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Null and Void: Democrats’ Roll Call in Retrospect

[Bumped] This fabulous post has been bumped for your sleepless pleasure.

Suspending Rules and Winning “By Acclamation”

I am proud to call on the Senator from New York to make the following presentation, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton:

Madam Secretary, on behalf of the great state of New York, with appreciation for the spirit and dedication of all who are gathered here, with eyes firmly fixed on the future, in the spirit of unity, with a goal of victory, with faith in our party and our county, let’s declare together in one voice, right here, right now that Barack Obama is our candidate, and he will be our President. (yays and boos)

Madam Secretary, I move that the Convention suspend the procedural rules and suspend the further conduct of the roll call vote. All votes cast by the delegates will be counted, and that I move Senator Barack Obama of Illinois be selected by this Convention by acclamation as the nominee of the Democratic Party for President of the United States. (yays and boos — Hillary, Hillary, Hillary, chanting)

“Wuh Roo?” said Scooby Doo, “What Did I See On TV?”

This was bothering me. Many of you have moved on to whatever’s next in your PUMA/Just Say No Deal/Democrat or anti-establishment lives. But I’m not that way. I can’t move forward until I understand and sort out what I have witnessed.

What exactly did we see on the “Democratic” Convention floor last Wednesday, August 27, 2008? Why was the roll call halted halfway through? Why did state after state in which Hillary won the primary election and a majority of delegates declare their votes for Obama? Who and what do all those delegates’ votes represent? As each “Great State of” our Union called out its numbers, I wondered, what was the actual delegate count? I felt compelled to compare the roll call vote with the delegate count that we were supposed to get. After all, why pull the lever if it doesn’t even matter? Wow, now that’s deja vu all over again, ain’t it?

What About My Vote?

I will recap three points that we’ve been saying for months. I’m restating, because many citizens do not realize what happened right before their eyes: The delegate count in this election was not a fair reflection of the Democratic Party electorate. 1) Hillary Clinton WON the popular vote. (Resources and numbers nearly impossible to reconcile, based on FL, MI, and caucus votes) 2) There exists growing documentation, compiled by Lynette Long and ordinary poll and election worker reporting, that caucus fraud was rampant. This occurred in the form of systematic, deliberate suppression, misinformation, pressure, and bullying, mishandling of voter and caucus rolls, and ignoring basic caucus rules. 3) Each delegate elected from a district or region in a primary state represents approximately 12,225 primary voters, but only 2,110 voters in a caucus state. Accordingly, a caucus delegate represents about 5.8 times fewer voters than one elected in a primary. So, when Obama “won” a caucus, each of those delegates stood for far fewer voters. This is especially important in the general election in the red and swing states. Pat Buchanan called Wednesday’s spectacle a phony roll call vote in his op-ed, “And If Obama Loses.”

Why Is This Year Different Than Any Other Year?

Laying that aside for now, let’s talk about how the Democratic Party screwed Hillary Clinton and everyone who was connected to her around that roll call vote. At least that was my impression leading up to and viewing it on TV. Even the scheduled time was in flux. In my recollection, in every other election year, it had been held at night for everyone to view. But this year, Hillary Clinton, the person who won the most primary votes in history, had to negotiate for her right to be on the ballot and have a roll call vote on the convention floor. Her supporters wrote thousands and thousands of letters, emails, and blogs. They raised money, ran political ads, and spoke out in the media to help the delegates stick with the one that brung ‘em. All this, because the DNC leadership and Obama’s campaign were so afraid of Hillary’s success after saying they could win the general election without all of us old and new dedicated party regulars. All year they tried to strong-arm us in to Unity and make her quit.

Our dedicated coalition members worked tirelessly to have a full roll call vote and a nominating speech for Hillary on the floor during prime time. We appealed to delegates and Superdelegates with petitions, and petitions on top of petitions. We didn’t know what would happen until the last minute, although we suspected. The same with Bill Clinton’s speech: off on, off on, but not during prime time, after they edited him.

And Then It Happened . . .

All of a sudden the roll call was on, but many of us were unable to get the live-streaming on our computers, so we ran several blocks away to a “Hillary-friendly” Denver bar. We saw states yield to other states on their votes, then the Convention floor was all abuzz, as our candidate was introduced as a simple Senator, with no mention of her historic win — just one of the guys delegation. She was on the floor with her fellow NY legislators. Then they made her eat sh*t, while they had her turn around and f*cked her up the a**, while reading a “stop the vote, we’re all onboard” speech. (Oh, I should have warned you: XXX, not my usual sedate lady self, is it? I feel a little strongly about this.) Everything was orchestrated, as CA, IL, and NM yielded so that Hillary, in a great show of U-N-I-T-Y, could cast all votes of her own NY State for Obama, throwing the delegate totals over the top. Oh, right, she likes it like that, because she’s a politician. But I’m not.

