Florida and Michigan: Stop Whining

So, Florida and Michigan decide to move up their primaries in opposition to the wishes of the political parties, and the parties responded by penalizing the states, either by reducing the number of delegates or refusing to seat them entirely. Now the states want a do over? Screw ’em. If memory serves, the states were warned what would happen if they moved up their primaries, and they went and did it anyway. Mewling now about how they really should be represented is to suggest they not be penalized for not following the rules. And that’s just rewarding bad behavior.

So suck it up, Florida and Michigan. Next time don’t schedule your primaries in January. For now, you’re getting what you knew you would get. Which is: Nothing.

179 Comments on “Florida and Michigan: Stop Whining”

  1. As a Democrat and a Michigander and a (fairly minor) member of the media, I am so over this primary. I don’t even care who wins anymore: I’ll happily vote for either of them in November. I was fed up with the state Dems for pushing the issue and at this point I don’t even care if we get to vote again. Just somebody win already.

    But boy, MI sure got a lot of mentions on CNN the other night, didn’t it?

  2. I agree with John, these states knew the penalty for changing primary dates and so did the Clintons. Now they both want their cake and eat it too. Do not let this happen. There will be chaos in the Democratic Party and the Repbulicans will waltz into the White House.

  3. Hey how about this, why not change the date of the general election? instead of holding the national election on nov 7 why not move it to august, or february 29th? Perhaps some states can have their general elections different than others. That way people wouldn’t have enough time to register.

  4. If the Democratic party lets this happen, I’ll be a republican for the rest of my life. This is just idiotic.

  5. Why did Michigan and Florida want to move their primaries up? Wasn’t it because they thought the early states such as Iowa and New Hampshire will decide the election? Well that definitely isn’t true as we have seen heavy campaigning in post Super Tuesday states such as Texas and Ohio. Michigan and Florida wanted to break the rules for no reason, the voters of those states should be outraged with their Democratic state party.

  6. Meh.
    The DNC said *last year* that Florida could hold a caucus to pick delegates later in the year and ignore the invalid primary.

  7. 1. The Florida voters themselves had no say in the re-scheduled election date. Plus moving the date was part of a deal the dems struck with the republican controlled legislation to obtain other important concessions. How all of that political wheeling and dealing comes back to disenfranchise the voters is offensive and unfair in the minds of Florida voters (especially democrats), regardless of how justified you may believe it to be.

    2. The Democratic Rules only provide for a loss of 1/2 the delegates. The DNC went beyond what its rules provide in sanctioning Florida with the loss of all of its delegates. So all of this talk about the rules are the rules is just not accurate.

  8. I am far away, and upside down at the bottom of your world, but I’m pretty convinced that one way or other (repeated primary or not), they will seat the Michigan and Florida delegates. Why? Well, as you say, the Clinton’s just keep coming, and there are delegates to be gained, and strange cases to be made that the path to the nomination should have been seen differently all along. This is, of course, very different from the question of whether they should be seated. My feeling on that tends to be much along your lines – the umpire made a decision and you live with it.

  9. Both states broke the rules so there should not be a do over. But what the citizens of Florida and Michigan should do is hold all that were responsible including the governors for moving the primary dates up . Hold a recall vote for the governors I bet you won’t see them in the media grand standing about that!

  10. Well, it’s official. In November 2000, it was the Democratic Party that raise cane and threw a political fit to have the votes in Florida counted, re-counted and recounted again. Their argument: every vote has the right to have their voted counted and their voice heard. They professed it would be horrendous and illegal for voted to not be tallied in the final count.

    Here were are nearly eight years later and the Democratic Party has now officially flip-flopped. Now they tell us that the votes really don’t count.

    Ok, folks, make up your mind: to disenfranchise or not to disenfranchise, that is the question. Talk about a power trip.

  11. Meh! Just pick a candidate already… Either one, they’re both better than we’ve had for a couple of elections.

    They’re going to screw this up and hand it to McCain, aren’t they? My confidence that this election was going to the Dems is sliding.

  12. Well, for those whose vote has been ignored because of a decision by others and out of my control, wear my shoes.
    This nation is not worth a hill of beans when some Washington party bosses decide that your votes don’t count. Screw the rules! I didn’t make them up. All I want is to be heard by my vote. Howard Dean is an idiot for his stand on this most insane position. If Hillary does not make it to the nominee, I WILL VOTE REPUBLICAN in punishment to this most insane Democratic party. What a farce! Others
    deciding that MY vote does not count. I had nothing to do with moving that stupid primary and am being punished for it. It serves them right if they loose the White House again!

  13. We wouldn’t be whining if Iowa and New Hampshire were getting the same treatment.

    The DNC is banking on Michigan and Florida remaining Blue states, in spite of the disrespect. There’s a certain amount of arrogance there that is unsettling.

  14. The Florida State congress decided to celebrate the election on January 29, 2008: the governor Charlie Crist (R) and the majority in the state congress are republican, so, it was impossible to change the date for the FL primary.
    Any way, the record of voters going to vote was amazing and it was clear that Florida it is Hillary Clinton State.
    I think, as FL voter, the Democraty party did not care about what happen in FL legislation and rules ignoring the consecuenses of that decision.
    I am democrat voter, but if my state do not count in this primary, many as me, will change our position about the Democrats and FL with 27 electoral votes in general election COUNT!!!!!

  15. n November 2000, it was the Democratic Party that raise cane and threw a political fit to have the votes in Florida counted

    Actually, in 2000, it was the Democratic Party that wanted to follow the rules, and not win by mob rule and a Supreme Court decision that the Justices explicitly said had no precedential value (i.e. “we’re doing a favor for a friend. Don’t hold us to it.”) But you knew that already, didn’t you?

    The DNC is banking on Michigan and Florida remaining Blue states,

    The DNC is banking on nothing of the sort, since both states have been closely contested in the last few elections, especially Florida.


  17. Stop crying! The ONLY reason for this is because Billary is behind in delegate count. Be HONEST please–if it were the other way around everyone would be calling for Obama to stop crying and that in no shape, form or fashion would the rules be changed now that he is behind. America will not be the great country it can be as long as people continue to do anything to win at all costs. We are simply showing our children that if you just keep doing dirty underhanded stuff eventually you will win. Who can be proud of that? Who will vote for the democratic nominee with all of this nonsense going on. Florida and Michigan DO NOT count and that is the end of it. Hillary–please release your tax returns and stop hiding. Also, the next time someone asks you what do you have to prove that you are qualified to answer the phone at 3 am, just answer the question. Don’t start talking about Obama or anything else. Just answer the question about you.

  18. Boo-hoo-hoo. We want a do-over. Screw you idiots. You knew the rules and you knowingly violated them. Now you can pay the price. It is your party morons who disenfranchised your states’ voters, and I hope they hold you answerable for your actions. Your crying after the fact is loathsome.

  19. Well, as a Michigan Democrat I’m mostly pissed at the DNC for how they responded, not the states themselves, and certainly not the voters (such as myself) who have to go along with whatever the party leaders decide.

    I think the rationale behind the changed dates was good, but that’s because I’m essentially in favor of either a national primary or, in keeping with the grueling weeding out process of the U.S. presidential campaign, a rotating schedule, so some election periods different states get to go early and others go later.

    By the way, does it bother anyone that both McCain and Clinton’s campaigns went broke at least once so far? What exactly does that say about ability to manage an organization?

    Just wondering.

  20. Patrick M: don’t get too worked up, McCain is a Democrat in most of the ways that matter.

    David, I think if you check the record you’ll find that in 2000, Democrats tried to change the rules midstream and the Supreme Court slapped them down for it. SCOTUS disclaimed any precedential value for that decision because they’re human and were afraid of the chaos that would surely follow a precedent that said “every voter in a state must vote using the same equipment and rules,” when for two hundred years most states have allowed equipment and rules to be determined at the local level.

    Now it’s eight years later and the D’s still haven’t figured out how to run an election. Delightful to watch. The more often and blatantly they demonstrate their total inability to do anything right, the better as far as I’m concerned.

  21. Having spoken to a couple of influential democrats here in Michigan, I find that they don’t want the Michigan delegates because they changed the primary in protest and if the delegates vote anyway that reduces the impact of how they were trying to point out the system is broken.

    In the meantime, the everyday voters of Michigan, who stood by, seething in anger and powerlessness, for two months while the high-up Michigan dems decided to defy the DNC and nearly guarantee our votes wouldn’t be counted, don’t want the delegates seated as-is because we didn’t have a real primary: Obama wasn’t on the ballot. (Note that Clinton got only 55% of the vote here even as the only major candidate on the ballot).

    As a partial fix for the general anger and dismay, the state party is now considering having a caucus to re-do the election, which the DNC has invited them to do.

  22. The states should hold caucuses although I’ll admit that it gives the undue influence after the fact. Also other states that followed the rules might complain about doing a re-do since the dynamics have changed. The most important thing is we can’t tell people their votes don’t count. One more thing about Clinton talking about her experience why doesn ‘t she mention her six years as a board member at wal-mart and that video anyone can look up where she sat quietly why Wal-mart board members bashed unions. Here is the real question “When your job is on the line who do you want to answer the phone?”

  23. The thing is, from the point of view of the State parties in Michigan, they really didn’t have a lot to lose by moving the primary earlier. So the DNC won’t count the delegates? Big whoop! I can’t remember the last time Michigan actually had a presidential primary that mattered squat. For all the elections that I can recall, everything was settled before the Michigan primary was ever held. Not counting our delegates? Well, they weren’t likely to count anyway, so who cares? At least this way, maybe it will in the long run lead to a shake-up of the primary system so that we don’t consistently and systematically make sure that about 3/4 of the country rarely or never has a choice amongst the party nominees.

