Some Thoughts

As a Michigan voter, the most important thing that happened today was the recognition–on the part of Mark Brewer and Carl Levin–that our January primary was not a real vote. That meant more to me as anything else that happened today–it was more important to me than the numbers that came out of the process.

The outcome makes me profoundly sad. But it was the least worst outcome.

The votes–in the end–were actually strong majorities. Democracy can be ugly. But as they say, it’s the least worst process. 

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95 replies
  1. JTMinIA says:

    Is it true (as reported elsewhere) that some audience members chanted “McCain” at the end?

  2. TheOtherWA says:

    Thanks, EW, Jane and Redshift. And my fellow commenters here in FDL land.

    Off to finish the yard work. Back later.

  3. phred says:

    Congrats on finally reaching a resolution to the clusterfuck fiasco (why choose — go with both). I thought Levin did well today. He laid out why MI did what it did, and why he felt that in the end it was worth screwing the voters in this round if it meant that the voters would win in the long run. I don’t think he will ever apologize, but at least he acknowledged it was flawed. I’m glad that he gave you MI voters that much.

  4. joejoejoe says:

    I’m happy as a clam. I was sad in January when this clusterf%ck happened but I’ve gotten over it. At least the DNC didn’t punt. That would have been the worst. Great work covering MI & FL from the outset Marcy. You were a harbor of sanity in a storm of crazy. Thank you!

  5. MrsK8 says:

    Marcy,

    Please accept my thanks for all you’re doing!!!

    Also — please forgive my ignorance regarding the one question I’m concerned about:

    What does it mean that Sen. Clinton reserves the right to appeal to the credentials committee? Do we still have the threat of a floor fight?

    What with my health situation and Mr. K8 having been injured in an accident, I haven’t been able to follow your wonderful work here for some time — I’m sure almost everyone knows the answer to this but me, so maybe someone else will jump in and prevent me from interrupting your well-deserved cold beer….

    Bless you for all you do!

    • bmaz says:

      Hi Mrs. K8 – Yes it means that; but there was no way there was going to be any formal concession or fialure to reserve any rights today. There are still votes that are going to be cast in the next few days, and Clinton needs to raise as much money as she can in between now and then because the campaign is in the negative. But this is over, and Obama is the nominee. Give it a week, it will sort out; this is not going to be a all out war to the convention, no matter what anybody says.

      • AZ Matt says:

        With Hillary’s financial situation such as it is you have to wonder how much longer she can go because I don’t see her matching Obama in donations.

        • bmaz says:

          She only has to make it until next Wednesday. There is not that much expense between now and then, but I think they would like to cover at least a little of the debt if they can. Once she concedes, it will be tough sledding on the money raising front.

          • PetePierce says:

            Okay I got back and still don’t know what happened but hope it was fulfilling for everyone. I especially hope it made sense to Marcy who could not understand the political process better, but lives in Michigan.

            I do hope that the Democrats will be able to pivot and attack all the topics that have been Marcy’s headlines about this administration for so many months.

            Hopefully my 5th tape behind Murderers and To Catch a Predator will help me get up to date along with these threads.

          • JGabriel says:

            BMAZ:

            Once she concedes, it will be tough sledding on the money raising front.

            I wonder. It might be harder to collect money without the concession.

            People willing to help Clinton retire her campaign debt might withhold donations until they’re assured she won’t use the funds to continue challenging Obama. Once she concedes, they might be more willing to help out, especially if Obama cuts a deal to help Clinton raise funds in exchange for the concession – assuming the campaign laws permit it.

            Anyway, the point is that it’s not difficult to imagine a scenario where Clinton finds it *harder* to raise funds without the concession.

            .

    • jacqrat says:

      Hey you! I was just thinking of you yesterday and wondering how you’ve been getting on…

      I love you and Mr. K8 and hope you are happy and taking good care of each other. We’re always here if you need us.

  6. PJEvans says:

    And maybe, just possibly, the state parties learned from this that when you’re told you can’t have a primary/caucus before a certain date, you shouldn’t try to hold it before that date. But I won’t bet on it.

  7. MrsK8 says:

    Hello, my dear Arizona compatriates!

    Thanks, bmaz, for your explanation. That makes sense.

    And now, I have to pull away from the computer yet again. Before the sun is too low in the sky I need to do my physical therapy in the pool — it’s my only means of exercise, and if I don’t do it, I’ll feel even worse than usual, lol.