Yes, we’re all good soldiers and must move on to the next front. Many already have and are considering both individually and as a group what to do leading to November and beyond. However, many people aren’t clear about what happened, and are incensed that the vote was stopped mid-stream. Below, I’ve compiled the number of delegates won by state and candidate, how the numbers changed during the roll call vote, total number of delegates, and total number of votes cast. This list is variable, depending on the source and date and because it contains Superdelegates. On the morning of the roll call vote, 10 delegates flipped back to Hillary, and the petition effort was contacted by several Superdelegates who wanted to switch to her as well, some under the lights of the press.

Fair Reflection? Arkansas, Florida, and Michigan

Just a few words about fair reflection: Arkansas flipped. The Chairman of their delegation and DNC party head, Bill Gwatney, had been murdered two weeks prior. Heard anything in the news about it? Word is that his entire delegation had signed the 300 petition to ensure that Hillary’s name be placed on the ballot. In a twist of irony, his wife delivered their state’s votes to the Convention: Unanimous for Obama, after Hillary had won their state of origin by the largest margin of the primary: 70%. Arkansas.

Florida and Michigan votes were denied and blocked by Obama, until the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting when he became a charity case. The committee donated four of Senator Clinton’s Michigan delegates and all the uncommitted vote delegates, which had included votes for other candidates. Obama had removed his name from that state’s ballot, fearing a loss would taint his chances in Iowa. However, Clinton kept hers on, stating that although the votes wouldn’t count, the voters should have a say. She was smart and right.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee refused to tackle their problem of fully seating delegates representing 2.3 million voters in both states. Instead they made each delegate into half-votes, and referred an incensed Harold Ickes, attorney for Senator Clinton, to the more appropriate Credentials Committee to contest their ruling in Denver on August 24, 2008. On August 5, Obama wrote a letter to that committee, requesting that those delegations be seated and counted in full. On August 20, when they no longer had any effect on Hillary’s campaign, as they would have had they been counted when she won them, those delegations were seated in-full. I learned on August 24 that the Credentials Committee and the Rules and Bylaws Committee were comprised of the exact same people. So I guess they really meant: talk to the hand.

How Am I Driving? Pass and Yield

Lastly, how about that orchestrated roll call, pass/yield deal? It began like any other roll call. Hillary would have her due. It had been rumored for over a week that she might release her delegates before a roll call vote on the floor. This prompted a new 20% or 826 delegate petition requiring a vote. Then came word of a secret hotel vote, then a Wednesday meeting with Clinton and all her delegates in which she released them and advised they vote their conscience. She’d cast hers for Obama.

Back to the roll call: First, California passes on casting their 441 votes, of which Hillary won over half. As Barbara Boxer yields to Hillary supporter Art Torres to make the announcement, she gleefully turns to her delegation and giggles. It’s as if Boxer was saying, “Ooo, what a coup! Aren’t we clever!” Come their turn, Illinois passes. New Mexico yields back to Illinois, who yields to New York. Then a hustle bustle on the floor, so Clinton could deliver the perfect Unity blow, right into her own back. Gee, it just doesn’t get better than this, does it?

Is It Safe To Vote?

Exactly, why do we vote if “delegates” can just switch their votes, and on the first ballot no less? Why should Superdelegates be able to have a more influential vote than any ordinary citizen, enough to sway their state and an election, as perpetrated by a biased and corrupt political party? I am committed to reforming the system to one person one vote. If we don’t have that, what do we have as citizens? It’s our most basic democratic right.

The chart below shows by state the combined delegate/Superdelegate count awarded to each candidate, the first ballot floor vote, total number of delegates per state, and total votes each cast during the convention. I completed the chart for the rest of the states. By directing Superdelegates to declare their endorsements before the convention in a DNCC and DSCC letter, in press conferences and public appearances, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Harry Reid nullified their original intent. The numbers, which include SDs seem less close than they actually were.

