Clusterfuck Eve

I can tell you, it’ll sure be hard to sleep tonight as I ponder the possibilities of tomorrow’s MI Clusterfuck Primary. Polls show that Romney might just pull this out–and surprisingly, at least one of those polls says he’ll do so with Republican support.

“As the undecided voters make up their minds, more are turning to Mitt Romney than to John McCain. We have also seen the participation among Republicans increase from 62% last night to 75% at the end of phoning tonight. That means that 75% of the voters taking part in the GOP Primary identify themselves as Republicans,” Steve Mitchell, president of Mitchell Interactive said.

Rasmussen has a similar projection for the number of Republican primary voters who will be Republican. And the Free Press claims that 0% of Democrats polled said they’d vote a Republican ballot–a laughable number, IMO. If those numbers are correct, it may mean "Uncommitted" will have a come from behind victory on the Democratic side as more Democrats listen to party leadership and decide to vote in the meaningless Democratic primary. I’d actually be thrilled with an "Uncommitted" victory in MI–it describes how I’m feeling right now perfectly. But like said, the 0% is a laughable number.

But what I’m really looking forward to is for Joe Lieberman and John McCain to stop spamming me (or rather, some Republican named Margaret) with robocalls and junk mail. McCain is even doing an event in Washtenaw County, a sure-fire sign he thinks Democrats might put him over the edge again. Though why he believes Lieberman is going to help make that case, I don’t know.

I still have gotten a robocall from Huck yet, which was the only reason I would cross-over to vote for Mitt. There’s still time yet, but for now, I’m hoping our clusterfuck ends in the only logical fashion: uncommitted.

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48 replies
  1. jayt says:

    I’m trying to push for a massive Democratic cross-over, write-in-ballot initiative for Larry Craig.

    Not a lot of luck so far…

  2. Neil says:

    I thinks that’s right. If Dems vote committed to Hillary and uncommitted to Hillary in the same proportion as the current Dem delegate count, it’ll be a net ‘no change’ as it should be. Because Hill is on the ballot and her competition is not, even if she gets a marginally larger proportion of the Dem vote, I’d consider it appropriate and just minmization of the MI Dem primary.

    For those participating in the Dems for Mitt primary cross-over vote, do you think it could be an effective ploy, what are the risks of unintended consequences? BBL

    • emptywheel says:

      Oh, I definitely think Dems for Mitt could be effective. He only needs a few percentage points to sew up the lead (and, importantly, a cross-over for Mitt is a potential cross-over for McCain that he loses). And if Mitt wins this primary, he should do much better in NV (right now he’s fourth, but it’s a heavily Mormon state, so I presume he could close that gap). More importantly, he might be able to pull enough away from McCain in the more moderate Super Tuesday states to prevent McCain from winning the primary there.

      As I see it, Huck can’t sustain a fight against McCain by himself. He can do so in heavily evangelical states, but he needs another “moderate” in the race to suck up a substantial amount of the big moderate state votes.

      As to the downside? That we might end up with a Mitt candidacy. The biggest drawback to that is that he’s the only one competing, in terms of fundraising, with either Hillary or Obama.

    • looseheadprop says:

      Explain this to me, why aren’t the rest of the Dems on the balot at all?

      This is a very confusing state

      • emptywheel says:

        Obama and Edwards pulled off the ballot so as not to piss off NH and IA, though obviously Hillary’s willingness to remain on the ballot didn’t appear to affect her–so at the very least, perhaps this clusterfuck will prove to people in the future that we can tell IA and NH to fuck off and nothing will happen.

        Kooch, for his part, TRIED to pull off the ballot, but missed the deadline to!! Then again, he’s campaigning here in MI today, so maybe that was a deliberate failure on his part, and he doesn’t really care about screwing with DNC rules about campaigning either.

  3. choochmac says:

    What is the general level of media interest up there regarding the D side? Is there a high profile “Vote Uncommited” message for the non-HRC vote or is the local media just writing off the D side of the ballot.

