June 1, 2008


I received a number of responses to my post below and started to reply in the comments, but when a comment becomes blog-length, it's time to move it to the front page. My responses on the flip side.

To Lynne: Did the voters of the states break the rules? No, they did not. Their respective state legislatures did. However, the elections were fair and certified by each state. Revotes were offered. Obama refused them.

Is it fair to take votes from Hillary that she won and award them to Barack Obama who chose to remove his name from the ballot even though there was no requirement that he do so? My name wasn't on the ballot either. Can I get some of Hillary's votes too?

This post lays out what would have been a fair decision. Shorter version: respect the will of the voters.

Like Harold Ickes said today, you don't start down the road to unity by hijacking votes.

Do I want McCain to be president? No. But I don't want Obama to be president either. He neither deserves it nor has the experience. He cannot accept responsibility for anything and I have yet to hear him condemn either Wright or Phleger for the despicable things BOTH of them said about Hillary Clinton from the pulpit of TUCC. Barack can start riding his Unity Pony™ right there.

To Mike: You and I know each other, and I know that we like and respect each other. I have no complaint with you, but I've had to deal with some toxic Obama supporters, and the treatment we received at our caucus was awful. You see, there are lots of hurt feelings on each side and in tennis matches, to used a hack metaphor, it's the victor who is supposed to jump the net and make nice with the loser, not the other way around. I have no complaints with you. Contrary to your opinion of Barack Obama's 'gentlemanly' ways, many of us have a less than stellar opinion of his behavior and are still waiting for a clear and public apology. In fact, this is about all he has said regarding Pfleger's remarks:

Mr. Obama, through a statement released to reporters, said he was “deeply disappointed.”

“As I have traveled this country, I’ve been impressed by not what divides us, but by all that that unites us,” Mr. Obama said. “That is why I am deeply disappointed in Father Pfleger’s divisive, backward-looking rhetoric, which doesn’t reflect the country I see or the desire of people across America to come together in common cause.”
Since I have not been able to find a transcript of his prepared remarks from yesterday, only his Q&A with the press, I cannot find what you assert he said yesterday. If you can point me to a transcript, I'm happy to review it.

To texex: You know me as well. Where in my post did I say I was supporting McCain? And please, don't send me links to DailyKos. I gave up that sewer months ago. Send me legitimate links and I'll click on them.

To Susan: At this point I've put in lots of time working with and for the Democratic Party. Pretty much everything I've suggested has fallen on deaf ears. Basically there are those in the power structure, both nationally and statewide, that have a vested interest in maintaining their own kuleana and will brook no dissent.

I haven't left my liberal ideals. I haven't left Democratic ideals. But I sure am thinking my party has. That's it in a nutshell.

To Cathylee: Amen.

To all: Right now I feel as though no party represents me, but I may wait until after the mid-August state primaries to change my registration, in case there is a down-ticket race I may want to have a say in. On the other hand, in my county the only primaries that exist so far are on the Republican side, and since they control my county, perhaps I should become an R, just to provide a moderating voice? Do you all see my dilemna? There was a reason I wrote my blog tagline as I did.

[+/-] Expand/Collapse


Mike said...

I found at least three parts
of the press conference on youtube
a little while ago. Though part one doesn't seem to be right from
the start.

I saw the whole press conference
last night on CSPAn (close to midnight). He characterized the
ridiculous remarks towards Hillary
as "mocking" and "despicable". And, might have said more.

I'll see if I can find a full transcript when I log on tommorrow at UNR libary computer. Or, here at city library. (Soon I will have a laptop, yippee!)

Mike said...

The only real limitation to being a NP is the fact we don't have open primaries here.

2010 Governor's race will be very interesting. And, if Bob Cashell doen't get in on the Republican side, likely to go to the Dem winner in the primary. (I'm betting on that being our AG, my favorite right now.)

carissa said...

I have found a full transcript of the presser. He was not asked any questions about Pfleger, and until I see a transcript of his "prepared" remarks, I maintain my position that he has not directly addressed the issue, nor strenuously stood up for Hillary.

Marco said...

What about the millions of voters in Michigan and Florida who were told that their votes didn't count, and so didn't show up at the polls? (Turnout in Michigan and Florida was less than every other state.) You don't think it would be messed up to then say, "Suckers, the vote counted after all." That would, in effect, disenfranchise them as well. The fact is, there is no high and mighty Democratic solution to this problem that respects the highest ideals of voter rights. Hence, the mostly proper compromises made in yesterday's RBC meeting.

Stop pretending that HRC is the hero of the people in this one -- she was a willing participant in this Florida/Michigan situation. Either she's fighting it now for purely political reasons, or she was too cowardly late last year to fight these rules then, for purely political reasons. Either way, she is a politician, as Obama is. If you're going to throw away the Democratic party on a debatable issue of process, that's your decision. I'd be happier if the party is made up of a higher percentage of rational beings anyway.

carissa said...

Marco, two things:

Turnout: Were you watching the hearings yesterday that said turnout in Michigan was 4 times what it was in 2004. Turnout in Florida was record turnout.