Democratic Delegate Count vs. Roll Call Count

Democratic Convention, August 27, 2008

STATE      HRC DELS  BO DELS  HRC ROLL  BO ROLL  TTL DELS  TTL CAST
AL           28        29        5        48        60        53
AK            4        14        3        15        18        18
AM SAMOA      6         3        0         9         9         9
AZ           35        31       27        40        67        67
AR           38         8        0        47        47        47
CA          232       200       PASSES             441         0
CO           23        45       15        55        70        70
CT           36        24       21        38        60        59
DEL           8        14        0        23        23        23
DEMS ABRD     4         7        2.5       8.5      11        11
DC           13        25        7        33        40        40
FL          104        78       51       136       211       188
GA           29        70       18        82       102       100
GUAM          4         5        3         4         9         7
HI            8        21        1        26        27        27
ID            3        19        3        20        23        23
IL            0         0       PASSES               0         0
IN           42        41        6        75        85        81
IA           17        35        9        48        57        57
KS           10        30        6        34        41        40
KY           40        16       24        36        60        60
LA           26        39        7        43        67        50
ME           10        21        8        24        32        32
MD           39        55        6        94       100       100
MA           66        51       52        65       121       117
MI           76        72       27       125       157       152
MN           27        58        8        78        88        86
MS           13        25        8        33        41        41
MO           41        46        6        82        88        88
MT            7        17        7        18        25        25
NE            8        22        3        28        31        31
NV           13        20        8        25        34        33
NH           12        15        0        30        30        30
NJ           71        55        0       127       127       127
NM           20        17       YIELDS TO IL        38         0
IL           49       133       YIELDS TO NY       185         0
NY          159       121        0       282       282       282
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           1321      1482      341.5    1831.5    2907      2174

NC           51        78
ND            5        15
OH           82        74
OK           25        21
OR           23        41
PA          101        80
PR           42        19
RI           21        10
SC           14        39
SD            9        12
TN           46        35
TX CAUC      29        38
TX           79        75
UT           11        17
VT            7        14
VI            3         6
VA           33        63
WA CAUC      31        61
WV           23        12
WI           34        53
WY            6        12
--------------------------------
            675       775
          +1321     +1482
--------------------------------
           1996      2257

Source, delegate count: CNN Primary Results Scorecard
Source, roll call vote: CSPAN live tape up top

Total number of delegates: 4234
Number delegates for nomination, including FL, MI: 2211
Chart numbers include Superdelegates: Obama 438, Clinton 236

Et tu, Brute?

So why did so many states flip? Sources say that on the morning of the floor vote, everything was complete. Many opinions say it was finished on or before the May 31, 2008 DNC RBC meeting. But not believing our eyes and ears, in service of democracy, we kept on to preserve our and the rights of our candidate. We’ve since learned that as late as August 27, during the convention, swing-state delegations were being threatened with loss of Party funding for their states and candidate campaigns if they didn’t vote for Obama. Evidently, Obama needed Hillary more than she needed him. Otherwise, they would not have had a sham roll call or a Mile High speech to prop him up.

Oh, and as far as going Repug, it ain’t me, babe, although I will never cast a vote for Obama. In my life, the means are absolutely as important as the end, and I cannot support a candidate who derives power “by any means necessary.” If I have to cast a protest vote, I will. However, remember who brung Brazile? Her info emails with Karl Rove beginning in 2003 helped him help her promote the most unelectable Democratic candidate. So, let’s not forget who’s still trying to pull the strings and who’s still laughing all the way to the bank. Criminal, ain’t it? Too bad, Dems still ain’t got a clue.

In conclusion, Hillary and Bill Clinton were in an impossible, lose-lose situation. Some supporters got disgusted and thought they caved. I don’t think so. In order to come out of this, being seen as having done everything possible to nominate and elect Barack Obama — a far more generous and political act than exists in his little finger — The Clintons did everything possible, Bill while holding his nose, and came out smelling sweet as a rose. Party people all the way, and on to the next challenge. Yes, I’m getting there.

["Evita," music Andrew Lloyd Weber, lyrics Tim Rice]

[cross-posted from Lady Boomer NYC]

addendum: Sorry, I had a columns formatting problemo, and while editing the post it went offline. Here ’tis again, hopefully all will stick. LBNYC

What’s going on?