    I hope you both are doing very well, indeed.

    Love and hugs to the Arizona FDL contingency, and to every single other Pupster. I love the Lake, and whenever there is even the teensiest bit of time for me to check in, this is the place I’ll be. I miss you all, and it’s so good to see you.

  8. demi says:

    I should also say the Tom Petty song is for Jane and EW…
    Runnin’ Down A Dream….that’s what you two do everyday.

    • MrWhy says:

      That’s originally a Ray Davies/Kinks song, but it does have a NOLA feel to it in this video.

        • Rayne says:

          Heh. Love that Ray Davies. I had been thinking of this song this week, when mulling over Michigan politics:

          Things are gonna change
          This is the morning after
          When reality bites
          The morality kicks in
          To those damaged limitations

          This is the morning after
          All that went before
          All of the song and laughter
          The morning after, gets up from the floor
          To do it all again

          But things are gonna change
          This is the morning after
          My turn to get pushed in the face
          Feeling right down, resurrecting the clown
          Yeah I bloody well will
          You look around for which way to go
          But where you gonna turn?

          And when the morning after
          Pleads to take no more
          We patch up the last disaster
          Slower, faster, crawl out through the door
          And do it all again
          But things have gotta change
          This is the morning after

          You feel shite, the air bites
          Oh will I ever learn?
          Your ear’s deaf, your girl’s left
          Never to return
          But it’s the morning after
          All that went before
          And now you paid your debt
          Get up you wreck, and crawl out through the door
          Oh, love will return

          This is the morning after
          You will learn
          The barrier we cross
          Is somewhere between Heaven and Hell
          Ah, but the world will never change
          So we must dig inside, and crawl outside ourselves
          I will, I bloody well will
          Things are gonna change

          Things are gonna change
          This is the morning after

          I will, I bloody well will
          Things are gonna change

          Things are definitely gonna’ change.

    • wangdangdoodle says:

      Speaking of NOLA bars… someone was telling me last week that Absinthe is legal again. Not sure if he meant Texas or nationwide, or if he was just full of shit.

  9. freepatriot says:

    politics and hotdog factories, it’s all about stuff you didn’t really wanna know …

    it ain’t pretty, but with some onions and a little relish …

    get ready for a TASTY HOT SUMMER on the political front

    mcsame likes to barbecue ???

    now he’s ON the barbeque

    and somebody mentioned a repug senator in Montana who was losing to a Democrat (can’t remember where, coulda been Wyoming)

    sorry that Michigan and Florida got screwed by their local political leaders, but that’s the way it had to be. It makes me understand that the local steering committee might be more important than I thought. Guess I’ll have to read up on how my local party committee operates

    but now we bid Hillary a fond adieu

    (need a hint hill ??? try for “GRACE AND DIGNITY, with a little humility and class sprinkled on top. Don’t be another Dick)

    on to Denver (marching over the stinking corpse of the gop all the way)

    we got a chance to remake our country (you know what I mean)

    Impeachment 09

    it’s only 17 votes away

  10. Eureka Springs says:

    Very interesting day. s. Thanks to all! Somebody give bmaz a bow and fdl moderator letterman jacket. *s*

    Back to the lawn mower…..

  11. freepatriot says:

    so is my muse gonna go to Denver ???

    I think I forgot that one too

    if so, need bucks for beer, bail, or whatever (like good internets n stuff) ???

  12. Funnydiva2002 says:

    Hey, EW
    Thank you (and Jane) for covering this today. Your insight is always valuable, and today even more so since you’re a MI voter.

    FunnyD
    wha? Ya mean ya don’ want me to crank up the disenfranchisement outrage on your behalf?

  13. FormerFed says:

    Marcy, thanks again for all of your great commentary. It wasn’t pretty – and we didn’t see the happenings over lunch – but it got the job done. I thought the cochairs – Mr. Roosevelt and Ms. Herman – did a yeoman job of keeping the pot from boiling over. I really liked both Senators, Rep Waxman, Mr. Fowler and Mr. Brewer. Gov Blanchard was a pompous bore and Harold should go take a sabbatical somewhere – for maybe the next 8 years at least.

    Thanks – have a great weekend.

  14. WilliamOckham says:

    Ok, I had to go out to dinner with my family. Was there any justification given for adopting the 69-59 split? That’s the only thing that surprises me about the outcome.

