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The Dems Get a Little Bass in Their Voice... for the wrong reasons - A Recovering Physicist's Apology

About The Dems Get a Little Bass in Their Voice... for the wrong reasons

Previous Entry The Dems Get a Little Bass in Their Voice... for the wrong reasons Jun. 2nd, 2008 @ 04:26 pm Next Entry
For any that did not watch the Democratic National Committee's meeting over the Florida/Michigan Primaries controversy, you really should. Don't just take the talking heads word for it. The event was fascinating and sad. I found it mesmerizingly interesting because both sides have legit grievances and people where honestly passionate about it. The meeting was open so there were presumably some pretty "regular" people in the room, and they were ruckus. It was brilliant! This will never ever be done again, the speakers were becoming irate and belligerent, the crowd jeered and cheered. At times I thought it may break down into chaos all because the crowd had the audacity to let themselves be heard and letting the party know their opinions, and if there is one thing the Republicratic party does not want to hear it is the opinions of the people. The event was messy and awkward, loud and controversial, IT WAS DEMOCRACY -- in all its abrasive caustic glory. It wasn't the sanitary squeaky clean farce of a Clinton/Obama Town Hall meeting where all the questions are plants and all the people in the room are fanatical supporter. It was a room filled with people that had literally their voice to loose.

And then there was the real shocker, the Democrats actually got a little tough. They talked about things like "liberty" and "ideals". Essentially they slapped each other around the way they SHOULD have been slapping the Bush Administration around for the past 7+ years, and then insane notions of "unity". Unity? What audacity! Unity is for automatons, it's for Republicans. Diversity -- the very ideal the Democrats are said to personify -- is not a united creed. It is, by its very essence and definition, a fractured kind of cohesion -- a notion that we are better as a vague collective alliance rather than singular and monolithic. We need unity? NO! We need ideas tested, refined, and forged in the fires of discontent. The discontent that only diversity can bring. Discontent is the virtue and unity is the vice. Unity is "shut up and sit down", Discontent is "stand and be counted". Though, after the Committee's ruling, I can see why they want the former instead of the latter.

I am inclined to disagree with rulings of the Committee. As the always humorous and sometimes even correct James Carvel has remarked, "Who died and made Iowa and New Hampshire the king makers?" I am very proud that we had honest to god "54 State" primary (to quote Obama). Civil disobedience is an important step in reform. By changing their primaries MI and FL should be commended for at least attempting to make the primary process more meaninfull and strip it from the hands of Iowans and New Hampshirians (whom I'm sure are perfectly lovely white people, but part of the problem with diversity is that you have to -- at least from time to time -- pretend to be diverse and Iowa and New Hampshire just can't do that).

I think the votes should have been counted as they were. As flawed as they were. I can understand the Obama camps reservations, and let me be clear, this has nothing to do with supporting Clinton because I don't and would bet any amount of money that if roles had been reversed and Obama had won Michigan and Florida and was behind Clinton in delegate votes his people would be just as "shrill" as Hillary's about this topic, and I would be behind his position rather than hers. It isn't a support thing, it is a confidence thing. I am no longer confident that the Democratic Party wants to listen to my or anyone else's voice. I voted absentee in 2004 in Ohio's election and my vote was never counted. It would not have likely made a difference but my vote was not counted all the same. The Democrats did nothing to get my vote counted (Clinton openly criticized Edwards for demanding the votes be counted as "pandering" -- which is largely the reason I can never vote for her).

Had I been in the peanut gallery during the proceedings I would have yelled that instead of making each vote count as 1/2 they should be counted as 3/5. Because if you are going to distribute fractional percentages of personhood, why not point out just how absurd and hurtful an idea that has always been?

I am also eagerly awaiting how this "popular vers. delegate" numbers plays out. Clinton claims to have won more of the popular vote over Obama. She claims this largely because she is not counting the caucus states because, and this is really a lesson in defeatocratisms, no one bothered to count how many people caucused. Yup, nobody bothered to take a headcount at the caucuses. Nobody thought, "Maybe this will be important." Yeah, the Primaries in this country are fine as they are. Having suffered through 2000 and the Al Gore popular vs (what amounts to) Bush wins with delegate votes, I am interested in seeing what the Dems will do, or (more than likely) not do. I am very intrigued by the popular vs. delegate vote idea in general and wonder how delegates should fit into our democracy. I am also somewhat swayed by the notion that popular vote should carry the most weight, but I eagerly await the other side's reasoning. Regardless, things are going to get interesting!

