Over the Line

The Clinton campaign is trying to get the discounted Dem votes in Michigan and Florida re-instated. I agree with what Ezra says about this.

This is the sort of decision that has the potential to tear the party apart. In an attempt to retain some control over the process and keep the various states from accelerating their primaries into last Summer, the Democratic National Committee warned Michigan and Florida that if they insisted on advancing their primary debates, their delegates wouldn’t be seated and the campaigns would be asked not to participate in their primaries. This was agreed to by all parties (save, of course, the states themselves).

With no one campaigning, Clinton, of course, won Michigan — she was the only Democrat to be on the ballot, as I understand it, which is testament to the other campaign’s beliefs that the contest wouldn’t count — and will likely win Florida. And because the race for delegates is likely to be close, she wants those wins to matter. So she’s fighting the DNC’s decision, and asking her delegates — those she’s already won, and those she will win — to overturn it at the convention.

See also Josh Marshall.

Update: See also more Josh Marshall and Emptywheel.

Update 2: The Talking Dog.

12 thoughts on “Over the Line

  1. People are surprised that I am not a Hillory fan. My response that she is a Dem version of GW Bush gets puzzled looks. But this is what I mean. Lie, cheat & steal an election (like GW did), just as long as you win. The problem is that no one will shake hands without counting their fingers afterward. Trust – between gov’t and the people, the WH and Capitol (or capital) Hill, or POTUS and other world leaders is earned – by a willingness to deal from the top of the deck. And Hillory thinks cheating is part of the game.

  2. I don’t understand what has happened to so many of us. It’s one thing to admire a candidate and support them. But constantly railing against their opponent rather than emphasiszing their strengths is right out of the Rove playbook. You may not want Hilary for president but to attack on this issue is pointless an counterproductive. (She didn’t move the primary date nor did she issue the punishment) There was never any doubt that the Democratic Party would have to acknowledge Michigan and Florida. These are key states that will in all probability play a major factor in the election in November. To disenfranchise these states is ridiculous. As Democrat’s we all should be pushing to resolve this issue because come campaigning time for the general election you can bet that the Repiblican’s will use it to nail us at every turn.

  3. Doug Hughes, she’s actually a Dem version of Nixon. No one in the Democratic Party is as bad as George W. Bush. It took more than 200 years for the U.S. to get a president that bad.

    George Packer’s profile of Hillary in the Jan. 28 issue of the New Yorker manages at times to be kind, and contrasts her experience sharply with Obama’s issue-free rhetoric. But again and again, Packer’s piece comes back to Hillary and Bill’s “us against the world” paranoia, which we’ve been seeing an awful lot the last couple of weeks.

    This morning’s headlines are all about how Hillary and John McCain are such close buddies in the Senate. I suppose after Hillary is done shredding the Democratic Party, she can build a bridge of friendship to the same Republican schmucks who enabled and supported the Worst President Ever.

  4. I couldn’t agree more with Doug Hughes here – for Hillary and Bill Clinton – the means are always inconsequential when measuring the ends. They will do what ever it takes to become POTUS (read Bob Herbert’s piece today for more on this theme). On the one hand, they will be ready to take on the Republicans come September in this (far too long) process. The pity is it causes so much anguish and divisiveness to the country that The Clintons are not worth the agony they cause us all.

    Then again I still think that for whatever crazy reason – Bill and Hillary Clinton are so despised by the conservatives in this country that the only way the Republicans are going to become motivated enough to turn up at the polls will be to defeat them. We are doomed. Lets just hope President Mitt Romney is only a one termer.

  5. mmc9431– Catch up. The issue had been decided. The Clintons had agreed to the DNC decision. They’re the ones trying to game the system to their advantage.

    Our current struggle is supposed to be about returning democracy to the people, not electing Democrats who are the mirror image of Republicans.

  6. Hillary probably could get more votes if she would go back to the Senate on Monday and help Chris Dodd filibuster the telecom immunity bill. It would be nice to see the candidates really stand for something important to the people.

  7. I’m afraid I’m with mmc9431 here. We are stepping over the line in order to be nasty. This bothers me. Instead of all this, why not specify what we need to do in order to return democracy to the people and detail which candidates seem able to begin doing this.

    That said, I wish Bill would back out. We need to hear more from Hillary (even if she is advised by the former president). I am still very much undecided.

    I wish people would pay more attention to John Edwards.

  8. For those slow on the uptake, and not careful enough to read the text in the first quote, here is my (re)statement of the problem here:

    ALL the candidates PREVIOUSLY AGREED that they would “not campaign or participate” in primaries in those states that moved before Feb. 5.

    Several others actually took their name OFF the Michigan ballot when it moved earlier. Hillary did not, so she was the only major candidate on the ballot. She got all the delegates uncontested, because the other candidates (and she) had all previously agreed they shouldn’t count.

    Now she wants them to count.

    Some of us do not think it is being “nasty” to want a candidate to stick to her previous agreements, or to complain when it appears she is trying to change the rules in the middle of the game, so that she can get delegates won in an uncontested primary. Some of us are disgusted to see her campaign carefully parsing language, like what the meaning of “is”, er, I mean “participate” is. It seems to be living down to all the awful GOP stereotypes of her as a scheming manipulator.

    The Michigan Democratic Party knew what the rules were and moved their primary anyway. Blame them for “disenfranchising” their own voters. My state party moved its caucuses forward, but we did NOT go before the Feb 5 date. It was a choice Michigan didn’t have to make.

    As someone from a state where we followed the rules everyone agreed to ahead of time, I can be generous. Let the Michigan delegates seated, as long as none of them are allowed to vote for Hillary. Or at the very least, uncommitted.

  9. Bonnie – I love what you said about taking a stand on FISA; I would be thrilled to death if ALL three Dem candiates took a public stand on Telecom immunity, standing with Chris Dodd.

    Lynn – I am with you about Edwards.

    Bottom line (after the SC primary) I don’t see how Edwards can rescue his campaign. We have been talking about what we know we would get with Clinton. IMHO, it’s Obama as an unknown quantity who is electable, with the hope he will tap Edwards for the VP spot which would consolidate support from those 2 camps to bump Hillory who is scheming how to game the delegate count as we speak.

  10. I’m not surprised at Hillary’s actions; neither she nor Bill were squeakly clean when they entered the White House before. If Bill wants to advise her, that’s fine; I wish he’d stay out of the news with all his comments. Of course, HE wants back in power, even if it is only through her.

    And I, too, wish we’d hear more about Edwards. I think the media are somewhat to blame – they go on and on about Obama and the Clintons and seldom say anything about Edwards. Could it be because he is running such a clean campaign they think there is nothing to talk about?

    And I hope the dems can do something about the telecom bill and also the economic relief package Bush is trying to push through Congress.

  11. mmc9431 and Lynn,
    Let me try to make this real simple. Hillary wants her delegates — which is contrary to the party’s ruling. She wants them to change that for her. The point is, the other candidates, notably Obama and Edwards, DON’T HAVE ANY DELEGATES — only and precisely because they RESPECTED the ruling and withdrew their names from the ballot. Since this was the DNC’s own ruling, it’s hard to imagine where Hillary even gets the chutzpah to ASK them for this. As for the DNC, how can they even THINK of giving her what she’s asking for, when by doing so it would penalize the other candidates?

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