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May 31st: The collision of Politics and Voting

They say that politics is a game. Politics being the games and tricks that go on behind the scenes:  The wheeling and dealing,  The leaked memos and dirty secrets, the tricks.  And that being so, the players are either winners or sore losermen.

But, I think that most of us see democracy as a combination of politics and voting — not just the politics.   In fact, it’s possible that most of us think of democracy as the voting.

So I’m thinking about Democratic Primaries and politics vs voting:

  1. The Democratic Primary is a club.  Pretty much anyone can join but, never forget – it’s a club and they can set their own RULES.
  2. States – say for example, Florida and Michigan – are governments and they can schedule elections (even primary elections) whenever they want.

In 2008 #1 – Democratic Party RULES collided with #2 the PRIMARY ELECTIONS in Florida and Michigan.
That might seem like a small thing to you but, here’s what happened.  The Democratic Party (DNC) said that the Florida and Michigan elections didn’t count because the Democratic National Committee didn’t approve of the date of the elections.

Oh, in the end – May 31, 2008 – the DNC granted Florida and Michigan 1/2 their delegations.  But, it was at the cost of the reappropriation of the Michigan delegation.  For reasons not even remotely explained, Obama was given all the uncommitted delegates and 4 of Hillary’s.

We had a collision between the Politics and the Voting.  And the Politics won.

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19 Responses

  1. Do we really want a game? Or an actual Democracy?

  2. Since my primary vote was ingored by the Democrat Party in 2008 they can do without my General Election vote come November.

    • My (formerly) Democratic vote has never counted … coming from my state.

      • Yours probably counted more than mine. NJ usually holds its primary in June when the whole shebang is over and it’s just a formality. so, in 2008, NJ moved it’s primary up to superTuesday to make sure it was counted. And what happened? Hillary won this state by 10 points and every one of our delegates were given to Obama at the convention. California didn’t even get a chance to cast a vote at the convention and Hillary won there too. So, we might as well have kept the June date for all that it mattered in the end.
        The DNC is run by disgusting bastards.

  3. I’m not even sure why certain Michigan governmental leaders wanted to move the MI primary forward in time to begin with. The excuse was to make Michigan “more important”. All kinds of ordinary
    analysts and mid-level political non-leaders warned the leadership that
    the DNC bosses would follow through on their loud over-and-over promise to zero-out any MI delegation if the primary was not scheduled
    to the DNC bosses’s taste. So why did the Michigan governators ( including Head Governator In Charge Granholm) insist on re-setting the date?

    • You are confusing The Voting with The Politics.

      Legislatures shouldn’t have to check with a club before they schedule an election.

      • Yeah, that’s completely bizarre. The states, meaning the taxpayers, presumably, foot the bill for the elections of a private club, which then reserves the right to interpret the results anyway it wants to, including invalidating the results and reallocating delegates.
        Like I’ve said before, if this was a contest between Obama and Howard Dean, we would never hear the end of it.

      • But if the “election” in question is for who represents the private club in a future election, then maybe the private club really does get to say
        when a state will schedule a primary for who gets to run on the private club?

        Perhaps the cure is the abolition of state-funding for primaries, and making the private clubs pay for every aspect of the primaries . . . since the primaries are about who gets to represent the private club in an election.

        • Which is how we got caucuses. Kansas won’t pay for the Private Club Games. Can’t say they’re wrong about that.

          But, I don’t happen to think that democracy should require participation in a private club. Or that members of that club – members whose power is completely arbitrary and mysterious to most Americans – should be able to override the decisions of Legislatures.

          The citizens of those states, Florida and Michigan in this case, had no direct control over this AT ALL. They had one choice to vote and they took it.

          They took it assuming that in the name of fairness their votes would count.

          Silly, I know. You’d think the citizens of Florida – of all states – would know better.

          • Well . . . I don’t even remember what I was thinking at the time. I know I remember hearing over and over that the DemCon would not seat one single Michigan delegate because MI rescheduled its primary date to the DemCon’s displeasure. They said it so often and so louldly that everyone here knew they were saying it. Some of us
            may have hoped they would end up not really meaning it, I suppose.

            Anyway, I marginalized my self by voting for the winsome elf from Cleveland. I doubt he got even one MI delegate vote at DemCon.

            Pooling the effort of millions of people over space and time will probably inevitaby lead to creating a private political party club of one sort or another. If self-styled Liberadical Semisocialists want to preserve their effort to build their power over time, they too would have to create a political party, which would become yet another private club. If they don’t want to rely on manipulable caucuses, but don’t want their primary dates and methods to be held hostage by grandstanding politicians like whatever clowns in Michigan decided to
            change the date of Michigan’s primary for whatever obscure little reasons they had; then the Political Party private clubs can very well raise the money to run their own private club primaries.

  4. Kbird, at the RBC hearing, Fl and MI were busted to half strength but this was only a ruse. The Sunday before the convention, both states were restored to full voting strength. So, you may ask, why all the Kabuki theatre if they intended to let them vote full strength anyway?
    It’s because the illusion could be created that Obama had soundly beaten his opponent when in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth.
    And why it matters is that a.) as a woman, Hillary’s candidacy was as historic as Obama’s and deserved as much attention as his for the sake of all women and b.) because candidates with far, far fewer delegates than the number Hillary won have been given full, legitimate roll calls at the convention. Ted Kennedy comes immediately to mind.
    This is something that the obama fanbase refuses to come to terms with. She didn’t run a poor campaign, she won a shitload of delegates and the actual number separating them was miniscule. It was so tiny that a floor fight was fully justified. Which is why the RBC hearing found it necessary to play the game they way they did.
    I find it inexcusable and will never let the Democrats off the hook for it.

  5. Tomorrow will be the 4-year anniversary of me leaving the democratic party and registering as “unaffiliated”- a move I have yet to regret one iota.

  6. Obama’s name was not on the ballot in MI, he never should have gotten any delegates from MI. I think that is probably a rule from way back. He campaigned in FL which was against the rules, he should not have gotten delegates from FL. Some how the rules did not apply to Obama, though you know they would have applied to Secretary Clinton.
    Right there are the delegates that would have switched the win to Hillary. But of course, following the rules was not the point.

    • Neither was Edwards’s. Kucinich knew what treachery was afoot with all that “withdraw my name from the ballot” treachery so he accidentally on purpose submitted his “withdraw my name” paperwork
      one day after the deadline. That is why I was able to vote for him in the primary.

  7. I actually received a request for a donation from the Obama campaign TODAY of all days. I guess that they didn’t get the message from all the requests that I sent back to them in 2008 with May 31, 2008 marked across them in red.

  8. Thanks to Katiebird for this post, all who are discussing politics vs. voting. It’s a screwy party system, ripe for corruption. Also, gratitude to Riverdaughter for helping birth the PUMA movement, and SophieCT for linking to the old ’08 comments, painful as they were to read. I was there that day, and will never forget.

  9. After the big cheat, this life-long dem switched to “Decline to State.” Now I’ve been switched by the state to Non Partisan. I am unable to vote for any primary presidential candidate, but can vote for senator, representative, etc., so can’t write in Hillary. I did ask my Hillary group to write her in. Saw one doing so on an absentee ballot at a Hillary Diehard gathering on Sunday. I wonder if the attendees of the Obama rock-star “concerts” are renting stadiums to relive the thrill. Maybe some of the brighter ones have caught on to the big hoax.

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