There are PUMAs coming in and it’s getting packed!  There are coolers of cold water and soda, packets of sunscreen, colorful T-shirts.  We’re heading down to Union Park pretty soon and we’ll end up in Cheesman park later this afternoon.  In the meantime, it’s time we let the DNC know how we feel about the party not following its own rules.  Give Howie a call at the Loew’s Hotel in Denver.  Here’s the number: (303)782-9300.  Also, call your state’s attorney general and tell him or her that the taxpayers spend millions of dollars on a primary and have expended this courtesy to the Democratic Party.  If the DNC isn’t going to follow its own rules about honoring the voters and the primary results, the state should stop extending this courtesy.  Tell your friends, spread the word and shout out to Howard Dean:

THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING!!!

I thought I’d show you what is going on right now.  Check it out:

Piper in Pucci is "wallowing"

Piper in Pucci is "wallowing"

Saturday: Obama wants to do it himself!

The Self-Esteem Puppets, coming to a school near you!

The Self-Esteem Puppets, coming to a school near you!

RealClearPolitics has the latest on Clinton’s comeback and they wring their hands in angst for Barack Obama:

But the deal Obama struck with Mrs Clinton must have stuck in his craw. The contention, moreover, that it was his idea that her name should be placed into nomination is an insult to our intelligence. By allowing the roll call, Obama has ceded control of what happens on the convention floor.

No doubt Obama decided that a bad agreement was better than none at all but the outcome reeks of appeasement and indicates that, with the polls showing John McCain, improbably, almost level, his bargaining position was weak.

But he was outmaneuvered and the Clinton show in Denver will help lay the foundation for a 2012 presidential bid or, if Obama does emerge victorious, possibly in 2016, when she will still be four years younger than McCain is now.

Even the plan for the former First Lady to cast her own vote for her erstwhile rival and direct her delegates to swing behind the Illinois senator – being spun as a magnanimous gesture of unity - risks undermining Obama. Despite the closeness of the primary battle, he won the nomination; the image of Mrs. Clinton graciously anointing him is exactly what he does not need.

What was Hillary thinking?!  Didn’t she take a whole bunch of child development courses?  She is wrecking Obama’s self-esteem.  How is he ever supposed to feel good about himself if Hillary is standing there all of the time stealing his limelight?  The poor dear.  And what’s worse is that she might even “graciously anoint” him {{gag!}}.

Stand back, people, I think there is a temper tantrum coming on.  Make room for the little tyke and his friends so they don’t hurt themselves when they thrash and roll on the floor screaming, “I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF! I WANT TO DO IT MYSELF!”

Little male egos are so fragile in this developmental stage.  One harsh word could just crush him and damage his self-image forever.  Does Hillary really want that on her conscience?  Oh, we know that he bullied and pushed her voters around and stole her delegates so he could “win”, but boys will be boys, right?

I wonder why no one is worried about Hillary’s self-esteem. After all, the two candidates are separated by less than 100 pledged delegates when the FL and MI contingents are restored to full strength. If it weren’t for the Superdelegates folding at the first sign of Obama and his pals screwing their faces up for a good, long, noisy howl, they might have done the right thing and thrown their weight behind the candidate who actually *earned* the nomination.

Ah, woulda, coulda, shoulda. Well, I sure as heck wouldn’t want to be the Superdelegates 2 years from now, wracked with guilt, waking up in the middle of the night, reaching for that bottle of scotch and wondering where they went wrong. Did they not show enough love? Were they too easy on him? Too lax in their discipline? My guess is that they will think back to that June in 2008 when instead of giving in, they should have given him a four year time out.

Kids: you can’t live with them and you can’t spank them anymore.

**********

On another note: Heidi Li had a perceptive post yesterday.  If the vote is symbolic, it doesn’t count and the voters are just as screwed as they were before.  But we all know that Obama and Dean wouldn’t have even agreed to such a thing if they weren’t forced to by the rules of the party and the process itself.  So, why is Dean allowing the meme to percolate through the media that the vote is “symbolic”?  His attitude is reminiscent of the same passive-aggressiveness that he displayed at the height of the misogynistic media frenzy on Clinton.

Look, I realize that he seems to loathe Hillary Clinton with the same intensity of Sally Quinn.  I think we can all see that he gets more bang for the buck with Barack because, let’s face it, Obama owes the DNC “leadership” big time.  There is no secret about that.  But if Dean cares at all about the party he “runs”, doesn’t he have an obligation to act like he’s impartial?  Isn’t it his responsibility to see that all votes are given equal weight?  Or is it that “All votes are equal but some votes are more equal than others”?  I know it takes the public a couple of days to have one of those, “Hey, wait a minute!” moments, so why not get out in front of it now?  Dean has an opportunity to atone for himself and his party for not standing up for Hillary while the media shredded her during the primaries.  It’s time we held his feet to the fire to make him do it.

