters think that using the popular vote as the basis of selecting a nominee is preferable to using pledged delegate count, by a factor of 57% to 26%.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

David W.: "I for one am sick and tired of the retroactive bitching from Clinton supporters about Michigan and Florida, which in my opinion would have never existed if Hillary was ahead at this point."

Again, this shows a complete failure to understand the situation. Clinton has consistently tried to get the voters enfranchised, but that's entirely beside the point that she wants them enfranchised now, which is what any sensible Democrat should want. She's acting in accordance with the beloved rules and in line with the basic idea of democracy. And if she was leading in pledged delegates now, the argument would be moot because FL and MI would only add to her lead.

And Obama supporters should favor revotes because they likely won't hurt him and will definitely help him if he's the nominee.

Posted by: rilkefan on April 2, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

BTD is nuts.

Florida Dem voters may be a bit pissed at the state party. They are hardly going to vote Repub because they had no say in the nomination.

This is another Clinton fantasy, like the sniper fire she receives at 3am while shielding little children from IEDs.

Posted by: Manfred on April 2, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

What do you want to do with Florida and Michigan, David W.?

I'm not quite interested enough to read the thread.

BTW, Limbaugh first instructed my to read PA back 6 years ago. Mostly I seed chaos and keep shifting the focus of the discussion back toward how lame and hypocritical liberals are. This whole voting/not voting delegate/superdelegate thing is irony gold.

Posted by: B on April 2, 2008 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK


Oh I don't give a shit about anybody but myself?

Thanks for proving my point about alienating people like me. Again.

ASSHOLE, I changed my citizenship, and gave up a good piece of my own self-identity, in 2004, to vote for Kerry, so don't tell me who the fuck I care about.

And now I'm a socio-path?
Jeebus.

Actually, ASSHOLE, I'm a cancer-survivor, who happens to think that Obama pussied out with his health care plan.

And his Social Security, bullsh-t privatization Republican talking point plan.

ANd his pussy not tough-enough economic plan.

And despite my thinking he's a pussy and not nearly progressive enough in his policies, yes, I am still willing to vote for him over McCain in the general should I have to.

Becuae I'm such a fucking sociopath and don't give a fuck about assholes like you.


Idiot.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 8:56 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin:

Besides polling that says it, it seems to me common sense.

But I have a different question, if Hillary "steals" the nomination, do you expect Obama supporters to not vote for her?

You gonna write a post about that? Cuz I believe THAT is a problem too. And vice versa.

What do you think about that?

Posted by: Armando on April 2, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

I see that FranklyO keeps hoping against all hope for evidence of her coronation.

Lee Hamilton just endorsed Obama. I guess he didn't think too highly of Hillary reaching for the 3am phone call.

Obama-Gore 2008. Like that Frankie?

Posted by: Manfred on April 2, 2008 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

You're not seeing logic here because there isn't any.

If not having a voice in selecting the party's nominee was all it took to keep people from voting Democratic, there are something like 20 - 30 states, about half of whom fairly reliably vote Dem in most elections, where Dems would never win.

They're the states whose primaries fell far enough after Iowa and New Hampshire that the nominee was more or less ordained by the time their primaries were held.

An awful lot of Democratic voters (probably Republican voters as well) have never had the option of voting for the candidate they really supported, thanks to the primary schedule. Yet people still vote in those states' general elections.

In short, the "we'll stay home or vote Republican" argument is a big steaming pile of BS.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Me, me, me, me, me, I, I, I, I, I, me, me, me, me, me!

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Oh yes exactly what I just said asshole.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

BTW again, here is an excellent site if you really want to understand the scenarios and projections having to do with counting the popular vote. Certainly under any number of plausible and reasonable conditions, Hillary might win the popular vote in the end.

The spreadsheet allows you to project anything that makes sense to you in upcoming elections, and see immediately how various ways of counting the popular vote are affected.

You will note that even under the default conditions of the spreadsheet, Clinton comes out as a winner under a number of ways of counting the popular vote.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 9:04 PM | PERMALINK

Not gonna happen Armando, so I'm not worrying about it. I'd vote for Clinton but she doesn't get a minute of my volunteer effort (I organized 100 volunteers here in Ohio in 2004) and she doesnt get a nickel of my cash. Don't believe in her anymore.