  15. Adie says:

    I’ll grit my teeth and say it. I wonder if it fits into your basket of “okay” alternatives, EW:

    Today was excruciatingly long and difficult, but Democrats with strongly differing opinions, yet equally strong, and hopefully stronger shared beliefs, actually proved they could come together, mostly under public scrutiny, and make plans to work together for the public good.

    I have not seen that from repubs for ??? , and it’s always been a tussle for Dems. Isn’t this a GOOD thing, in a number of ways?

    Publically working out the kinks of policy and process for the good of the people, instead of sneaking into war for the profit of a XXX few?
    Some kinds of publicity, albeit hard-earned, can aid a positive outcome, eh?

    It’s gonna take work, but it sounds good to me, considering the puggers’ so-called alternative.

  16. wigwam says:

    What evidence do we have the Clinton and her campaigned agreed to anything? If so, what was it that they agreed to? Ickes final announcement sounded like someone saying that there was no deal. RBC gratuitously handed Clinton half of what she was fighting for, and now she’ll continue her fight for the other half. If she’s going to take her fight to the convention, why did they give her anything here? It only acknowleged the legitimacy of her complaint.

    • FrankProbst says:

      What evidence do we have the Clinton and her campaigned agreed to anything? If so, what was it that they agreed to? Ickes final announcement sounded like someone saying that there was no deal. RBC gratuitously handed Clinton half of what she was fighting for, and now she’ll continue her fight for the other half. If she’s going to take her fight to the convention, why did they give her anything here? It only acknowleged the legitimacy of her complaint.

      The key here is that the delegations from Michigan and Florida were on board with the compromise.

  17. PJEvans says:

    Over at teh Big Orange it was pointed out that the chairs of the credentials committee are the same people as the chairs of the RBC.

    This is probably not a good sign for Harold and Maude Hillary.

  18. Drumman says:

    Hey Marcy glad it’s over,boy it sure got the commentators fired up good job on your part with a lot of hard work. see ya in A2 BTW back to the phones for the dinner.

  19. strider7 says:

    ggfdgghhkjhklklkj
    In the legal standoff between Congress and the White House, a group of 24 former federal prosecutors is siding with Congress.

    test test

    • PetePierce says:

      Yes. Actually 5 Amicus briefs have been filed with the Court, and 2 are from Conservative groups–two from liberal groups, and the 5th Amicus is from the former US Attorneys, one being a member of the US Senate, Sheldon Whitehouse.

  20. siftingthrough says:

    Marcy, thanks for your Michigan viewpoint. I should have checked in sooner. The vitriol on some of the other blogs threw me. I thought Don Fowler was key to the compromises. Do you agree?

    • emptywheel says:

      Not as much key to the compromise (per Chuck Todd, Obama would have been able to get 50-50), but key to the big majority in favor of the compromise and the signal from our party’s elders that it’s over.

      • freepatriot says:

        so, about Denver ???

        looks like Digby got a top notch condo, gratis

        but I sent em some bail money anyway

        is my firedogpeople going ???

        (I been distracted an busy lately, so I ain’t as sharp as I once was)

  21. Sara says:

    This will probably be EPU’ed — but anyhow…

    I totally enjoyed the Rules and ByLaws meeting — tickled my historical fancy. James Roosevelt has down to a science the Facial Expressions of his granddaddy. All that was missing was the long cigarette holder. There is a kind of half smile, a sense of playful amusement, that goes along with hot rhetoric from both or all sides of a dispute, that was on display many times on Saturday. It is the expression the Press of the day called “The Sphinx” — with emphasis on it being a total riddle what thoughts were going on behind the expression. Wish the cameras had stayed with it, and I suppose it is a total generational difference that no one really commented on it.

    It got flashed virtually every time Harold Ickes was speaking, and I suspect it might have unnerved him, as he would clearly read it for what it was. Ickes is perhaps 5-7 years younger than James Roosevelt, as he was born in the late 30’s, when Interior Secretary Ickes divorced, and married the young Archeologist in the Department of Interior. Harold is, I believe, about 69. At any rate, the two would have known each other as kids — entertainment in the FDR White House frequently was about picnics with children and grand children, and this James would have been in the elder crop — say eight or nine, to little Harold’s two or three. What was on display yesterday was about as close to a Royal Family on the Democratic side of things the US has on offer, and I would suggest one way to interpret it was a calling in of the various threads to sort out a squabble.

