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Bill Bradley disenfranchises MI and FL. AND CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, OH…

Bill Bradley and Nita Lowey were on Meet the Press this morning and Tim Russert (aka Pumpkinhead) and Bradley had the following exchange:

TR: What should happen to Michigan and Florida?

BB:Well, I think the rules are the rules. MI and FL both knew that they wouldn’t be seated if they moved their primaries up. They decided to do that anyway. I mean if we want to make sure that MI and Fl are seated, well, then, don’t let that determine the outcome. They get a 50/50 division and go into the convention, everybody will be there.

TR: Are you disenfranchising the voters of MI and Fl with that position?

BB: Well, I think this is not the voters, per se, but the parties of those states made that decision and there are consequences for that decision.

Yes, there are, ones you apparently haven’t thought through. Shall we review those consequences, Bill? You are punishing the voters for something that they had no control over. Indeed, the party in Florida had very little control over it either. So, essentially you are saying, “I’m not saying it was your fault but I’m going to blame you anyway.” Considering the extreme punishment met out to Florida, it almost seems to the unenlightened that you guys didn’t *want* Florida to count and set it up so it was between a rock and a hard place. It’s almost like those people were just going to destroy you beautiful plans with ugly votes so they were given an impossible choice and 1,750,000 of them turned out in defiance and voted for Clinton anyway. Well, we can’t have that. They might end up determining the outcome. Yes, that’s because there are other ugly voters in NY, CA, MA, AZ, OH, MI and your own state of NJ who are also destroying your beautiful plans. And the only way these stubborn Edith Bunkers can be stifled once and for all is to sit on the delegation in Florida so *none* of them count.

But let’s examine your alternative solution, because I find that an exercise in stupidly walking into the biggest GOP trap imaginable. What you are proposing is splitting the delegate votes 50/50. And Obama would get half of the delegates in Florida, in a state where he lost the popular vote by 17 points. But you would be awarding extra *unearned* delegates to him, giving him a handicap that would boost his pledged delegate counts and strengthening his nauseating narrative on The Math.

Now, I am going to say something that will undoubtably be misconstrued and condemned as insensitive and racist. Of course, it is none of these things but it must be pointed out anyway. It is the great unspoken that everyone is thinking but no one will say for fear of bringing down another Keith Olbermann rambling, unfocussed diatribe on our heads. If Obama wins this thing by virtue of having obtained unearned delegates, he will become the Affirmative Action candidate. Not only that, but he will have done it by gender discrimination as the candidate most qualified, having more experience, a greater knowledge base, dedication and hard work was passed over, along with all of the millions and millions of disenfranchised voters of the most populous Democratic states and several crucial swing states. That is the narrative that will haunt you all the way to November, Bill. It won’t matter whether he is a better candidate than John McCain or not. The thing that the GOP has been railing about for years will be out there for the whole country to see. And how do you expect the country, including independents and Republicans, to get behind Obama when this is the way your party treats its own voters?

Think about it. For a change.

27 Responses

  1. Bill Bradley was, and is, a blowhard. He’s our own Broder, and that’s something we don’t need.

  2. Bradley has never been one of my favorite pols. I remember when he condescended to tell us middle/working class plebes that the rich were taking us all for a ride with their tax loopholes. His answer: Do away with the tax benefit of IRA investments for working stiffs.

    Way to go Bradley

  3. Elitist Bradley…trashed Gore then walked away from the GE, wouldn’t even show up to support the ticket, as though he were above the fray. I never forgave him for that.

  4. riverdaughter,

    I posted this on the previous thread that I wonder if it would make sense for us to write to the superdelegates that are currently committed to Hillary and share with them your analysis that if FL delegates are not seated they will also be disenfranchising the voters of other states that went for Hillary. I found a current list of Superdelegates and which candidate they are committed to here:

    http://demconwatch.blogspot.com/2008/01/superdelegate-list.html

    I’m thinking of writing to some of the ones that I think will be most influential. What do you think about this idea?

  5. BB: I think it would be a very good idea if voters of those states that have gone for Clinton would write to their superdelegates. They are very big, very important states for the Democratic party. Voters need the support of the bigwigs to get the point across to Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi, Donna Brazile and Ted Kennedy (from this point on known as The Gang of Four). How would you like to proceed?

  6. I could write to all the ones from MA, including letting Kerry, Kennedy, and Patrick know that they won’t be getting my vote any more if they disenfranchise us. I’ll start by getting all their e-mail addresses and local office addresses. I’ve heard that sending letters to congressional offices is pointless because of all the security. Do you want me to pull out the names from all of the states that have gone for Clinton?

  7. Odd. I posted a comment a few minutes ago about how it would be a very good idea for voters in the big D and swing states to write to their highest level SDs and voice their concerns. Let the SDs do the heavy lifting. They are the only ones who will be able to make an impact on Howard Dean.
    How would you like to proceed?