    It was a calculated risk (and while the state Democrats seem to have lost the risk slightly, it paid off handsomely for the Republicans), but they really weren’t risking much. As for me, I’m not whining about the delegates not being seated this year. What did we really lose? The ability to have a small plurality of delegates for one of two candidates that are nearly indistinguishable policy-wise, after all the candidates who actually had differences had already dropped out? Screw that. At least we had a chance to vote on the Republican candidates at a time when it still mattered, which is more than we would have gotten otherwise.

    Really, from Michigan’s point of view, the candidates might as well be picked by party bosses in a smoke-filled room, for all the good that having a primary has done us.

  24. Why did Michigan and Florida want to move their primaries up?

    To keep their states relevant after the DNC changed the rules and jumped Nevada and South Carolina up near the head of the line in January. It was the DNC that played with the calendars first, hoping to both motivate Hispanic and black voters and resolve the nomination earlier, giving the Dem candidate a head start in general campaigning.


  25. It’s bull that some states get to vote earlier than other’s anyway. Why not have one day for all the states to vote? Why is some states are privledged and not other’s to be able to vote earlier and not lose delagates? why is it that some states such as Texas get to vote twice? The Dem. Party is playing un-fair.

    BTW I live in Florida we didnt get to choose when the primary was held. The state choose to do it, to help the homeowner’s. They needed to get a bill on the ballot as quick as possible to help keep alot of Floridians from losing there homes. For this we Democrats are being punished? WTF!!!!

    I’m 45 been voting since I turned 18. I have only voted for one Republican for President, that was Ronald Regan. I went and voted in the primary for Hillary, just like most of Florida.

    Don’t count us, Don’t listen to us, go ahead, keep shunning us! Guess who it will hurt?

    The Democrats of course.

  26. I have only questions:

    Both the Democratic and the Republican Parties are
    private associations, each with their own set of rules regarding the primaries, yet the Governors of Florida
    and Michigan set the voting date, knowing that the
    dates they set ignored the dictates of each Party.

    Why does the Governor of a State set the voting date for
    private association?

    Why did these Governors choose dates not acceptable
    to the Parties involved?

    Why did the delegates, knowing the rules of their respective Parties, not dig in their heels and refuse to vote on dates that violated the rules already laid down by their organizations?

    From the vantage point of my obvious confusion, it appears that both the Governors and the delegates were responsible for this present dilemma.

    In Florida, as both contenders were on the ballot, perhaps there is some way of ‘legitimizing’ the voting results by reregistering those same results on a new date without actually having to hold another election, but in Michigan, Mr. Obama wasn’t on the ballot (another why?), so it would seem fair that a new primary date be set and the thing done all over again..no hoopla, no grandiose speeches, just a new date for just the voting.


  27. Question for Hilary, why when most decent human beings would not consider bringing their spouse back to a highly visable office, after he was impeached for lying under oath, had sex in the oval office with a intern half his age, while sexually assulting her with a cigar and all the while talking to a foreign head of state while receiving oral sex from someone not his wife.

    What type of person are you that your agenda is more important then the rights of the American people to put those sad and disgraceful days behind us. Why do you want to bring this man back to Washington? Why should the American people trust he won’t embarrass us again while you are away in a foreign country doing the peoples business.

    Do you really want your husband trolling around the white house with young cute impressionable female staff members while you are away or do you simply not care as long as you get what you want. Why should we Americans trust you and your judgement after you are showing such poor judgement by trying to bring this disbarred, oath lying, sexual pervert back into the peoples house.

    I don’t care what a person does sexually mind you, I do care when he is holding the top political office and embarrasses the crap out of all Americans on a world wide scale. Do you care? Have you forgotten? Have you no shame? Yes, I am talking about your husband, the man in your judgement you could trust.

    That’s the other issue here, your judgement, its decisions like this and Iraq that makes you suspect at best. If you had true love for this country and not just your self and your goals, you would keep your current position and Bill in New York. You would let this country continue to heal from the wounds that your husband inflicted. Hilary, that what we mean about change!

  28. This is ridiculous! O’Bama didn’t even campaign in these states because he is smart and new that they didn’t matter, so why waste the time and money. Hillary thought these states would be important because she needed all the help she could get in gathering steam going into the other primaries that actually mattered. They made a decision. Now they have to live with the consequences.

    The governor of Michigan should just stop. She is obviously trying to flex her political muscle, and support another “strong woman”, and blah,blah,blah. I am so over this whole “time for a woman to finally get her fair shake” argument in the election for the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. This is not a position that should be chosen simply on men’s vs. women’s rights. It is the most powerful, influential, and important position affecting the lives of roughly 300 Million people in America, and millions if not billions abroad. To support a egalitarian view, a woman should be elected because she is the best candidate, not because she is a woman. That is actually counter-productive to the women’s rights cause.

    Stop Whining Michigan and Florida.

  29. Real simple. Before allowing MI and FL to “do-over”, both governors must, immediately, resign their positions.

    Here in MI, “Aunt Jenny” was trying to stimulate her failing economy by moving up the primary.

    Just for the record, I am a Republican for Obama.

  30. This really boils down to one simple issue. YOU CAN’T CHANGE THE RULES IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GAME! No matter who decided to move the primaries, the rules were agreed upon up front. Just because you don’t like the outcome, you don’t get to change the rules. Howard Dean has said that the DNC will seat delegates as long as those two states are willing to play within the rules agreed upon over a year and a half ago. They don’t make touchdowns worth more points in football when the favorite doesn’t win. If you want to change them next time go ahead, but you can’t change the rules after the fact.

  31. @katie–In Michigan at least, the entire state Democratic machine was involved in moving up the date. It went through the state legislature before being approved by the governor. It wasn’t handed down by fiat from the executive branch.

    As a liberal-leaning resident of Michigan, I’m happy that the state party was willing to take the initiative to combat a national party machine that was willing to manipulate the primary schedule for their own benefit, but not willing to take to economic concerns of Michigan on.

    As for the whining about a “do-over,” under the current party rules the Michigan Democratic party is required to hold it’s primary (whether an election or a caucus) after the nationally set primary date and before the national convention.

    If there is a caucus, it really won’t matter much in the general election. The state has a slight bias towards Hilary Clinton but also has a large population of African-Americans that have voted for Obama in other primaries. It’s probably a 55/45 split for Hilary, which won’t put either candidate in a position to secure the delegates needed to win it all.

  32. Voters in Florida and Michigan had no choice but to vote when the legislatures (both GOP and Dems) agreed to hold the primaries. They were asked to go to the polls and they did. Punish the legislature and party officials, not the voters! It’s ridicules to refuse to count the votes over this arbitrary date and “Rules Committee” nonsense. Democrats in Michigan and Florida should withhold contributions to the DNC until they agree to seat the delegates.

    None of the candidates campaigned in the states, although I’ve seen reports that one ad for Obama did make it on the air due to a regional commercial agreement. So, it’s fairly even there. Obama wasn’t on the ballot in Michigan but whose fault is that? The rules did not prevent him from having his name on the ballot.

  33. John, I don’t think it’s Florida (and Michigan) doing the majority of the whining. It’s the Clinton supporters who (out of pure altruism, of course) are the most vocal champions of our right to be heard. (For my part as a Floridian and now ex-democrat, I’d be outraged if they changed the clearly stated rules.)

    I am somewhat amused by the hypocrisy flying around, though.

    Watched an interview where Lanny Davis, when asked about the super delegates being morally obligated to vote with their constituants (for Obama), immediately starts pontificating how the super delegates should have no mandate whatsoever to do so. You “don’t change the rules after the game has started” he actually said (or something very close to that).

    But….when Michigan and Florida came up, he strongly insinuated that we shouldn’t be disenfranchising all those voters and that the delegates should be seated — even if the rules clearly said they would not be.

    Amazing. Just…amazing.

  34. David @16

    Actually, in 2000, it was the Democratic Party that wanted to follow the rules, and not win by mob rule and a Supreme Court decision that the Justices explicitly said had no precedential value (i.e. “we’re doing a favor for a friend. Don’t hold us to it.”) But you knew that already, didn’t you?

    No, I didn’t.

    The Constitution is pretty clear on the fact that the elctoral votes of the state are determined by the state legislature. The Legislature could, if it so decided, simply decide to whom those votes go without an election. In fact, that used to be precisely how it was done.

    The Florida Legislature set the rules for the election, how it was to be conducted, and how it was to be decided. No one, including the Florida Supreme Court and abrogate their methodology and remain within Constitutional bounds.

    The Florida Supreme Court tried and failed. End of story.

    Mark Terry @20

    By the way, does it bother anyone that both McCain and Clinton’s campaigns went broke at least once so far? What exactly does that say about ability to manage an organization?

    Candidates cost per delegate

    John Edwards $320,000 apiece
    Ron Paul $150,000 apiece
    Mitt Romney $125,000 per delegate
    Barack Obama $34,000 per delegate
    Hillary Clinton $26,000 per delegate
    John McCain $9,300 per delegate

    What does that say about the fiscal responsibility of the candidates?

    Just wondering.

    wolfwalker @ 21

    McCain is a Democrat in most of the ways that matter.

    Finally. A Democrat I can vote for.

    It’s been a long time coming.

  35. Roderick, are you under the impression that Hillary Clinton actually reads this blog? If the answer is no (hint: the answer is no), do you have any reason to post a question to her here except to be foamy and completely not on point to the discussion at hand?

    Seriously, general rantiness about the candidates can take place elsewhere. I’d prefer for this comment thread to be about the Florida and Michigan primaries.

  36. Patrick M: don’t get too worked up, McCain is a Democrat in most of the ways that matter.

    This is a myth. McCain’s super-hawkish on foreign policy and (after some time as a quasi-maverick) now supports both Republican tax cuts for rich people and religious-conservative cultural positions on everything from gay rights to creationism. He likes to complain about Bush “spending like a drunken sailor” but pointedly avoids the subject of what the money was actually spent on (Iraq), and what he’d do about it, given that he wants to continue the occupation indefinitely (and this is an old small-government conservative talking point anyway). He’s a conservative Republican down the line, for better or for worse, and I’m not really sure why even so many conservatives believe otherwise.