    Back in the 30’s, Secretary Ickes would frequently (like once a month) get exercised about some policy matter or another, and when FDR decided against his position, Ickes would write a hot letter of resignation, and send it over to the White House. FDR would then have to reject the letter. It got so frequent, eventually he had a secretary prepare something called “Draft Letter Rejecting Harold Ickes Resignation” and run off copies on a Hectograph — those old purple ink copy technologies, and he would just send the Ickes Resignations back with the copy. A few times yesterday, I thought James Roosevelt could have had fun passing yet another copy down the table to “Young Harold.”

    The Ickes-Roosevelt relationship goes back to about 1912. Old Harold came to politics via the Progressive Republicans who with Teddy Roosevelt, formed the Bull Moose Party in opposition to Taft in 1912, and Old Harold was a hot tempered operative out of Chicago, who set up the Illinois Bull Moosers. He stayed close to Teddy Roosevelt until he died, and then shifted out of the Republican Orbit when it went “Business Class” with Harding, Coolidge and Hoover in the 20’s, moving to the LaFollette Progressive group, and only in 1933 finally moving into FDR’s New Deal Democratic wing. The underside of what was happening yesterday is something of a continuation of this multi-generational relationship which is fraught with letters of resignation, and put-down’s such as hectographed draft copies of a memo turning down resignations. In this instance the bi-play was about making the pivot, and putting the Democratic Party at the hand of Barak Obama for this election. “Young” Ickes will run the opposition to that in a symbolic sense, but in the end he is the one who will lead that opposition into supporting the Party’s Nominee.

    The other big winner yesterday was Howard Dean and his 50 State Plan — a plan that is about rebuilding and restoring power in the Democratic Party to the State Chartered Parties, and in the process taking some power out of the DC based confection of party, lobbyists shops, PR and Advertising firms, and assorted operatives such as the DLC sort of organization. By essentially asking the two state parties to design their own solutions, including a penalty for breaking the rules, and then formally adopting those recommendations, a much needed revalidation of the critical responsibility and power of state parties was made clear. — and that is the intended outcome of the 50 State Plan — rebuild the organizational base of the party at the state level. It is a highly significant power shift — away from what the media likes to call the “political strategist” based in DC — away if you will from the Rovian view of the American Electorate as one that can be easily manipulated with buzz words. Much more obviously needs doing, but yesterday Howard Dean was a big winner. It will be interesting to see how Obama, if elected, builds on this. It is so important to understand this power shift, simply because we need to have the expectation that it will be built out very much on the agenda. States lost power over the years as political work was centralized in DC and “professionalized” — and now we have to return the functions, and yes done in a professional way — to the states and attract good party workers to the state level of advocacy.

    • PetePierce says:

      Interesting history. I was struck by those reflections when I saw James Roosevelt and Harold Ickes at the same table.

    • Funnydiva2002 says:

      Thanks, Sara.
      Just, wow. Living History via the Next Generation.
      And a reminder that American political dynasties didn’t begin with Clintons and Bushes by any means (or even in the 20th century, iirc!)
      FunnyDiva

      • phred says:

        You remember correctly — just think of John Adams and John Quincy Adams ; ) We may never be rid of political dynasties, but it never hurts to shake ‘em up from time to time : )

      • Sara says:

        “And a reminder that American political dynasties didn’t begin with Clintons and Bushes by any means (or even in the 20th century, iirc!)
        FunnyDiva”

        It actually goes back a great deal further than FDR and TR.

        This James Roosevelt is actually in my counting, James Roosevelt the 5th.

        Let’s work backwards. We know this one from Yesterday. Apparently he works with some sort of Health Care Foundation in Boston, and like his father was in the insurance business.

        His Father was James Roosevelt, the eldest son of FDR. He was the executor of FDR’s estate, and in the last few years of FDR’s life, a personal assistant. He was not really a political operative, when he tried to take up some of Louis Howe’s duties, he was a total flop — but FDR liked having him around, and he could support him when he stood.

