Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Michigan and Florida

So what do we do about Michigan and Florida? They were told their votes wouldn't count and that their delegates wouldn't be seated at the convention. But, the DNC wants to seat them somehow to not piss off Florida and Michigan democrats. So what to do? Michigan seems to be the harder one to settle. You might recall that Clinton was on the ballot, but not Obama or Edwards. So in the end, Clinton got about 70 delegates while "uncommitted" got 50 or so. How do you split that to make a compromise? Never fear. Clinton shill Lanny Davis has a plan: give Clinton 101 delegates and Obama 27.

"But Bell Curve," you say, "that's the most idiotic thing I've ever heard." You're right, and one probably doesn't need to say any more about it. But in case you want a thorough takedown of the ridiculousness that is Lanny Davis, Poblano is happy to provide.

In real news, it looks like Florida's delegation will be seated as is, but with each delegate counting as 1/2. Michigan, meanwhile, looks like it will be seated with the 69/59 compromise. This is just the buzz on the street, though; don't read too much into it.


Raised By Republicans said...

We've gone over this a lot, I think. I do not think that Florida and Michigan should be allowed to change their scheduling, against the rules, in an attempt to usurp influence from other states, then be allowed to essentially reverse the results of the legally held primaries and caucuses. Of course the Clinton backers are unwilling to agree to a sollution that does anything else.

Basically, I think that now the sollution should be based on two things: First, what do the DNC rules say about how to deal with state parties that violate the rules about primary scheduling. Second, what is best for the Democratic Party's nominee (Obama) in the Fall.

I think that is where they are headed. The Michigan Democratic Party has proposed giving 69 delegates to Clinton and 59 to Obama. That's the plan from the Michigan folks themselves. I would expect that both the Obama and the DNC folks would be OK with that.

I don't know about Florida.

I think that some means of seating these delegates that makes these states feel like they haven't been completely shut out will help repair some of the damage Hillary has done in the last several months by campaigning agressively on the argument that the DNC and Obama are personally disenfranchizing everyone in Michigan and Florida - an extremely disengenuous argument.

Raised By Republicans said...

OK, I just heard this guy on CNN and he's insane.

Basically, he wants Hillary to get all of the delegates allocated to her based on the votes in both states. THEN he wants all the remaining delegates to be divided between Hillary and Obama!!!

The argument is that "since many of these other delegates were allocated to 'candidates other than Obama.'" This is an allusion to Edwards - who has endorsed Obama.

Think about this. In every other state where Edwards was on the ballot, his delegates are being given signals (by the endorsements of both Edwards himself and his national campaign advisor) to switch to Obama. But Hillary's people are arguing that she rather than Edwards or Obama should get the Edwards delegates.

This "plan" needs to be put down and put down hard. It has absolutely not basis in either ethics, law or practical politics. It's only goal is use the Florida and Michigan mess to reverse the results of the rest of the primaries/caucuses.

Basically, Hillary is trying to drink Obama's milkshake.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Rules Committee that meets on 5/31 participated in sanctioning MI and FL in the first place. It knows better than most that without some sanction, they will lose control over the primary process. In fact, the worst lesson from a rule-enforcement perspective is the one that would be drawn from 2008 if HRC got her way: that sanctioning states for breaking the rules is impossible and unforgivable (as she says now: "undemocratic" like "bush v. gore" and "like Zimbabwe"...) They're not going to let that happen. Some penalty must be paid to enforce the rules. So, there will be some sanction.

Now, the GOP penalized MI and FL by giving them 1/2 the number of delegates. The Democrats can do exactly the same thing, I think, and avoid the charge that it's a horrible result. There's no material difference between that proposal and any other compromise, really, in terms of net delegates for either side.

Although it will hurt by delaying the 'presumptive nominee' status for a few more weeks, Obama's campaign manager David Plouffe has said he'll go "more than halfway" to meet Clinton - that means probably accepting the 69/59 plan and seating Florida with minor penalties.

The question, then is whether Clinton will push for seating delegates exactly as-is, with no penalty, and - if she loses at the rules committee, as she surely will with such a proposal - does she take it to a floor fight at the convention?

That would only hurt the party terribly. I hope we can agree on that. If so, it will be time for superdelegates and party leaders to take her and Bill aside and tell them to stop helping John McCain for their own petty purposes.

Dr. Strangelove said...

A floor fight over seating MI/FL--or over anything, really--would be bad for the Democratic Party. Given the timing and all, the decision of the Rules Committee meeting on 5/31 should be considered final and everyone should agree to accept the outcome.

Bell Curve said...

Given the timing and all, the decision of the Rules Committee meeting on 5/31 should be considered final and everyone should agree to accept the outcome.

I will bet you any amount of money that this will not happen.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The Democratic Party's lawyers have just said that the Rules Committee has only one option: 1/2 votes (or half-delegations).

Sadly, Hillary Clinton shows no sign whatsoever of being willing to accept the outcome of this committee. I wonder when her supporters will begin to desert her over this.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Ah, so these unnamed lawyers are the actual arbiters of the rules, not the Rules Committee. Silly me... I guess I missed that tidbit in the regulations. I suppose there is no need for the Rules Committee to meet at all, then.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The other question the DNC lawyers' analysis raises is whether the Rules committee has the authority to approve a 69/59 compromise. Obviously, the lawyers can only give legal advice as to what they think the rules are - they are not legislators or judges.

Anonymous said...

Hillary is September she agreed to the punishment of MI and FL, now she wants 'em back...she is such a...I have no idea what she is now.