Howard, stop the meme now.  We aren’t buying it and it’s strengthening our resolve to take you down in the fall.

**********

It appears that we have spawned a new species: the sustainable cat.

**********

Our friend, Betty-Jean, got some rather bad news recently.  Her daughter who is living with ovarian cancer hasn’t responded to her latest round of chemo.  Last March, Betty-Jean made this moving video about universal healthcare and what it means to her and her family.  Betty-Jean, our thoughts are with you and your daughter, and we pray that her next round of chemo is more successful.

Sunday: It’s on YOUR head, Howard Dean

We have become aware of attempts by the DNC and the Obama campaign to intimidate delegates.  We know how Obama feels about “those people”, like there’s something wrong with us and they should  stay away from us.  Oh, yes, they are trying to make us as unpopular as Michael Moore.  It’s their goal to dehumanize us, to make us objects.  That way they can heap scorn and derision on us  and diminish our power.  The Obama supporters can treat us like less than human without penalty.

Well, that kind of $#*^ has consequences.

Tonight, one of our coalition members is missing.  She hasn’t been seen since she left our conference site earlier this afternoon.  No one has been able to contact her on her cell phone.  Her mother is worried because she knows her daughter has had anonymous threatening phone calls to her cell phone.

We are all very, very concerned.  But this is what happens when you reduce your opponent’s supporters to dirt beneath your feet, easily ignored, dismissed, illegitimate.  This is what happens when you unjustifiably accuse people of being racists and one of “those people” instead of a wife and a mother and a wonderful, caring person.  This person’s only goal is to make sure that voters’ voices are heard.  It allows unstable zealots permission to act on their emotions, unchecked. Someone must be held accountable for these outrageous acts of psychological and perhaps physical aggression against our coalition members.  Someone needs to be held responsible.

Now, it could be that she is sitting on the tarmac and her flight was delayed by rain and that her cellphone battery died and there is nothing to worry about.  We will all be very relieved to hear her voice tomorrow morning after a night of nerves and worry.  But there is no doubt in my mind who those responsible persons are if anything happens to her at the hands of one of the people who has threatened her because of her political activity.  If our friend doesn’t show up soon, Howard Dean and Barack Obama have a lot to answer for.

Update: DancesWithPumas reports that our friend checked in and is safe.  We are all very relieved.  But the point still stands.  We are sick and tired of the smears and dehumanizing speech and the death threats from the Obama supporters (and I have the proof in the spam filter, complete with the IP and email addresses and the Obama cheers. They’re sickening.).  It’s time to reign them in.  We’re people, we’ve got lives and people who depend on us and none of us deserve this treatment from the mouths of the DNC, the Obama campaign and or Obama’s out-of-control supporters simply because we choose to exercise our right to speak freely and assemble.

Enough is enough.  Someone is going to get hurt.

The Dog Whisperer’s letter to the DNC

DON’T FORGET TO TUNE IN at 8pm this Sunday “No We Won’t PUMA Radio with Sheri Tag,” special guest Lanny Davis & Ricki Lieberman!

Now on with the post…

This is a parody based on the Dog Whisperer, which doesn’t reflect the thoughts or views of Cesar Millán or the National Geographic Channel – that I know of. Please read in Cesar Millian’s charming Spanish accent.

Dear Howard and Donna,

Many thanks for inviting me to rehabilitate the PUMA. I am honored but puzzled to receive your request as I only work within the canine group. However seeing that the PUMA was formed from the broken bones of Ole Yeller, I wanted to take the challenge. If you’ve watched my show, you know that I rehabilitate dogs and train humans.
Let’s review our session together: Continue reading

Sunday: President McCain is Howard Dean’s Responsibility

We now have at least three pieces of evidence that there is trouble in the DNC paradise caused by those annoying and irritating deadenders.  Let’s review:

  • About a week ago, in a conversation with a potential donor, Obama reveals that he hasn’t ruled out Clinton as VP.  Nothing in this campaign happens by accident.  It’s too tightly scripted, managed and marketed.  This was floated out there to keep the public interested and to have them accept Clinton in the #2 spot.  It also gave Obama a chance to bash the Big Dawg.  Now, that’s a mixed message, because it shows the degree of animosity between the two camps.  So the fact that he is forced to admit that he is considering her as VP makes him look like he’s vulnerable.
  • About a week ago, David Plouffe, Obama’s campaign strategist, creates a video for a DNC beg-a-thon.  It turns out that the RNC is raking in the big bucks and now has an almost $100 million dollar warchest.  The DNC?  Ehhhh, not so much.  I can not imagine why the DNC isn’t raising funds.  We could probably make the DNC rich overnight.
  • A few days ago, Don Fowler, former head of the DNC and Alice Germond, RBC member, write what will surely become a letter that will live in infamy.  If these two are not politically tone-deaf, then the only possible explanation for this incredibly insulting letter is to provoke Hillary’s supporters to loudly and emphatically demand her comeback.  I must conclude that Fowler and Germond are secretly working with the Clinton campaign.

In science, three data points is a trend.  (except if you’re a biologist who seems to be satisfied with two).  This list of datapoints is by no means exhaustive.  I think there was someone in Texas recently who was complaining about emails and letters but that hardly counts.  We all hate emails and letters cluttering up our in-boxes.  Oh, yeah, there was a report that when Obama mentioned Hillary’s name at an event recently, he was greeted with deafening applause.  That went on.  And on.  And fatigued and irritated the Dauphin.  Ahh, here is the citation:  Crowd erupts during Obama speech– but it’s over mention of Clinton.  (Thanks to SM77 for the hint)

It appears that the party is getting a tad impatient with us deadenders.  We who issue demands for our votes.  Damn us!  We are going to ruin everything.  We hear this everyday.  Like, here is a polite version of this message that I fished out of the spam dungeon:

Scott Erb

  • This Darragh Murphy has proven what kind of person she is with her slime against Cristina at “yestodemocracy.org.” Christina has also proven that PUMA, a tiny impotent group of mostly Republicans, was organized by and is strongly influenced by the GOP. The kind or irrational desire not to support Hillary’s natural political ally because of emotion over personality will only infect a small group of people. Think about the issues at stake. I certainly understand that you believe Hillary to be the better candidate, but in politics someone wins and someone loses, and this was a very close race. Now it’s McCain and the GOP vs. Obama and the progressives. If because of irrational emotion you can’t see the issues clearly, I pity you. I think, though, you guys are caught up in groupthink and immune to rational argumentation.

Well, at least he pities us.  There are others who think we’re not funny anymore.  Now THAT really bothers me.

I’ve mentioned this before but apparently it needs to be repeated periodically.  Our votes belong to us.  If a politician wants our votes, it is his obligation to come to us and grovel and scrape and make us promises he does not intend to keep in order to get them.  Every voting bloc since time immemorial has had the power to compel the politician to do this sometimes humiliating exercise in sucking up.  Some of them do it better than others.  So far, Senator Obama and the DNC have decided they do not need to do this to get the votes of the old, working class, uneducated, sino-peruvian lesbian category to which we Clintonistas have been involuntarily assigned.  This is a big mistake on their part because we now have a huge lever and the motivation to use it.

Dr. Dean should have had enough classes in science to understand inverse proportionality.  The more the DNC disses us and tells us to get in line, the less likely we are to do so.  Howard is forgetting the rules of human behavior.  We are not chattel or indentured servants.  We do not belong to the DNC.  We can’t be told to get in line if there isn’t anything in it for us.  BUT, if the DNC fails to provide us with sufficient reasons to vote for its candidate, we do have the means and motive to punish the DNC for abandoning us and its principles in its pursuit of younger, more affluent and conservative voters.

Now. how did we get to such an impasse?  To me, it looks like Howard Dean dd not exercise good leadership.  He allowed his strategy and ideology to get ahead of him.  He pursued a 50 state strategy that favored sparsely populated mountain and western states over the richer hunting grounds of the coasts.  In order to reward these states that we will never win in the fall, his candidate of choice has had to adopt a Blue-Dog persona at the expense of the bigger, more progressive states that have had to wait on their hands for the last 8 years while their tax dollars are siphoned away from state needs to line the pockets of Republican cronies and contractors.