  37. I find it laughable that our Republican governor is out there whining on my behalf as if he has my best interests in mind rather than promoting the McCain v. Clinton general election he’s hoping for.

  38. You made the rules. Wanted to have a “special impact”. You got. Now live with it. Use your brains next time. BUT, BUT, in the very off (and “unruly”) chance there is a do-over, the DNC is obligated to pay the entire cost of it. Don’t burden the state coffers.

  39. Michigan and Florida gambled and lost. Vegas doesn’t give ‘do-overs,’ and neither should the political process. I’m in Michigan, and all I can say is that I hope that this may precipitate a house-cleaning within the Michigan Democratic Party, although I’m enough of a realist to know that the same hacks and cronies will continue just as they have for years.

  40. I am from Florida and I resent the fact that our REPUBLICAN govenor signed off on a early primary leaving us democrats in Florida with NO RIGHT to make our vote count. I have no control over what our govenor has done. He knew the consequences but still agreed to have our primary early. That is not fair to me ! The democrats of Florida should not be penalized for a decision made by our Republican govenor. This is just another tactic by a republican to STEAL the presidency just like our current president I think our votes should count in Florida and Michigan should be a do over since Obama was not on the ballot.

  41. Well I feel sorry for Michigan their state has been decimated by nafta globalization and now illegal immigrants are lowering wages even more . And because their considered a “liberal state” it seems like the Bush administration and Cheney and the rest of the Republican party doesn’t want to help them at all. So they need to do something to try and stop the bleeding, it’s a good thing people didn’t act like that back in world war II . It was Detroit that switched all the auto plants over to build the war machines in record time I might add to help win the war. What short memories. Let me guess your from the south or possibly the west coast you guys are ridiculous. Let em have another they need to pay for it themselves but it is the right thing to do. Period!

  42. What ever happened to one man one vote?
    So because the democrats scewed up Florida and
    Michigan get two votes. Isn’t this a dangerous precedent to set up. What if they just don’t like the outcome next time, will they revote again and make it the best two out of three? Will there be other reasons candidate look for revotes in future elections? What if a late entry canidate becomes popular some year, could they ask for a revote in states that didn’t have them on the ballot? Whatever happens there should be a ton of lawsuits if they do or if they don’t have a revote to settle this issue in the courts.

  43. LarryO:

    Well, actually, in Florida and Michigan it’s one man, no vote, as regards assigning delegates, so I don’t think your argument holds the water you wish it to.

    (for that matter, this is a republic, not a direct democracy, so “one man, one vote” is not quite accurate in a number of contexts.)

  44. Again, Obama is NOT the chosen one of the PEOPLE, count up the votes in all the primaries. YES, florida and Michigan, and CLINTON HAS MORE. CASE CLOSED. Why does the media want you to think (THINK!!!) that Clinton is UNPOPULAR.

  45. Dr N @ 46:

    Erm, Clinton has more because Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan, and chose (wisely or unwisely, I do not know) not to campaign at all in Florida.

    The Obama campaign has shown unbelievable prowess in getting out the vote when they put their minds to it. In the event of a do-over, I would not be at all surprised to find Obama on top in both states.

  46. Methinks the superdelegates and proportional voting are gone after 2008 for the Democrats.

    That said, I think winner-take-all is really voter fraud. Why should Scalzi be voting for my delegate or vice-versa? Of course, normally I don’t vote party tickets in primary elections, since the only political parties I like are the defunct and nonexistant ones. And at the party level, I couldn’t care less. At the national level?

    Where it really chaffes my ass is in the electoral college. But then the electoral college itself is a sham anyway, so I’ll save that rant for November.

  47. Both candidates agreed that they would honor this decision. Now that she’s behind, Hillary wants to go back on her word to honor the decision. If she can’t keep her word on something like this, why should we believe she will keep her word on anything once she is in the white house?

  48. I still this FL and MI should be allowed to have their delegates in the convention. The state violated the rule, not the general citizen living in those States. If US call itself as the biggest democratic nation in the world, the NDP should re-consider the FL and MI situation. This is very critical!

  49. Matt McIrvin @ 37

    This is a myth. McCain’s super-hawkish on foreign policy…he wants to continue the occupation indefinitely

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. This much we pledge—and more.

    JFK Inaugural Address

    Obama is no JFK

    Earnie @43

    Well I feel sorry for Michigan their state has been decimated by nafta globalization and now illegal immigrants are lowering wages even more .

    Michigan has been decimated by taxes and unions.

  50. As a resident of Michigan, and someone who made the effort to vote, I’m a little angry that the DNC is ignoring that vote. This is the DNC’s hissy fit, not the state’s. Is there a good reason why a state can’t schedule it’s primary whenever it wants?

    I find it interesting that the rule of law is being trotted out in defense of keeping me voiceless. This isn’t a car theft, or a game of monopoly. It’s not a do-over, or a mulligan. It’s not a game. It’s a negotiation, and should probably be treated as such.

  51. Watching identity politics feast upon the savory, savory marrow of the Democrats’ electoral chances calls for some schadenfreude pie.

  52. @ 43:

    “NAFTA globalization”? You mean that NAFTA that applies to three whole countries? That sort of ‘globalisation’? Yeah… (not to mention that it helps get a supply of nice Albertan oil into the US to help run the cars that are made in Michigan…)

    As someone from a Parliamentary democracy (i.e. no President) the attention that goes on in the primary seems bizarre to me. Political parties are private organisations with their own governing constitutions. Candidate selection, be it for president, local congressman, or school board, is governed by said constitution. You fail to abide by the rules, you face the consequences.

    Now if the Florida dems were essentially forced to agree to the early primary date (I didn’t know that, thanks to whoever pointed that out) by republicans, that makes things a bit more problematic. And if it’ll make people feel better (and the State will pay for it, because the DNC certainly shouldn’t), why not have a revote? Various smart people have crunched the numbers (e.g. Marc Ambinder at the Atlantic) and due to the proportionate nature of the Dems contests, HRC would need to win about 65% of the vote in every remaining state (including Florida and Michigan) and at least 60% of the uncommitted superdelegates to be able to catch Obama’s delegate lead. Likelihood of this happening? Low. If voting will make people feel better in Florida and Michigan, by all means, go ahead. But its likely to have as much effect as the first votes did.

  53. Scalzi Well, actually, in Florida and Michigan it’s one man, no vote, as regards assigning delegates, so I don’t think your argument holds the water you wish it to.

    Well, weren’t they TOLD they weren’t going to have a vote as a consequence?

    Isn’t that kind of like telling a child if they have the piece of gum now, they can’t have cake later when everyone else is having cake?

    Doesn’t giving the child cake anyway send the wrong message?

  54. The most important issue here is that the voters in Florida and Michigan have the right to be heard and have their votes count, and their delegates seated at the convention when the official Democratic candidate is chosen. Not to do so disenfranchises people who voted in good faith. That would be wrong. The date they voted is really irrelevant. The National Committee should only be one that makes suggestions to states on when to hold their primary elections so the candidates can theoretically more easily plan their schedules. This idea of penalties and violating rules made up by a self-appointed committee just does not fly in a democracy. Perhaps “suggestions” could be made about primary dates so a candidate could visit a state and make their speeches and shake hands immediately prior to the election, but states must have the final decision whether or not to abide with the suggestion.

  55. Patrick M:

    If you’ll recall, my actual entry expresses my opinion against a do over in those states. I was merely pointing out a flaw in this particular argument.

    It is helpful to read the original entry.

  56. As a Michigan voter, I’m pretty prissed at my state’s Democratic leaders. There should be a do-over. If there isn’t, the delegates should not be seated at the convention.

    I don’t necessarily believe this, but I have heard it mentioned that Michigan’s Governor, Jennifer Grandholm, intended for this to happen. Grandholm is pretty chummy with Senator Clinton. The whole thing was engineered by Grandholm so that Clinton would be the only Dem on the ballot, and therefore get all the state’s delegates when the DNC was eventually forced to seat them. Even if the DNC didn’t seat the delegates, at least Obama would not get them. Moving the primary forward to make the state more relevant was only a smoke screen. Once again, I’m not convinced that this is true, but it’s interesting.

  57. So…… we in Michigan were not good enough to have both parties come here and spend there campaign funds, but now they are coming back crawling to us for help ?? I say sorry. We didnt matter then and lets not matter now until november….

    To the people that are griping that Michigan shouldnt count or matter, remember that the PEOPLE in Michigan didnt make the choice to move the primary, Our Gov Granholm did…. along with others… And unfortunately we cant change that until the next election and WE WILL….

  58. People tend to forget that the parties are not monoliths. They’re thousands of county and state parties plus the national party, all competing with each other for delegates (and thus platform/nominee weight) to the national convention. The FL state Dems neither set nor agreed to the DNC’s preferred schedule–the DNC imposed the new rules on them. Same DNC that preferentially moved up Nevada and SC this round in a bid for a quick-decision nominee and a pander to ethnic factions, a major departure from the 35-year custom set by the McGovern-Fraser pact. (Once again, oops.) They were openly trying to game the GOP’s Feb 5th rule for advantage, and it backfired.

    No one forced the FL state Dem party to have their primary on that date–they voluntarily chose to use the state’s designated date. As did the state GOP, which also lost delegates for so doing. Difference being that the DNC changed the traditional half-your-delegates penalty to an ALL-your-delegates penalty somewhere along the line to bolster their Nevada/SC ploy.

    The FL state Dem party (MI too) could have used the primaries as a non-binding “beauty pagaent” and held caucuses later, or shifted the technical delegate pick to a later state convention, and still fit inside the new DNC cram-down rules. As the GOP does with Iowa, Nevada and Louisiana, who do not technically choose their delegates until state conventions after Feb 5 despite having primaries/caucuses before then.