The last point I would like to make is that at this point it looks like it is going to come down to Super Delegates, which is to say, the voters voices will be for all intensive purposes silenced. "The party of the people" ladies and gentlemen. I would greatly prefer that even flawed elections from MI and FL decided who wins rather than faceless bureaucrats deciding for us. I can't help feeling like that has already happened with the 1/2 of Florida's votes being thrown out as it is.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:June 2nd, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

sad day when popular vote means nothing

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I am sad to be in a country where super delegates,I have seen some on TV and wonder if they are 10 yrs old or younger. I wonder how in the heck did they get to do this????This is nuts to have these super delegates make the final call??? This is supposed to be a democracy and when super delegates make the decision then I do not call that a democracy I call that a group of people who secretly got chosen and now will decide isn't that a dictatorship????????Someone else deciding for YOU even though the majority decided the other way...................

I am voting for McCain if Obama gets in plain and simple I will turn from Democratic to Republican in a heart beat if Obama is the nominee. I also have zero respect for John Edwards any longer since he backed Obama- wrong decision..........
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 3rd, 2008 12:58 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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I'd go 3rd Party route rather than McCain. I think McCain is a horrible choice as well. I would rather Obama than McCain as pres, but I'd also rather get punched in the face than below the belt, if I had to get punched. The nice thing about it is you actually don't have to be punched! Vote with passion and go 3rd party. I am likely to go with Nader or my typical Green, though I don't know if they have picked a candidate yet (ohhh the Greens).

Edited at 2008-06-03 12:59 am (UTC)
From:ext_101404
Date:June 3rd, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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I blogged that is Sam Kinison were still alive he would have a field day ridiculing Barack Obama for taking his name off of the Michigan ballot. What as an overcalculating mistake instead was bandaided and made to look like only a boo boo.

If Hillary Clinton had taken her name off of the Michigan ballot the media would have had a field day ridiculing her decision. She would have been laughed out of the process.

http://www.caucuscheating.com
http://www.Hillary-Wins.com
http://www.Florida-Michigan.com
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 3rd, 2008 05:59 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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I'm sure that if Sam Kinison was still alive he would also have a field day ridiculing Hillary Clinton's people for only caring about MI and FL loosing their votes when it was directly relevant to her winning. Some of her own supporters on the Committee that now voted for the delegates to count also voted for the votes to be stripped in the first place.

This isn't a good candidate vs. bad candidate thing. The party is broken, the democracy is broken, and despite rhetoric to the contrary both candidates are byproducts of the corrupted party. In short, Kinison would have destroyed them BOTH.

That being said I would agree with your assessment that the media treats Clinton much worse than Obama. Nothing solidifies that more than when the McCain supporter (who was a woman -- not that that really means anything) called Clinton a "bitch" and he laughed. It was not widely covered (except by Olbermann). I think it is unfair to say that "bitch" is the equivalent of the N-word for women -- it isn't. I am not a woman or black so I make no claims as to the absolute hurtfulness of slurs, but in my estimation the N-word and the C-word are equivalent rhetorically. They serve the same purpose, both the N-word and C-word are meant to signify the argument stage has ended and fisticuffs stage should begin. So the Clinton supporters who tried to claim that the B-word and N-word are equivalent were a bit misguided, but their point is valid. I am positive that if the McCain supporter had been black (again not that that matters) and had used a lesser (non N-word) racial slur to describe Obama, the media would have raked McCain over the coals. I strongly believe that in America it is more acceptable to be sexist than racist.

