Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Deal

Once again, Obama has failed to close the deal in a state that will actually matter in the general election.

He trailed Hillary among long-time Democrats, not the "Democrat for a Day" crowd he panders to, and did not make a single advance among any of the major constituencies he needs to hold against McCain. This bothers me a great deal.

In Hillary's victory speech, she made reference to FDR and Truman, reminding us of the New Deal and how it transformed America. We are facing what many economists and analysts predict will be the greatest economic crisis our nation has faced since the Great Depression. Hillary invoked the ability of our country to rise to the challenges that history and crappy Republican administrations continually hand us, and to transform hope into substance and defend the interests of ordinary people. I have no doubt but that she can deal with the challenges ahead.

The party is in a great deal of trouble at the moment as its front runner for the nomination is watching his legitimacy and support erode by the minute. With Hillary's double digit win and 200,000 vote margin, she can honestly claim that she is the choice of the party in the must-win big electoral vote states. She doesn't need to deal with stupid gaffes that insult voters, nor with having cut deals with elitist insiders to prevent revotes in Florida and Michigan.

I've talked extensively about the stupidity, the sheer political suicide of refusing to seat Florida and Michigan. I've also talked about what the refusal to revote actually says about Obama's own calculation - he knows he's a loser and he's afraid to face the voters. The Blogger Boyz want to yammer on about rulz and delegates and margins and popular votes and how Obama is such a precious beacon of hope and change.

Tell you what. Let's make a deal. The Precious agrees to seat Florida and Michigan as-is and accept the popular will of all the voters and, well, um, that's it. You see, the deal is that in a democracy, the votes are supposed to get counted, even the ones not in your favor. From a strategic point of view, you don't want a candidate who gets a nomination by disenfranchising his opponent's voters because they can take their revenge in the general by voting for the other guy, or just not voting at all. It's in Obama's hands to restore legitimacy to this nomination by taking his chances with all the voters.

Don't like those odds? They'll be worse in November.

Deal.

Anglachel

8 comments:

CMike said...

Watch this.

Originally I was an Edwards supporter. The reason was that it was clear, of the viable candidates, he was the candidate that General Electric least wanted to get the nomination. When he withdrew it was no small thing to me that General Electric was also out to bury Hillary Clinton.

I mean, it is obvious that the corporate media wants Sen. Obama to get this nomination. Why would that be?

Here's The Daily Howler:
******************
Matthews spent several clownish hours on the air, trying to decide if Obama reminded him more of Jack, or Bobby, or Martin. (Or was he more like Abraham Lincoln?) Three weeks later, still pimping hard, to asked a panel of housebroken guests (on The Chris Matthews Show) a question about the Dem race. This is what people were saying on The Chris Matthews Show in March of 2007:

MATTHEWS (3/4/07): OK, let me go around the room. Will he, meaning Obama, catch Hillary by Memorial Day in the polls?

KATHLEEN PARKER: I think so. He's going to move fast.

MATTHEWS: David [Gregory], Democratic primaries—Democratic vote. Will he catch her in that poll, the next poll we take on Memorial Day?

GREGORY: Yeah.

ELISABETH BUMILLER: I think so.

CLARENCE PAGE: So many variables, but they—within shouting distance.

Only Page expressed any doubt; Obama would be even with Clinton in the polls by late May 2007. But then, several guests had said the same thing on Matthews’ February 11 program—on the weekend Obama announced. On March 25, Matthews was still excitedly asking his question, and resident genius Patrick Healy offered the consensus view: “Both campaigns think will be a dead heat by Memorial Day.”
****************

The point that The Howler makes is that by the day of the New Hampshire vote in January '08 Matthews was insisting that Clinton had blown what were her insurmountable advantages.

It's all anti-Clinton spin all the time.

lakelobos said...

After a long arrogant and divisive campaign, mainly, by Obama, I don't see any way the Democrats can win in November.

At least 10% of each of the two camps will not vote for the other candidate.

It didn't have to be like that to have a good and tough fight.

Hank Gillette said...

Anglachel said:

Tell you what. Let's make a deal. The Precious agrees to seat Florida and Michigan as-is and accept the popular will of all the voters and, well, um, that's it.

In other words, Hillary can't win under the current rules (the ones she agreed to), so let's just change the rules.

Your mistake (if you are not doing it deliberately), is trying to treat the nominating process as an election. It's not.

It's a process for the Democratic Party to nominate the best candidate for the general election. Popular vote is irrelevant, other than the delegates it garners in valid primaries. If the Democratic Party wanted the nomination to be the person who received the most popular votes, they could have set up the rules to that effect. Since they didn't (and Hillary was well-represented when the rules were being set up), it's devious at best to now suggest that popular vote should be the criterion by which the nomination should be decided.

Your method would also disenfranchise states that use caucuses to select delegates.

Bud White said...

You wrote: "you don't want a candidate who gets a nomination by disenfranchising his opponent's voters because they can take their revenge in the general by voting for the other guy, or just not voting at all."

Evidently 32% of Hillary PA voters would vote for McCain in the GE. Obama is in deeper trouble than the media let on to at this point.

PM Summer said...

Hank Gillette rightly worries about the rules and fairness. But why did the DNC allow Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina to move their dates up ahead of the rules?

CMike said...

Hank Gillette writes:
**************
In other words, Hillary can't win under the current rules (the ones she agreed to), so let's just change the rules.

Your mistake (if you are not doing it deliberately), is trying to treat the nominating process as an election. It's not.

***************

Actually it's Sen. Obama and his supporters who do not understand the rules. The Democrats have set up a system whereby pledged delegates make up 80% of the delegates at the convention. They argue the un-pledged delegates are obliged to cast their votes in a fashion that reflects the inclination of the pledged delegates. However, that defeats the purpose of giving them a role in the first place.

The current system is set up to make it hard for someone appealing to a wing of the party that differentiates itself from the general electorate to win the nomination. Sen. Obama is a strong candidate in a Democratic Party contest but he would be a weak candidate in a general election contest.

Now Sen. Obama can argue that the Super Delegates are obligated to follow the will of the pledged delegates. However, Sen. Clinton can argue that the Super Delegates should protect the party against the nomination of unelectable candidates.

Sen. Obama made a big political mistake when he started arguing in early February that the Super Delegates should be obligated to reflect the will of the pledged delegates (though, interestingly, not so much the will of the voters who have voted.) So now it is pretty silly for the Illinoisan and his supporters to argue against the idea that rules are subject to other newly argued interpretations as the precess proceeds.

The current Sen. Obama spin is that rules are like law. Organizations change their rules all the time - the process for changing the law is quite a bit different. There's no "rule" about ex post facto rules. The Credential Committee at the convention has the final authority on who sits as a delegate. That's a current rule - if you're really into the rules. The Credential Committee is not bound by rulings of the Democratic National Committee Chair.

idear said...

I think it's important to understand that "seating the delegates" and "counting the votes" in MI and FL are two different things.

Counting the votes puts Clinton in the lead already. Given the flaky way the dnc apportions delegates (cf. Texas for example), seating the delegates not so much.

Chinaberry Turtle said...

Here's what technocratic Hank doesn't understand about his glorious rules:

THE RULES SAY THAT THE RULES CAN CHANGE!

The rules authorize a credentials committee at the convention and the credentials committe, according to the rules, can do just about whatever the fuck it wants. They could seat MI & FL as they are now, or they could seat some alternate slate if Dean & Obama were so inclined to have a re-vote.

So, Hank, as long as you're going to be high and mighty about the rules, please understand just how amorphous your rules actually are.