    Self-inflicted wound.

  59. Linda @ 56

    The most important issue here is that the voters in Florida and Michigan have the right to be heard and have their votes count, and their delegates seated at the convention when the official Democratic candidate is chosen.

    You know, the Republicans had the very same problem this year with States scheduling their primaries too early against the Party’s rules.

    How did they handle it?

  60. First, you must look at who is responsible for the delegates not being seated. It is not the DNC’s fault. It is the Governor’s fault. The Governor knew the consequences for moving the date and still did it. The people of those states should be angry with their Governors not the DNC.

    And this would not be an issue at all if Hillary were in the lead. She brought it up just because she was losing. If she were winning would she have asked for the Florida and Michigan delegates to be seated?

    And if the decision comes to seat the delegates, how will it play out? Hillary just can’t take the win since she was the only one on the ballot. Of course, that’s what she wants.

    And if it’s a do-over, to be fair and square so the candidates can rally and fundraise and campaign in both states, will John Edwards we allowed back into the race? That would not be fair to do those states over without him. He was in the race at that time.

    You signed the agreement to abide by the party rules. That’s it!

  61. To Frank #35:
    Candidates cost per delegate
    John Edwards $320,000 apiece
    Ron Paul $150,000 apiece
    Mitt Romney $125,000 per delegate
    Barack Obama $34,000 per delegate
    Hillary Clinton $26,000 per delegate
    John McCain $9,300 per delegate
    What does that say about the fiscal responsibility of the candidates?

    I don’t know. I think it would be sort of interesting if you brought in actual number of voters, which is actually been about twice the number of Democratic voters than Republican voters.

    From a $/delegate POV, yeah, McCain’s doing fine. Edwards was apparently pissing away his money. Of course, as I said, it would be interesting come November, to break that down as $ spent per actual vote. Yikes! Thanks for that, very interesting.

  62. While the results of the too early primaries cannot be viewed as legitimate, the disenfranchisement of those voters is also not acceptable. The lack of a vote is a good chunk of the reason we spent years shooting redcoats, and I’m disturbed that anyone would think that taking away that basic right is acceptable.

    I am unhappy with proposed caucus solution, but mostly because it seems like an attempt to weasel out of paying the full costs of a primary. Spend the money and hold another primary for position of the presidential nominee.

    Also, I’d be happy to know we Pennsylvanians are not the only ones suffering the prolonged attentions of the candidates.

  63. Point of fact here–the state legislatures set the primary dates, not the governors. By veto-proof bipartisan majorities in both states. And the reason Obama and Edwards were not on the Michigan ballot was they took their names off to avoid angering Iowans. All were on the Florida ballot–no one weenied off of that one because it was later on.

    The DNC changed the rules. FL and MI Dems didn’t go along with the change. If Dean and Reid want to blame someone for the damages, they should get mirrors.

  64. Florida should simply not be allowed to vote in any elections. In 2000 it was simply too hard for them to even punch holes in paper ballots, and now they can’t even hold an election within a certain time frame. No way should we have to pay another 17 million for them to vote again. Michigan perhaps deserves a second chance, but not the residents of Florida.

  65. dr n: Again, Obama is NOT the chosen one of the PEOPLE, count up the votes in all the primaries. YES, florida and Michigan, and CLINTON HAS MORE. CASE CLOSED. Why does the media want you to think (THINK!!!) that Clinton is UNPOPULAR.

    According to http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html, Clinton leads Obama by 36K votes when one counts BOTH FL and MI. Thats about 1/7th of 1 percent. And since he was not on the MI ballot and so got 0 votes in MI, it is reasonable to assume that if he had been on the ballot, he would lead in the vote total.

    So, Obama is the chosen one of half the people who voted; Clinton is the chosen one of the other half.

    Also, there’s been a lot of misunderstanding about what exactly occured with FL and MI. Here’s a post from someone in the know about how this situation came about: http://www.andrewtobias.com/newcolumns/080117.html

  66. Floridia and Michigan both knew the rules.
    You don’t change the rules in the middle of the game.
    So sit down and shut up!

  67. If at first you don’t succeed, CHEAT!!!! The Clintons said do it or disappear to Dean and he is doing it. I guess threats go a long way in politics. CHEATERS CHEATERS CHEATERS!!!!!!!!

  68. I’ve become increasingly disgusted with Hillary Clinton. She agreed to these rules ahead of time. But she didn’t remove her name from the Michigan ballot, as the other candidates did, because she said it wasn’t necessary, since the vote wouldn’t matter, anyway. Now she wants it to matter after all, since she won an uncontested election.

    And it’s almost that bad in Florida, since the candidates agreed not to campaign there. Hillary originally had a strong lead in almost EVERY state. If she could just have prevented Barack Obama from campaigning in any of them, she might have won this thing. Is it any surprise that she ‘won’ Florida that way?

    It’s the worst of dirty tricks to try to change the rules after-the-fact. Combine that with her negative campaigning, where she’s actually praising McCain, and I don’t want to see her ANYWHERE on the ticket. She seems to be running as McCain’s vice-president, so let her join that ticket if she wants. I’ve never been one of the Hillary-haters, but I’m completely disgusted with her at this point!

  69. I’m from Florida. Clinton campaigned (against party rules) in Florida. Obama did not. Clinton left her name on the ballot (despite party rules) in Michigan, Obama took his off. Clinton has hedged her bets, sent her husband to campaign in Florida, holding victory speeches in Florida. Now she wants their delegates to be counted. Look, I voted absentee in the Primary. I hoped that sanity would prevail beforehand. But you have to give the candidates a fair shake. Obama’s strength has been his ability to motivate people on the ground. He wasn’t allowed to have people on the ground. Clinton did campaign despite the rules against it. The results are obvious. Especially in Michigan where she was the ONLY nominee besides Dodd on the ballot. Do we really want, yet again, to reward the petulant child that Hillary Clinton has become by seating delegates that she won without a fair fight and against the rules? She’s acted like Obama stole her favorite toy this entire campaign, never realizing that maybe people don’t want to coronate royalty anymore. I guess if Obama was in 2nd maybe he would be saying the same thing. but rules are rules, and rewarding her for cheating, yet again (like her bogus “Christian as far as I know” comment that scared those in Texas and Ohio), is just, well, wrong. Stop complaining. I’m from Florida. I can take it.

  70. I totally agree. Especially since I live in Iowa and we had to move our caucuses back so that all the campaigning encroached on the holidays. MI and FL are getting what they deserve.

  71. I’ll repeat that I’m gonna vote for the Dem candidate whoever that is in the Fall and I really don’t have a favorite now.

    I do want to rebut the point about Hillary being on the WalMart board. I dislike WalMart and have for many reasons but out of fairness the WalMart when Sam Walton was alive was better than it is today. Sam had his principles that I disagreed with but when push came to shove he had the sense to relent some to reality.

    After Sam Walton died the WalMart board went farther than Sam ever did in following his ‘principles’ and the store is now a sleazy ugly caricature of what it started out as. They spend money promoting a phony image to the public while taking from WalMart workers, overseas workers, and local US governments.

    Hillary was prominent in Arkansas when WalMart started in Arkansas. It is reasonable that she might serve on the WalMart board at that time.

  72. Didn’t have time to read the rest of the comments, so someone may already have said this, but… why in the world are primaries/caucuses on different dates anyways? I mean, wouldn’t it make more sense, in the sense of considering all states’ input equally, to require that they all be at the same time? Is there some sort of compelling reason why the opinions of Iowans and New Hampshire-ans should set the tone for the rest of the primary season?

  73. In Clinton’s victory speech in Ohio, she listed all the states she’d “won” and included both Florida and Michigan.

    I haven’t been one to jump on the hate Hillary band wagon, but that did betray a lack of ethics and sense of fair play.

    You can’t win if your opponent isn’t even on the field.

  74. Laughing at #15, the Dem’s are barring their own voters, and it’s the Repub’s fault. Never mind the Dem’s in MI did the same thing. Never mind that Howard Dean is disallowing all delegates. It’s the Repub’s fault, always the Repubs. Some people are drowning in the cool aid.

    I don’t know why everyone’s whining. The election is now between three Democrats. McCain is the most moderate Democrat, but he’s still a Dem. That’s based on his voting record, not his McClaim’s, not his flip-flopping for votes.

    My vote didn’t count either. I wanted to vote for Guiliani, and thanks to Iowa, New Hampshire and all the states that voted for MO, I couldn’t. So, quit whining Florida and Michigan. It’s your party, change it.

  75. And since he [Obama] was not on the MI ballot

    Because he took himself off of it. Staying on it broke no party rules. No one made him get off the ballot, he did so to pander to Iowa, and that worked for him. But hey, best of luck to both candidates. It’s not their fault the DNC shot itself in the tuchis. Best of luck to them. I’ve been following this for over 18 months and called it a Really Dumb Move then, long before it affected any state in particular. Note the current eagerness of Democrats to disenfranchise other Democrat’s votes–itself damaging to the party and perfectly symptomatic of the in-fighting I predicted. Self-inflicted wound.

    Here’s a brief backgrounder from the time–August 2006. Despite claims otherwise, it was a cram-down voice vote by the national committee.

    (You’ll pardon me if I laugh at the overt spinning of Andrew Tobias–treasurer of the DNC. Not exactly an impartial source.)

  76. Brian #75: See above. The parties are not monoliths, they’re thousands of smaller parties, each with their own agendas, fighting for power.

  77. I’m from Michigan. My take on the democratic primary here is that it was, essentially, invalid. Hillary Clinton was the only name on the ballot, as the DNC had already made clear to the candidates that the delegates assigned from this primary would not be seated at the convention. The DNC requested that candidates not campaign here, and that they not appear on the ballot. Clinton did anyways, and that seems like a tainted result to me.