I simply want the votes counted because it is the fair thing to do. I could care less who they count towards because I choose neither.
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 3rd, 2008 10:43 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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If the media has treated Clinton differently than Obama, I think it's a result of how they've conducted their respective campaigns, and add to that how they have or have not played into the stereotypes that the media would generally react to. As I've said before, Obama has been pretty consistently cool, calm and collected and hasn't really played the race card, whereas Clinton has been the political equivalent of a bipolar patient throughout the course of her campaign, and has tended to play up her status as a woman when she thinks it will help her, and has used it as an excuse when she thinks she's been treated unfairly. I think, frankly, she's just given the media more to play with than Obama has. Now, maybe on policy issues and the like, the media has given her a harder time, but when it comes to personality and behavioral questions, I really think she's just been feeding the media new things to chew on.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 3rd, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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Of course the media has given her a harder time on policy issues, she has actually done things to examine and criticize. Part of why the media tends to focus more on his crazy pastor problems is because there isn't much else to focus on. He just hasn't done anything! That can be an argument for or against him, but it is also something that you can't really talk much about. It is easy to hear a Clinton sound byte and find out that 30 years ago she voted for such-and-such that is contrary to what she just said. Obama is an empty suit in this regard, 30 years ago he was 16!

I think you are also confusing not shooting himself in the foot with running a respectable campaign. When the media is going after Clinton why should Obama? In the reverse situation, Clinton has said little/nothing on the Trinity Church nonsense, because she hasn't needed to, the media did all the attacking for her. It is the same with Obama. You don't need to sling mud when the guy next to you is doing a hell of a good job all on his own. The debate where Edwards really went after Clinton and Obama just kind of stood there, threw in a few jabs, and did not defend her (despite having IDENTICAL policy and voting records which was what Edwards was criticizing) was indicative of Obama's campaign. It is easy to run a respectable race when you are being vetted but your opponent is being gutted.

I also think you are kidding yourself if you feel the Obama campaign has not used the race card just as frequently as the Clinton campaign has used the sex card. I also do not think that it is bad for either of them to talk about their identity and feel this is a horrible double standard of this country, nobody ever says that McCain is using the "war vet card". It may be true that Clinton herself brings it up more then Barack (but he talks a lot about his Kenyan father -- as he should it is an inspirational story), but I would say that if you looked at both campaigns and staffers the "cards" are equally used.

I ask you to honest look at the criticisms of Clinton and swap a few of the genderly biased words used to describe her with racially biased words and ask yourself if that would fly (other than on Fox News where genderly and racially biased words are par for the course). I agree that this is also a matter of personality. I do not like Clinton based on who she appears to be, but Barrack seems to be a pretty cool guy. Yet, that only further proves the point that the media is biased against Clinton. We have seen time and time again that the media's darling is the one you can have a beer with.
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 4th, 2008 10:26 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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He just hasn't done anything! That can be an argument for or against him, but it is also something that you can't really talk much about. It is easy to hear a Clinton sound byte and find out that 30 years ago she voted for such-and-such that is contrary to what she just said. Obama is an empty suit in this regard, 30 years ago he was 16!

This seems to be a common misperception vis a vis their respective political careers. Hillary Clinton has certainly been in the public limelight for a great deal longer as first lady of Arkansas, then of the US, but has only served in an elected capacity for the last 7 years, while Obama has been a senator, both at the state and federal level, since 1996.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 4th, 2008 07:56 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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This notion that somehow they are equals because they have served in an elected position for approximately the same amount of time is perhaps the most atrocious of the Obama's rainbow kisses and puppy-dog dreams style of argument. She wasn't the baking cookies and smiling photo-shoot kind of first lady either in Arkansas or the White House. She was out giving speeches, rallying support, writing a health care policy (that alone gives her more cred than Obama), and advising Bill. I agree that a lot of Clinton supporters overplay this claiming that it is like she has already been president for 8 years -- no it isn't. I also agree that she can't pull an Al Gore here and claim credit for all the good things in the Clinton White House and say all the bad had nothing to do with her. But it is equally nonsensical to believe that Obama and Clinton have equal footing in terms of political careers. Just because they have held elective office for approximately the same amount of time doesn't mean they are the same. It's like saying I have an equal footing with Michelle Obama when it comes to understanding state government because I was elected to go to Boy's State and she was only married to a state Senator and never elected to be there.