    • emptywheel says:

      There is little to no media interest. Though there has been some substantive efforts to get Dems to vote Uncommitted. John Conyers did radio ads in Detroit and was talking about TV (I only watch football, so I wouldn’t see the ads if he ran them, because they weren’t exactly going to be an expesnive buy, as football ads are this time of year). Carl Levin (who is heavily responsible for the clusterfuck) did a speech that got some coverage, calling for Dems to vote Uncommitted. And word is there’s some discussion among unions who, after all, still run this state. And county-level political parties communicating to their members. As well as efforts by the Obama and Edwards campaigns, though I haven’t seen those bc McCain apparently wants my vote more than they do.

      In other words, I don’t think the media will blink about the Dem result, unless uncommitted won or Hillary got significantly less than 50%. But there has been some messaging to get people to go out for uncommitted.

  4. obsessed says:

    I still have gotten a robocall from Huck yet, which was the only reason I would cross-over to vote for Mitt.

    So you don’t concur with the Kos theory that MI dems should vote for Mitt en masse? If not, what’s your rationale? And why would an attempted Huckster robotomy sway you?

    • emptywheel says:

      I have mixed feelings about the Kos idea. I have absolutely zero problem with advocating that people cross-over. I did it in 2000 to vote for McCain (which might explain all that damn spam I’m getting from him), and I consider it a normal feature of MI’s campaigns (which, at the congressional level, is important bc we are also one of the most gerrymandered states, so cross-over voting allows people to have SOME say in who will represent them in Congress). SO I have no problems with the morality of this at all.

      And I do think it may be smart politicking. As I said to Neil, if the Republicans are going to continue into and past Super Tuesday at all, someone will need to contest McCain for the moderate votes; there are just too many moderate voters in big Super Tuesday states who would otherwise all vote for McCain and give him the nomination. So I also support the political wisdom of it and have recommended to friends who ask me and who have no public affiliation with the REpublican party that it’s a good idea.

      As for my vote, I’m leaning against crossing over for two reasons. First, your choice of ballot is an open issue: if you cross-over Republicans will spam you forever, and it will be clear otherwise that you voted for a Republican. More importantly, when I made a commitment to the Dem party 4 years ago (with Dean), I took that as a different kind of commitment than I had in 2000, when I wasn’t a Dem party member. So I’d like to maintain my PUBLIC commitment to the Democratic party.

      As for why a Huck robocall would change that, it’s mostly because if BOTH other big GOP candidates were to be courting obvious Democrats like me that assiduously (my precinct has close to 80% Dem performance), then I’d want to join the fun and make sure Dems didn’t screw up by giving one of these others too much weight.

  5. readerOfTeaLeaves says:

    EW, apologies for the OT, and I’m sure that Wm Ockham and Rayne have seen this, but I want to make sure everyone else also has a chance to see Hillary, Obama, Bono, Al Gore, George Clooney, John Stewart, and Spielberg. Oh, and Bill G.



    (FWIW: For me, it’s all about Bono, Clooney, and Al Gore, but hey… us Mac users can be like that ;-))
    Does it count that one of the Macs is a Pro Intel, with XP loaded…? So I’ve done my bit for the Borg.)

    Will catch up with the threads later — but hope this light note is acceptable on a day when Newsweek is reporting that GWB told the Israeli’s the NIE was crap. God knows, levity much needed.

  6. radiofreewill says:

    I don’t get it? If it doesn’t really matter for Michigan Dems – it’s Hillary, just either ‘with’ or ‘without’ Voter commitment – Why not cross-over in Droves and Elevate the Easiest Gooper to Beat?

  7. phred says:

    FWIW, I disagree with kos. For one, his suggestion makes progressives look bad — same kind of childishness the Rethugs go in for. Two, he believes primaries should be closed. Which means, only Dems vote for Dems and only Repubs vote for Repubs. Good to know kos is on record for disenfranchising a large proportion of voters in this country. If we had a multi-party system, I would be fine with that. We don’t. And I don’t belong to either party because neither party manages to represent my interests. So why should I get no say whatsoever in which candidate comes closest?

    And finally, I have been genuinely disappointed in kos’ treatment of the Dem field of candidates. He bought into the meme of pushing the “top tier” and dismissing the rest of the field as irrelevant. The advantage of keeping as many candidates in the hunt for as long as possible is to develop a robust party platform that fully captures the interests of the voters. As a result the constitutional issues that I wish had been front and center in this campaign are pretty much invisible, and that is a real loss.