People who would otherwise vote did not: Regarding those who chose not to turn out at the poll: Faulty logic. In Florida one should assume that the same percentage of Clinton, Edwards and Obama supporters would have stayed home, thereby negating your unspoken argument that only Obama supporters stayed home (an argument I've heard on a number of occasions). In Michigan there was a strong and well publicized effort to get Obama and Edwards supporters to come out and vote "uncommitted" and they did so to the tune of 40% of the votes cast, with the hopes that the votes would eventually count.

Try again.

carissa said...

Mike, ditto on your conjecture about our AG. I love her.

carissa said...

Mike, in addition to that, if she does run, I suspect minimal if any competition in the primary.

Marco said...

Yes, turnout was much higher than in the past, but lower than every other state. But your second point is more relevant:

"Faulty logic. In Florida one should assume that the same percentage of Clinton, Edwards and Obama supporters would have stayed home, thereby negating your unspoken argument that only Obama supporters stayed home."

I never made that argument. In fact, I agree with you on this. But the point remains that millions of voters would be disenfranchised if the Michigan/Florida primaries were counted fully, contrary to public perception before the votes. And in any case, you are doing here exactly what the Obama side is doing -- you are presuming that the millions of voters who stayed home would have voted in the same proportion than those who showed up; Obama's folks are presuming that the vast majority of uncommitted votes were meant for Obama.

Both sides are presuming -- a compromise needed to be made.

Marco said...

"Mike, ditto on your conjecture about our AG. I love her."

Will you continue to love her if she endorses Obama this week?

The Red Queen said...

You know marco- how about if we just assume that all registered voters in all states who didn't vote in the primaries are Obama voters. Will that make you happy?

I can just see it now- legions of koolaid drinkers chanting "count the non-votes!"

carissa said...

marco, of course I'd still love her! I don't hate Mike, now do I?

Regarding disenfranchisement. No one stopped people from voting in either Michigan or Florida. That is what disenfranchisement is. Choosing not to vote is silencing oneself. It is not disenfranchisement.

However, changing the votes cast to reflect something other than the will of the voters (you know, those who DIDN'T silence themselves) but cutting the worth of those votes in half and awarding votes to a candidate whose name was voluntarily removed by said candidate from the ballot, and in fact, taking votes from one candidate and giving them to another, as was done with the Michigan delegation is worse than disenfranchisement. It is vote stealing. When sports team forfeits a game, they are not entitled to any points. Barack forfeited Michigan.

I remember December 12, 2000 when the Supreme Court stopped the vote count in Florida. At the time I said, "Just count the votes. If Bush wins, he wins, and I can accept that." What the Supreme Court did to short-circuit the process and their subsequent ruling that was a "one time" ruling and not to be considered "precedent" and specifically said it was being done to protect George W. Bush.

I was literally ill over the decision, but chalked it up to Republican control of SCOTUS. When I see my own party behaving in the same manner, it has to give one pause, does it not?

Marco said...

"You know marco- how about if we just assume that all registered voters in all states who didn't vote in the primaries are Obama voters. Will that make you happy?"

No, that wouldn't make me happy at all, as those people didn't vote with the full knowledge that they could have. People in Michigan and Florida were told their votes wouldn't count, and then afterwards they were told by the Clinton people that maybe it did count. If someone did that in a foreign country, we would be crying bloody murder. I stand by saying that it was disenfranchisement either way.

This isn't at all like Florida in 2000, where people knew their votes counted. You can't have a sham election and then say it counts -- that is undemocratic.

However, I will agree with you that the Michigan compromise was a little too kind to Obama. I think he should've got just 40% of the delegates, to represent the uncommitted votes for Obama and Edwards, all of which would now go for Obama with the Edwards endorsement. But a compromise had to be made -- if they had seated all of Michigan's delegates and gave 0 to Obama, that would've been reminiscent of the Stalin regime. Then I would have been the one leaving the party.

carissa said...

marco, neither the election in MI or FL were "sham" elections. They were fully certified by the state.

Marco said...

And the RBC unanimously voted yesterday on the Florida delegate compromise, and 19-8 on the Michigan compromise, which is as official as a certification. Does certification necessitate fairness? (The 2000 election was certified as well.)

I realize that they weren't "sham" elections in that the state recognized the vote, especially since there were several other things on the ballot beside the presidential primary. So the elections themselves were not a sham. However, the presidential portion was indeed a sham, as newspapers, the media, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama all stated clearly in the weeks before that those elections would not count. It's trickery plain and simple, but thankfully it doesn't change the fact that Obama either way has a large pledged delegate lead. So the RBC, knowing that Obama is the nominee, came up with a compromise that has pleased both states, somewhat pleased the Clinton campaign (the Florida vote was unanimous remember), and hasn't messed with the will of the pledged delegates -- i.e., Obama as the Democratic nominee. The only people who seem to be really upset about it are not the voters of Michigan and Florida, nor the party leaders of those states, but merely the diehard Clinton supporters who actually think the election was stolen from the most powerful dynasty in the Democratic party. The election wasn't stolen from them -- what happened is that more than half of the party vehemently does not want a presidential dynasty.

carissa said...

