The DNC Junta

Today's outcome at the Rules and Bylaws meeting was completely predicatable, but outrageous nonetheless.

Democracy used to mean something in this country. Counting votes fairly, having results that were fair representations of the votes cast, making sure that an election process was unimpeachable used to be foundations of our republic. Those precepts were cast off at the RBC meeting today.

The committee could have counted the votes from Michigan and Florida. They could have rejected them. Either of these options would have been legitimate, even if one was less preferable than the other. I have a problem with half seating of delegations, but that was by far the lesser of the errors that came out of this sham of a meeting today.

Assigning delegates to someone who received no votes (of his own volition) is an assault of every basic tenet of democracy as we know it in this country. It is a violation of the rights of voters. It diminishes the already too-complicated process into a free-for-all. It has all the appearance of the DNC working (further) to assure their desired outcome. It is in no way the way that politics should work in this nation. I am appalled, outraged, and disgusted in a way that I have not been in a long time.

Would Obama have won if Michigan and Florida had counted the first time? We'll never know. Momentum is a strange and coveted thing in politics. The facts are the facts. But the process still matters. This makes a mockery of the entire deal. This "resolution" forever places an asterik next to Obama's nomination. The DNC intervention on his behalf is a nefarious enterprise which I reject. I will continue to support Democrats, but not the DNC. Not with my money, not with input, not in any way- ever. I am voting with my feet, and my feet are walking away.

I will never again carry water for these people with my conservative friends and family.  

To me, this caps off an the entire nominating process nicely. It has been an edifying experience. I thought that the "party boss" mentality has kind of gone away sometime post-1940. But they still lurk. The smoke-filled room still exists- smoking is banned indoors now- but it is still there.

What happened today is not Barack Obama's fault. I don't fault him. But I refuse to acknowledge any argument that these delegates from Michigan rightfully belong to him in any way. He chose to get zero votes in Michigan. For him to get even one delegate is totally illegitimate. If some of the uncommitted delegates drifted his way, fine. But to have a governing body officially allocate delegates to him even after he removed his name from the ballot in that state is both theoretically and practically illegitimate.  

The only silver lining is that it cements Clinton's status as the popular vote winner. But that is small consolation. But, alas, this is about more than Clinton v. Obama for me, anyway. Today is the day that I totally lost confidence in the Democratic National Committee, and their leadership of this once-great party.

Tags: disenfranchisement, DNC, Michigan (all tags)

Comments

31 Comments

Re: The DNC Junta

Democracy used to mean something in this country. Counting votes fairly, having results that were fair representations of the votes cast, making sure that an election process was unimpeachable used to be foundations of our republic

An election that was widely reported not to count, in which most major candidates were not on the ballot...is highly impeachable.

A compromise was the only fair solution.

by libertyleft 2008-05-31 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

It's just fake outrage cause their messiah can't win.  How does the clinton koolaid taste?

by kasjogren 2008-05-31 07:44PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

But by that logic, Clinton also gets no delegates! After all, MI broke the rules and could technically have forfeited ALL delegates.

So, your point was...

by PhilFR 2008-05-31 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

My point was...

either Clinton got her delegates from Michigan, or she didn't.

Either Michigan counted or it didn't.

Assigning delegates to a candidate that didn't earn them through voting is a "compromise" that is befitting a banana republic.

by arkansasdemocrat 2008-05-31 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

In that case, none should have been assigned.

by libertyleft 2008-05-31 07:22PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Fine. (See diary.) Either it counts or it doesn't. Assigning delegates to someone who received precisely zero votes is my objection.

This is an above gameboard issue for me.

by arkansasdemocrat 2008-05-31 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

It's a political compromise in the hopes of moving on. Nothing more or less.

by PhilFR 2008-05-31 07:31PM | 0 recs
Fine with me

They would be, at least, seated symbolically at the convention at some point.  There was no reason to recognize the flawed vote in any way.

by libertyleft 2008-05-31 07:33PM | 0 recs
If you think MI was legitimate...

...and you do, when you say that it would have been legitimate to award Hillary all of the delegates, then I think it's only fair to mention that your definition of legitimacy includes tossing out 30,000 votes because a candidate's name was written in.

You're willing to throw away all of the votes of the people who voted uncommitted, who clearly didn't want to vote for Clinton.  What's not so clear is who they would have voted for had they been given an actual choice.  And, of course, there's the matter of those people who would have voted had the primary been sanctioned.

For all these reasons(and a few more), the "results" of the MI primary cannot be said to legitimately reflect the will of the voters of MI.

by jaywillie 2008-05-31 08:39PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Either you support the state party apparatus' right to be represented at the convention, or you don't.

It's not about you.

Neither is it about Obama or Clinton.