Too bad the credibility of TalkLeft is getting degraded so completely this round. You should really step back and see what folks around the web are saying. It's not flattering, and it's not from enemies.

Posted by: Marc on April 2, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK


Thanks frankly.

What makes sense to me is elect-fuckin-bility.

And despite my being a sociopath and only in it for myself SOMEHOW I'm still concerned with whether or not, you know, we might be faced with wall-to-wall-GODDAMN AMERICA 527 ads in Otober.

And whether or not being ahead vs McCAIN in vital swing states such as OH, PA, FL and so on might actually matter to the SUper Ds.

I say f-ck the popular vote and f-ck the delegate count and the Super Ds need to look at electability.

But hell I'm just a sociio-path who cares about no one but myself.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:08 PM | PERMALINK

"Too bad the credibility of (TalkLeft) [DailyKos, TalkingPoinsMemo] is getting degraded so completely this round. You should really step back and see what folks around the web are saying. It's not flattering, and it's not from enemies."

Oh yes, too bad.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:10 PM | PERMALINK

People should blame the states' Democratic Parties for their lack of party fraternity and discipline. The Democrats in MI and FL may deserve a real chance to participate in the presidential selection but their local parties played power politics with the rest of us, all the other Democrats, and broke the rules. They can vote for whomever they want in the general election without party interference, but they can no longer vote for who is the nominee of their party. 48 of 50 states will have had party contests for the nominee, and that is a good enough measurement to determine the outcome.

Posted by: Brojo on April 2, 2008 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

Too bad the credibility of (TalkLeft) [DailyKos, TalkingPoinsMemo] is getting degraded so completely this round. You should really step back and see what folks around the web are saying. It's not flattering, and it's not from enemies."

Oh yes, too bad.

Don't be stupid. I don't go to kos, so I have no idea what's going on over there. But TPM, though I would guess that the large majority of its readers are Obama supporters, has not gone off the rails in posts to the blog like Taylor Marsh and some others in Hillary's camp have done.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:14 PM | PERMALINK

But TPM, though I would guess that the large majority of its readers are Obama supporters, has not gone off the rails in posts to the blog like Taylor Marsh and some others in Hillary's camp have done.

Ever see the mote in your own eye?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

48 of 50 states will have had party contests for the nominee, and that is a good enough measurement to determine the outcome.

Brojo - and that's more states than have had a say in who the Dem nominee will be in something like 35 years.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:16 PM | PERMALINK

"Well I'm pretty sure Armando won't vote for Obama unless they're seated. Maybe Jerome and Jeralyn. Not too many others I can think of.
Oh yeah, Taylor Marsh.
Anyone else?"

Sarah at 8:33: Yeah. Me.

After being challenged on this, Sarah at 8:56: yes, I am still willing to vote for him over McCain in the general should I have to.

Bit all over the map, what?

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Marc:

Credibility is in the eye of the beholder. I am comfortable with what I write. I am doubtful that you read much of it.

Kevin here disagrees with a view that frankly, is shared by most people of sense. I did not invent this concern. That you do not share the concern is not important to me.

I am glad to hear from you though that Hillary taking the nomination will not stop you from voting dem in the Fall.

I am a sure vote for the Dem nominee too. That makes two of us. Hopefully it will be everyone.

Posted by: Armando on April 2, 2008 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 - probably because it isn't there.

Taylor Marsh has posted a lot of insane crap on her blog. I challenge you to find anything that Josh Marshall has posted that even approaches the same league.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:18 PM | PERMALINK


Dude if you think TPM hasn't gone off the rails you haven't been there recently.

I want the Democrat who has the best chance of winning the GE in Nov, socio-fucking-path that I am.

I am not sure that is Obama. I think his negative-unkonwns are HIGH. HRC's unknowns are low. SHe presently polls better against McCain in vital swings atates. I realize it's early and those polls may/will change. BUt I still lean towards her because of the electoral map. I do not want to rely on BO to have to flip traditionally red states. Clearly, he thinks he can, hence his FL policy thus far. But I am skeptical.

Also - I like all HRC's policy presentations better than his, from War to Economy to Health Care to Social Security.