        Now the name shifts lines a bit. FDR’s Father was a James Roosevelt — but he was married twice, and his son by his first marriage got the name James. He was known as Rosy in the Family, and he died in the mid 1930’s of alcholism and related health problems. Franklin’s father married Sara Delano when his first wife died, and she was perhaps 30 years younger than James, Father of FDR. Rosy (James) Roosevelt had one son, a James Roosevelt, called Taddy, who was a black sheep in the family. Rosy had married and divorced an Astor, thus Taddy was heir to part of the Astor fortune, but he quit Harvard, and married a Dance Hall girl — Dutch Sadie — and they lived very simply, into the 1940’s and 50’s without ever connecting with the FDR family. In the end, the estate went to the Salvation Army.

        FDR’s Father, James Roosevelt, was NE Campaign manager for Democratic President Grover Cleveland in all three of his races for the WH in the 1880’s. (Remember, Cleveland got one term, lost reelection, and then ran again and won — three campaigns.) In fact his partner in these campaigns was the great great great great grandpappy of Ned Lamont, the bain of Joe Lieberman’s life a few years back. FDR’s Father was very much the country gentleman at Hyde Park — had income from NYCity real estate, and of course access to his own Father’s wealth — the First James Roosevelt in my counting, — fortune from the China Trade. The first time FDR visited the White House was at the tail end of Cleveland’s second term, when James took him along on a visit when he was four or five to meet Cleveland.

        In comparison to the Roosevelt’s and even Ickes, the Bushes and Clinton’s are political newcomers, still wet behind the ears. I don’t see the Roosevelt’s as precisely a dynasty — I initially used the term “royal family” which I think is a bit closer to the truth. The Roosevelt’s in particular have put a huge huge investment into party building over at least 140 years, with most generations giving much, and while they volunteer to be involved, they don’t necessarily see it as a right, and they don’t claim the right to run for office or dictate policy as a family privilage. What I saw yesterday was just an exercise in getting a few threads in the party straightened out so that our nominee has a healthy party and can give November a good shot. For them, building the Democratic Party is at least a five generation family investment.

        Let me add one more little nugget of interest. Do you all remember the Black RBC member who spoke last, (I believe his last name is Ward.) and brought up the name Ella Baker? Well Ella is a very important person in Civil Rights History in the 40’s through the 1970’s. She not only worked with King and SCLC, but she was the person who encouraged the students to organize independently from the Clergy, and thus was a “founder” of SNCC. Well, Ella got her start back in the 1940’s with financial and other support from Eleanor Roosevelt, who was introduced to her by her friend Mary McCloud Beathune. Ella was an advocate for voting rights, and one of her early projects, which ER financed, involved teaching maids and gardners who lived on an island near Charleston, and took a bus every day to jobs in Charleston, to read during the bus ride, which was about an hour each way. Ella had three textbooks, the US Constitution, the South Carolina Constitution, and Eleanor’s UN Declaration of Human Rights. The point was to pass the South Carolina Literacy test. And yes, ER visited and rode the bus and helped a couple of times with the lessons. See, this investment business goes in all sorts of directions.

        • phred says:

          Sara you have a truly admirable grasp of political/20th century history. Thanks for sharing it with the rest of us.

    • phred says:

      Sara you are a treasure, thanks for your comment. The historical context of the Ickes-Roosevelt relationship is really interesting. Even more so, I appreciate the modern ramifications, both the victory of the 50-state strategy and the understanding that Ickes plays a critical psychological role in bringing the disappointed faction back into the fold. It makes his statements yesterday easier to understand and to swallow. Thanks.

      • Rayne says:

        I agree, that is worthy of front-paging.

        Sara, if you come back here, would you mind terribly if I reposted that? It’s the kind of institutional knowledge that we don’t have available to us.

        I think about the stuff locked in my dad’s head — born in 1933, a school-aged witness to Pearl Harbor — which hasn’t been captured anywhere simply because his personal filter deems it unhelpful to us in this age. Damn, but it is. I may even have to share Sara’s post with him to encourage him to spill.

  22. eyesonthestreet says:

    Sara, thank you for the history, hope others see this. If you don’t mind my asking, how do you see this enfolding:

    “Young” Ickes will run the opposition to that in a symbolic sense, but in the end he is the one who will lead that opposition into supporting the Party’s Nominee.

  23. dipper says:

    Sara, I can’t thank you enough for your historical insight. I just hope lots of people are reading it.

  24. BoxTurtle says:

    Just lurking, but wanted to add my thanks to Sara for that marvelous post!

