Hank said in a comment to Deal: Your mistake (if you are not doing it deliberately), is trying to treat the nominating process as an election. It's not.
No. The problem here is you think this is pinochle, not politics.
Nomination processses are political processes, the purpose of which is to select the candidate most likely to defeat the competition and take office after a general election.
The votes in Florida have been cast. Whether the DNC will recognize delegates based on those votes is a different matter. To ignore the express will of the voters when the voting itself does not have any procedural or substantive errors is a grave political mistake. The party rules may say "Do not count them," but there will be long term political penalties to the party by adhering to those rules. The decision to disenfranchise carries repercussions that were not anticipated, and the real loser here is the party.
As I have said before, there were several mechanisms by which the DNC could have avoided most of those repercussions, every one of which would have been allowable by the rules. Revising the penalty to 50% of the delegation, which is the standard penalty. Requiring a revote. Some combination of the two (Say 50% apportioned by the original vote, the other 50% by a revote). An agreement to seat the state if no candidate could win the nomination on the first ballot. Etc.
As for Michigan, the irregularity of the vote is due to Obama's own actions. A revote was urged, and it was probable at the time that Obama would have narrowly won that contest, but he manuevered against it. The rules allowed a revote. Political reality clearly is behind having one, given the Electoral College weight of the state and how close the contests have been there.
What the Obamacans cannot (or deliberately refuse to) understand is that insisting on a set of rules that are themselves increasingly being called into question as to their legitimacy, let alone their political wisdom, while the voting patterns of the primaries are turning away from the front runner because of very real weaknesses that have come to public notice, is not a winning strategy. It is ignoring that both law and culture in the US come down on the side of votes cast in a fair and transparent election. Primaries are elections of delegates based on those votes. A party may refuse to seat those delegates, but the delegates were legally, legitimately elected.
I do not say exclude caucuses. I say count all the primaries and revote Michigan to remove all doubt about the will of the voters. I say that the voting totals we can know (because caucus totals have not all been released and I am in favor of releasing them so that they can be tallied) do not provide Obama with a majority. I am saying that ordinary voters consistently say that popular vote counts are the most legitimate measure in their eyes.
I am making an argument about political legitimacy and electoral strategy. I have my expectations of how this will all shake out (Hillary as nominee = White House, Obama as nominee = defeat), and no amount of whining from the Obama side about WWTSBQ? (I am so proud of Lambert joining the digital age) is going to change the facts on the ground - the Democratic base does not like Obama, and the probability of a loss to McCain is high.
What a number of Obamacans also don't understand is that I'm looking at long term trends in the electoral efficacy of the Left. Obama has chosen a political strategy of blaming voters for failing to vote for him rather than correcting himself to be more appealing to them. Key in this is to declare anyone who fails to vote for him a racist, as if this were the only reason someone could fail to support him. This says a great deal about the candidate's psychology, but that's really between him and his shrink. What matters is the effect this has on voters.
I don't think the majority of Obama supporters (not even Big Tent Democrat, who is to be commended for his impressively clear-eyed view of the campaign) really grasps the damage that has been done with the false claims of rampant racism. Yes, there is probably some, but it is no where near as prevalent on the Left as the misogyny that gets thrown around without apology. Given voting habits, Hillary probably has greater defections due to her gender than Obama does due to his race. The overt and callous misogyny exhibited towards HRC is also going to have significant fallout in the party. The combination of these two - baseless accusations of racisim coupled with matter-of-fact misogyny - are not things that will easily be set aside. Obama can lose, and the party will continue to pay for his irresponsible campaign for several cycles.
The people who post comments to this blog are real. They live in real places, they have families and careers, and they vote. They are representative of larger numbers who do not share their fascination with spouting off in public forums (I'm looking at you, Turtle), but do partake of the emotions and opinions voiced here. The complaints on the Obama side seem mostly to be you are not nice to our candidate and how can you support that bitch? The complaints on this side of the aisle are you throw at me one of the worst insults that can be said about a life-long Democrat, that I'm racist. You insult my gender and say I'm just voting for Hillary because I'm female. And now I hear the problem is that we Hillary voters are older. The first isn't true, the second, even if true, is no more or less different than an AA voting for Obama, and as for the third, you'll get there sooner than you think, boyz. Trust me on that one.
Long story short: Obama's political strategy of running up his delegate count in small red states was a good move and probably would have worked had he not torpedoed himself with his arrogance towards the voters. His failure to revote Michigan for the convention will be a fatal mistake if he does face them again.
In the case of refusing to count two major swing states, sticking to the party rules is political suicide.
And that's reality.