Please see garychapelhill’s live blog below straight from the RBC venue.
I am still at home. Going to DC today turned out to be trickier than I thought. But fortunately for us, garychapelhill was able to snag guest blogger credentials for the meeting. I think we are in good hands.
If you’ve been following the two streams of debate at TalkLeft between Jeralyn and Big Tent Democrat, you have a pretty good idea of what is at the heart of the argument. Big Tent Democrat is a more concrete thinker. His position is that there were rules that were violated by several of the states in the run-up to the primaries and that no state should be singled out for jumping ahead in line. The issue for him appears to be more one of consistency. Either all face punitive action or none should. I gather that he was disappointed with the position of Ickes and Flournoy in the last conference call (I missed this), in that the Clinton campaign maintains that the two states in question did violate the rules. But it is a bad idea to now impose penalties on additional states, thereby risking that NH, NV, IA and SC will harbor resentment towards the party. Big Tent Democrat has concluded that the best argument for including them in the end is an altruistic one: it is better for the Democratic party to live up to its principles and for its own self interest to keep the states from bolting in the fall, it should count every vote and allow both states to participate in the determination of the outcome. (Did I get that right, BTD?)
Jeralyn, on the other hand, says that there is no need for Clinton to ask for anything less than full seating. As I interpret it the positions of Ickes and Fournoy from a previous conference call(and I may be wrong about it), the idea is that there is no doubt that the rules were broken. One may argue that acknowledgment of the infraction lays the groundwork for progress. Get that out of the way so there is no argument about it. It does not need to be said that FL and MI were hardly exceptions. There may be disputes that the state parties and legislatures were not diligent enough to prevent the schedule jump. It is still in the best interest of the party to abide by its principles and recognize the legitimacy of the primaries as they were held in all of the states. It is the right thing to do and will cause the least damage to the party in the fall.
The prescribed remedies from the Clinton campaign are as follows: 1.) Seat all of the delegates and recognize all of the votes as cast. That is, apportion the delegates for Florida as determined by the January 29th primary. For Michigan, award Clinton her delegates, leave the uncommitted delegates as uncommitted. The designation of “uncommitted” is recognized by the party. Allow the uncommitted delegates to determine their candidate at the convention. It may turn out that they all vote for Obama, or go to some other combination of candidates. 2.) If the RBC is set on enforcing a punishment, it is better to seat all delegates with half of a vote than 50% of the delegates with a full vote. Certainly, this is the less desirable outcome but it could be worse.
In the meantime, let’s keep our eyes on the prize, hope for the best and send our good wishes to Hillary and her team, FL State Senator Arthenia Joyner and former Michigan Governor Jim Blanchard, who will argue on her behalf before the committee.
Please use this as an open thread to send your good wishes to the campaign. Lurkers, come out of your shell and join the virtual protest.
Up to the Minute News Sources:
CNN Poliitcal Ticker: Democrats All Night Session Falls Short on MI, FL Delegations – sounds like the meeting will be contentious.
CSPAN Live Broadcast Starting at 9:30 am.
Ooops! I just saw the live blog, (see below)