Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Losing Faith

The Obama campaign is bargaining that it can win the nomination without seating Michigan and Florida. I didn't think they would be that insane, but with every day that passes with him refusing to agree to any measure that would remedy the situation in a democratic way, I begin to think that he would rather take his chances with not seating the delegations rather than risk public losses to Hillary.

The ironic thing is that, like Bush in 2000, he doesn't give a shit about the voters, only with manipulating the delegate count by any means necessary to deny Hillary her actual constituencies. In the short term, there is a rational incentive for him to do this, dragging his heels over any decision. He's seeing if he can make Hillary blink. Prior to Ohio and Texas, he was making headway with the super delegates, peeling away a few here and there, trying to make his win seem inevitable so that enough would change sides and make the promise reality. Nothing wrong with that. If he could get a large enough margin in the delegates that he stood a good chance of winning on the first vote then the ambiguous condition of Michigan and Florida could be "resolved" by making them irrelevant. No matter the loud yelling about pledged delegates, until you hit 2025, you don't get the nomination, even if you have more. It's not a plurality vote, but a true majority one - one half + 1 of all possible votes.

The fly in the ointment is that Hillary has absolutely no incentive to back down. The longer things go on, the better it is for her. Whenever she has been faced with a "must win" situation, she has performed. The flip side of her being strong in those contests is that Obama has failed to break through and secure his own victory through winning the big contests.

Barry has not been able to disprove Hillary's campaign narrative - I can win the big, must-win, swing states, even when facing incredibly hostile press and pundits, even when being out spent, even when my obituary is written anew every day, and he cannot, even when he is championed by the press, supported by the blogs, (allegedly) raking in the dough, and being touted as a done-deal. I am the most popular choice in the places the Democrats must win in November.

Hillary is right about the need to revote:

Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she would favor restaging the Florida and Michigan primaries, if the Democratic national Committee continues to insist that primaries' original results won't be counted.

At an appearance before the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Clinton said she still believed that the results of the two primaries, which were held in violation of national Democratic Party rules, were "fair and they should be honored."

But she added that if the Democratic National Committee continues to insist that the delegates from those states not be seated at the party's convention this summer, then the primaries should be held again.

"In my view there are two options: Honor the results or hold new primary elections,'' Clinton said. She said she hoped rival Barack Obama's campaign would join her "in working to make that happen.''

Clinton says she'd support redoing Fla., Mich. primaries

She is willing to risk losing the gains she has already accrued to ensure that the voters have participated and will view the outcome as legitimate. If the original primaries are not going to be honored, then the voters deserve an opportunity to register their opinions in another way. Insisting on DNC insider-politics rules as the grounds upon which to justify barring the delegations of two key states may play well with the Blogger Boyz, but it will go down sideways with the voters. This isn't just losing legitimacy in Florida or Michigan, either. This is risking losing millions of voters in many states who will look at the gerrymandering of the convention as a betrayal of their participation. Hillary has no guarantee of the nomination even if she does retake Florida and Michigan, but she and every Democrat who can think straight knows the party will take a huge hit in November if voters do not think that Florida and Michigan are being counted fairly. That means a primary, mail-in or otherwise. The caucuses are too compromised.

Obama's game of chicken with the voters is going to backfire badly, and for the right reasons. Not racism. Not lack of experience. Because he knows he can't win in a head-to-head contest:

Obama is advocating disenfranchisement of two must-win states because he does not have enough confidence in his own electoral strength to submit himself to true primary votes by large and diverse Democratic populations.

If Obama does not have faith in himself, why should we?

Anglachel

16 comments:

Cathy said...

I loved your last line about his fear of losing. That plays well across the country.

For Florida and those concerned with civil rights, it's disenfranchisement. (It's also the REAL issue.)

However, for a lot of other folks it's the growing perception that he's way too much of a wimp for primetime.

HillBillyLover said...

I agree, on the money. Obama is afraid that the 14.4% of votes that went to Edwards in the first vote will go to Clinton the second time around.

CognitiveDissonance said...

I agree with you that this is not going to play well in other states, either. It makes him look like he is trying to steal an election ala George Bush in 2000. I think Hillary needs to start talking about his in her campaign and every time she talks to the press. Let him try to defend disenfranchising voters. It just won't play.

ccp said...

I can't believe we have a viable Democratic candidate who wants to disenfranchise voters. It's unbelievable. Even if Clinton was in his position I believe that she would still allow MI and FL to have primaries but she would work and fight tooth and nail in order to win. Clinton is a fighter and Obama is a coward. This does not look good for him regardless of what his supporters say to defend him. Obama and his supporters which include Brazile, Dean, and Pelosi (no matter what they say about being undecided) are even willing to risk losing the general election in order for Obama to win the nomination? I just don't get it. Riverdaughter had a few theories but does anyone really know why they think a man who believes disenfranchising voters of two big states is good enough to lead our nation? It's just unbelievable and it's shocking to see so many "progressives" who are okay with this too.
Speaking of "faith" you have to watch this video of Obama's "spiritual advisor". Unbelievable: http://youtube.com/watch?v=hAYe7MT5BxM

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your wonderful post. Nice to hear a voice on sanity in the blogosphere these days. Barry only wishes he had half the stones Hillary does.

gendergappers said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gendergappers said...