Clinton has far more political experience in the behind the scenes workings of the government and party. That could be good or bad, that is what the debate should be about. Not this nonsensical "Obama and Clinton are equals" argument. She has been in and around politics longer than him, almost by that very fact alone she has more experience than him, and CERTAINLY given the fact that she wasn't some doe eyed Laura Bush-esque wall fixture but actually went out there and did/said/thought stuff up!
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 4th, 2008 10:18 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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I was just trying to point out the gross error in your statement that you could look back at her "30 year voting record". She only has a 7 year voting record. And you're right, they're not equals in that respect. His voting record is nearly twice hers: 12 years.

I really don't like your "rainbow kisses and puppy-dog dreams" refrain. Obama is not a hippie. He really never has said if we hope enough that everything will work itself out. He knows you have to work hard to bring people together and get things done. Part of the reason I wanted you to read his first book is because he talks in great detail about his trials and errors in that respect. He's never sat around seeing Kumbaya. I'm really puzzled by the seeming anger you have towards one of the best candidates the Democrats have put forward in a while. John Kerry? Michael Dukakis? Walter Mondale? Barack Obama has inspired a lot more people to participate. Is he perfect? No. Far from it. But is he way better than anything we've got in a long time? Yeah, and that gives me hope. And without hope, we're left with only cynicism, which really gets us nowhere. I've never thought of you as a cynical person...it really doesn't suit you.

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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 5th, 2008 04:03 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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Yeah, I misspoke when I said 30 year voting record, I meant 30 year record of public service. Chalk it up to a "57 State" moment ;)

Obama does not provide me with hope. He makes me sad, because what he says is so far above what his policy seems to backup. I'll read his book, but you shouldn't have to read a man's book to get the secret code as to what his policy is going to be. It should be right there, on his webpage. Your frequent comparison to Reagan is an apropos one, I find, like Reagan's, Obama does not live up to his rhetoric. And that needs to be said, and sometimes shouted.

I am particularly surprised that you talk about Walter Mondale as being a weak candidate. I guess we define hope and weakness different. People like Kucinich, Mondale, Nader, the Greens and (to some degree) Dukakis, Paul, and the Libertarians give me hope because they stand for what they feel is right. in the case of Paul and the Libertariansthey are wrong, but at least they stand by something rather than what is expedient or "shrewd". That to me is the definition of strength, standing for what right in the face of overwhelming shouts that are wrong. Barrack Obama declaring he was against the Iraq war when he did was the right thing to do, voting to fund it and continue the carnage was the shrewd thing. The sad thing is I think Obama believes in what he is talking about, but his policy and ideas just doesn't back that up, and it breaks my heart.

I love Barack's rhetoric, I love what he talks about and the ideals he invokes, but then you look at his plans and his policy, I cannot help but think, this is it? THIS is the grand plan for change, for a new America? This is the best he thinks we can do?

I am not a cynic but I do believe that I am a pessimist as defined by the following James Branch Cabell quotation, "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this may be true." I'm a cynic in the way Tobi on the West Wing was a cynic. I believe we not just can, but MUST do better than what Obama is offering. Even if that makes us a "weak".
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 5th, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 5th, 2008 06:44 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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Reagan got 58.8% of the popular vote
Mundale 40.5%
for a difference of 18.3%

Even before her two big wins this week Clinton had 44% of the popular vote (53% if you count MI and FL).
Obama 34%
For a difference of (depending on how you count) 10 to 19%. (Source

So, by your own assessment and by the numbers, Obama is the weaker candidate.