It's about the voters in MI and FL--and both states crafted a plan, one based on a moderately flawed election, one that totally ignored a completely irrelevant election, that ensures their delegations will go to the convention and have a voice.

That's what should have happened--and it's what did happen.

This has nothing to do with Presidential politics at this point.

by AK Democrat 2008-06-01 02:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Hey, whatever Jerome and Alegre say is what I believe.  I'll wait to hear their opinion.

by HillsMyGirl 2008-05-31 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Nice one.

I think Alegre is somewhere nursing her wounds....and as far as Jerome, I think he's on a hot date with this chick:


by Deadalus 2008-05-31 07:24PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

I'm proud of Jerome
Proud of Alegre
proud of Mrs. Christian

It is their honesty and integrity that is going to carry Hillary to the nomination.

by HillsMyGirl 2008-05-31 09:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Just show you know 4 Clinton supporters sided against the campaign's desired outcome.  8 sided with her.  

All Obama supporters sided with him.  All the Indi's sided with him.  

And, the Obama people turned down the option to have it 50-50, which they had the votes for, as to not rub it in.

by cardboard 1 2008-05-31 07:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Whether it passed by one vote, 11 votes (which was the margin), or it was unanimous is sort of beside the point.

As for the Obama people's not pushing 50-50, I am not overwhelmed with their magnanimity, given that Obama still came out with delegates that he didn't earn.

by arkansasdemocrat 2008-05-31 07:23PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

your fellow supporters did not agree with you

by cardboard 1 2008-05-31 07:25PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Whatever happened to the Fair Reflection Doctrine?

I suppose I see your point, but it most certainly wouldn't reflect the will of the voters to give Clinton her delegates and award Obama none.  That's dumb.

by Deadalus 2008-05-31 07:25PM | 0 recs
Apparently the diarist reserves the right

just to be pissed off no matter what.

This decision ticks me off a bit too.  Clinton was awarded a net gain of delegates when none should have been given.  The only reason for this was to try to cool the flames of what is essentially a colossal temper tantrum.  

So this diarist is mad that they made a compromise?  What was supposed to happen?  Obama was supposed to give up the nomination?  

These contests were illegitimate.  The party tells the electorate that their votes won't count.  The candidates pledge not to take part and Hillary plainly states that 'everyone knows' the votes won't count.  So now she demands that they all count?  Seriously, what the fuck is that?  How can you support that?

She makes this demand based on nothing but the anger of her supporters.  She essentially threatens to tear the party apart to get what she wants.  So they actually award her with delegates for this.  

You're absolutely right.  The party's integrity has taken a hit.  But the hit came from the branch of the party you claim to support.  

Enough of this bullshit.  Let's get on with the general election.  Let's get to the issues that are at stake.  Lives are at stake for chrissakes.  Enough of this bullshit celebrity reality show garbage.  

People get angry about football games and American Idol too.  I'm angry about the criminals in office getting people killed and running the country broke.  

by Sun Dog 2008-05-31 07:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

LOL

Hill earned delegates in a race against Obama on which he was not balloted?

Does any of this make sense to anyone except the most hardened Hillary "won't count for anything" supporters?

Nobody takes you seriously--not even Hill's own campaign:

Indeed, the talk in Mrs. Clinton's headquarters has turned from the primary to more mundane matters: the next job, whom Mr. Obama might hire from the Clinton campaign, and even where to go on vacation.

From:  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/us/pol itics/01dems.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1& oref=slogin&partner=rssuserland& emc=rss&pagewanted=all&adxnnlx=1 212315028-2cZe9pm8Pxed60APKdG5Og

I'm not trying to make it personal by any means--I'm just disappointed in the content I'm seeing from what was once my second favorite partisan blog.

We can all agree the Michigan vote was flawed; we can all agree some concession had to be made; we can all agree that any concession would be cumbersome for one of the candidates; we can all agree that any such concession should lack determinative powers with respect to the nominee.  We can all agree they achieved just that.

We can all agree any Democrat is superior to John McCain in the fall (at least, at this partisan blog it should be so).

Consequently, we should all be able to agree that the time is high to get on board and triangulate all of our fire on John McCain, who makes it easy day after day.

by AK Democrat 2008-06-01 02:36AM | 0 recs
The DNC Junta?

You mean the one that used to be controlled by the Clintons?  Thank God that today's outcome was proof positive that those days are over.  

Obama won the game, both outside and inside.  Deal with it.

by PD1769 2008-05-31 07:24PM | 0 recs
Do you even know what the word Junta means?

by notme54 2008-05-31 07:25PM | 0 recs
Outrageous that either got any delegates.