I beg to differ. Hillary is in the lead on the popular vote, you know, that vote that when Barack held the lead and she led in delegates was so important to his supporters. So much so that Donna Brazile swore she would leave the Democratic Party if the SDs did not follow the will of the voters and support the winner of the popular vote. Remember that? Oh wait. That only applies to Obama. But if we took Obama rules and applied them to the SDs, Hillary would be well ahead.

Regarding dynasties. Those apply to bloodlines, not relation by marriage. I used to think the same thing myself, once a complete non-supporter of Hillary, until it struck me that I would not like to be denied the same job my husband had merely because he had held it first. Why should I apply the same standard to my vote? If the most qualified candidate happened to be married to a former president, why should that even factor into my decision? Why should I punish her because he got their first? Furthermore, no one is handing her anything. That's what a dynasty is. She is working hard for every single vote.

I also have news for you. I've talked to lots of Republicans who are ready to vote for Hillary in November, but tell me there is no way they'd ever vote for Barack. No experience they tell me.

Marco said...

Which popular vote are you talking about? Are you talking about the one not including Michigan? If so, Obama is the leader (http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html) -- or maybe you want to include the non-binding Michigan primary. Then, we should probably throw in the Texas caucus as well. Oh, but then that's not fair, we should add in the non-binding primaries held in Nebraska, Washington, and Idaho. To do otherwise would be disenfranchisement, yes? Oh but if you do all of that, Obama is in the lead again. Oh, but there's more -- in some states only Democrats can vote, in others it's open to Independents. Isn't disenfranchisement not to count the Independents in all states?

The above is to give you an idea how ridiculous it would be to appeal to the popular vote at this point. In the Democratic nomination, it was never intended to be a deciding factor. Why? Because the nomination is a 50 state process of selecting delegates, which is heavily informed by the popular vote, but allows states to choose their own system (allow Independents, caucus vs. primary, etc.) I wouldn't be against the Democrats switching to a full popular vote metric, but they'd have to do that for future races, not this one. The popular vote argument is bunk, and only works for Clinton when you give Obama 0 (read: zero) votes in Michigan. Talk about disenfranchisement.

As for dynasties, you can make an arbitrary bloodline distinction if you want. But what I'm concerned about is not whether her DNA is the same, but whether her presidency would in a sense be a familial restoration -- that is, the people running the white house would be extremely similar as to the ones running it in the 90's, with a former president living in the White House again. This disturbs me for many reasons, the least of which because this campaign has shown that like Bush, HRC values loyalty over competency until push comes to shove. (See, e.g., PSD.) And while Clinton is qualified to be President, I fear that if she were to gain the presidency, it would actually be harmful for feminism, encouraging young women that the best path to success is through marriage. I can't fucking wait until we have a female president -- hopefully, it will be the next Democratic presidential candidate after President Obama's leaves the White House. But I also hope it's someone who has earned it not through marriage, which would probably be the case for any post-Boomer candidate. But her name is Clinton, and a dynasty it would be.

carissa said...

Oh Marco. You're making me tired. Enough with Clintons are just like the Bushes bullshit.

Loyalty over competency? Excuse me? Who fixed FEMA and who destroyed it even worse than his father did? And why? Because GW would rather reward his campaign lackeys than actually putting someone in a job that requires knowledge of, and competency in, the subject matter.

A hardcore Republican Bush-supporting co-worker, ex-Navy lifer told me how much he liked Bill's Secretary of Defense, William Cohen. And that's just one example. If he valued loyalty so much, why didn't he kick FBI director Freeh out on his ear?

Go away. You're like a mosquito with the same old buzzing...

Marco said...

I never said the Clintons were like the Bushes (and said nothing about Bill). I merely said that HRC sometimes values loyalty over competency, like Bush does, although not nearly to the same extreme. PSD is the ultimate example.

carissa said...

What is PSD? Forgive my ignorance. I've Googled the acronym you are using but nothing seems to fit.

Marco said...

Patti Solis Doyle. See: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200802u/patti-solis-doyle

Although Clinton was eventually wise enough to demote her and put the much more competent Maggie Williams in her stead.

Mike said...

Hi Carissa, first Obama's prepare


The relevant section is 2:25 minutes into this 6 1/2 minute statement:

[Father Phlager] made offensive statements...that unfairly mocked
and characterized Senator Clinton in a way that I find unacceptable.

Looks like I had a slight auditory hallucination (i.e. term "despicable")

Yahya said...

cls - "I can no longer continue in good conscience as a Democrat and will be re-registering as an Independent at the county clerk’s office this week."

That's very unfortunate, cls. I'm sorry the Clinton's "win or else" attitude has pushed the party to the brink of disaster. Hopefully by November we can all come together as one and beat John McSame for the good of the country. I think when all said and done Barack Obama will choose Hillary as his Veep. He almost has no other choice at this point. I'd hate to see all these years of hard work go down the tube for nothing.

Fight on!