  8. brantl says:

    Vote for Kucinich, if you don’t want Republican Lite from Hillary. As much as a delegate can be swayed by who they’re committed to, Kucinich will exhort his delegates to go for progressives, as he did in Iowa. Besides, he’s the most progressive candidate still on the Democratic side. He’s the only Democrat who’s voted the right way on the war, every time. He voted NO.

  9. JohnJ says:

    I think we all ought to promote Huck via the back door: pretend that we Dems like Romney (Repugs will go in droves for ANYONE else), then claim the we detest Huck and the opposite will happen for him.

    Firstly, Huck will be easy to beat and second, I really need a laugh this election.

  10. JimWhite says:

    Just got my sample ballot for Florida. Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Edwards, Gravel, Kucinich, Obama and Richardson are on it, but of course we get no campaigning here. I did get to see Gravel when he spoke at the antiwar march in Orlando, so I think I was at the only “public” appearance by one of the Dem candidates in Florida in this campaign. The Florida situation is almost as messed up as Michigan, but at least we get to vote for the candidate of our choice, even if the vote means nothing if the convention starts without a clear winner.

    • emptywheel says:

      I actually like the idea of having non-binding primaries in states where the candidate can’t politic. It’s a good read of the relative organizational strength of the candidates and, sadly, also a reminder of how much low information voters vote based on a stupid mainstream narrative of the candidates and name recognition.

      It’d be especially nice if that were true in MI, since it’d be nice to read 1) which candidate the UAW would support, and 2) whether they could get a win just from their existing mobilization.

      • JimWhite says:

        Yes, that would be a very interesting concept, but so far I see no evidence of any organizing at all. No signs anywhere for Dems and very few bumperstickers. I haven’t gotten dead tree mail from anyone. Lots of Ron Paul signs and stickers and few other assorted stickers. I almost drove off the road yesterday when I saw a Fred Thompson bumpersicker. Boy, talk about a limited edition printing.

        • emptywheel says:

          Well, the campaigns usually pay for the bumper stickers, so if they’re good to their vow not to spend $$ in the state, that would presumably extend to bumper stickers and signs. But I suspect local supporters are ensuring their identified supporters turn out.

          And you will get mail from the Republicans, at least McCain (I guess RUdy think you’re not worth his time, and he’d be right). I’ve gotten several MCCain mailers, and a ton of robocalls. But that only started a few days ago.

          Romney, though, has been as prevalent as CIalis ads on the telly.

  11. Phoenix Woman says:

    Romney’s Steve Forbes with better hair. McCain, on the other hand, has always been the strongest GOP candidate in the general. Both CNN and Rasmussen polling over the past few months shows that.

  12. JohnJ says:

    OT but, I have a suggestion:

    Everyone go out and register as Goopers! Since my ID has an old address on it, that was the only reason I was allowed to vote here in Florida the last 2 elections (I haven’t voted Repug in many years). That would also really screw with the Repug strategists; they would count on votes they don’t really have. It might also make the Dems work a little harder for my vote!

  13. jdmckay says:

    Very OT, but…

    top right of your main page has an AmEx ad promoting (apparently, I didn’t click) taxes automatically payed through (presumably) some AmEx service. The caption below a guy fishing in the great outdoors, says verbatim:

    He’s payng his taxes.

    Somehow the idea of authorizing AmEx to automate payng of taxes sends shivvvours down my spine. Hey, I wonder if they could automate my votng too… save me all these ridiculous hours I have to spend reading this (and other) blogs just to keep up with GWB’s daily bamboozlement ?

    Just asking.

    “George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld care about the
    troops in the same way that Tyson Foods cares about
    chickens.”

    — Retired Army master sergeant Stan Goff

    • bmaz says:

      “George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld care about the
      troops in the same way that Tyson Foods cares about
      chickens.”

      — Retired Army master sergeant Stan Goff

      Wow. I have never seen that before. That is one great quote. In light of the massive amount of money and support Tyson pumps into the GOP and right wing noise machine, and how decrepit the ethos of Tyson foods is, this quote ought to be used far and wide to hang the entire Gooper effort. It could be tied to almost anything as a hard slam; as an example, “The Republican party cares for the American people the same way that Tyson Foods cares about chickens.”

