Saturday, May 31, 2008

Why does Hillary hate the Democratic Party?

By Michael J.W. Stickings

a) Because the Clintons, Bill and Hillary alike, are out for themselves, not their party.

b) Because, while she was once the sure-thing nominee, the party has decided to go with Obama, who is ahead according to every meaningful metric.

c) Because she's been trying to change the rules in the middle of the race and the party won't let her.

d) Because the very sensible compromise approved by the DNC today regarding Florida and Michigan isn't what she wanted, which was whatever would benefit her the most at Obama's expense.

e) Because of all of the above.

Answer below, at end of post.


I don't have much to say about today's DNC decision to seat all of the Florida and Michigan delegates at the convention, each with half a vote, as I have already addressed the issue at length here and here. (See also Creature's post on the day's events.)

I suppose it was necessary to find a way to seat the two delegations -- from two key states, which is key (would the DNC have worked out such a belated compromise if the controversy had involved, say, Rhode Island and Idaho?) -- and, indeed, this was probably the best resolution to the compromise the DNC could have reached. Essentially halving the results in Florida makes a lot of sense, given that none of the major candidates campaigned there. Hillary was pushing for a more favourable resolution in Michigan, where she was the only major candidate on the ballot, beating "Uncommitted," but, in the end, the DNC rightly found a way to seat the state's delegates without penalizing Obama.

Here's how it works out in terms of pledged delegates:

Florida: Hillary 105, Obama 67

Michigan: Hillary 69, Obama 59

Hillary picks up a net total of 48 delegates. As each delegate will have half a vote, this works out to 24 delegates/votes at the convention.

Which means, of course, that Obama is still ahead. According to the AP, the delegate totals are now:

Obama: 2,052

Hillary: 1,877.5

The new magic number is 2,118. Obama needs 66 delegates to reach that number. And he can reach it over the next few days, with the last primaries set for Puerto Rico tomorrow and Montana and South Dakota on Tuesday.


Needless to say, the Clintonites aren't happy, and one of the top Hillarylanders, Harold Ickes, who is actually a member of the party's Rules Committee, suggested that the fight would go on.

Yes, Hillary and her people are insane, delusional, and destructive of the Democratic Party and its hopes for November. To call them sore losers is a massive understatement.

And it's not just Hillary and her people, it's her supporters, too, many of whom took to the streets against the DNC. TNR's Eve Fairbanks reports:

Howard Dean may hope that the "healing will begin today," but two blocks away from the northwest Washington Marriott where the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee is meeting right now to try to figure out Florida and Michigan, the Hillary protesters are occupying an utterly alternate (and healing-free) universe: a universe in which one of the big lawn rally's speakers yells that the Democratic Party no longer is in the business of "promoting equality and fairness for all"; in which a Hillary supporter with two poodles shouts, "Howard Dean is a leftist freak!"; in which a man exhibits a sign that reads "At least slaves were counted as 3/5ths a Citizen" and shows Dean whipping handcuffed people; and in which Larry Sinclair, the Minnesota man who took to YouTube to allege that Barack Obama had oral sex with him in the back of a limousine in 1999, is one of the belles of the ball.


Has it come to this? We tend to assume the Hillary camp's hot rhetoric--that Obama's less ready than McCain to be commander-in-chief, that the DNC in Florida is like Mugabe in Zimbabwe--is studied, purposeful, that they can't really believe it. That may be true at the Lanny Davis level, but by the time it trickles down to Hillary's most grassroots supporters, it becomes deadly serious.

I suspect (hope?) that most of Hillary's supporters aren't like this. I suspect (hope?) that most of them will put aside whatever lingering anger and frustration they have and vote for Obama in November.

The simple fact is, their candidate lost. Hillary lost.

It was a long, tough, and sometimes bitter race, but that's just the way it is.

With high-ranking Hillarylanders like Ickes and Lanny Davis still pushing for a fight, however, and with so many Hillary supporters refusing to put aside their anger and frustration, and, it seems, unwilling to vote for Obama (and prepared to vote for McCain, whether out of spite or because they really do prefer McCain to Obama, as crazy as that is), I'm not sure that simple facts about the way it is are enough to put an end to this madness.

Hopefully -- hopefully -- Hillary will do what she needs to do and bow out gracefully once the primaries are over with the votes in Montana and South Dakota next Tuesday.


Answer: e (obviously).

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  • Better question is, why do a minority of Democrats, who should know better after 2000 and 2004, hate a candidate who wants to win?

    By Blogger Carl, at 9:05 AM  

  • It's not that she wants to win, it's that she wants to "win" at all costs. She doesn't care what it would do to the party, she doesn't care about the fact that there were rules in place (that she agreed to), she doesn't care about anything but winning. And in this country (and in most others), that is not the way we do things.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:45 AM  

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