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Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.

That is from part of a quote by FDR, an infamous rule breaker who gave us Social Security, a way out of the Depression and Victory in Europe in WWII. And it was also in the body of a letter sent out today by Karen Thurman, Chair, Florida Democratic Party. Read it and weep. There will be no do-ever. The best we can hope for now is that the DNC Rules and Bylaws committee that meets in April will either apply the rules consistently or take the advice of one of the greatest Democratic presidents of the 20th century and do the principled thing.

Obama has shown his quality. He could have asked the DNC to waive the rules and seat the delegates, taking a small hit in delegate count going into the final primaries. He chose to disenfranchise the state of Florida and he is holding out on the revote in Michigan to the point that Jennifer Granholm will have to go over his head to hold a primary there. If there is anyone who is willing to destroy the party in order to “win at all costs”, it would have to be Obama.

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28 Responses

  1. RiverDaughter– before I read it, I want you and the other blogosphere readers to catch what the most marvelous writer has said about Hillary in Ireland. Remember that war? Oh.

    This is the perfect counterpoint to whatever I’m going to be reading — pure uplift, pure spirit, pure feminism in action…

    http://savagepolitics.com/?p=214#comment-2297

    (I abbreviated it with some sense about feminism for those who don’t know what it is for us, kiddos.) at my place. What a read.
    Happy Saint Paddy’s to all…

    me!

  2. To all those “progressives” who were pathetically claiming:
    “I can’t support Hillary because she has too much baggage, Republicans will just hammer her”, I give you THIS.

    Who has baggage again? Just askin’.

  3. Karen Thurman’s arguments are very convincing, in my opinion. I think Howard Dean looks like an idiot and biased. My guess is that point of view is going to become more popular as time goes on and Barack Obama self destructs.

  4. IRISH BLOG FOR HILLARY!

    http://www.hillaryworldwide.org/

    from the blog…

    “…Mr Obama has already helped to deal a huge blow to the Irish diaspora in America.
    In June of last year, he played an instrumental role in the defeat of the so-called Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill, which had been crafted by an unlikely coalition which included President George W Bush, Republican Senator John McCain and Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy.
    Had it been passed, this delicately crafted legislation would have brought a resolution to the legal limbo affecting thousands of Irish immigrants in the US…”

  5. Even though I think there was a strong argument to seat the FLA delegation as is, without Obama’s consent that would never happen — even though, as riverdaughter points out, Obama would only have lost a small portion of his delegate lead.

    Chuck Todd, MSNBC’s political director, told Keith Olbermann tonight (yes, I know, I was bored and American Idol isn’t on tonight) that he thinks what will happen is a “compromise” that will Hillary more than 50% of the delegates — maybe 52%, or even a little more — but will hold the popular vote count unofficial and illegitimate, so that it doesn’t “count” for purposes of the popular vote totals.

    Now, the superdelegates can consider whatever the hell they want. But Obama, Dean and Brazile will say that by taking the delegates she “agreed” that FLA’s popular votes don’t count. In which case, Clinton might be better off saying, don’t bother seating the FLA delegates, I’ll take my chances arguing on the basis of popular vote totals.

    Big Tent Democrat over at Talkleft, however, thinks that this development dooms Clinton’s chances for the nomination. Without a legitimated FLA re-vote, he thinks she can’t make a persuasive case to the superdelegates. He is saying that she should drop out, and agree to run as Obama’s VP for the good of the party.

    I don’t know if I think its THAT gloomy for Clinton (we may yet get an Obama implosion, which is not desireable way for Clinton to get the nomination) but I agree this makes it much more difficult for her.

    Damn. Florida Florida Florida. What the frak is it about voting in Florida that always gets frakked up?

  6. ^ They can’t just ignore 1.7 million votes in a record turnout primary.

  7. WS:

    You would think that they couldn’t ignore 1.7 million votes in a record turnout. But people are still quoting “The Roolz” as if they had the same stature as the Constitution of the United States. Tonight on Oafermann, some talking head was criticizing Howard Dean for “not being a leader and stepping in to resolve the situation.” I nodded in agreement until she continued, “The rules are the rules, why doesn’t Dean just say I’m enforcing the rules and that’s it?”

    Have I entered the mirror universe where Kirk is bad and Spock has a goatee?

