Sunday, June 01, 2008

Democrats Blow It


It really was quite simple, but simple is a foreign word to the Democratic National Committee, the various Democratic state apparatus, basically anything to do with the party. Watching this entire primary season unfold, comparing it to the seem less system the Republicans have in place, is it any wonder why many Americans have the impression the Democrats are the party of excessive regulation, people that could turn making toast into a 33 page SOP.

It is true, Florida and Michigan played outside of the rules, in essence their belligerence forced the DNC to sanction them. However, once the arcane process continued, proportional delegates, based on regions, overall totals, caucuses with multiple voting, open primaries, mixed primaries, closed primaries, primaries and caucuses, it became clear, something would have to be done about Florida and Michigan. After all, it was really just a bunch of party hacks that went out of bounds, hardly fair to punish ordinary voters, leaving them no say in the process. In the end, it was another bunch of party hacks that decided how to carve up the delegates, in a way that was completely arbitrary.

Clinton can't win, no matter how the delegates were allotted, so the final outcome is more about resolution, than changing the race. In the end, all that matters, is everyone is satisfied, people don't feel disenfranchised, Democrats emerge united. When you think of the importance of these two states come November, Obama and Clinton are secondary, the real issue is ensuring the voters are happy with the outcome.

Getting back to SIMPLE, there was one solution, that would have avoided the spectacle of yesterday, with angry voters pledging to vote for McCain, yelling, protests, editorials- it's call a REDO. That's right, the greatest democracy on earth, the one that brags to the world about its system, can't REDO two primaries, in two states. No, that was such a herculian task, the option was dismissed. People can argue why both states chose not to REDO the primaries, clearly there was some political consideration, but it serves as a fundamental failure, and for that reason, the Democrats are getting exactly what they deserve. The money was there for the REDO, but somehow, it was too cumbersome to let people vote, fair and square, nobody bitter, no bad press, harmony. The kicker, a REDO probably would have had no effect on the who is the nominee, even if it did, isn't that democracy after all.

Yesterday was the climax of a self-created maelstorm, that never had to be, but did because some party hacks reacted to another bunch of party hacks, all the while, leaving voters as irrelevant pawns. Whomever you support, the objective truth here, the real casualty is democracy, and for that reason, I have no sympathy for the Democrats, in terms of fallout.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes, redo, profoundly democratic. When someone doesn't like the results of an election we'll just re-run it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Michigan - but it was the "Republican" legislature that made the Florida decision to not abide by rules - so it's not the people of Florida/Democrats to be blamed there.

I'm curious as to why Obama wouldn't go along with a revote in both States when some people were ready to raise the money - was he afraid?

Antonio said...

Obama wanted a caucus and clinton wanted a primary

they couldnt agree

no re-do was held

Mark Dowling said...

Firstly, I don't know why the Dems are so exercised that McCain has had a four month lead. Look how little he's done with it!

The interesting point is that Obama spokespeople (and de facto but for the next 72-hrs undeclared ones like Donna Brazile) mentioning that "later, there might be full seating, full voting" for MI and FL. What this highlights, if it were needed, is that every vote is not equal on several levels. There is the electoral college element, obviously, but also that in the primaries the effectiveness of a vote cast and a delegate apportioned is proportional to how early that happens. No wonder that MI and FL wanted to move up. What is really meant by the Obamans is that once Hillary drops out, it's "safe" to give her the full delegate votes from MI and FL *because they won't matter*.

It's got to sting some Dems (the ones with open minds, not the HuffPost/Kos guys) when George Will says on This Week that yesterdays meeting was for the Dems was analogous to the Supreme Court decisions in Bush v Gore - a decision with essentially no basis in law which just tried to (allegedly - in both instances) make the best of a bad situation.

In this case, applying rules would have either withdrawn the sanction on FL/MI, reduced it or confirmed it. They opted to reduce it, but gave to Obama votes he was not entitled to, since it is not clear that those who voted against Hillary were votes for Obama - they could have been votes for any of the candidates remaining in the race who also withdrew. Those delegates should have been named as uncommitted and sent to the convention as such. In addition, the Rules Committee reduced, somehow, Clinton's delegate count from 73 to 69, which when added to the uncommitteds sent to Obama was a swing of 8 notwithstanding the vote totals.

Count every vote - some just won't all count, some more won't count as much.

Anonymous said...

Oh many people were ok with the results.

The SIMPLE solution is to honour elections as certified by the Secretary of State for Michigan and Florida.

Anything else is undemocratic interpretation and not honouring an election.

What they did yesterday was worse than not counting any of the delegates. The Republicans will ove to run against a PArty that just arbitrarily decided to overturn a democratic certified election as is suited its own desires.

They have shown less regard for democracy and votes than Robert Mugabe and they will lose the white house.

It hasn't begun but they just handed the Republicans the biggest gift, a platform of Democracy, Voters Rights and States Rights.

We all know how people felt about the Supreme courts decision in 2000to respect the Secretary of State of Florida. That was nothing compared to the Party itself just deciding it will take delegates away from the candidate that won and competed to esentially GIVE 59 delegates plus 2guarenteed add ons to the candidate they preferred.

They are toast when the republicans run on this among other things.