    Therefore it seems to me that it would be improper to seat delegates from Michigan that were assigned under false pretenses.

    Now, apparently the DNC rules allow the Michigan party to propose a solution, likely some sort of caucus, with equal opportunity for both remaining candidates, to assign delegates. At least that is what I understood from Howard Dean’s interview on All Things Considered yesterday. If it is within the rules of the primary process, and the DNC gives that the go-ahead, I’m fine with it. (My understanding is, the DNC is actually offering to help pay for such an event.)

    Selfishly, I’d very much like my voice to be heard in these primaries. I’d like all the folks in Michigan to get a fair shake at that. Fair being the key word there. The primary that was held in January wasn’t. The only candidate on the ballot was violating the rules to be there, and shouldn’t be rewarded for that by having delegates assigned.

    At any rate, I suppose I don’t see the harm in allowing Michigan and Florida the chance for a do-over, assuming that such a chance is within the rules the DNC has set up for the primary system. But I think that it should be that: either redo the primaries in Michigan and Florida, and put both candidates on the ballot, or don’t seat any delegates from either state. And make the state organizations fiscally responsible for some of the cost of the do-over.

  78. I am really angry that Michigan and Florida were stripped of their delegates. I personally don’t give a crap about any agreement whether or not to move primaries ahead because I didn’t sign any such agreement and I don’t like being penalized for not having done anything wrong. I want my vote counted (even if I didn’t get to vote my first choice because Obama wasn’t even on our ballot). I can understand why Michigan and Florida moved their primaries up (apparently in violation of some agreement with the Democratic Party)–I, for one, am sick and tired of two relatively small, low-population, racially undiverse, un-“representative-of-the-nation-as-a-whole” states getting all the attention for a year and a half before the first ballot is cast. I have thought this process undemocratic for a number of years. Maybe the states of FL and MI should be sanctioned for violating the rules–deny Democratic candidates running for state or national office funds or something–but penalize the STATE for its decision. Don’t disenfranchise the voters–we already have a party whose job it is to do that.

  79. >> …why in the world are primaries/caucuses on different dates anyways?

    Having a large, country-wide primary sounds fair, but in reality it would tend lock out the little guys.

    Small regional campaigns allow candidates to build up support without (initially) having the funds to mount a national campaign.

    Now, as to -which- regions should be first…that’s the question…

  80. Seriously, how is this non-issue an issue? They knew that by moving up their primaries their delegates would not be seated. So…. what’s the problem? You moved them up and they don’t count… so what’s the issue? You don’t want to disenfranchise your voters? Riiiight! Yes, well perhaps you should have thought about that before you disregarded the rules and took matters into your own hands! Like seriously, this is so ridiculous!

  81. Of course the Republican governors of Florida and Michigan want the controversy … ideally they’d like the DNC to spend millions of their dollars so the Democrats couldn’t use that money against McCain.
    Florida, Michigan and their voters knew the rules and consequences for violating them. If they can figure out a fair way to do an election that isn’t going to cost the DNC/campaigns money … fine. If not, fine. But don’t whine about the lack of representation to anybody other than your state leaders … and the self-righteous governors who are now complaining. They made that decision months ago.

  82. Jason? Granholm-MI is a Democrat. And it’s not the states themselves that are complaining–it’s Democratic voters and local Dem parties in those states.

  83. Scalzi, it’s not like you didn’t *know* this post might generate a few comments… ;)

    There is precedent for states getting a “do-over”, and frankly I don’t have a problem with Michigan and Florida each running a firehouse vote or caucus if they want to, and if they each pay their way. I have no desire for the DNC to have to fund such an endeavor.

    As to seating the current crop of “disenfranchised” delegates, that’s just stuuuupid. And if Hilary seriously thinks for a moment that her apparatchik-style victory in Michigan should actually count for something, she’s on the wrong team, altogether.

  84. I’m sure this has been said previously but I would like to reiterate this point nonetheless. As a young Democrat who is hopeful that this political process actually works, I am disturbed that conversations are even being had regarding allowing Michigan and Florida to “re-primary” or “re-caucus.” We have rules for a reason and if those two states took it upon themselves to disobey these clearly set rules, then the punishment should remain untouched. I find it very interesting that now that the race is so close and that Hillary Clinton is behind, we are contemplating allowing these two rule-breaking states to have a “do-over.” I wonder if this would even be up for discussion if these two states had favored Barack Obama or if Obama were pushing for the two states to be included. Allowing these two states to re-do their primaries or caucuses will show me, at least, that this process is somewhat fixed and that the rules are not being enforced. I honestly believe that if Michigan and Florida are allowed a do-over, I may not vote at all in November. This will only show me that the Democratic Party is a joke.

  85. I wonder if the Clinton camp would be screaming “disenfranchisement” if they knew FL and MI would go to Obama.

  86. I suspect it’s the candidates and their supporters who want the do over, not the states themselves. I’m not going to wade through the previous comments to see if someone else said this or not.

  87. Well, the rules state that MI and FL must hold their delegate selection process sometime between Feb. 5th and June 7th, 2008. Which means that there are still roughly 3 months left in that window in which to hold a primary (or caucus, or whatever). Not much time, given the lead time needed to prepare for such a process, but time nonetheless.

    My personal feeling is to allow these “do-over” primaries (or caucuses) to be conducted (at the expense of the MI and FL state parties), and to seat only the delegates selected by that process. The so-called superdelegates from those two states (the Governors, Congresscritters and other Party officials) should not be seated at all. They are the party officials and elected officeholders who created this mess to begin with by attempting to ignore the rules, and as such, the ones who should be punished.

  88. I totally agree. Especially since I live in Iowa and we had to move our caucuses back so that all the campaigning encroached on the holidays. MI and FL are getting what they deserve.

    Word. I live in Iowa too and the campaigning/voting over the holidays really was a pain. You made your bed, now lie in it, jackasses.

  89. It is quite disturbing, indeed, that this is even an issue – especially with neither the states nor the DNC willing to pay the inevitable bill that accompanies these mulligan propositions.

    I’m a Floridan; thus, I know who to blame: Charlie Christ and the corrupt Republicans who predominate the state’s internal political composition.

    To suggest one would vote for McCain – or that the Democratic Nominee should not appear on the General Election ballot – simply because rules are being followed is a patently inane and immature position.

  90. Carolina,

    I’d like to address the point you make about being new to politics, because I think a great number of people are in that category this year. I’ll try to make this as fair and as non-partisan as I can, because I do think the more people involved in politics, whatever their views, the better off our nation will be.

    Sadly I agree there are sleazy, dirty, and disgusting aspects to politics. The quote about “creating a law being the same as making sausage” is true. Many of us would not like to eat the sausage if we saw how it was made.

    Discovering and acknowledging this fact is jarring and it is only human to be repulsed by it. It may make some people so disgusted they turn from politics altogether. I know personally I turned to the Sports pages for many years because I really really disliked politics.

    I still abhor much of politics and wish I could turn away but for better or worse politics affects me and my life and the lives of my family and friends.

    It is sort of like having a child with special needs – you know you must do everything to care for that child and yet it is also a very hard thing to do.

    I hope you and all the others new to politics can get over the inevitable disillusionment and hold your noses and keep at it. Voter apathy and disgust lead to some very bad places.

  91. I live in Florida, no Whining here, just determination not to be screwed again by liars.. Hillary Clinton is another George Bush, a Liar. Liars are extremely dangerous people they can do more harm than any other group of people. I am an African American and many of my family and friends we have decided to sit out November if Hillary is the Nominee beacause of the lies she continues to twist and tell about Obama.

    We have vowed to never allow another liar to screw with our intellect, therefore we will not vote for Hillary the Liar in November… A LIar cannot be trusted From Day One….

  92. A do-over, while infinitely preferable to seating the current MI/FL “delegates”, would be the wrong thing to do.

    Campaigns allocate funds and resources based on the known primary schedule. Suddenly dropping in another pair of huge primaries for them to absorb is screwing with their schedules in a way that is at best arbitrary and at worst openly biased.

    Not to mention the message it sends regarding the remifications of flouting DNC rules (ie, there are none).

    Change ’em next time, fire the instigators, but for this season, the rules everyone knew coming in are the rules.

    What has changed regarding the original DNC ruling that would justify such a reversal?

  93. Living here in West Michigan, I was about to suggest what Hugh @ 91 did — punish the politicians not the voters and take away the MI and FL superdelegates — but he beat me to it. Then hold caucuses in the required window. Frankly, I’d be delighted with a “real” caucus, and not the kind I’ve seen before in MI, which was really just a primary not held under the gaze of the poll watchers. (grin)

    Dr. Phil

  94. True, on foreign policy McCain is more hawkish than most Democrats. On domestic-policy issues, however …

    * Like Democrats, McCain is wobbly on gun control
    * Like Democrats, McCain is in favor of suppressing free speech for everyone except his supporters
    * Like Democrats, McCain favors immediate, drastic action to “fight global warming” — action that will cost a large fortune while doing no good whatsoever
    * Like Democrats, McCain is in favor of open borders and an unending flood of illegal immigrants
    * McCain cooperated with Democrats to deny President Bush many of his judicial nominees
    * Like Democrats, McCain believes ethics laws only apply to his opponents.

    (I consider it a wonderful irony that McCain’s 2008 campaign has run afoul of limitations he himself wrote into the BCFRA six years ago, and now he’s trying to worm out of those problems by claiming the law doesn’t apply for some reason.)

    As for the situation in Florida and Michigan: I don’t know how we got this screwball arrangement of state primaries and caucuses. I do know that this year several states, including Florida and Michigan, tried to move their primaries up the calendar because they felt it was wrong to have Iowa and New Hampshire — which, to be fair, are two pretty flaky states, politics-wise — exert so much early influence over the primary process. I also know that I (again) find it wonderfully ironic that they beefed about not having any influence, moved their primaries to try to get some influence, lost their influence as a result — and the way things have unfolded, they would have had more influence than anybody ever dreamed if they had just left their primaries at the original, later dates.