This is no problem for me because I do not define strong and weak by winnability. Indeed, Mondale could never beat Reagan because Mondale was sane and intelligent, while Reagan was not and certainly not. Reagan used fear mongering and propaganda particularly leading into the '84 election (in regards to the Soviet Union and Islamic Terrorism). The country was still in shock and fear, and rationality and thoughtfulness cannot win in that environment. It would be like putting Barack Obama against President Bush circa November 2001 -- Obama could not win that is not a reflection of his strength or weakness it is simply a fact. He could not have won. Mundale could not have won, the American people were too stupid to see what was right in front of them, and Reagan too skilled at distraction. As H.L. Mencken said, "Democracy is the art of running the circus from the monkey cage."
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 5th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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i'm not talking about weakness of character or personality, I'm talking about weakness as a candidate. I'm also not talking about percentage of popular support. He won only DC and his home state (and barely did that). You're right in that probably no one could've beaten Reagan that year; he was extremely popular. But to say that the most lopsided electoral win against the Democratic party wasn't the result of a weak candidate is pretty farfetched in my mind. If you can't translate 40% of the popular vote into MORE than 2% of the electoral vote, then there's no way I can call you a strong candidate. Obama, on the other hand, won this primary against a candidate that was virtually ensured of walking to the nomination because he had a smart organization and understood how the nomination process works and played it for what it was. For example, Hillary's arguments that she won in all the big electoral states and so she would be the better candidate in the fall ignore the fact that she got usurped by someone who understood the rules of the game better than she did. That, to me, makes Obama the stronger candidate.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 6th, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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So he is the stronger candidate because he can manipulate, errrr, I mean "understands" the system and can usurp the will of the majority of Democrats? Wow, and you called me cynical. By this logic, one of the best candidates of all time was George W. Bush, because he understood the system quite well in 2000.

I still say Mondale was a strong candidate because he stood on principles rather than shrewdness -- which is my definition of strength. But let me just assume your definition that shrewdness trumps principle. What else were the Democrats to do? We have seen with Kerry, Gore, and Bush that cloning isn't all that great either. Those three were all more or less cut from the same tree (remember the second debate between Gore and Bush, god I can't stop thinking about it). Are you honestly suggesting that the shrewdest thing to do in the face of Reagen's huge support in 1984 was put up Reagan-light? I think the shrewd thing was put up the opposite of Reagan and see what happens -- which was Mondale to a tee. And (in many ways) it should have worked. Watch their debates, Mondale destroys Reagan. Mondale just counted on the American people being smart and the media not giving Reagan a free ride (two big mistakes). Yes, he was epically throttled, but do you think Hart or Jackson would have done any better?

I'm with Henry Clay on this one, "I had rather be right than president." That to me is the strongest candidate there is, one that would rather be right than president.

It is also interesting to note that the Democrats agree with you. Because after Mundale the idea of these ridiculous Super Delegates comes in. Now the party can veto the will of the people just in case we have the unthinkable audacity to try and elect another Mondale. Now THAT is understanding the system!
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 7th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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Jesus Christ, now you're equating Obama's understanding of how primaries and caucuses work and playing the rules to win with Bush STEALING the election in 2000? You're usually a pretty rational person, which is why I can't understand this anger that's making you make these insane statements. Hillary lost because she took things for granted and assumed only the biggest states mattered. Obama understood that if he could amass more delegates in the smaller states and nearly split them in the states that even she won, then he could win the nomination. That says to me that he's a smarter campaigner than she is. How can you call that manipulation? You know, Lincoln got the nomination in much the same way: by understanding the process and using that to his advantage.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/06/03/AR2008060304268_pf.html

You still seem to be confusing strong character with being a strong candidate. Or perhaps you think that the best qualified person is automatically the strongest candidate. And, in theory, I would agree with you that it should be that way. But, candidates have to be supported and people that can't garner sufficient support are NOT good candidates. I'm sure there are tons of very qualified people, with PhDs and lots of other qualifications and more rational beliefs that would run the country in a far better way than all the politicians we have today. But if you put those people in front of a press conference and sent them out to meet people and shake hands and kiss babies, they'd come across as awkward and uncomfortable and people wouldn't embrace them or want to support them. So despite their qualifications, no party would want to run them because they wouldn't get any traction. In other words, they would be a weak candidate. By contrast, Bush was a good candidate - despite his painfully obvious flaws - because he was the kind of person people wanted to vote for. And that is exactly why the GOP tapped him to run. Now just because I think he was a good candidate doesn't mean I think he is a good anything. Status as candidate and status as leader are two different things. I feel, as many others do, that Obama is both a strong candidate and will be a good leader. It's the reason so many people are excited about him and want to vote for him. In the past they usually settled for one person; this time they're eager to support one. It's that attraction that makes Obama a strong candidate, whatever you personally think about his qualifications.


To Henry Clay I would say, you can't make a difference just being right by yourself in a corner.