    Boxturtle (I have now learned something new today, so I can go goof off)

  25. masaccio says:

    Sara, I was kind of wondering about Ickes, and your post answered questions I didn’t even know how to ask.

  26. lukasiak says:

    marci…

    explain to me what you mean by “a real vote”?

    Why wasn’t it “real”?

    Just because Barack Obama and John Edwards names were not on the ballot does not make the vote “not real”. In every election, primary or general, your choices are limited to those who take the necessary steps to be eligible to be voted for. The fact that four candidates chose to not give you the option to cast a ballot for them does not in ANY way make the election “not real”.

    Alice Palmer wanted to run for re-election to her state senate seat, but was thwarted in that effort by Barack Obama who challenged — without warning — the names on her nominating petition, and got her thrown off the ballot. She was the incumbent — a HIGHLY regarded incumbent, and lots of people would have voted for her if her name was on the ballot, and since she was a highly regarded incumbent, she probably would have won.

    Was that election “not real?”

  27. lukasiak says:

    but yesterday Howard Dean was a big winner.

    I don’t this this can be stated as unequivocal fact.

    Howard Dean’s goal is to build a party organization. He thinks he can do that on the coattails of Barack Obama. But there is a VERY serious flaw in that assumption.

    Barack Obama’s ‘grassroots organizations” that Dean wants to co-opt have no interest in building the party. They are little more than an Obama personality cult. And they alienate a LOT of long time, staunch, rank and file democrats.

    Their arrongance and sense of entitlement is going to be a serious problem…. especially since these are people with no knowledge of the party itself, and no interest in learning how the party operates. We are looking at the seventies — and its excesses and decades long hangover — all over again.

    In some places, little actual damage will be done, because there is little actual party organization to destroy. But in many places, the kind of people who do the grunt work for the party are going to wind up with better things to do, especially the legions of women who have supported Hillary Clinton this year, and who have been told by the Team Obama that its perfectly alright to insult, degrade, and denigrate Hillary Clinton and her supporters.

    What Howard Dean may have won was a pyrrhic victory. I don’t know for certain if it is or not….but from what I’ve observed over the last six months, IHMO its highly likely to be one.

    • Sara says:

      but yesterday Howard Dean was a big winner.

      I don’t this this can be stated as unequivocal fact.

      “Howard Dean’s goal is to build a party organization. He thinks he can do that on the coattails of Barack Obama. But there is a VERY serious flaw in that assumption.

      Barack Obama’s ‘grassroots organizations” that Dean wants to co-opt have no interest in building the party. They are little more than an Obama personality cult. And they alienate a LOT of long time, staunch, rank and file democrats.”

      I guess I would like to know how you know this?

      Yes, there will be something of a generational shift in party officers, some who have been around for a decade or so, will move on, but there is apparently no wholesale replacement going on. I am one who first took party office as a result of Gene McCarthy’s campaign — and I retired some years ago from all those meetings, but I did ask my State Chair if it was happening, and the answer is generally no. A good many of the Obama supporters actually come from the ranks of those with significant party experience, and yes, they have recruited from the Obama supporters people to run, for example, for State Central Committee — but there is no wholesale turnover coming down. State Chair says it is not happening in other states either.

      Minnesota State Chair heads a very healthy party, he is a solid Howard Dean backer, and understands the importance of having both old hands and new people in the party officer mix. Looking at how campaigns for Congress and State Senators and Representatives are shaping up, I see lots of Obama people getting involved in the down ticket races.

  28. lukasiak says:

    The votes–in the end–were actually strong majorities. Democracy can be ugly. But as they say, it’s the least worst process.

    Marci, do you think that the bedrock of democracy is rule of law? (given what you’ve written in the past, I assume it is, but I want to make sure).

    Are you aware that there are Sunshine provisions in the Democratic Party Rules?

    Are you aware that the agenda that was announced at that meeting in the morning for the afternoon session did not happen?

    Now, I know that you know there was a one hour lunch scheduled — that lasted over three hours.

    And I assume that when the meeting finally resumed, that the announced agenda was not followed, rather three resolution were considered with only token discussion which was cut off after 10 minutes time.

    When you say “democracy is messy”, do you mean John Yoo messy? Illegal spying on American citizens with the co-operation of Telecom companies messy? Lying about the evidence concerning Iraq’s WMDs messy? Passing AUMF messy?