I just heard a BO ad as I Was typing this post - about how he doesn't take money from oil companies. Well, yay. Except, um, that's a federal law, and NO CANDIDATES can take money from oil companies. But the ad sure sounded nice. Except it was bullshit.

ANyway, I am severely unconvinced of his electability in Nov, for a multitude of reasons from Wright to Rezko, to the IL leg, to the sub-comittee non-meetings, to his timid plans, and so on, like I said. No There There, and there will be enough scrutiny in the Fall to show that.


Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK

I guess if you consider reporting polling and other campaign news about both candidates, both the negative and the positive for each, as "going off the rails", you might have a point.

But most reasonable people won't be able to see your point.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:35 PM | PERMALINK


Really?

I have reserached the shit out of both candidates. Polls can be helpful but I do not rely on polls.


Show me the "there" that BO puts out.
On health care, on the economy, on the war (I ean his votes once he was in the Senate), on the energy bill, on Social Security, on the credit card-bankrupucy bill.

Show me the There there.

I am willing to be convinced.

Socio-path that I am.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:40 PM | PERMALINK

In general, I agree with Kevin. I think the only part that's different from FL and MI vs any late voting state in a more usual primary (ie one where the eventual winner is pretty obvious by late March or April, even if they haven't gotten all the delegates yet) is that every state will likely "count". (unless there's a big upset in PA, and even if that happens, HRC may still stick it out until June) So, in the kind of year everyone expected, we'd know the nominee by March, MI and FL wouldn't throw the results one way or another, the delegations would be seated after much chastisement, and FL and MI voters wouldn't really be worse off than Pennsylvania or North Carolina voters of years past.

I hate to say this, but the Republicans really did end up handling this better by awarding half the delegates for the contests. I mean, if Dean had wanted to be draconian, he could have offered them a third or quarter of delegates or something. That way there would a real consequence to their actions (for those worried about "principles" and stopping states from cutting in line) but an on the spot resolution that would still reflect in some measure the "will of the people" and wouldn't hang over anyone's head in the unlikely possibility of...well, of what's happening now.

Posted by: JMS on April 2, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

P.S. for those wringing their hands over Obama's "electability"--unless you want to directly contribute to his electability problems by voting for and/or working for McCain, all we really ask is that you vote for the Democrat in November and otherwise keep your pessimism to yourself. You may be right, but you aren't guaranteed to be right, and certainly there will be many people who will be dead certain you are wrong, whose reasons are just as plausible (or irrational). Unless you can control a large bloc of voters, just see how it plays out. It may surprise you.

Posted by: JMS on April 2, 2008 at 9:49 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah - get back to the topic. You claimed that TPM is operating in the same manner as Taylor Marsh - that is, insanely partisan.

I could care less about who you support in the primary. Nothing I could say would change your mind even if I was interested in trying. So you can have that little argument with yourself.

But as for TPM having "gone off the rails", you're welcome to back that up with some links.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Geez YES I was SO wringing my hands!!

So golly THANKS JMS I feel so much fuckin better now voting for your boy because, well...because you can't plausibly defend him or anything, or, you know, really change my mind about all the research I've done, but....well because it might avoid McCain getting in.

OK. Thanks.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 9:57 PM | PERMALINK

As a Detroiter, I find the notion (that Michigan will go for McCain if we don't seat the Michigan delegates) asinine.

It's almost Republican in the stupidity of the logic: "We'll break the Democratic party rules, and if you enforce them it's your fault for screwing everything up." Asinine!

Posted by: Detroit Dan on April 2, 2008 at 10:02 PM | PERMALINK

A point that few make and fewer repeat, but to me the crux: This is an election for the president of all the people, not the president of one private organization called the Democratic Party. It may be that the DNC set rules enshrining New Hampshire as the first primary in the nation, but it was a cowardly decision made by a group of people whose first priority has always been loyalty to the insider group rather than doing what is fair or what is best for the country as a whole. Individually they are mostly good people, but as a mob they lack guts and imagination. It was immoral to allow two of the whitest, most rural states to set the tone of the primaries for more than three decades running.