    What to do about it now? Well, I agree that the voters in both states have been disenfranchised by the stupid decisions of their legislatures. OTOH, that fact suggests the solution: VOTE ‘EM OUT! The DNC rules apparently do allow for a mulligan, at state expense (which is as it should be – the state made the mistake, let the state pay for it). So perhaps the best solution is to run a new primary, bite the bullet and pay the extra cost, then clean house in the state legislature at the next election.

    And count your blessings. At least you have a chance to atone. The idiots who screwed up the 2000 election in Florida didn’t even get that much.

  95. Kevin,

    I don’t know your source, however Hillary does not have the popular vote. Obama has a slight lead. How can you attempt to argue this point when Obama wasn’t on the ballot in MI. I am a former Floridian and current NY’er and I agree that the rules are the rules. The DNC has stated that if MI and FL want their votes to count they will have to hold elections again. It is up to the state. So I say go for it. Let the voices of the people be heard and see how it plays out. The delegates are able to vote on their own accord without consideration of their constituents. I think it would be unfair to seat the delegates without a vote that follows the rules. I had a great respect for Hillary until now. I feel that she will do anything to win and this scares me. I feel her behavior is unethical and I question her ability to run an administration any different from what we currently have!

  96. I think it is hilarious. These two state moved up to try to be more relevant and get more attention, and in fact moved in the very year that their original spots in the schedule would have made them incredibly relevant.

  97. Elizabeth in 97,

    I hope you read what I wrote in 95. I agree with everything you said about liars. Sadly politics is full of liars. Some lies are outright lies, some lies are technically true but give a false impression, some lies are lies of omission where pertinent information is conveniently left out to give a false impression.

    Lies in political campaigns are like grains of sand on the beach. Please don’t sit out an election because politics is full of lies. The truth is out there and in politics we are always left with the choice of choosing between two evils. No human candidate will ever be perfect.

  98. coyote in 103:

    Yeah. I also have an appreciation for irony. Especially when it happens to someone else.

  99. Regarding what daniel b just said, I have to ask the same thing…what happened to the original DNC rules that would justify accomodating MI and FL? I understand that the supporters and campaigners in those states want their voices heard but we are collectively treated as states and your states did not follow the rules. Let me also point out how much enjoyment the Republican party is getting out of this. This is definitely not the way to unite the Dem. party.

    Also as a side question, I have heard rumors that here in TX many Republicans went out and purposefully voted for Clinton once they knew that McCain was pretty much guaranteed the win b/c there is a belief that she will be easier to beat or breakdown come November. Does this have any truth and if so, can we expect this to continue?

  100. Wow, looks like you hit a nerve Mr Scalzi. These rules were set up in the days of trains and telegraphs. Maybe it is time to consider revamping them.

  101. The Dem parties in MI and FL knew they were breaking the rules and knew there would be repercussions. Stop pointing the fingers at others AND asking the DNC to pay for a new primary. You guys are political and common sense idiots trying to deflect responsibility for something which YOU did to your own constituents. Shut up and sit down. You blew it all on your own.

  102. Shan 102: I don’t know your source, however Hillary does not have the popular vote. Obama has a slight lead. How can you attempt to argue this point when Obama wasn’t on the ballot in MI.

    If you’re going to argue facts, what’s your source?

    All I pointed out was that the web site http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/democratic_vote_count.html, shows that Clinton has a tiny, tiny lead when one counts all votes INCLUDING MI and FL. And in my post (#67) I also noted that she only has that lead because Obama was not on the MI ballot.

    According to that web site, if one drops MI, then Obama has more votes. If one drops both MI and FL, then Obama again has more votes.

  103. Stan: The Dem parties in MI and FL knew they were breaking the rules and knew there would be repercussions.

    As has been pointed out, at least in FL, it was NOT the dem party or dem voters, it was the State Leg, dominated by Repubs, who moved the primary.

  104. Dem. Is all professional People. But I can see Florida. Michigan is done. Rule is the rule. Clinton is violation . Not count. Tosss

  105. FL Dems voted for it en masse too, Kevin. Self-inflicted wound. The GOP didn’t create this mess. The DNC did with able assistance from their state-level counterparts. The state parties had numerous ways around it, and refused to use them.

  106. Wolfwalker @ 101:

    You think denying the worst of the worst Bush judicial nominees is a BAD thing? Given Bush’s record on, you know, obeying the law (ordering phone companies to perform illegal wiretaps then arguing that his commands are law, Alberto Gonzales, Scooter Libby etc), I’d say its rather good.

    Also you might want to source the rest of your assertions in something other than raving partisanship.

  107. Play by the rules. Both states were warned that if they moved the primaries up they would not be counted. Well this sounds like a grade school do over. It should stay like it is . Enough of the grade school cry babies.

  108. End of story

    You can believe whatever you’d like about the 2000 recount, but the facts stand pretty clearly for themselves, most critically, the deep corruptness of the Supreme Court disclaiming any precedential value. If it was just a matter, as you say, of upholding the Constitution, why on earth would they do that?

  109. The aspect of all this that seems particularly slimy to me is that the Democratic party told its candidates to have their names removed from the ballot in Michigan and Florida. Barrack Obama, like a good little boy, pulled out of the election in Michigan. Clinton, however, did not—and so she won.

    So, naturally she’s pushing to have those delegates seated, because they’ll help her delegate count. Funny how that works. I wonder if she’d be pushing so hard if Obama had won?

    I can sympathize with states wanting to move their primary elections early, so that they’d get some lovin’ from the political candidates and feel like they had a bigger voice in deciding things. I can’t help but think that sooner or later the whole disenfranchisement thing will come around and bite the political parties where it doesn’t feel good to be bitten.

  110. I’m seeing a lot of talk of the form “Now that Hilary’s behind, she wants to count the Michigan votes”. Please check your sources if you believe this is a recent thing. Hilary has been campaigning for Michigan’s delegates to be seated since long before the race got this close and she got behind.

    Re: the question of why state legislatures should be able to decide when a primary election is held, well, they are paying for them, is the thing (perhaps they should not pay for them, but that is a different issue). Political parties are an odd mix of public and private associations. They do not in fact fall under legal regulations that protect your right to vote and be respresented because they were not in the original voting system in the US and they have inserted themselves into it in a rather complex way that affords funding but only mixed oversight by political bodies that actually are elected and fall under the rule of electoral law.

  111. It’s been so long since there has been any hopeful tone in this country let alone this world. Barack Obama is not a magician, but he has at the very least good judgement and the demeanor to bring unity to a divided country. Hillary Clinton does have progressive ideas and her own diplomatic skills. If not for her blindness in voting to support the Bush War in Iraq and then not having the courage to see that as a mistake, I might have supported her candidacy.

    The politics of the superdelegates and the selfishness of Florida and Michigan to move up their primaries are examples of “legitimate” abuse of power. Neither of these promote trust in a party or process for change. For those voters who are ready not to vote because of feeling their voice is not being heard, don’t forget what the last seven years has been like. The arrogance, selfishness, and insensitivity of BUSH/CHENEY/ROVE…. has to be ended and John McCain will not not do that.

    Regardless of who wins the nomination of the Democraticic Party, I will be voting for. Let’s get finished with the primary process and move on.

  112. jason @ 85

    Of course the Republican governors of Florida and Michigan want the controversy

    The Governor of Michigan is a Republican? When did Ms Granholm switch parties? How come I wasn’t informed?

    David @ 117

    You can believe whatever you’d like about the 2000 recount, but the facts stand pretty clearly for themselves, most critically, the deep corruptness of the Supreme Court disclaiming any precedential value. If it was just a matter, as you say, of upholding the Constitution, why on earth would they do that?

    Look. Just read the Constitution. Oh here

    Article II Section 1

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    Pretty clear, huh?

  113. That’s a truly terrible idea, John. Do you really want to piss off all the Democrats in two big swing states? That’s cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    You can’t seat delegates based on an election that the DNC told us didn’t count, and you can’t go into a razor-close convention without delegations from Florida and Michigan.

    They’ve got to have DNC-funded caucuses in May or June. There’s no other option that isn’t suicidal.

    I don’t have time to read all the comments – I’m writing this from a sporting event – but I’m sure there have been a few Clinton supporters parroting the “Obama didn’t HAVE to take himself off the ballot” line.

    I don’t buy that. Clinton took the same pledge as everyone else, and then didn’t live by it so that she’d have Michigan and Florida in reserve if she needed them.

    I’m one of the few people who doesn’t believe the media hype that this race is destroying the Democratic party. You don’t have massive turnouts in Texas and Ohio if everyone is pissed off. This keeps Clinton and Obama in the media while McCain twiddles his thumbs.

    But alienating Michigan and Florida’s Democrats in order to prove some nebulous point would undo all of that.

  114. I am surprised at how angry some people seem to be towards Michigan and Florida.

    A number of people cite the need to adhere to “the rules”, but as I understand it, a do-over primary or caucus would be in compliance with the DNC rules. So it appears that people are somewhat inconsistent in how much they respect DNC rules.

    On the other hand, seating the current Michigan and Florida delegates at the Democratic national convention WOULD be in violation of the DNC rules. It also would be unfair, as Obama was not on the ballot in Michigan. Furthermore, there was no campaigning by any of the Democratic candidates in Michigan or Florida, and I do think voters make more fully informed choices after a real campaign.

    I assume that both Michigan and Florida political leaders acted in frustration over the undue influence both Iowa and New Hampshire have over the Presidential nominating process. I believe they were ill-advised to violate the established rules, but the established rules are also a bad idea. Why should Iowa and New Hampshire, which are wildly unrepresentative of the U.S. population, always have a disproportionate influence over the Presidential nominating process? This really isn’t a good public policy, even if it is in accordance with DNC and RNC rules.