I don't personally agree with the system. I think superdelegates are a horrible concept. But in the same way that FL and MI were stripped of their delegates because they violated party rules and the candidates agreed not to campaign there, the superdelegates were given a role to play in selecting the nominee. Those are the rules - right or wrong - and when you agree to the rules, you have to play by the rules. Anyway, I hope they change those rules next time. Eliminate the superdelegates and have a lottery to decide primary/caucus order.
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 7th, 2008 03:30 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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Of course Bush stole the election, and crossed a legal line that Obama did not. But there were many MANY things that Bush did that were not at all illegal under current law. I assume you also feel as revolted as I do by these perfectly legal but morally questionable playings of the system. I am not sure where the line between "playing the system to win" and "abusing the system to win" is, but I know it is not based solely on legality. It annoys me that the Obama campaign never had this discussion and a lot of people will not at all engage in that conversation particularly when in regards to Obama, because he has this air of infallibility about him. To make matters worse is that the Clinton people only want to engage in it in regards to how to help her rather than what is fair and just.

I also think there is a strong argument here to be made that Obama's plan was great/wonderful/and admirable. I like the fact that he played for keeps. But one can't have it both ways. Obama can't be this radical new kind of politician and simultaneously manipulate the system to win in a very beltway fashion. He can't be completely above the fray and yet right there in it. He can't be the great man to usher in an age of hope and freedom and NOT act or seemingly even care that MI and FL's votes were not counted. That is what I define as Obama's arguments of puppy dog dreams and rainbow kisses -- the demand to ignore all the facts and listen only to his words.

My problem here is that Obama never sets himself up as this "rules are rules" kind of guy. He is the visionary that wants to eliminate inequality and restore the American Dream (such as everyone gets to vote). I like that, I can get behind that. He speaks at length and with passion about changing the world for the better and giving us folks back our government. Where Clinton has been much more the "stay the course, slightly tweak status quo" kind of candidate in rhetoric (they both are in policy). I don't like her for that. It just seems on some level equally or nearly equally ridiculous to me that Clinton is talking about bucking the system and Obama was dead silent when his whole thing is he is the new kind of crusader against injustice. At bare minimum you have to admit that there is hypocrisy to spare here. It is (in all honesty more) shameful that Clinton SUDDENLY wanted MI and FL counted when she didn't want them counted when it looked like she was going to skate through, but even you must admit there is shame in Obama's silence/his campaigns criticism on this issue of the rights of all of those individuals to have their voice heard (however flawed) when it just so happens that following through on a lot of his rhetoric and ideals will compromise his presidential ambitions.

As I have explained, I do not consider winnability to factor into being a good candidate, period. That's all there is to it for me. It's why I vote for Nader, Kucinich, the Greens, etc. The principled candidate is the best candidate. I know that isn't beltway thinking or even Obama thinking. But that is my thinking, and I am right. If I (even for a moment) took winnability into consideration I wouldn't vote for the people I vote for, I'd be on the Obama bus ignoring the fact that he doesn't represent me or stand for the things I believe in, because he can win and Nader can't. I'd be voting lesser of two evils. But I'd also feel great because yeah! He can win!

The reason I feel this way, and the reason you are wrong on this is the following: it is the duty of the citizen in a democracy to vote for the best candidate. I assume we can both agree on that. If you merely define the "good/best" candidate by winnability (or even allow it to factor too heavily in the decision) then you would end up frequently voting for people that do not represent your beliefs simply because your beliefs are marginalized or not as main stream as other ideas. I'd be voting for Reagans when I want Naders. I'd be voting lowest common denominator. Therefore, it is illogical to define a good candidate based on winability or even putting too much stock in it because such thinking is incompatible with the very duties of citizenship.
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 7th, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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why are you using Hillary's internal campaign figures? ;) That "source" is a "projection" from March.