    I guess my real question is, at what point does democracy stop being “messy”, and start being corruption? When the outcome is not to your liking?

  29. lukasiak says:

    What evidence do we have the Clinton and her campaigned agreed to anything? If so, what was it that they agreed to?

    well, there were news reports concerning the Michigan compromise that said that the Clinton campaign had agreed to it.

    And the nature and tone of the statements and questions of Clinton supporters (on the committee, and among those giving presentations) suggest that they were doing everything they could act “unified”, while emphasizing the key point regarding the agreement that had been reached with michigan.

    After watching it yesterday, I’d say that a deal had been reached with regard to the Michigan delegation that was dependent upon resolution of the Florida delegation question. The deal for michigan was EXACTLY what Michigan had proposed.

    And the deal fell through when Team Obama realized that there was no way that they could give Michigan its full delegate at full strength, and not do the same for Florida. Michigan had no real case to support a waiver other than the fact that other states had violated the rules without being sanctioned. Florida had a very strong, rules based waiver argument — and it was impossible to give Florida half its delegate strenght and give Michigan full delegate strength.

    Ickes final announcement sounded like someone saying that there was no deal. RBC gratuitously handed Clinton half of what she was fighting for, and now she’ll continue her fight for the other half. If she’s going to take her fight to the convention, why did they give her anything here? It only acknowleged the legitimacy of her complaint.

    Ickes made it clear that there was no deal because it had been reported that the Clinton campaign had accepted the Michigan deal – as proposed by Michigan. He wanted to make sure that the key part of the deal that the Clinton’s wanted — full delegate strength — had been taken off the table by the Obama campaign. That wasn’t the deal.

    As to why they gave her anything… they gave her nothing. They gave Florida and Michigan half of what they wanted, and plan to give them the other half at the convention. But Clinton got nothing out of this.

    Actually, what they gave her was a slap in the face — an insult. They just rode roughshod over the rules and implemented a solution that they had no power to implement — the STOLE delegates that were hers under the rules of the party.

    Think about it for a moment… Obama’s position was that Michigan be FULLY seated, but Florida was to be penalized 50% of its delegate strength. In what universe does a candidate say that the voters in one state suffer through no fault of their own for a violation that the state party was helpless to stop, and the voters in another state are given full strenght delegation and whose Democratic party officials themselves were actively and completely responsible for the violation of the same rule.

    Forget the 50-50 split of delegates in Michigan — just explain to me how any intellectually honest person says ‘give full weight to the 600,000 voters of michigan, but only half weight to the 1.75 million Florida voters, for the same infraction.

    • PJEvans says:

      “Plausible deniability”? So they can say without really being a liar:
      ‘We don’t have them in prison’?
      ‘We didn’t send them to [fill in blank]’?
      ‘We don’t know where they are’?

        • Hmmm says:

          Remembering things and then seeing similarities is my curse. To me, they look just like links. So I’m extremely grateful there are other folks with the superior wits to call bullshit on the “links” that don’t really exist. To me, that looks like teamwork.

          • bmaz says:

            That is the wonderful beauty of this place; it is a team effort. It used to drive me nuts that people, even some here, kept referring to him an established “Constitutional Law Expert”. Not so much. And, although his CV is a lends itself a little more to the claim, I personally maintain that Yoo is not entitled to that title either based upon the nature and quality of his “work in the field”. Bah humbug to both of them.

            • WilliamOckham says:

              Yoo is a ‘Constitutional Law Expert’ in exactly the same way Jack Abramoff is ‘Campaign Finance Law Expert’.

      • phred says:

        Good point, but according to the article the use of prison ships began in 2001, and iirc Goldsmith came into OLC in 2003. So while he may have been useful in putting the program (if the story is legit) “on a legal footing”, it would not have been his idea to begin with.

        • bmaz says:

          Man, this is pretty painful and difficult to say, but this country has a pretty long and ugly history of putting darker skinned foreigners on ships against their will. Not much thought was given to it then; I doubt the Bushies gave much thought to it now.

          • lukasiak says:

            Man, this is pretty painful and difficult to say, but this country has a pretty long and ugly history of putting darker skinned foreigners on ships against their will. Not much thought was given to it then; I doubt the Bushies gave much thought to it now.

            well, in the metaphorical realm of selling people down the river, you can’t do better than Barack Obama and his buddy Wexler, who disenfranchised millions of Florida voters for the “crime” of supporting Hillary Clinton — and remember, Obama WANTED FLORIDA at half strength, and Michigan at full strength. Retireees, especially the large number of Jewish retirees in Florida, and half-people to Obama. Hispanics and Latinos are half-people to Obama. Women, who made of 59% of the Florida electorate, are half people to Barack Obama.