      Hayduke @ 28 – Cool; rip up the joint. If you are pumping it through a Marshall Stack, you be even more of a hero than you already are….

  14. hayduke says:

    This is all truly a screw job for voters in Michigan. My wife and I crossed over in 2000 and voted for McCain. But since that time, his shameless sucking up to Bush has infuriated me. That picture hugging Bushwa at a rally looks like some Sammy Davis Jr. hugging Sinatra moment…. cepting those bastards can’t sing.

    Anyhow, I read the Kos on voting for Romney. It all made sense. Unless of course we are actually helping to elect that plastic plant of a man. Or maybe Ron Paul, cept his race comments and gay bashing in the past repel me (I know he said he didn’t write it, but it was sent under his banner).

    As for Hillary or uncommitted or Dennis, I am up in the air. Dennis has real good views on many things, but that is about like a vote for Nader. I have been a Edwards supporter since early on, but he really pissed me off pulling out of Michigans primary. I even wrote him on it, though needless to say neither he or Joe T got back to me. Obama is seemingly a very good candidate, though experience and some positions on health care sort of concern me. I hope he is more than a great voice and motivational speaker. Hillary has alot of negatives in my mind to alot of folks I speak with. I wouldn’t have a problem with her either. Hell I thought Bill did a fine job. And who gave him blow jobs is of no concern of mine. But can you imagine how negative Tweety would get if Hillary got the nod? Is it true EW, that he turned against the Clintons after being spurned for Press Secretary? Or is that an urban legend?

    So what this means is I read as much as I can between today and tomorrow, and then go vote that blend of heart and brain.

    What else can a poor boy do?

    Well EW the Lions sure stayed the course again this year. At least we don’t have (pick a name here) to kick around anymore. Glad baseball and hockey and basketball mean something during playoffs. I watched the NFL with a longing of 50 years and no meaningful playoff games. Shoot did they know we would never go back to the championship 50 years ago when the Lions were on top of the world. Is this the Bobby Layne curse…..?

    • bmaz says:

      What else can a poor boy do?

      Sing for a rock and roll band
      Because in the sleepy Michigan primary
      There’s just no place
      For a street fighting man
      No…

  15. hayduke says:

    good one bmaz

    I sorta wondered if anyone here would get that lyric tease

    and I am inclined to thinks that ya’ll got it

    so when I strap up my strat tonight, I’ll nod in your direction!

    • jdmckay says:

      George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld care about the
      troops in the same way that Tyson Foods cares about
      chickens
      .”

      — Retired Army master sergeant Stan Goff

      Wow. I have never seen that before. That is one great quote.

      I saved it from an article posted on Common Dreams way back in 8/’03:
      Soldiers’ Families Protest War in Iraq
      by Bob Dart (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

  16. katiejacob says:

    Emptywheel and nomolos @13 and 14,
    Correct,you can’t write in a name. The ballot won’t count if you do-even though there will be a space on the ballot to write in a name. This is part of the giant cluster fuck because alot of people in the early mail-in voting did just that.And I am sure that there will be alot of the same mistake made tomorrow.
    I am afraid to cross over (per Kos) and vote repug. Law of unintended consequences. (What if McCain or Romney actually went on to win???)
    I’m an Edwards supporter and I’m torn between voting for Kucinich to support the most progressive message or uncommitted for Edwards/Obama. I am pissed that Kucinich released his caucus goers to Obama in Iowa but I am also upset that there is no control over where the “uncommitted” delegates will vote if they get to vote. You are right Empty. What a massive screw-up.
    PS I got a robocall from Huck’s son

  17. PetePierce says:

    I admit to being somewhat lazy as to drilling into the history of what got us this situation in Michigan. I’m talking about the Democratic side here. If I understand it, Hillary Clinton stayed on the ballot. The rest of the Democrats per the wishes of the DNC, who is punishing Michigan/Sen. Carl Levin, et. al. for moving up in line, aren’t on the ballot and aren’t campaigning.