Posted by: Bob G on April 2, 2008 at 10:13 PM | PERMALINK

Here you go, Frankly and Sarah, it's time to watch. Maybe you'll learn something:

http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=10028

Posted by: Manfred on April 2, 2008 at 10:16 PM | PERMALINK

Jennifer I haven'tbeen there for weeks because I got so disgusted, but here ya go, some recent links...

Basically if you can get someone like me, who goes to TPM first on their links every day, to completely abandon them...it should give you pause.
That's all.

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/04/poll_gives_obama_the_lead_in_p.php

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/187029.php


http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/186903.php

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/186588.php

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/186787.php\

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/186162.php

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/185734.php

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

the best chance of winning the GE

I became a Sen. Obama supporter after understanding how many people wanted to see him speak. He can fill a stadium wherever he goes. 50,000 - 100,000 people will wait hours to see him. Sen. Clinton does not draw a tenth of the people to her appearances.

I voted for Clinton in the primary but have succumbed to the will of the people and hope Barrack wins the nomination and sweeps the electoral college, which I think he has a good chance of doing. A Hillary nomination will mean a stressful election night. I know there are a lot of racists who will never vote for a Black. I also know too many moderate Republicans who will vote for Obama, but never, under any circumstances vote for Clinton.

Posted by: Brojo on April 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Gosh thanks Manfred that kuttke video made such fun of me, I've totally come over to your point of view now. Lovely!
You really know how to unify.
Just like Obama!

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

Hey Brojo - glad you're coming to BO....but what makes you think BO is the better nominee?

I've done a lot of research and so far I don;t see it....

BTW Jennifer tried to post a lot of TPM links but got blown out sonmehow...hope to get them back...

Thanks all,
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

I think Obama is more electable.

I actually dislike both Democratic candidates and would prefer to vote for a socialist, which is another good reason for hating W. Bush. W. Bush makes me vote for conservative moderates like Kerry, Clinton and Obama!

Posted by: Brojo on April 2, 2008 at 10:32 PM | PERMALINK

OK so is it safe to say when somebody asks Obama to, you know, lay it on the line, and give some substance to what he's about and say what he plans to do on say -

The War
The Economy
Health Care
Social Security
Energy Indpendance
NAFTA

....you know all the things I want to hear that might actually convince this "low-information, socio-pathic" voter to actually, you know, vote for him???

And all I get is....crickets....

NO THERE there

SEE ya.

Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

frankly0 on April 2, 2008 at 8:51 PM:

..one can base the formula upon which MI delegates might be seated on a combination of election results and exit polls that could allocate the "uncommitted" vote.

Gee, that's fair...Clinton gets her 55% plus a percentage of the 'uncommitted' vote. Oh; and how do you even begin to use exit polls to determine how someone intended to vote with anything resembling accuracy?

Do you have any solutions that don't directly benefit the Clinton campaign, frankly0?

Is doing this flawed?

Yes. Very.

But it's also certainly better and fairer than counting no votes at all.

No. not at all. If you accept any of the Michigan primary votes 'as is', you will be disenfranchising Michigan voters like me who did not have the opportunity to vote for their favored candidate.

Among other things, a number of Obama supporters in MI strongly urged Obama voters to vote "uncommitted".

So? The primary here didn't count, and the time for the Clinton camp to raise a stink about 'disenfranchisement' was before it happened...But no; the Clinton campaign was afraid that the state a with strong labor presence that voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1988 primaries could have gone to another candidate. Funny how that's come around to bite her candidacy in the ass now, isn't it?

Posted by: grape_crush on April 2, 2008 at 10:36 PM | PERMALINK


Folks - ELECTABILTY!!

When you listen to HRC you get specific plans. She's a wonk. You may not like her plans, but at least you've heard them.

WHen you listen to BO, ytou get lofty rhetoric and no real specifics. If that's good enough for you, or good enough for the general in NOv, then Yay. VOte for him.

But it worries the sh-t out of me. I'm a wonk and I like specifics and I like HRC's specifics.

But it's true she doens't look as good in a suit as Obama.


Posted by: Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:46 PM | PERMALINK

Sarah on April 2, 2008 at 10:35 PM:

...you know all the things I want to hear that might actually convince this "low-information, socio-pathic" voter to actually, you know, vote for him?

Because, of course, it's all about you, Sarah.