I agree. They should have stuck to their guns and counted ZERO delegates for MI & FL.

by heresjohnny 2008-05-31 07:26PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Why do you care?? You're not even from Michigan! The proposal put forth was by the Michigan Democratic Party (subject to 1/2 penalty by the DNC), who know more about what Michigan wants than someone from Arkansas!!

by wiscogirl101 2008-05-31 07:28PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

I refuse to acknowledge any argument that these delegates from Michigan rightfully belong to Hillary in any way.

She took advantage of an unfair election.

by Lefty Coaster 2008-05-31 07:31PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

I received the following email from the Clinton campaign:

Today's results are a victory for the people of Florida who will have a voice in selecting our Party's nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party's convention.  The decision by the Rules and Bylaws Committee honors the votes that were cast by the people of Florida and allocates the delegates accordingly.

We strongly object to the Committee's decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan's delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan.

The Committee awarded to Senator Obama not only the delegates won by Uncommitted, but four of the delegates won by Senator Clinton. This decision violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party.
We reserve the right to challenge this decision before the Credentials Committee and appeal for a fair allocation of Michigan's delegates that actually reflect the votes as they were cast.

The Clinton campaign has a good point. Those who did not favor Clinton pushed Michigan voters to vote uncommitted. The allocation assumes that all uncommitted voters voted for Obama, and gives him an additional four delegates.

Now, I realize that fighting over 25 delegates may not seem very practical, but it is unprecedented not to allocate a delegation by caucus, convention or popular vote results. If I were Obama, I would have allowed for the 73-55 delegate split. We'll see in the upcoming month whether the Clinton campaign will appeal this decision to credentials committee.

by Zzyzzy 2008-05-31 07:35PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Assigning delegates to someone who received no votes (of his own volition) is an assault of every basic tenet of democracy as we know it in this country.

Running an election with two of the three top candidates not on the ballot, then pretending that contest is free and fair, is an assault on every basic tenet of democracy.

As for why he took his name off the ballot--he signed a pledge, which Senator Clinton also signed, that said he would not participate in the Michigan election.  Not only not campaign--not participate.

Senators Edwards and Obama interpreted that to mean that they should remove their names from the ballot entirely.  When asked why she didn't do the same, Senator Clinton didn't disagree with their interpretation.  She claimed she didn't remove her name because it wouldn't matter, because the election wasn't going to count for anything.

Clinton reneg'ed on her pledge not to participate in the Michigan election and left her name on the ballot, then once the fake primary was done and she'd won (but not by much, even against "uncommitted"), she suddenly became a champion for counting every vote.

The question we should be asking isn't "why did Obama remove his name?", it's "why didn't Clinton?"

It is a violation of the rights of voters. It diminishes the already too-complicated process into a free-for-all.

The ironic part?  The DNC imposed their sanctions to prevent a free-for-all.

It has all the appearance of the DNC working (further) to assure their desired outcome.

First off, the proposals that were adopted by the DNC were effectively identical to the proposals offered by the states themselves, plus the 50% penalty.

The Rules and Bylaws Committee was stocked heavily with Clinton supporters back when they made their ruling last year; those Clinton supporters voted in favor.

The committee is still stocked heavily with Clinton supporters, several of whom voted in favor of the compromise that was adopted.

You can argue that the DNC was wrong in their rulings, both last year and today, but don't try to pretend they're all hopelessly in the tank for Obama.

by BishopRook 2008-05-31 07:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

You know, the talking point that Obama removed his name because of the pledge is pretty much dead after today.  Everyone in that room acknowledged that it was a purely voluntary decision.

In fact, just a week before he removed his name, Obama was assuring Michigan Democrats that he would be remaining on the ballot.  So please, just stop spreading this tall tale already.

by Steve M 2008-05-31 10:48PM | 0 recs
Re: The DNC Junta

Does anyone else take issue with the diarist's attempt to liken the DNC to the Burmese Junta?

Yes, the DNC is just like the junta, and the Florida and Michigan elections were just like Zimbabwe.  It makes perfect sense.  Because what the people in Michigan and Florida are going through is exactly comparable to the struggles of the Burmese and the Zimbabweans.

Hyperbole much?

by The Distillery 2008-05-31 08:25PM | 0 recs
There's more in the silver lining

in my opinion: integrity.  It can never be said of HRC that she didn't stand for all the votes being counted, for the working people of this country.  It can never be said she was a quitter.  It can never be said that she lost the popular vote.  It will never be said that she didn't fight for every single vote.

I also think that the exposure of "the back room deal" on national TV--which Obama has decried from the beginning-- will further undercut his credibility and could eventually become an achilles heel.

by 4justice 2008-05-31 08:44PM | 0 recs
it's not a backroom deal

if it's on television.  jesus christ get over yourself.  Clinton just wants votes for her.  Same for Obama.

by JJE 2008-05-31 08:48PM | 0 recs
um

smoking is banned indoors now- but it is still there."

uh, wha?

by hope monger 2008-05-31 08:55PM | 0 recs

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