The Will of the People

Alex Kopelman waded into the crowd of protesters outside the Dem rules committee meeting, and says most of the people he spoke to are not so much Clinton supporters as they are people who think legitimate primaries have been discarded by the Dems for no discernible reason.

In other words, they have absolutely no clue what’s actually going on with the Florida and Michigan votes, but they’ve been stirred up by Clinton’s rhetoric to believe that shady do-good scoundrel politicians have cheated them out of their votes. See also Eve Fairbanks at TNR.

I never did hear a final count of how many protesters were there.

At MSNBC, Chuck Todd explains the technical issues in some detail and discusses a range of remedies. Josh Marshall, however, gets to the heart of the matter (emphasis added):

What doesn’t get mentioned, however, is this: it was widely reported and understood in both Florida and Michigan that the results of these primaries would not be counted. And based on that knowledge, large numbers of voters in both states simply didn’t participate.

If the DNC were now to turn around and decide to make these contests count after all, these non-participating voters would be disenfranchised no less than the people who did turn out would be if the DNC sticks to the rules and doesn’t seat any of the delegates. The simple fact is that large numbers of people, acting on accurate knowledge and in good faith, decided that there wasn’t a real primary being held in their state on the day in question and on that basis decided not to participate.

See also Eric Kleefeld, who works out via statistical modeling that —

Bottom line: As these numbers clearly show, if these two states had held recognized contests with turnout in line with the best-fit curve for the other states, it seems likely that many more voters would have turned out — possibly as many as one million in Florida, and over half a million in Michigan — and we simply can’t know how those people would have voted. These simple facts render both contests, especially Michigan, seriously dubious as actual measurements of the will of each state’s electorate.

There are all kinds of reports now that the committee has pretty much settled on a solution for Florida — allow 50 percent of the Florida votes. As explained by Marc Ambinder:

Under the “concession” proposal floated by Obama and the one that (probably) will be accepted by the committee, Clinton would get 52.5 delegate VOTES and Obama would get 33.5 DELEGATE VOTES for a NET of 19 DELEGATE Votes. Note that Clinton will seat a NET of 38 people who are delegates, but since each gets a half a vote, she will get 19 DELEGATE Votes. Clinton would seat 105 actual people; Obama would seat 67. The superdelegates would each get a half of a vote as well, but, obviously, those votes are counted independently of the pledged delegates.

There are also all kinds of reports that the Obama camp will accept this, but the Clinton camp won’t.

Update: Oliver Willis on the Clinton demands:

It’s kind of like a track athelete demanding the gold medal after someone whacked everyone else’s knee with a baseball bat right after the starter’s pistol has been blown.

2 thoughts on “The Will of the People

  1. The Clinton’s behavior in this whole drama, Clinton drama for 8 more years is truly depressing, reminds me of Joseph Welch’s comment during the McCarthy hearings, “You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

    The Clintons have earned the question.

  2. I just hope the angry folks remember the next time DC representation in Congress or US territory representation comes up. Or understand that late-season voters like us only get a say in the nomination once every 40 years.

    I’m not fed up with the Clintons, whose job it is to politic. I’m tired of the whiners. If they’d elect more competent state reps, crap wouldn’t happen. That they put the blame on Obama, Dean or Sexist-Americans just tells me they don’t ‘get’ how things got bollixed up or why any ‘fix’ fixes nothing and rigs the system toward greater inaccuracy in measuring the popular will (as Josh noted).

    I sure don’t recall as many outraged white and brown Floridians speaking out so vocally when Florida’s black voters were disenfranchised by the Bushies and Supreme Court in 2000. The Clintons may have provoked some resentment, but there’s been a pretty big undertow flowing beneath the surface long before this campaign began and many – in Florida especially – have yet to own up to any of it.

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