If you really had "reserached the shit out of both candidates", you'd have found out what Obama has to say on the topics you've mentioned...Hoever, 'substance' is in the eye of the beholder. If you are already emotionally invested in the Clinton candidacy, you're going to find it harder to take Obama seriously, and vice versa.

Posted by: grape_crush on April 2, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

From Frankly0:

if you don't seat delegates from FL and MI, and do it as fairly as possible consistently with the will of the people of those states, you are undermining a basic principle of democracy.
While I agree somewhat with this statement, there is simply no way to do it "fairly" at this point. The results from the two contests that were held are completely invalid and unfair. And since everyone knew the rules and penalties ahead of time, I'm amazed at the chutzpah displayed by Hillary in trying to get them seated.

Now what we have is a situation where Hillary is portraying her desire to seat them as some sort defense of Democracy, when it's painfully transparent that she cares nothing for Democracy. All you need to do is hear HER talk about Obama's pledged delegates being in play, or that the super-delegates should be allowed to sway the election to her.

BTW, here's a poll showing that the vast majority of Democratic voters think that using the popular vote as the basis of selecting a nominee is preferable to using pledged delegate count, by a factor of 57% to 26%.
Well I'd agree with that.....but not for this current nomination process, that'd be dumb and breathtakingly unfair (even though Obama leads in this category as well). But maybe before 2016 we change it to be based solely on the popular vote, and force each state contest to be a closed Primary. I don't know how we'd get all the states to agree to that, but I'd be on board. Posted by: Joe on April 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

who has looked closely at Obama and thinks there is no There There.

We get it, you hate Obama and he couldn't cross a street correctly in your opinion.

And of course you have "researched the shit" out of both candidates while the rest of us are teh stupid.

But certainly don't let this comment interfere with your rant.

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno...seems to me like Sarah could also be a jerk when discussing French Romantic poets...or the weather... you go vote for whoever you want...just spare us the arguments...if you're not going to argue in good faith, what's the point?

Posted by: JMS on April 2, 2008 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Do disenfranchised voters tend to vote or stay home on election day? Poll after poll shows that voters who feel disenfranchised tend to stay home. So, yes, I imagine that Michigan and Florida will go red in the general if their Democratic voters are disenfranchised in the primary. It's really not rocket science or anything.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on April 2, 2008 at 11:15 PM | PERMALINK

Me plus about 70% of the Democratic party that Mr.Unity has alientated.

I may not be "ivy-league educated", but I'm pretty sure that if Obama "alientated [sic] 70% of the Democratic party", he wouldn't be leading in the polls, or the delegate count, or the popular vote, or the number of states won. But I see, in order for you not to be alienated, the person trailing should be allowed to win.....thereby actually alienating the majority of Democrats....yet another example of Hillary-logic on display.

Posted by: Joe on April 2, 2008 at 11:25 PM | PERMALINK

Thanks for the links, Sarah.

Thanks especially for the first one, which showed how ravening Josh is for reporting the results of a poll showing Obama in the lead in PA, and stating quite clearly that the poll had to be considered an outlier since it was so far off the results of other polls.

It saved me the trouble of looking at all the other links, since obviously your idea of "rabid partisan" is anyone who reports things that you don't want to hear, even if they point out that the poll in question really shouldn't be considered a reliable indicator.

So to sum up: Josh Marshall, rabid partisan for reporting poll results; Taylor Marsh, fair and balanced for pulling hysterical bullshit out of thin air. Thanks, I think we can all see where you're coming from now.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

From QUinnipac today:
Florida: Clinton 44 percent - McCain 42 percent; McCain beats Obama 46 - 37 percent;
Ohio: Clinton beats McCain 48 - 39 percent; Obama gets 43 percent to McCain's 42 percent;
Pennsylvania: Clinton tops McCain 48 - 40 percent; Obama leads McCain 43 - 39 percent.


But....but....WWTSBQ????

ROTFLMAO!!!

And, to give a little bit of perspective to your poll numbers that are 7 months from the election -- poll numbers from October of 2007 had Hillary ahead by 33%...


Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 11:35 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, and another thing about the "disenfranchisment" of FL and MI voters.

It isn't. Stop calling it that.