            As someone who is supporting Clinton, I’m proud to say that I can condemn Bush without hypocrisy. But those supporting Barack “John Yoo” Obama are going to have a very tough time reconcilating their principles with their candidate of choice.

  30. lukasiak says:

    The El Paso Incident Report

    Mr Ockham claimed that there was nothing untoward about the actions of Obama supporter behavior in Texas. Here is some evidence that there was egregious abuse of the caucus system in that state.

    • WilliamOckham says:

      You know I made no such claim and you know it. I said:

      There was no “overrunning of the caucuses” in Texas. I’ve participated in the Texas Democratic Party precinct conventions for 20 years. Other than the fantastic turnout (including more than a few Republican Hillary-Haters who showed up to support her), there was nothing outside the norm this year.

      The document you linked to shows a few isolated incidents of wrongdoing, a lot of confusion and misconceptions, and many unsubstantiated fears. Stuff like that happens every year. It gets resolved with challenges at next level in the process. This is the way the Democratic party works, at least in Texas. I would like people to appreciate how great the caucus was for the Texas Democratic Party. We’ve got names and addresses of most of the people who were at the caucuses. The state party has been re-invigorated in a way that wouldn’t have happened with just a primary. Both campaigns did a good job of turning out their supporters. It might just help us send the odious John Cornyn back home. And believe me, the rest of the country should be grateful if we can do that.

  31. lukasiak says:

    Sara….

    its seems to me like all the people you are talking to about how peachy keen everything is are Obama supporters (and Dean is in the tank for Obama.

    Don’t you think you should survey state and local clinton supporters before you assume that personal anecdotes from like-minded people are universal truths?

    • Sara says:

      “Don’t you think you should survey state and local clinton supporters before you assume that personal anecdotes from like-minded people are universal truths?”

      Actually since I caucused for Hillary on February 5, and know many people who tried to organize for her — but got no support from her staff — people who actually know how to work within a caucus system, I think you should assume I have been talking with state and local Clinton people, some who have stuck with her since February, others like me who watched what was happening, and switched to support Obama.

      I think anyone concerned with party matters (and I have served a decade on the State Central, managed 20 campaigns at the state and local level, and been on a slew of task-forces and committees, Chaired Credentials at a State Convention — etc.,) you look at Presidential Candidates in terms of your state. Obama won 2/3rds of the delegates at Caucus, More than half of his State Convention delegates have been to two or more State Conventions prior to this year — (the idea that he doesn’t have the party regulars is nuts.) In the polls in Minnesota, Obama runs ahead of McCain fairly consistently, Hillary is within the margin of error. Obama plus Franken for Senate does better by two points than Clinton plus Franken. Walter Mondale, a super delegate, is committed to Hillary since early last fall, but has talked about Carter’s thinking — which is pro-Obama, and says that he can see why he would go along with Carter, though Carter has not made a public declaration yet. In otherwords, Mondale is OK with Obama, and his former aid, Jim Johnson is heading up the VP selection team, and Mondale has been talking with Obama about the job in practical terms.

      So yea, I do know what I am talking about. I asked the State Chair the question about party organization, at an event where the author of an old but classic book on the Gene McCarthy take over was present, and in the context of that book.

  32. MartyDidier says:

    “As a Michigan voter”

    just an important side note since you obviously live in MI. I was just on a family trip to Ironwood, MI. While there I went to the public library to catch up on the news. This website among others were BLOCKED. Any article I waas able to read BLOCKED reading any existing posts. the posting editor was available but I didn’t post and wondered if I did that it would have been added to the webpage.

    Also, while there a few people came in checking to see if their books had arrived. The titles were about Government Secrecy and Politics and they hadd been waiting for a very long time. From witnessing the sites I’ve come to enjoy being blocked, my thought was their requested books won’t ever be available. And this is a Public Library! Maybe you may want to look into this!

    Marty Didier
    Northbrook, IL

  33. lukasiak says:

    The document you linked to shows a few isolated sampling of incidents of wrongdoing…

    fixed

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