Howard allowed the social engineering nannies of the Rules and Bylaws Committee to restructure the delegate counts so that Barack Obama, the first African-American potential nominee, would “win” at the expense of the first woman potential nominee who also happened to be the most qualified. They conveniently forgot that women outnumber African-Americans.  They stupidly tried to rope us in with the tired Roe v. Wade argument, as if Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be better able to defend women against its reversal..This was irresponsible.  Now, the only way to bestow legitimacy on the nominee chosen at the convention is for Howard Dean to guarantee that Hillary’s name is placed in nomination.  A floor fight is the only way to ensure that we all grudgingly accept the nominee.  Way to go, Howard.  Because if after 2 months of fluffing this sham of a candidate you have to backtrack to appease the rest of us, you are going to piss off a whole new constituency of young, idealistic and deluded Obama supporters.

Howard Dean has royally screwed the party.  He did not exercise appropriate control of the various factions of the party and he allowed bias to creep into the selection process.  He has allowed his various committees and their clueless mouthpieces to write off half of his base.  He has allowed the DNC treasury to be depleted, putting at risk dozens of downticket Dems who are running to displace Republicans who will be more flush with cash.

If the result of all this stupidity and poor leadership is that John McCain is elected president because half of us won’t vote for or support this empty suit of an inexperienced African-American male who was carried across the finish line at the expense of his more qualified challenger who was the real DEMOCRAT, there is no one to blame but Howard Dean and his incompetent leadership.

If you want a Democrat in the White House this year and solid majorities in Congress, it is time for Howard Dean and his henchman, Donna Brazile, to go.  Don’t expect us to even listen to the plaintive wails and whinings of the DNC until they are gone.

BTW, what kind of coward goes in front of a friendly audience the day after he gets thoroughly trounced by his opponent in the last debate he agrees to and disses her like she’s bird poop?  He can’t win a debate against her so he gets in front of his clique and insults her when she isn’t around to defend herself?  Yeah, that’s classy.  That’s brave.  No it’s not.  It’s immature and cowardly.  We’re supposed to vote for this guy?  Seriously?  Not until he apologizes for this and every other chickenshit act he did throughout the campaign.

Spikin’ it in the End Zone

In spite of, or perhaps, *because* of, the sussurations of discontent rippling through the political sphere over Obama’s recent turn to the right (we told you so, sorry, couldn’t resist), Howard Dean, et al has decided to take what ever money is left from what the DNC doesn’t have and bet it all on an extravaganza at Invesco Field in Denver.  Dean’s taking inevitability up to 11. We suspect that a major rock-star-slash-slavishly-deluded-devotee of Obama’s will provide the halftime entertainment. Howard Wolfson, Fox’s newest addition to its political coverage will provide color commentary, along with the master of the game, Karl Rove.

The plan is to fill the seats with thousands and thousands of Coloradans who have nothing better to do to than to celebrate a staged recreation/renewal of Martin Luther King’s “I have a Dream Speech” on its 45th anniversary (I’m sure it’s just a coincidence) with a new and improved speech by the Dauphin of Democracy, Barack Obama on the day of his coronation.  His speech has already been hailed by historians as the most-awesomist-uplifting-inspiring rhetoric of the century for people of all races, ethnicities and religious affiliations, regardless of trust fund (offer does not apply to Muslims, women, working class individuals who can’t tell a San Giovese from a Super Tuscan, persons over the age of 50, or sino-peruvian lesbians).

He will be preceded onto the field by a procession of buxom blonde beauties from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models with PhDs in Architecture contingent who are free and equal women, wearing hot pants and shiny, white, patent leather boots and carrying pom-poms in aqua and sky (to reflect the lines in his speech about “sea to shining sea and the sky is no limit”)  Right now, they’re practicing their jump left, pom-pom, jump right, pom-pom, step wide, thrust out chest equipt with cantilevered demi-bra with silicone gel add-ons, grind, left-right-left (to reflect Obama’s propensity to swing back and forth).

At the end of the speech, Obama will run into the end zone where he will stand patiently waiting for Howard Dean to lob the phallus, er, football from the 10 yard line.  Obama will spike and do the funky chicken, take a victory lap, pour Gatorade on John Kerry’s head, accept the nomination and become the Patriot we know him to be.

Democratic Convention or Freak Show?

NOTE: Please see action alert at end of post.

We’ve all been hearing rumors about the DNC having trouble raising money to fund the Convention in Denver this August. Today the New York Times revealed that some rather nutty decisions made either by Howard Dean or his chief of staff, the Rev. Leah D. Daughtry, have compounded the money shortage. Daughtry previously served in the Clinton Administration as Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management in the Department of Labor.