Democratic primaries are essentially an activity conducted by and on behalf of a private entity - the Democratic Party. You only have the "right" to vote in a Democratic Primary if the private entity - the Democratic Party - says that you do. Not being allowed to vote in a party's primary is not "disenfranchisement" in any sense of the word.

Posted by: Jennifer on April 2, 2008 at 11:39 PM | PERMALINK
….it's time to watch. Maybe you'll learn something… Manfred on April 2, 2008 at 10:16 PM
Yup, John Cole, no less a foaming-at-mouth anti-Clintonite than Josh Marshall, Randy Andy Sullivan or John Aravosis. What is it about Obamacans that make them behave like GOP smear&lie nutjobs?
I think Obama is more electable….Brojo at 10:32 PM
Yes, while McCain touts the Vietnam service he condemned Kerry for mentioning, his 527's will be showing Obama morphing into Wright saying "God Damn America!" That will impress the electorate, you betcha.
If you really had "reserached the shit out of both candidates", you'd have found out what Obama has to say on the topics you've mentioned…. grape_crush at 10:56 PM
As, for example, his health care proposal which doesn't measure up to his claims or his economic proposals which, while more serious than McCain, are not the most comprehensive.


there is simply no way to do it "fairly" at this point…..Joe on April 2, 2008 at 11:06 PM

Strange, there could have been re-votes until the Obama campaign nixed that, of course, that occurred after he claimed to favor that solution. That's called having it both ways.
We get it, you hate Obama and he couldn't cross a street correctly in your opinion…..: on at 11:07 PM

According to his audacious book, Chapter One:
Shorter Obama:

1. Politics used to be gentlemanly
2. But there were problems, like racism and such (and everyone had to be a “gentleman”)
3. In the 60s, some of those problems came to a head, and things got better
4. Still, the Baby Boomers are “arrested development” cases whose whiny entitlement is the cause of today’s political stalemate
5. It should be said that the Republicans have done some terrible things. So, maybe it’s not a stalemate.
6. … But I’m sure the Democrats have been just as extreme (even if there aren’t any relevant examples). And, besides, we’re losers.
7. Bill Clinton played the GOP to a draw. I’m going to succeed like he did. But differently. And more so. In some way.

Like, Wow.

Posted by: Mike on April 2, 2008 at 11:48 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, while McCain touts the Vietnam service he condemned Kerry for mentioning, his 527's will be showing Obama morphing into Wright saying "God Damn America!" That will impress the electorate, you betcha.

Yes, while McCain touts the Vietnam service he condemned Kerry for mentioning, his 527's will be showing Hillary bending down to a little 8 year old girl in pigtails with a voice overlay of "And the sniper fire!" That will impress the electorate, you betcha.

There, I fixed it for you.

Posted by: on April 2, 2008 at 11:54 PM | PERMALINK
So to sum up: Josh Marshall, rabid partisan for reporting poll results….Jennifer at 11:30 PM
Josh Marshall, like Keith Olbermann and Kos, has been whoring for Obama big time. So?
…."disenfranchisment" of FL and MI voters. It isn't….Jennifer at 11:39 PM
People went to the trouble of going to the polls. They voted. Their votes will not count. The Obama campaign is blocking re-vote. Why? Posted by: Mike on April 3, 2008 at 12:04 AM | PERMALINK
Hillary bending down to a little 8 year old girl in pigtails with a voice overlay of "And the sniper fire!"….: at 11:54 PM
That is silly even for a 'bamacan or a GOP stooge. Clinton admits misspeaking; Obama claims Wright is family. Posted by: Mike on April 3, 2008 at 12:09 AM | PERMALINK

"Not being allowed to vote in a party's primary is not "disenfranchisement" in any sense of the word."

But voting and having your vote not count is disenfranchisement, so you are wrong.

Posted by: on April 3, 2008 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

People went to the trouble of going to the polls. They voted. Their votes will not count. The Obama campaign is blocking re-vote.

So we are now using "answers.yahoo.com" as the go to scholarly resource? So some anonymous poster on answer.yahoo.com is telling us that the Obama campaign is blocking the revote -- so it's true?

Now, that is laugh out loud funny. Good night. Too crazy here tonight.


[Comments are off on this thread. Enough with the pie-fights and the unsigned posts.]

Posted by: on April 3, 2008 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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