Anonymous said...

Not Florida, again! It was the Republican legislature that moved up the primary. Totally agree that a REDO in both states would have been best outcome for the party.

Steve V said...

" When someone doesn't like the results of an election we'll just re-run it."

If you call those two farcical votes in Mich and Flor an election, then you were never paying attention.


If you want no hard feelings, if you want satisfaction with the result, than a REDO was the only option. And, it just so happened, it was the most democratic. There was never a solution that would be acceptable, coming out of this DNC meeting. It was doomed before they entered the room, because you are trying to find a compromise to an already flawed proposition.

justin said...

Antonio said...

Obama wanted a caucus and clinton wanted a primary

they couldnt agree


I don't know where you are getting this misinformation from but Obama was fine with whatever the party came up with. The idea of a primary redo was put to vote in both Florida & Michigan legislatures and they both voted it down. Most democrat representatives in Florida legislature were Clinton supporters and the governor of Michigan is a clinton supporter so in the end it was the clinton supporters who in part were responsible for blocking a revote. A revote would have been beneficial to Obama because demographically speaking he would have narrowly carried Michigan and lost in florida by 5-6 points.

The Republicans will ove to run against a PArty that just arbitrarily decided to overturn a democratic certified election as is suited its own desires.

Don't worry the Democrats will respond by bringing up the fact that Rebublicans have also cut the Florida and Michigan delegations by half this year.


In this case, applying rules would have either withdrawn the sanction on FL/MI, reduced it or confirmed it. They opted to reduce it, but gave to Obama votes he was not entitled to, since it is not clear that those who voted against Hillary were votes for Obama - they could have been votes for any of the candidates remaining in the race who also withdrew. Those delegates should have been named as uncommitted and sent to the convention as such. In addition, the Rules Committee reduced, somehow, Clinton's delegate count from 73 to 69, which when added to the uncommitteds sent to Obama was a swing of 8 notwithstanding the vote totals.

Count every vote - some just won't all count, some more won't count as much.


Do you realize how laughable that argument is? What about those voters who did not show up to vote because they knew that the primary counted for nothing? The turnout in Michigan was only a fraction of % in other states. Not counting the votes of people who were deceived to not go to polls by clinton who said that this election won't count for anything is the equivalent of the voter purge list in florida from 2000. Not to mention the other candidates in the race (Edwards, Richardson) support giving Obama the uncommitted delegates. I'm sorry but if the only way Clinton can win is to legitimize a primary is which hers was the only name on the ballot then she does not deserve to be the nominee.

Bleatmop said...

I've always contended that Democrats lost the 2004 election rather than the Republicans winning it. Having just watched "...So Goes the Nation" about the campaign in Ohio only just confirmed my belief in this.

I think if the Republicans win in 2008, the initial disenfranchisement of the Florida and Michigan voters (two very important states in the presidential election) all the way to the pathetic attempt at a "compromise" will be the story told when "... So goes the nation 2" comes out.

But that'll only happen if the Democrats continue to make blunders at their current level. But that's not going to happen, right? I mean, it's not like Clinton would actively sabotage the Obama campaign, right??

Dame said...

The Democratic Party is Archaic Fractured and Divided more then ever.. It is a shame they MAY win in November/ but far from sure/ these harsh divisions will be "working " years to Come and this is depressing me with no end..

Obama won with the length of his penis... sexism is rampant worst then racism...

Anonymous said...

Redos would have been impossible in either state. The Florida Legislature refused to pay for another primary and the proposed mail-in vote would not be secure. In Michigan, the Republicans were also opposed to the proposal and many local election officials were adamantly against a revote. What the DNC did was the best way to resolve the issue.

Dame, sexism is not nearly as bad as racism in the United States. It is far harder to run as a black man than a white woman. Look how many elected female officials compared to black officials. And look at the racist smears against Obama and the threats against his life because he is black. That is far worse than what Hillary has faced. And as Hillary said herself, if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Wayward Son said...

"Obama won with the length of his penis... sexism is rampant worst then racism..."

I keep on hearing this but I don't see it. I was discussing this with some real hardline feminists the other day. They were complaining about the sexism in this race. Is there sexism? of course and there always will be sexist comments and newspaper articles. But has being a woman hurt Hillary Clinton? I don't think so. Imagine if Hillary was not in the race and instead there was an identical candidate we will call Henry Clintok. Identical voting record, identical history, identical policy positions, identical crappy campaign. Would most feminists be supporting Henry? Fuck no, not with his record. How would Henry be doing? I suspect he wouldn't have been doing close to as well as Hillary is.

And that is what I keep on hearing from feminists. 1) They are pissed off about the sexism. 2) If Hillary doesn't win it is because she is a woman, despite none of them really thinking that Hillary is a candidate that represents their views anyways.

I would like to see a female President as much as anyone else. But in my case, Hillary has been dead to me since she voted for the Iraq War and has continued to be very hawkish on foreign policy. That is not because she is a woman, but because of the way she votes.

Steve V said...

"The Florida Legislature refused to pay for another primary "

The money was already on the table, Clinton had backers willing to pay, so that one is pretty lame.

It all comes down to this, where there is a will, there is a way.