    I believe we need to rethink the Presidential nominating process. There is some advantage to allowing candidates the opportunity to begin campaigns on a small, grassroots scale, but why does this have to always be in Iowa or New Hampshire? What about randomly choosing some number of election precincts to have the first primary, with all precincts in the U.S. having an equal chance of being chosen? That would allow small-scale, grassroots campaigns without big money to be feasible, but would not disproportionately and permanently favor voters in Iowa and New Hampshire.

  115. You know, I was really angry when the state legislature voted to move my (MI) primary. I didn’t vote to do it, and I didn’t vote for but ONE legislator in the state legislature. I voted for the governor, but she has disappointed me time and again.

    But they did it, and it was them I was angry with about it. I wouldn’t be campaigning right now for the votes to count. I absolutely think the votes should not count. I was told I could not vote for my chosen candidate and that the delegates would not count.

    If they count the delegates from MI for Hillary, well, that’s crap. I like Hillary. I think she’d make a fine president. I’m happy to be in a primary season in which the two leading candidates are both candidates I’d be happy supporting in November. But I would have voted, in my primary, for Obama. Michigan’s results are illusory, and should not be the basis for any awarded delegates, period.

    So if they are going to stick to the original rule and NOT count MI’s delegates, then fine (that leaves me just as pissed off at my legislature and governor, but they have the power, they used it). But if suddenly they are going to count, that goes beyond disenfranchising me. That’s like tricking me out of my vote, like a potential lie about who the state would have picked had there not been (potentially dis-)information disseminated about the meaning of that primary. In that case, damn straight I would prefer a new primary.

    [If I don’t get one, though, I’ll still vote in November. I really think any democrat that abstains from voting in November because of some perceived slight by the party in any direction suffers from a really unbelievable disconnect from reality. The damage a continued Republican executive would do to real, actual human beings who are suffering, here and abroad, is far greater than your or my feelings about the counting of primaries. We need competent, qualified people heading up and staffing our executive agencies, folks, and we could do without any more Republican nominated federal judges. Really.]

    And believe me, I know which bodies are to blame for this debacle and which aren’t. I’m making noise about that, too. But I didn’t vote for Hillary, and the fact of the matter is that no one knows how many people in Michigan would have voted for Obama if they were permitted to and had known the primary would count. If they suddenly decide to go back and count Michigan’s delegates, then it’s not just the Michigan legislature and the governor to blame anymore, it’s the national party apparatus too.

  116. Let’s see, the Repubs in Florida get to count half their delegates, while the Dems in Florida get no delegates.

    And of course, it was the majority Republican house and senate that passed the bill signed by a republican governor, and the democrats get to pay for it EVEN MORE than the republicans?

    It FL and MI don’t get their delegates allowed, expect that the current situation won’t be around 8 years from now.

  117. #111
    “If you’re going to argue facts, what’s your source?”

    My source is CNN Election Center. I also believe that the Clinton Campaign would be screaming from the rough tops that she has the popular vote if that were true.

    I believe the states should pay for their own election and not expect the DNC to cover the costs. Hillary has been saying that FL and MI should be allowed to sit for some time now. My issue with this whole process is that she is playing on the emotion of voters and making them feel that their voice is not being heard, dividing her party, and all for what. If she doesn’t win this nomination she is hurting the party’s chance of winning it as well. I feel that she is trying to manipulate the situation instead of focusing on the issues and letting the voters decide. Now the both of them will start to attack one another which is not good for the party. Tearing each other to shreds only helps the Republicans. If Obama attacks her there is the risk that Hillary supporters will be turned off and not vote for him in the general election and vice versa. Let’s get back to the issues!!!!

  118. @119: I’m seeing a lot of talk of the form “Now that Hilary’s behind, she wants to count the Michigan votes”. Please check your sources if you believe this is a recent thing. Hilary has been campaigning for Michigan’s delegates to be seated since long before the race got this close and she got behind.

    Absolutely true. Within a week of having won Michigan –unopposed, because she was the only major candidate to have not actively removed her name from that ballot — she started that meme. Likewise, on the night of the meaningless Florida primary she actually flew to the state to host a (phyrric) “victory” celebration.

    But to argue for seating these delegates — especially Michigan’s — completely discounts the experience of the voters, themselves. Voters were disenfranchised *at the polls*, as Obama and Edwards weren’t on the Michigan ballot. More, Michigan Democratic Party announced that write-ins were not allowed and would not be counted.

    Some voted for “uncommitted.” Some voted for their second or third choice. Some crossed over to the Republican primary to vote against a candidate. And many simply stayed home.

  119. Look. Just read the Constitution

    Frank @121. You’re stuck. If you want to argue that the Supreme Court decision was simple, above board and just enforcing the Constitution, then why the denial that it was a precedent? After all, it would seem to be a critical precedent for Upholding the Rule of Law…

  120. David @128

    If you want to argue that the Supreme Court decision was simple, above board and just enforcing the Constitution, then why the denial that it was a precedent?

    All the Court did was limit their ruling to the facts of this particular case: where a Legislature established a protocol and a State Supreme Court tried to violate that protocol.

    Again, the Constitution is not tricky on this issue. The language is clear and understandable. The Supreme Court tried to warn the FSC of this before they made their ruling but the FSC was too dense to be able to, you know, read.

    I should point out, however, that at least the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Stewart v. Blackwell treated Bush v. Gore as a precedent saying

    “The Supreme Court does not issue non-precedent opinions,” Martin wrote.”Even if the Court was playing fast and loose with the law, we, as an inferior court, are not in a position to disregard Supreme Court precedent because we think they got it wrong….Whatever else Bush v. Gore may be, it is first and foremost a decision of the Supreme Court of the United States and we are bound to adhere to it.”

  121. deCadmus: Obama and Edwards took themselves off of the MI ballot. There was no party rule saying they had to. They both did it to pander to Iowa and kiss up to the DNC. It worked for them somewhat in Iowa–they got “paid” there for doing it. But it’s pretty whiny to complain that you didn’t get any votes when you took your name off the ballot yourself.

    Bryan Price: The majority of Dems in the FL House and Senate voted for the bills as well. The FL and MI state Dem parties had many avenues available to them to get around the problem, and many chances to exercise them. Other states have shown how to do it. MI and FL chose to tell the DNC to eff off instead. Suck it up–the Republicans aren’t to blame.

    Political cannibalism at its finest. Neither Clinton nor Obama are responsible for this mess either. The DNC and the state parties made it themselves. The DNC wanted to enable a front-runner to have clear-field time to campaign while the other party tore itself down. It worked…but for the other party.

  122. I’m from Michigan and I do NOT want the joke of a primary that was held here counted. The only name on the democratic one was Hillary’s. That’s a democracy? Our democrats in office in Michigan decided to move up the primary even after they were told not to. They were told what the ramifications would be and that our delegates wouldn’t be seated etc.

    It angers me that we don’t get a say. I think we should have a caucus or another primary and I think the Michigan democratic party should have to pay for it since they put us in this situation. Then count our votes.

    I voted “uncommmited” which irked me but I know of way too many people who refused to vote as they were told our votes wouldn’t count or to vote “uncommitted.”

    They had better not count them as it stands now. That is NOT a democracy.

  123. Seating the MI/FL delegates will NOT happen. It’s a waste of time to even consider it. The party is not (that) suicidal.

    A “re-do” caucaus or primary -might- happen, but given the logistics and time frame involved, it is pretty unlikely. Remember, neither candidate has a compelling interest in actively pursuing a re-do as it would result in another relatively close vote with few net delegates to gain for either side.

    The big question that bears discussion (and the one that poses a real threat to the party) is the super delegates. They are not a solid block, many are not beholden to any constituancy, and as a rule are more influence-able by Clinton’s machine than Obama’s. If they make the difference and push her over the top without her getting the popular vote the party is gravely fractured.

    And…while she can’t win by insisting that the MI/FL delegates be seated, she -will- use her Florida and Michigan “wins” (and her superiority in big states) as a rationalization. Its a very real possibility that she’ll at least make a serious stab at it.

    I think the Democratic Party is in for a very rough convention.

    They could turn it all around, though, with one move. Somehow, someway, they need to get both candidates on that ticket.

    If done right (big if), the enthusiasm, relief and unity of the party coming out of Denver would be unstoppable.

    McCain wouldn’t know what hit him.

  124. All the Court did was limit their ruling to the facts of this particular case: where a Legislature established a protocol and a State Supreme Court tried to violate that protocol.

    Frank @ 129. You’re still stuck. _All_ Supreme Court cases have a specific set of facts attached to them. They nonetheless act as precedents. This one the Supreme Court explicitly declared _did not_. If it was a straightforward a Constitutional decision as you are arguing, why wouldn’t they want it to be a precedent?

    You can’t have it both ways: either it was a simple and Constitutional decision and there was no reason for it not to be a precedent, or it wasn’t.

    By the way, you yourself concede that with your last remark:

    I should point out, however, that at least the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Stewart v. Blackwell treated Bush v. Gore as a precedent saying…

    In other words, the 6th Court essentially said to the Supreme Court “WTF? You can’t make a decision and then say ‘But this isn’t a precedent.'”

    Oh, and defending a Supreme Court decision with a quote that includes the words “‘Even if the Court was playing fast and loose with the law…'” is not a good decision.

    That’s about as close as a lower court is going to get to saying that the Supremes screwed up.

  125. Shan: #126: My source is CNN Election Center.

    Your source seems to support my claim. I coudn’t find a summary total for popular votes on CNN’s site, but adding up the state by state totals for primaries and caucuses from CNN, my point stands: Clinton has a tiny, tiny lead (13,272,940 to 13,225,770) in popular vote, if one counts MI and FL.

  126. Kevin

    Real Clear Politics as the totals at 13,568,983 for Obama and 13,277,974 for Clinton with Florida figured in.

