• comment on a post Co-Pays, Deductibles, Out of Pocket Expenses, and Me over 4 years ago

    These mandates as designed take away my ability to make the choices I need to make to avoid both losing my home and afford basic health care. That's "affordable health care", as in actual medical services received, as opposed to so-called "affordable monthly insurance premiums" that provide no care and still leave me facing unaffordable deductables and co-pays after shelling out thousands of dollars for a bottom end policy.

    I need some expensive dental work that won't be covered by the thousands of dollars I will be forced to spend on insurance I can't afford to purchase. That goes out the window also.

  • Thanks, I went there and it was a good read (pun not intended but acknowledged). It's obvious to me that the left of center base world view is more nuanced than the right of center base. "Countdown" viewers would never dream of calling themselves the equivelent of "Ditto Heads" for Keith, to put it bluntly.

    But progressives don't have to be thrilled about politicians and political progress to get out and vote. If that were the case we would be on the endangered species subset on voter rolls.

  • Different wars, different weapons...

    The War on Hunger was fought by letting people eat :)

  • Snowe may well vote against cloture but words now are cheap, especially when she leaves herself wiggle room like she has so far. If she would rather not be put in a position of having to support a filibuster against health care reform, why not try the easy way out first and hopefullly threaten your way into getting changes you want before it ever gets to that point?

    There is a strategy in poker I think we are all familiar with. It's called bluffing. Bluffing is only effective because it is hard to know for sure when someone is in fact bluffing, but Snowe doesn't even need to lay any chips down on the table now to try to bluff things her way. She said it would be extremely difficult for her to vote for cloture on a bill that included an opt out public option. Later, if she wants, she can say it was extremely difficult to kill health care reform by not voting for cloture on debate of a bill that includes an opt out public option. She had NOTHING to lose by saying what she did now but potentially much to gain if Democrats cave to her threats.

  • comment on a post The Politics Of Violence over 6 years ago


  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago


    While I did say that the "popular will was a meaningless term" I did not by that mean that I thought the popular will itself is a meaningless reality.  I meant two things by that. 1) That the Democratic Party has no accepted definition of that concept in the nominating process and 2) that attempts to cite it as evidence for supporting a candidate are empty without some agreed upon basis for defining who has the popular will behind him or her.

    We have explored some of our differences regarding the latter. I will just add that I think the concept itself is hollow in a situation where loyalties are divided 51% to 49%. The one with a tad more support measured at a given moment of time in such a case may well be declared the legitimate clear winner, if that measurement was reached through a final vote, but to me the concept of the popular will is a broader and stronger mandate than simply edging out an essentially equally popular opponent on a given day. In such cases the popular will is unsettled and divided, though victors must still be determined even in cases like that, and having a majority of valid votes works for me.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    I wasn't confusing Super Delegates and pledged delegates. SD's are predetermined by a set of guidelines before the contests begin, but enough on that for now.

    I never suggested that the popular will being "undefined" is equivalent to it being "meaningless". Let me put it to you this way. If Obama came out of the primaries needing a few dozen SD's to put him over the top. If he beats Clinton soundly in OR and NC and if the national polls consistently show him running as strong or stronger than Clinton, I would join with protesters in the streets if it appeared that SD's attempted to give the nomination to Clinton over Obama. Under that scenario I think the "popular will" would be clear enough to act on, on its face.

    Until such time, since the popular will is not a DNC sanctioned bench mark for anything it can be argued in the media, to voters in upcoming primaries, and to Super Delegates that the State santioned vote held in Florida for instance is indicitive of the popular will in Florida - that has nothing to do with whether delegates get formally seated from that vote.

    There was nothing in the DNC sanctions against the Florida Democratic Party that demanded people not speculate on the popular will of Florida Democrats by whatever tools are available to shed light on that, including but not limited to the popular results of the Florida Primary. Since we are not here arguing over which delegates should get seated, there is no reason to penelize Democrats who live in Florida by not caring about what they actually think. Floridians are as much a component of the intangible "will of the people" as Democrats living anywhere else.

    In addition to the results of the Florida primary there is polling data available to shed light on Florida Democrats preferences for the Democratic nominee. It can also be argued that the composit national polling standings of Clinton vs Obama after primary season ends would be indicitive of the popular will of Democratic voters at that time.

    My point in this Diary, and it was an intentionally narrow one, is that I do not mechanically accept that under all possible plausible circumstances that a candidate who ends the primaries with a lead in pledged delegates against a close rival can automatically be said to represent the will of the people heading into the convention.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    OK, thanks for setting the record straight on that. It's not worth trying to reconsruct why I misunderstood what you wrote, I'll just say I'm glad to stand corrected

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    This speaks to the heart of the comparison between caucuses and primaries. Almost without fail, about ten times as many people participate in primaries than in caucuses across the board. Caucus inherently make it more difficult for everyone to participate and the statistics support that overwhelmingly.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    If this Diary was primarily about the Michigan primary revote proposal I would feel obligated to start a complex Google search to find all of the proposed language for it. It isn't though and you are the one who made a specific claim about the proposed provisions, not me.

    My memory is clear that one outstanding issue between Obama and the DNC and Clinton camp representatives regarding it was the matter of disqualifying anyone from participating who had voted in the earlier Republican caucus, not automatically disqualifying anyone who did not vote in the Democratic primary the first time.

    Not only is my memory clear but it defies common sense to believe that the DNC would have insisted on disenfranchising registered Democrats from the revote primary because they for some reason missed voting in the first one. The DNC has no motivation to anger the majority of Demcratic voters in Michigan who did not vote in the first primary by disenfranchising them from a second one. If you have evidence that shows otherwise, kindly produce it.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    We can quibble over words but in my opinion claiming that a poster on a Democratic message board is anti-Democratic  and contemptious of voters is a personal attack.