Some of the Democratic missteps started almost immediately after planning for the event began. The Democratic National Campaign Committee turned down a chance to get cheap office space and decided to rent top-quality offices in downtown Denver at $100,000 a month, only to need less than half the space, which it then filled with rental furniture at $50,000 a month. And in a costly misstep, the Denver host committee, early on, told corporate donors that their contributions were not tax-deductible, rather than to encourage donations by saying that the tax-exempt application was pending and expected to be approved.

Overly ambitious environmental goals — to turn the event into a “green” convention — have backfired as only three states have agreed to participate in the program. Negotiations over where to locate demonstrators remain unsettled with members of the national news media concerned over proposals to locate the demonstrators — with their loud gatherings — next to the media tent.

And then there is the food: A 28-page contract requested that caterers provide food in “at least three of the following five colors: red, green, yellow, blue/purple and white.” Garnishes could not be counted toward the colors. No fried foods would be allowed. Organic and locally grown foods were mandated, and each plate had to be 50 percent fruits and vegetables. As a result, caterers are shying away.

The Obama campaign is frustrated about the situation and very critical of the poor planning and waste of money, which could force them to cover the shortfall themselves so as not to have to compete with the DNC for donors.

Meanwhile, Obama is considering delivering his acceptance speech in the 75,000 capacity Mile High Stadium (AKA Invesco Field) instead of in the Pepsi Center, where the Convention will be held. I’m sorry, but is that really necessary? Could this guy’s ego be any more inflated? Does anyone else get a really creepy feeling imagining him speaking to his screaming followers at a mass rally?

Arthur Silber is creeped out. And amazingly, he is even thinking about voting for McCain rather than risk the danger of a charismatic candidate with glazed-eyed followers who seemingly are willing to blindly follow him no matter how far he moves to the right or how many times he flip flops. In his latest essay, Silber refers to the presumtuous nominee as “Field Marshall Obama.” Please go read Silber’s last few posts. The man is brilliant, and he is saying what a lot of us have been thinking.

ACTION ALERT: Riverdaughter has been talking to Murphy about the possibility of running aerial ads in vacation areas.  Murphy likes the idea, and Pumapac is currently looking into the possibility of buying three hours worth of ads for the East Coast.  She would like to know what people in Texas and California about running aerial ads there.

If you are interested in contributing or have ideas about what should be in the ads, please go over to Pumapac and let Murphy know.

ACTION UPDATE: Please consider donating to The Denver Group to support “rapid media buys” to call attention to Obama’s and the DNC’s efforts to keep Hillary’s name from being put in nomination at the Convention.

The Denver Group has had an amazingly successful 4th of July from a fundraising perspective. We’ve met our first “match”. We are incredibly grateful to each and every person who has contributed so far.

Now, it has come to our attention that certain key decisions about the structure and conduct of the Democratic Party’s convention are currently being negotiated by lawyers for Senator Obama and Senator Clinton, and we believe those decisions will be finalized on or about July 15.

To begin to ensure a convention that is not merely symbolic, we would like to to weigh in now. The best way The Denver Group can have an impact is by running its first advertisement by the beginning of next week. This means gathering the funds necessary ready to buy the most advantageous ad placement possible.

The Nuclear Option: Count the Votes

Today at Huffington Post, Thomas Edsall reports that if Hillary campaign staffers are discussing the possibility of going “nuclear” by convincing her supporters in on the Rules and Bylaws Committee to force the DNC to seat the Florida and Michigan Delegates. While the warlike imagery is a little offputting, it sounds to me as if Edsall is acting as a stalking horse for the Clinton Campaign. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Videos

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Er, scratch that. It’s been used before. But surely, ladies and gentleman, you will have never seen a bigger miscarriage of justice since Bush vs. Gore than the DNC hearing that stripped Florida of its delegates. You may want to procure a strong drink or a xanax (but not both together) before you sit down for the next 80 minutes to view this classic of having every opportunity to avoid Murphy’s Law but diving headlong into it anyway. Here is the egregious piece of footage: Florida Democratic Primary Election Hearing of the DNC

(Didn’t it occur to anyone in that room that this was being recorded for posterity? I’m betting some of them regret having ever encouraged technology.)

And this piece of footage is of Howard Dean on This Week with George Stephanopolous (thanks to Katiebird) trying to justify excluding Florida because it broke the RULZ and wouldn’t have a caucus with a total of 150,000 ballots for all 4 million Floridian Democrats who were eligible to vote. It just warms the cockles of your spleen.

All that is left now it to re-erect La Guillotine and to escort Donna Brazile and pals to it in a trundle of their own making.

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