Perhaps in the end people will really see how weak BO is and how very strong HRC is. That patronizing putz, Olberman's rant may bring a lot of comment cheers but to most folks it was just one more nasty example of how unfair the media coverage is. BO is losing his luster and O's rant is one of fear that BO will lose the nomination --- to a girl!

http://www.gendergappers.blogspot.com

working class artist said...

Since the title of this column is Losing Faith, I've decided to ask has anyon seen the excellent videoon youtube that asks is Obama building a religion by cake. I stumbled upn it at Whiz bang Blue. We are headed for a theocracy in America. This is a global phenom. There is way more at stake in this election than most americans want to face. There are people like us who are watching this manipulation by demogogues, of either party.
This persuasion, whether it be religious, racial, or any other bias propaganda is seductive to thse who seek easy empty answers to messy problems.
True democracy is always messy. Fundamentalist
totalitarianism is about as tidy as things can get.
Post this video in the interest of good dialogue and tongue in cheek humor. Pass it along to Oprah. It does ask questions about the cult of personality that is still dominating the msm. The comments are good too. The chorus refrain is hilarious.

Anonymous said...

working class artist....do you have a link to either that blog (I couldn't find it) or the youtube video you reference?

Thanks

ann said...

Democrats -- who knew that when democrats talked about equality they didn't include women? I didn't. Pro-choice was the little nugget they could hold onto to pacify the great majority, but FL and MI and BO have not only revealed this coalition for equality to be completely false but shown women to be the ultimate disenfranchised class. Who knew?

If super delegates nominate this no experience, reckless foreighn policy, ayers, rezko, auchi, wright friendly, woman-hating, brow-beating thug for president you can kiss the democratic party goodbye. We won't win anything for a long, long time.

William said...

Well, it worked for George Bush. Eight years after the Florida debacle, he's still here. That's Obama's model; win by any means possible and it doesn't matter. Of course, his employing these antidemocratic tactics will cost the Democratic Party the ability to ever stand for the moral high ground again; to ever claim that they are the party that values each vote; that Bush stole the election. Because Obama wants to steal this election, and actually by more insidious means than were employed back in 2000. He has had months to agree on some kind of revote plan, and has absolutely no intention of doing so. He will damage the Democratic Party for decades, and he doesn't care even a little bit. I mean, why should the messiah have to worry about a little democracy?

But there is morality, and then there are pragmatics. And Obama is figuring that the numbers are in his favor if there is no revote. He can't be caught in pledged delegaes. He can only be beaten by superdelegates. And they would hve to move to Clinton in large numbers, based on his obvious refusal to revote or Clinton's upcoming big win in PA. He's betting that it won't be enough; that they will be too worried about the African-American rioting cheerfully predicted by Douglas Wilder and others, to do that. So he will win. And he's counting on Clinton to do what he would never do--accept this putsch-like defeat with good grace, and help Obama win the White House. I thought that nothing could have been worse than the 2000 election, but this one is. I am watching any pretense that this is a democratic country, or that the Democratic Party actually stands for the principles it likes to espouse, disappear before my eyes.

carissa said...

Well, if the Democratic Party doesn't need Florida and Michigan's votes, I guess they don't need mine either. Pretty simple, doncha think?

working class artist said...

anonymous, Sorry but I'm still a novice and haven't
figured out the linking thing yet. At youtube, the poster is called cakesecret. They have posted another video called Jesus wrote a blank check. The other is under the heading Obama building a religion. They also posted Obama's pastor proselytizing recently with the text of the sermon.
Whizbangblue.com is where I found the original cakesecret video. I've had the song in my head all day and If more people saw and heard it, it could make a difference. Maybe. It's hard watching your country go over the cliff, but as cakesecret reminds me... I'll probably feel ok as long as I get the Obama keychain. I only wonder if he blesses them too. It's truly provacative and hilarious. Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

Love this blog, but it would be a lot easier to keep up with you if you had an RSS...or do you have one and I've just missed it? Please! I want you in my reader page.

lambert strether said...

The audacity of election theft....

Because that's what the 50/50 plan would do: It takes votes from one candidate, and gives them to another.

Anonymous said...

I made a very amaturish photoshop and posted it here:

http://standbytheman.blogspot.com/

My heart goes out to Silda Spitzer but seeing her standing by her man with her grief written on her face struck me as prophetic of how we, the women of the democratic party will be asked to behave this fall.