  8. riverdaughter,

    I saw your message. Maybe I misunderstood? I thought you were asking me to start organizing the information. I’ve started making a spreadsheet of states and delegates.

  9. BB: Read Ronkseattle’s most recent post. I think he’s on to something. If we go on arguing the he said/she said stuff, we miss an opportunity to present the real meat and butter details of Obama’s policies. Who is Barack Obama? I think we need to start researching this. That is not to say that we shouldn’t write the SDs but it only the tip of a multipronged strategy.

  10. I can’t believe that Florida is even controversial. Over 1.7 million people voted, all names were on the ballot, obama was running ads in the state, and it wasn’t the voters who made a change of date. Who would have thought that we would be talking about disenfranchising Florida voters. Unbelievable.

  11. If my understanding is correct, a 50/50 seating does not move Obama closer to the finish line. (The required 50%+1 mvoes up by the same amount when the delegation is seated.)

    It does make the seated delegation totally irrelevant, and unreflective of the voters who tried to send them. They have NO effect on the outcome (on first ballot, anyway).

    It’s the same as keeping them home, only they get better seats.

  12. gqmartinez: we are talking about a vacuum of leadership at the top. Or rather, the leader has conducted a coup d’etat and the party mechanism has been highjacked to be put into the service of the anti-Clinton candidate. But the question is, *why* the anti Clinton candidate? Go read Ronkseattle’s newest post. Many people assert that there is little difference between the candidates. If that is true, one wonders why so many “progressives” are preferring Obama who may not reflect their political philosophy. It is a mystery wrapped in an enigma and one we need to sort out in 40 days before the primary in PA.
    One other thing. talkleft had a post today about how Obama is unloading his baggage now so that he can take on Clinton over ethics and special interests. He is going to go harshly negative on her. I don’t know what he’s going to find but you can imagine how the MSM will gleefully turn a molehill into a mountain. We need a good set of reports that exposes who and what Obama really is.
    Just go read it.

  13. “stubborn Edith Bunkers.”

    Okay, I’m reading this blog everyday from now on.

    You’re good. I love that image.

  14. What a 50-50 seating does is solidify Obama’s delegate lead–and disenfranchises the votes of people who chose Hillary over Obama in FL.

    I think MI is a different situation, not only bcz state Dem officials and the MI state Dem Party chose to move the date forward, but also because Obama and Edwards made the tactical move to take their names off the ballot. At the time, articles were filled with statements from the Obama and Edwards’ campaigns and conjectures by reporters that Obama was
    not only currying favor with voters in the early states, but also setting up a case for not counting or diminishing fhe impact of MI voters ,since at that time Hillary had a large lead. No proof for this other than the comtemporaneous reporting.

  15. Watching Bradley this morning made me so angry after he said that I just clicked off. But it is the Obama campaign line. “Rules are rules.” It’s what got him elected to the IL state senate initially–using rules to wipe out his primary challengers.

    And he continued to be lucky in that the real competition for the US Senate seat also left the field–release of sealed divorce papers, for two competitors.

    Now, he might have won either seat anyway, but it’s better to have to fight on a cleared playing field.

  16. The MCM has begun to retill the grounds for saying Clinton is “untrustworthy,” a line which they used to great effect against Al Gore.

    Notice the “digging” into whether or not her claims about foreign policy experience were “true.” Now, somehow Andrea Mitchell only heard about Trimble’s comment on Hillary and the Northern Ireland peace process. There were other comments by people who were there who supported Hillary, but no t”found” or reported by NBC. Even though Jamie Rubin read one from John Hume on Tucker’s program!

    Then they found Orrin Hatch and unnamed senate aides to say she was lying about her work on SHIP.

    Can’t recall who they dug up to deny her diplomatic work in Macedonia (oh, yeah, Sinbad?)), but there was a comment from a Macedonian (?) diplomat supporting her on NPR. But not the broadcast news.

    So, the MCM is laying out the case for calling Hillary “untrustworthy,” a serial exaggerator, a liar. It’s what they do!

  17. jawbone: Questioning a politician’s credibility is a very effective way of diminishing their support. It is deadly effective. But will it be this year? I don’t know.

  18. What these totally idiotic leaders seem to be forgetting is that we are nominating a candidate for the general election. That means the candidate should be the one most acceptable to the states we must win, and the majority of the actual democratic voters. This whole election has felt like a fraud to many. The MI/FL situation is glaringly obvious. But there is also the campaign to get republicans to vote democrat for a day (yeah, that’s really going to help us in the GE). And totally unrepresentative caucuses. How anyone can argue that caucuses are representative after looking at what happened in Texas and Washington is beyond me. On top of that, we have the crazy way delegates get apportioned. This whole process is highly undemocratic. How they cannot see that is really frustrating! They have made the whole process a total fraud, and that’s how it’s going to look if they try to somehow convince SD’s to support Obama anyway. I agree with whoever said that Obama is going to look like the affirmative action candidate. And don’t think the wingnuts won’t notice – that will be another of their whisper campaigns. I can just hear Rush Limbaugh making hay with this, along with Jeremiah Wright and Rezko.