  8. So Clinton’s chance for the nomination rest in Obama’s hands? God.

  9. What a nightmare!.

  10. I’m having a hard time understanding why Howard Dean is OK with losing the election in November. Is this what the Democrats have really wanted all along? Do they want to avoid having to be the ones to clean up Bush’s mess? If so, they should get out of the way, because Hillary seems willing to do it. There is no way in hell Obama is going to win the general election. It isn’t going to happen. He has zero experience relevant to being President and he now has two albatrosses around his neck–Rezko and Wright. Plus he has alienated a large portion of the Democratic base.

  11. The idea that Barack Obama will ever be president seems increasingly implausible to me.

  12. Well, if the superdelegates are going to have to decide this race one way or another, Florida or no Florida, how grave can it be? that primary did take place, after all. Maybe it’s just about how to argue things to the supers. Also.. questions. If “the will of the people” is the talking point I’m hearing from Pelosi and others, does that mean the will from pledged delegates or the will from the popular vote, which could well be different?

    And if the supers are deciding to decide one way or another, why don’t they strategically parcel out their endorsements over the course of weeks and weeks so that nobody actually notices or can effectively yell about one moment where a bunch of them weigh in and tip the scale? Just saying.

  13. I’m just saying that you don’t have to count delegates from the states but you can’t invalidate votes as if they didn’t exist. People went out to vote in Florida in record numbers: some chose Obama, most chose Hillary.

  14. Oh, I don’t like it, I’m just more taking issue with BTD declaring that Hillary’s done now that this came out about Florida. Eh, he doesn’t know..

  15. Now, if only little Donna (Brazile) hadn’t thrown a temper tantrum last summer to deny FL and MI of ALL their delegates!! Especially given the fact that FL democrats were literally left with no choices.

    If little Donna then would stick to RULES (yes, you know pesky rules), and just give 1/2 delegate penalty. If only.

    Not only DNC has stripped FL of all its delegates, campaigning, ads, money spent, it (DNC) had enough foresight to allow campaigns to fundraise there. Translation: we kick you and kick you more when you are down, but we sure like your money.

    I wouldn’t wonder if democrats wouldn’t be wiped from FL political map for a couple of decades. I really think democrats who are mad at not being counted, won’t even split their tickets. If they have the slightest inclination towards republicans, they may vote for them. Nancy, how many close districts have you got there?

    DNC should issue an apology to FL democrats.

    You know, someone today made the brilliant this is like King Solomon and the baby. DNC is hoping Hillary is the real mother, and doesn’t want her baby being split. I promise you that their plan (Donna, Nancy, and Dean) is this: make a pretend 50/50 split of delegates of FL at the convention, so BO can win. Then, they come back to FL voters and say, “see, your delegates were seated, and we acted magnanimously”. They are banking on FL voters not understanding the a 50/50 is the same as disenfranchising them. Then they would do a bunch of media publicity with a couple of FL delegates for Obama and get them to say nice things about DNC and that would be that.

  16. Very useful diary at MyDD on the Rules and the Myths about the Rules:

    http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/17/93114/2956

  17. daria-g, my post really wasn’t directed at anybody :).

    Yeah, I don’t know why BTD says she has to drop out but he is an Obama supporter (I do like his posts though).

  18. I would like to know who was in the negotiation on behalf of the Clinton campaign. I guess it was Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and Harold Ickes. I don’t know what type of arrangement was made in the backroom but I don’t feel good about this at all.

    If the narrative now turns into “Hillary has no chance of winning”, even people who are on the fence will come out for BO, just for the sake of ending the primary.

    Moreover, I heard the puke inducing creature named Chris Matthews say Hillary Clinton needs to win PA by 20% to celebrate a victory there. I always listen carefully to people I am wary of.

  19. When it comes to D-Day, a superD does whatever a superD does.

    In particular, any superD can take the FL delegates into consideration “as won”, even if not seated, in determining and arguing the pledged delegate lead and momentum.

    The MI outcome (if revote is blocked) is more difficult, but each superD can apply his or her own assumptions … and can adjust appropriately if the Obama campaign seems to have obstructed a qualifying revote.

    Likewise, superD’s can apply their own windage adjustments to Obama’s caucus delegate totals, in consderation of his roughly 30% caucus-over-popular preference advantage.