    And your spin isn't even subtle. The fact that I can accurately point out that some established Party figures routinely get awarded delegate slots at Party conventions factoring in who they are as well as who they support does not indicate that I believe some or all voters abdicaet their responsibility. Any voter so chosing does so based on their own internal ranking of reasons to consider regarding who to send to Denver. I know it happens sometimes and you are pretending you don't. I didn't even pass judgment on it but you assert that factual observation was a center piece to all all of my arguments, which is laughable.

    My point about Texas, unlike Washington State for example, is that the Texas caucus participants were a literal sub-set of the Primary voters. They were not distinctly seperate events. It was against Party rules for anyone to participate in the Texas causus unless they could prove that they had voalready ted in the Texas Primary. So if the rules were followed every single Texas causus vote was a second vote by that same person, only the pool of primary voters was much larger, much more inclusive, and thereby more representitive of the popular will of Texas Democrats than the caucus.

    You talk above about a "representative assembly with representatives empowered to vote as they wish without reference to the popular will" like I am advocating for the Soviet Politiburo. First off you start of claiming certainty about "the popular will" as your foundation when in fact I reject your basis for certainty in determining what "the popular will is".

    Your argunment is circular. You claim the Democratic Convnetion must ratify the popular will (which is an abstract construct not defined in any party rules), you claim that a lead in pledged delegates is proof of the popular will, so you claim that the convention must nominate whoever is ahead in pledged delegates. Skipping past the part that you don't have a legal leg to stand on, I don't accept your assertion about how the popular will can be determined. We have what is called a disagreement on that it seems. But it is wrong based on that disagreement to claim that I have disrespect for the popular will. That is another false circular argument. You don't get to arbitrate definitions of the concepts used for both of us. I understand where you are coming from and I don't insult you because of it. Clearly you think whoever is ahead in pledged delegates has the popular will behind them, and I don't find that at all obvious in this instance.

    I do not challenge the selection of a single delegate chosen by the approved DNC methods this year, not in Nevada, not in Texas, not anywhere, no matter how inherently undemocratic that process may have been in my opinion. The Democratic Party process also calls for a small minority of Super Delegates to play a preciously designated role in the nomination process. I don't challenge that either this year. We can argue about the pros and cons for all kinds of possible changes in future years, but neither caucuses or Super Delegates were exacly a surpise sprung on candiates last Novemeber.

    You throw out slurs left and right but you don't know me. I never have nor will I ever believe that any candidate for any office is automatically in line for and entitled to any office.

    I am not using this Diary to debate who is the more likely Democatic Party nominee for President but I have no problem agreeing with you that Obama is more likely than Clinton to win the nomination.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    Quick correction. It seems I earlier answered your hypothetical in a post above, not below this one.

  • The intent would be to drive up Clinton's negatives specifically within the Demcoratic base of potential primary voters where her intial ratings were higher - by picking up on and pressing themes in the primaries that the Right wing propagated and exploited against both Clinton's in tbe general electorate for many years to counter their political success against the Republican Party.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    I answered this hypothetical below, but the bottom line is remains, the primaries aren't over, campaigning hasn't stopped, the media hasn't stopped covering what the candidates are syaing and what they candidates have done in the past. New data, new talking points, new realities remain possible. As things stand Obama will be our nominee, but we are now standing here in April, not in June or August.

    Here is another basic truth that gets overlooked. Any Super Delegate who remains unpledged by now is not in any machine's pocket, and is not beholden to return any outstanding political IOU's, or they long since would have been cashed in. There is not some big overpowering Democratic Party machine about to lean on any Super Delegates for Clinton. If Nancy Pelosi cracks her whip it will be on behalf of Obama, not Clinton.

    For Hillary Clinton to now win the 60+% of remaining Super Delegates over to her side before the Democratic Convention, she is going to need some pretty persuasive arguments - more persuasive than any that she has now or she already would have won them over to her.

    I do not say it is premature to declare who is the clear favorite front runner for the Democratic nomination, that is clearly Obama. It is simply premature to declare the race over, and it is presumptious and wrong to claim that there are no circumstances that can happen between now and the convention that could justify unpledged Super Delegates turning to Hillary Clinton as our nominee if Obama ended up the primary contests holding a slim lead in pledged delegates.

  • on a comment on Counting On the "Popular Will" over 6 years ago

    You lumped a bunch of variables together that may not be lumped together at the end of primary season. Based on where we sit now, it's a forgone conclusion. By that I mean if Obama continues to be leading National polls by 8 points Obama will be our certain nominee.

    I won't take the time here, because it is a tangent from your major point which for the most part I don't disagree with, to dispute your description of the Florida Primary in particular where 1.7 million Democrats who don't live in caves and already knew a few things about our leading candidates voted.

    It is a messy situation, and it is a messy situation precisely because this is an extremely close contest, much closer than anything the Democratic Party has seen in decades. This Diary dealt with the concept of "the popular will" and attempts to equate that term with a lead in pledged delegates insufficent to secure the nomination. I reject that the latter establishs the popular will for the reasons that I wrote about.

    However in the future scenario you describe I would be willing to agree that the unofficial popular will predominantly backed Obama using your variables. But if the popular vote lead is murky due to the nature of the beast and various ways of projecting it, or is simply too close either to call or too close for the difference in totals to be meaningful, and if the national polls swung to supporting Clinton over Obama by 8 points in head to head match ups for example, then the Super Delegates will be looking at a very different picture than the one we see before us today.


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