    I have repeatedly read that Obama and Edwards want to get everyone to vote undecided, so then I guess deals can be made as to who gets the delegates later, somewhere in the neighborhood of deals being made for Superdelegates, ect. since in this primary season,

    Superdelegates are 19.6% or 1/5 and Primary Season Delegates are 80.4%

    What I’m trying to figure out, is and EW is in the catbird seat to understand being in Michigan, what is the best strategy for each of the 3 Dems in Michigan? What are the chances that the DNC will back off their sanctions? If DNC won’t back off their sanctions, no disprespect to the fine people of Michigan, but why is their anything at stake for Michigan as to Democrats anyway? How does the quest for uncomitted votes I’ve heard Obama and Edwards are in, (and I don’t know the significance of Hillary on the ballot when she’s not campainging there–is she honoring the DNC but not completely) square with DNC saying no votes will count?

    • emptywheel says:

      The DNC will almost certainly seat our delegates–but only after the winner has been selected. So likely the Hillary delegates will go and vote Hillary on the first round, than the winner (if it isn’t Hillary) from that point forward. The only incentive for Hillary’s campaign is that she’ll get some say on who gets a ticket to the convention.

      In my somewhat limited experience, usually all the delegates go to the person who wins the primary overall (we had to fight tooth and nail to get the two delegates for Dean we had earned last time). But I also think that the CD level party gets a TON of sway over who gets to go anyway, so it will limit how much this is abotu Hillary’s supporters. In any case, the uncommitted will just open the participation in the convention to those who might not be a strong supporter of either Edwards or Obama.

      Also, I should say, Hillary isn’t campaigning her either, though she is on the ballot. Only Kooch is, as far as I’ve seen.

      • PetePierce says:

        I meant to include this. Does it seem to you then that Clinton gained any significant advantage overall by staying on the ballot there? Any decision by any of these 3 candidates with major organizations was masaged by a slew of pros. Is there any reason for Obama or Edwards now to regret not staying on the ballot?

        • emptywheel says:

          Yes, there is a reason for Obama and Edwards to regret not staying on. One reason to get off is to avoid pissing off IA and NH. Doesn’t look like Hillary paid a price in either of those states, so it seems that Obama and Edwards did the (for the party) right thing but got no return.

          Hillary gets a pyrrhic victory (assuming she gets close to 50% of the vote, or more), in that she can claim a victory she’d be wise not to claim. But that at least does give her some false momentum going into the NV and SC events.

  18. PetePierce says:

    I should have added what are the pros or cons of the Democrats crossing over to vote for one of the Republicans versus voting for Uncommitted the way Edwards and Obama camps seem to be urging them to do?

  19. phred says:

    EW, do you get a sense that voters in MI are steamed with the knuckleheads that comprise the state-level party leadership over being disenfranchised like this? I would not be happy with them one bit, if I lived there.

      • phred says:

        Any chance Levin (or anyone else) will see some payback at the polls when they come up for re-election?

        • emptywheel says:

          Levin’s up this year, and no, I doubt he’ll experience backlash. It’s more likely Debbie Dingell will experience backlash, if her rumored run to replace John is anytime in near memory. That race will be very competitive.

          • Rayne says:

            Oh please, it might even be worth quitting my gig to make a donation to whomever might take her on, especially after what Lil’ Debbie and her gal Jen did to our primary.

            I really want to know how much this painful clusterfuck is going to cost us.

            And I’m really torqued about the Kos for Mitt crap. There were a lot of union who were already going to cross over and vote on the other side of the aisle after the kiss-off this mess gave them because of the damage via ballot initiatives.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, I saw that. I almost wonder if there’s another shoe about to drop–or whether the Orange Cty GOP just get fed up with some key players reminding everyone how corrupt they are. But I didn’t think that mattered in Orange County.

      • bmaz says:

        Both other shoe and fed up is my guess. It is a big clusterfuck over there (heh, see I have reformed from my rep as a thread buster; I have tied into the clusterfuck theme) what with the involvement of both the wife AND the girlfriend. I am a tangential observer, but from what I have seen, the OC GOP folks have no shame, nor fear of shame, only concern over themselves, their money and their power.

  20. Gunner says:

    Ew you mean Debbie D is going to run against John or is he going to retire? and if I vote at Haisley will my vote count

    • emptywheel says:

      If you haven’t changed your address with Secretary of State, then you’ll probably need to vote at Haisley–do you need a ride?

      And I mean that if John were to retire (not going to happen yet) she would probably run to replace him.

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