  20. Guys, I think we’re losing focus here. Howard Dean and the others are dreaming if they think they can make CA, NJ, NY, MA, AZ, OH and MI not count because they aren’t counting Florida. That’s just fricking nuts. I don’t care what kind of math they’re doing in their heads, it’s probably the new fuzzy kind that allows you the “freedom” to rediscover the “solution”. Hillary is going to win Pennsylvania and win it big. Then she’ll add that to her plus column and why not throw WV, KY and maybe even IN to the mix? Obama is going to have a hard time explaining why he only won decisively in caucuses and why he could only win GA outside of his own state.
    Dean should stop playing games. The convention is going tobe brokered and Hillary will win and that’s that. That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

  21. Riverdaughter: Between you and BTD, I’m feeling like a manic depressive here. This just can’t be. If Obama had held his own in FL or MI, fine, I could handle it, but not like this–absolute fraud by the DNC.

    I kept trying to read Clinton’s emotions today when she spoke out on the economy and Iraq: she looked awful and not just physically exhausted, but emotionally drained.

  22. I do think Hillary will win in it in the end too. Its a gut feeling.

    I’m wondering about the turnout in Puerto Rico though. 2 million voters came out to vote in the 2004 Governor’s election and while the Dem primary is closed, that just means that people who voted in the Republican primary won’t be able to vote in the Dem primary. I think thats the rule so don’t quote me on that. Still, I think Hillary should send Ace Smith to Puerto Rico for Hispanic turnout.

  23. I should add to my previous post:

    If there had been revotes in both MI, FL and Obama had held his own then I’d be fine.

  24. Davidson: It’s a grueling campaign. But I do not see how it can end any other way but with Hillary winning the nomination. The Obamaphiles sound really confident but they have no reason to be. No one in their right mind is going to let the winner of the nealy all of the Big D states go home a loser. Ain’t going to happen. No way, no how.
    It just occured to me how Hillary will win this thing. She *will* be forced to accept a running mate not of her choosing. But will it be Obama or someone else?

  25. I think we have to accept that FL(and possibly MI) are not
    going to count as sick as that makes me. The only thing I
    can think of to counter is some sort of campaign to get the
    voters in the states that haven’t voted yet to get out the vote
    for her as
    a means to show solidarity with those states. I realize it
    sounds kinda crazy but her only shot is to get more votes.
    I think that some people that have already voted would like
    their votes back given what has happened recently. Any ideas??
    She needs votes and money and foot soldiers. The DNC is
    not going to do the right thing. Hope you don’t think I’m an
    idiot!

  26. MABlue,

    Chris Matthews aside, let me say what I think. I hope that she wins PA by 20% and draws even in places like Indiana. She has a chance, but her campaign has to overperform at least 5% over expectation in each race (on average) to get there.

    I feel like a second gruelling primary schedule is coming up. This has been like 2 races already, and it’s only 2/3 on the way. But she needs to turn every little and big vote in PA, she needs what she did in Texas and OHIO, only much better (b/c you bet BO has raised his operation a notch).

    There is lots of energy by Hillary supporters. They need to be organized everywhere, in every little and big primary coming up, and most certainly in PA. Because TX and OH gave Hillary another day to fight. But the real turnaround happens in PA.

    Sorry again. This is a Canadian. Perhaps I should just move over there! (Nah, I really like it here, and it’s a great place.)

  27. RD: I can see Obama being given the nomination by a DNC that subscribes to the Obama/Clinton rules and one that believes women will just fall in line. As we have seen the past few months, so-called “liberals” are not immune to delusion nor misogyny.

    Obama is all but certain to lose the GE, but even worse we’ll be giving Latinos to the GOP for decades. And nominating a man who has played the race card as a blunt weapon and has known strong ties to corrupt power brokers and extremists will certainly cement all those powerful myths about “liberals.”

    This is why I don’t buy the theory that they’re trying to lose the election, which would be dangerous, but shrewd. No, these “leaders” actually believe Obama will win the GE due his media darling status, which is actually just Clinton Hate and nothing more. Once Clinton is gone, Obama will be destroyed. Not even the poor economy could save him as current polls show him losing to McCain on this issue, which is all the more disturbing considering the polls show Obama at his peak performance due to: media love/no scrutiny + misogyny + demonized opponent.

  28. BTW, Big Tent Democrat said HIllary would win big in Texas after the Super Tuesday results so he’s not like an oracle. I believed him until the polls tightened in Texas (although I always felt she would win Texas).

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