If you don't include MI and FL (which aren't fair to include, since Obama didn't even try there - and Clinton won without having to campaign because she's already so well-known), then Obama DID win the popular vote.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html
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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 7th, 2008 03:43 am (UTC)

Re: sad day when popular vote means nothing

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You are being a bit naive to assume that people in Michigan would not have heard of Obama by January 15. He had JUST won Iowa 12 days earlier and come in a fairly close 2nd in New Hampshire 6 days prior. And by the time FL voted on Jan 29th he had won the Nevada Caucus and South Carolina Primary. This idea that people just wouldn't know who he was and vote blindly for the "big name" Clinton, just doesn't hold water. Also considering that MI and OH have similar socio-economic situations it is not too far fetched to assume that MI would have broken down along the same lines as OH.

It is fair to argue about if the the votes should have been counted based purely on notions of justice, but this idea that Obama was a complete unknown shot in the dark candidate, particularly post-Iowa, is more than a little silly.
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From:stovelkor
Date:June 3rd, 2008 10:36 am (UTC)
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I agree with you that there are legitimate reasons to be in favour or to be against the handling of the MI and FL delegate situation. But what bothers me is the sheer hypocrisy Clinton has shown over the matter. She said way before the primary season even began that the election in Michigan, for example, wasn't going to count for anything. Not, it would seem, until she noticed her candidacy in trouble. Then, suddenly, she becomes the champion of having people's votes counted. It IS unfair that people voted and those votes don't count for anything, especially since it wasn't the voters that decided to move the primary up, but the party/state. Nevertheless, this is a party primary election, so it's not as if the actual presidential election itself was stolen...not that, judging by history, people would really get that upset by such a thing. I do, however, disagree that if their positions were reversed, Obama would be using the same tactics to get more delegates in his column. While this election has brought out the worst in Clinton, Obama both before and after had the (narrow) lead, has displayed nothing but magnanimity towards his chief opponent. His people at this meeting had the votes to totally deny Clinton from getting anything. Had he really wanted to be a dick about it, he totally could have. But he didn't. I'm also tired of this argument from Ickes and others that Obama made a "political calculation" when he removed his name from the ballot. Every other candidate except Clinton had their name removed. Why she didn't, I don't know, but they all signed an agreement NOT to campaign in those two states. Now, you can say that doing so was a good thing or a bad thing, but regardless of that, from the beginning they all agreed that what happened in those two contests didn't count. The argument noone seems to be making here is, "is it fair to penalize Obama's campaign because he played by the rules?". No, all we here is "they're trying to take votes away from Hillary!" It's a little ridiculous.

As for unity, you make a good point to a certain extent. It shouldn't be, okay here's what we're doing, if you disagree, too bad, now it's time for you to shut up. But at the same time if people keep adopting this stance of "it's my candidate or I'm voting for the other party out of spite" then we're going to lose once again. People of good conscience will always have honest disagreements, but sometimes you have to put those disagreements behind you in order to get things done, especially the task at hand. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, right? No matter what differences all of the people who have supported Clinton or Obama may have, we should at least be united in taking back the White House from the Republicans and trying to enlarge our control over congress so that we can then have the kinds of debates about what we as liberals and progressives and rational, Constitutionally-abiding citizens want to do with our country.

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From:biggrumpy
Date:June 3rd, 2008 04:46 pm (UTC)
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I completely agree that Clinton has been horribly hypocritical about the issue certainly more than any other candidate. It is my own experience with Clinton that she does not care in the least about getting votes counted -- so long as it does not harm her. But I also ask you, where has been the impassioned idealist Obama on this issue? It seems to me that his message of gumdrop rainbows and candy cane wishes should come down firmly on the stand of the idealistic every vote should count rather than the rule of law. The rule of law argument coming from Obama is a little ridiculous in itself. So much of his narrative is "we can do better" and change, yet on this issue his argument becomes, "let's not do better" and "status quo is fine by me". Again we have more or less silence form his campaign on this issue, because that is what politics is now, say as much as possible about as little as possible or just don't say anything. This whole mess proves to me that Clinton is an opportunist and Obama is a coward.

I am also glad that you agree that Obama here really dropped the unity ball as he far more frequently and vocally has declared that the people that vote for Hillary WILL vote for him but the people that vote for him WILL NOT vote for Clinton. I think there is a difference between unity and cohesion. The Dems should find some sense of cohesion of purpose for all the reasons you mentioned, but (especially for the Democrats) Unity is overrated.
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