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Delegate Intimidation at the Democratic Convention

In Obama’s Democratic Party you are disloyal if you aren’t thrilled to vote for the Presumed Nominee.

Commenters fred & fif brought a frightening story linked by Count Us Out to our attention:

Colorado Democrats Threaten Delegate’s Status (The Denver Channel)

An e-mail sent from the Political Director of the Colorado Democratic Party threatened the status of a national delegate, alleging she made “disparaging public remarks” about Sen. Barack Obama.

. . .

Millstone acknowledged she was frustrated over how the Obama campaign was treating delegates who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and told a fellow delegate, in what she believed was a private e-mail exchange, that she was not sure she could vote for Obama at the Democratic National Convention later this month.

The other delegate apparently filed a complaint with the state Democratic Party suggesting Millstone lose her status as a delegate.

Apparently the Political Director of Colorado’s Democratic Party, William Compton, took the suggestion very seriously and told Millstone via e-mail, “You are directed to come in to the Party Headquarters and explain your comments and why you should remain a national delegate…”Millstone, who worked on the campaign for Hillary Clinton, considered the e-mail a threat.

We’ve all heard the story of Debra Bartoshevich a Wisconsin Hillary Delegate who was ultimately stripped of her credentials for rashly pledging to vote for McCain if Obama gets the nomination. And while I’m beyond saddened by the harshness of her treatment (as with all stories this one had wheels within wheels,) I can understand the logic.

But, with this development we learn that planning to vote for Hillary – the winner of at over 18 million Democratic votes – is an act of defiance. An act of Disunity.

Friends, we’ve never been here before.

In every other year contenders for the nomination have their name entered in nomination with little or no hoo-haw. They get a nice nomination speech. Their delegates wave signs and cheer. They cast their votes with lovely preludes (“We proudly cast 24 votes for the Great Senator from…“). We’ve never analyzed these activities. It’s always been a part of the show, part of the fun. Nominations are part the pageantry of the convention.

But not for Hillary Clinton. Not for Hillary’s delegates. Not for Hillary’s 18 million voters.

Looking back at the 2008 Primary season and the steady chanting of “When will that Stupid Bitch Quit” we should have foreseen this summer’s efforts. We should have known that we’d have to work for a presence in Denver.

But HOW could we have ever expected that Hillary’s pledged delegates would be threatened for wanting to stay true to their pledge?

I DO want Hillary back. But, even more, I want my party back.