  19. CD: About that Democrat for a Day thing, it works for Clinton as well. My sister is a prime example. She is not registered as a Democrat but she likes Hillary very much. I am trying to convince her to reregister as a Democrat and in general, this is not a bad thing. It hurts us more when there is an open primary.

  20. “AFfirmative Action”—I wrote something similar the other day to Phil McNamara of the DNC regarding the possible splitting of the MI votes. “Affirmative action gone wild” is how I phrased it, for a candidate who CHOSE to get off that ballot….I also asked him WHEN Obama would be accountable for any of his actions. Seems that the DNC keeps flirting with ENABLING this guy…why??

    In the meantime, as I informed Phil…this “unwanted, older female voter” has turned off the money spigot and will de-register as a Democrat after the NM primary where she is voting for the upstart progressive rather than the DLCer in training.

    This whole thing has become a total disgrace.

  21. The worst part is that the bots are taking rhetoric straight from the 2000 Republicans in Florida. Counting votes, not disenfranchising states, getting votes from superdelegates unless you’re Obama, it’s all ‘stealing.” “We’re not going to let Hillary ‘steal’ this nomination.” Yes, just like Gore was trying to “steal” Florida by counting all the votes there. Right now they’re crowing that Obama picked up Edwards delegates in Iowa, if that was Clinton of course that would be “stealing,” but anything goes for the Agent of Indeterminate Change.

    Bradley also cast all kind of aspersions on Bill, accusing him basically of being a crook and a liar, in Obama style nondivisive unity.

    “I think MI is a different situation, not only bcz state Dem officials and the MI state Dem Party chose to move the date forward”

    Yeah, but so did NH. They were supposed to go third, and when they moved their primary up and the DNC didn’t sanction them, MI figured the deal was off and they were free to move theirs also. So much for “the rules are the rules.” IA and NH are special.

  22. Obviously there is too much power at the top. The Democratic Party needs to be more decentralized letting states decide for themselves when their primary will be held.
    It’s a very serious measure the Party took when it punished Florida and Michigan with no representation. What right do they have to do that in the United States of America?

  23. This very angry woman, along with 3 more family members are NOT VOTING IN NOV. That is the only way we will be heard because writing letters and emails and phone calls have gotten us nowhere. I am fed up with the way they swiftboated the Clintons, insulted all women, and then expect us to support their candidate in NOV. I will not vote for McCain but I will not vote for Obama either. He will not win in the GE and I want the Democrats to learn a very valuable lesson. They must get smart and organized and change the way they do this primary and they must stop bashing women. I cannot forgive the DNC or Obama’s people for not damning the MSM everytime they made vile sexist remarks. If the Obama supporters are so sure of their candidate, then they will have no problem gaining votes from Repubs and Independents who voted for him in the primary. They will not get any support from me. I am pissed!!!!

  24. My theory–just a theory!–on Democrat-for-a-Day: Obama is getting Republicans who want to rig the system (e.g., right wing talk radio overwhelmingly backed Obama until the last second to appear otherwise; his camp even appealed to Hillary Hate in NV) and Clinton is mostly getting Republican women who’ll vote for her in the GE (competence/confidence in HRC + economic concern + gender = triple threat).

    @CognitiveDissonance: Yes, it is a damn fraud. I fear they believe crippling Clinton somehow makes Obama a viable GE candidate. Our party “leaders” are delusional about his presidential chances: this is him running at his peak level and yet he still struggles against Evil Hillary in battleground states! How will he possibly hold up against McCain–and the media?

    To not only allow but to actually engage in attacks against any Democratic candidate is betrayal and this sabotage will endanger the party. The political implications of nominating Obama, with his close, decades-long ties to Rezco/Chicago and Wright, are real.

  25. Also, the DNC rules state that they have the power to strip 50% of a state’s delegates, not 100%. The Republicans stripped 50% of their delegates. Brazille, who loves Obama more than life itself, makes up some kind of arbitrary authority that goes way beyond the stated rules, then they go on about “the rules,” Make it up as you go along.

  26. Seat the FL delegation as is or have a re-vote. If a re-vote is logistically impossible, then we’ll have to seat Florida with full representation. The Florida primary was held Jan. 29th. Do you really think the vote would change if it was held on Feb. 5th as it originally was planned to until the Republican FL legislature changed it?

  27. Something tells me that Bill Bradley wants to change the rules and force the Super Delegates to vote for Obama.
    Obama’s roolz:
    Heads he wins, tails Hillary loses.

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