Thursday, May 29, 2008

A brief update on what the Democratic Party is doing about the roguery of Florida and Michigan

By Michael J.W. Stickings


Democratic Party lawyers have determined that no more than half the delegates from Florida and Michigan can be seated at the party’s August convention, dealing a blow to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s efforts to seat the full delegations from those states.

The rules committee of the Democratic National Committee meets on Saturday to determine whether to seat the delegates from these states, which were penalized for holding early primaries.

Half? Yes, at most. (See a background post on what to do about Florida and Michigan here.)

Why? Let's remind ourselves of the facts:

1) This wasn't Obama's doing, and, contrary to Hillary's not-too-subtle allegations, he isn't to blame.

2) The DNC set the rules (way back in August 2006), Florida and Michigan broke the rules, the DNC penalized Florida and Michigan. (It's that simple.)

3) With the exception of Mike Gravel, the candidates agreed not to campaign in Florida prior to the primary there on January 29. Hillary held three fundraisers two days before the vote, however, and then went there to declare victory, but it was in no way a meaningful victory because it was in no way a meaningful contest.

4) While Hillary decided to remain on the ballot in Michigan, along with Dodd and Gravel, Obama and several other candidates (including Edwards, Richardson, and Biden) withdrew from the primary in October 2007 and had their names taken off the ballot for the January 15 primary. (Kucinich tried but failed to get his name removed.) As with Florida, Hillary and her campaign and her surrogates have declared victory, but, again, it was in no way a meaningful victory. In second and third place, respectively, were "Uncommitted" and "Undecided."

And now Hillary wants those results to count? Well, of course. She wants both the delegates and the popular vote totals, both of which would count in her favour.

Here's how I put it the night of the Florida primary (before I had endorsed Obama): "So Hillary played along with the ruling, avoiding Florida, until it was in her self-interest, after her bad loss to Obama in South Carolina, not to. And, in declaring victory in what was a non-competitive race, she now wants the vote to count, for Florida to get its allocation of delegates after all? What do you think she'd be saying -- what do you think her husband would be saying -- if Obama were trying to pull a stunt like this? Or what if Obama had simply won and was respecting the ruling? There wouldn't be a peep out of the Clintons. And so she's declaring victory and her supporters are lapping it up. It's all quite despicable. She wants the delegates, but she also wants the momentum heading into next week's Super Tuesday. And apparently she'll stop at nothing to get it."

But, you see, this is Clintonian ethics at work: When you're losing, change the rules... and go back on your word and do what you said you wouldn't do... and smear your opponents... and play fast and loose with the truth... and claim to be the victim of a massive conspiracy.

If nothing else, this long and sometimes bitter race has shown us what makes the Clintons tick.

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  • No matter whose fault it may be, it's I and millions of other Floridians who are getting cheated.

    If the party has decided it's all about their questionable rules and the exercise of arbitrary power; it the Democratic Party represents the Democratic party and not those who support it, I may just go back to endorsing Ron Paul.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 4:22 PM  

  • I don't disagree with you, Fogg, and I wish there were some fair way to seat the delegates, that is, to make the results matter. I'm just not sure how that can be achieved at this point.

    Obviously, though, the point of my post was to comment on the process whereby Florida and Michigan were ultimately stripped of their delegates, and to defend Obama from Hillary's allegations.

    There's no one to blame here other than the states themselves. There were rules set well ahead of time by the DNC, and they broke the rules.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 10:33 PM  

  • I know, but I'm still bitter that the DNC seems to have lost touch with the concept of democracy. Do these rules reflect the will of Democrats? I doubt it.

    By Blogger Capt. Fogg, at 10:44 AM  

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