  127. Frank,

    And when BOTH FL and MI are counted it is 13,568,983 for Obama and 13,606,283 for Clinton. As I pointed out in my original post (#67), she holds a tiny, tiny lead when both MI and FL are counted, but since Obama was not on the MI ballot, that doesn’t mean much.

  128. Kevin,

    You are correct in if you count FL & MI she has the popular vote. This will be quickly refuted with the fact that he wasn’t on the ballot at all in MI and still her lead is narrow. MI provided her with more than 300K votes. The popular vote “lead” she has now is a fallacy. One blogger also mentioned the fact the several people did not vote b/c their candidate was not on the ballot. I honestly don’t believe that Hillary wants a re-vote. She wants the delegates seated b/c she feels she can influence them more. Just so there is no question, I would like to see a re-vote. I don’t believe the states will invest in another vote.

  129. As far as FL goes, I thought it was the Republican legislator and governor that set the primary date. I don’t know FL politics well enough to know whether the Democratic leaders spoke up against this or just went along with it. Whether FL Democrats lose their voice should be based on that.

    For MI, well, the Democratic leaders gambled to be more relevant by using the people’s votes and lost. They should answer for that. I’m fine with my vote not counting this time (I’ve had a long history of voting more idealistically than practically, hence I’ve wasted many votes), but I think it would be unfair to count our votes unless there was a do over of some sort to be fair to Obama, who played by the DNC rules and stepped back from the MI primary to the point of removing his name from the ballet while Clinton did not.

    Oh, and as for whining? Dude, voting is my duty so I CAN whine and kvetch about the results. Don’t take that away from me too.

  130. From what I just heard on the radio, the Florida Democrats were all for the change and one of them even sponsored the bill. They went “all in” on the idea that the DNC would think Florida was too important to exclude and they lost. If this is true, then we have no excuse and I promise to vote for someone else if my state legislators were involved.

    That being said, I still think it is wrong for Charlie Crist to be whining on my behalf now. If he cared, he should have vetoed the bill when it hit his desk.

  131. [Deleted for being all caps. Bobr, if you think you can type without using the Caps Lock button — and can type somehing at least tangentially related to the topic — you may try again — JS]

  132. the DNC and Dean in particular brought this whole mess on themselves by not living up to their own rules.

    The DNC rules are similar to the RNC in that the stated penalty was to have been half of the delegates. The DNC opted to ignore that and disqualified all of their delegates. The RNC stuck with the 1/2 penalty, and will seat 1/2 of their delegates from each state.

    Why Dean thought it would be a good idea to seat no Florida delegates after the 2000 fiasco is the question that everyone should be asking. He should be looking for a job, but incompetence seems to be a plus for democratic politicians.

    And Obama was on the MI ballott and took himself off. He didn’t have to. The DNC asked people not to campaign in FL and MI they didn’t say there wouldn’t be a vote. He has no basis to complain.

    Hilary wasn’t the only name on the MI ballott, she was just the only major name.

  133. The problem is that both parties are letting two rather insignificant states (Iowa and New Hapmpshire) throw what amounts to temper tantrums if they can’t be the first to hold their primaries/caucuses.

  134. It is obvious to me that if there is any blame for the situation in both Michigan and Florida it should rest upon the shoulders of the Democratic leadership who elected to disregard their own party rules. (What were they thinking, dahhh???).
    I think it is rediculous that now, both delegations are crying and belly-aching about the end result, because they knew fully well before hand what would transpire.
    Now, these idiots from Michigan and Florida are making the Democratic Party look like fools!!! They want to take away monies/funds from the Democratic Party to re-do another primary in their states because of their foolish and very stupid actions, funds which could be used to get a Democrat into the White House. It makes me very, very angry.
    I say to all these idiots…go to hell…and Florida, you guys already cost America a Democratic President from the previous election and it looks like you folks are just about to do it again. What a bunch of idiots!!

  135. I totally don’t get this. I just watched the Gov of Florida suggest that the DNC pay for a do-over? This whole thing is internal to Fl. They made the choice to play out of turn, and the DNC is supposed to cover the cost? Florida is not elegible to participate in the primary, period!

  136. @140: [Deleted for being all caps….— JS]

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, John!! People who type in all caps are my pet peeve.

  137. #144: The states are under NO obligation at all to pay for PARTY elections. The parties can have them how and where and when they want. But if they want the state to pay for them….

    If the party wants a do-over, the party can pay for it. The taxpayers sure don’t owe it to them.

  138. Well, it looks like Michigan is going to have a caucus. I don’t object to Michigan and Florida holding a new caucus or primary, as long as they pay for it; just not seating the existing delegates.

    And, really, the Florida and Michigan legislatures are to blame here. It’s just especially ironic that they rushed forward their primaries this far in the year where later primaries are stronger …

    Hopefully the Michigan caucus will be between the Missouri and Pennsylvania primaries, so I don’t have to deal with (likely) over a hundred million dollars spent over 6 weeks here. I doubt it though.

  139. Near as I can tell, the party does NOT want any do-overs. This really has nothing to do with tax payers. This has only to do with the Democrats in Florida. They have made their decision not to participate in the primary elections. Why is their Gov going on CNN and asking the party to pay? I’m just saying that it’s over. FL just needs to get ready for the general election, and quit whining about a mistake that it made.
    Same goes for Mich.

  140. If they just want to make up numbers why not split the delegates down the line and move on. Since some voters did not show for the Primaries no way will they be seated. Sorry Hill!

  141. Another Michigan voter here. Hugh @ 91, I like your proposed solution and I would happily vote in a new primary or a caucus. As other commenters have pointed out, voters had no direct say in the early scheduling of the MI and FL primaries. Iowans and New Hampshire folks, I’m very sorry; I’d have hated the holiday campaigning too!

    I voted “uncommitted” because my preferred candidate was not on the ballot. So did, I believe, 38% of people who didn’t stay home. That to me is the most interesting number. I don’t want to see the results of this unfair election reflected at the convention. Anyone “whining” that the Michigan delegates should be seated based on the January primary results does not represent me. On the other hand, I would like to have a voice in choosing the Democratic nominee!

    “Rules are rules” seems too simplistic. This is politics – more about power than principles. (Sigh.) And unfortunately I don’t believe there *is* a fair way to schedule primary elections in a country this size. (Maybe less-unfair ways?)

  142. Thank you Jahfi!!
    The Gov of Florida Signed the bill that moved the primary up, violating the previously ageed to rules. He must not have wanted the Florida Dems’ voices heard. He was successful. I’m sorry, but Florida elected officials that worked to wreck the Democratic primary for the state. Too bad.. It’s over.. Let’s move on.

  143. As a Democrat from Michigan I headed out to the polls to exercise my right even though it was known my vote would not count. Would not count? The people of Michigan had no power over what repercussions/penalties the National Committee was aiming to put on us as a people. Punishing us “the people” for exercising our right when this right was opened to us is thumbing a finger at us as citizens of this country.

    As for a re-do I do not feel this is necessary. Our votes were cast by those of us who take serious our right to vote no matter what because we had faith democracy would hold out in the end. As far as those Democratic candidates that snub our state, shame on them for punishing the people hiding behind the guise of respecting the “rules.” Whose rules? Certainly not any rules us as a people had any control over. Punish those who had that control! Senator Clinton was the only Democratic candidate who stood up for the rights of the Michigan people by refusing to take her name off our ballot. I salute her for that and although I have always respected her, she earned my greatest respect and dedication to her for recognizing that to remove her name from our ballot was a direct insult to every single Democrat. Shame on those who removed their names. They definitely lost some of my respect as I have little respect fro those who turn their backs on the people.

  144. We now see clearly that Hilary is just like Bush, She will break all rules to satisfy her ego. What’s she going to do next, take us into war without following the rules? Why don’t we go ahead and write the constitution over while we are at it, since rules set in writing don’t matter.

    Of coarse the heads of state in Florida, and Michigan want a do over, their political future is at stake, including the VP nod of the florida Governor going out the window. They caused this, in my opinion the people of those two states should give them the boot and not further drive the Hilary wedge into the democratic party. Since when do we listen to what the republicans think we should do? Can you imagine if we were telling the republicans what we think they should do? oh right…Al Gore.

    I hope Americans now see clearly that Hillary will not be able to get anything she is promising done, because she will fight her own party and give into the republicans like she did before, instead of bringing the parties together to accomplish the goals she has set forth. If she is fighting her own party now, she will fight her own party when in office.

    The rules were set, plan and simple. Winning 3 out of 14 contests in not momentum, it’s not a comeback and it’s not a fight. She’s already lost and she should gracefully exist now rather than crying foul at everything, including the rules. I hope Hillary voters kept their receipt.

  145. You know, it is stuff like this that provides better entertainment than anything on television, before, after or during the writer’s strike.


    (Just kidding…)

  146. #153 Julian

    She hasn’t lost yet and there’s nothing guaranteeing she will. I don’t understand how you get the conclusions you do from any of this. She’ll get nothing done? Split up the parties? Fight democrats?

    Welcome to a hard-fought primary. All you’re doing is fighting different parts of your own party.

  147. Political parties up in Mich.
    want their state to vote again
        They advanced their polls
        but missed their goals:
    primarily to whine and Bich.

  148. I, like many others, played by the rules at the start of the election contest. I do not live in either Florida or Michigan. I was very well aware at the time of voting that Florida and Michigan were not going to count. This was a factor in deciding how I voted in another state. For these two states to have a re-do would not be fair to all the other people in the other states who also considered this in their decision of selecting a candidate. You just can’t go back and have a re-do in a portion of a national election. If there is to be a re-do it must be done across all states. There are just too many variables that are now different than when the elections took place. As an example, if Florida and Michigan counted, Edwards may have stayed in the race longer and influenced the proportion of delegates. Another example is many people within those states were told their votes were not going to count, so they didn’t even bother to vote. Why would you vote if it doesn’t count? There are many other examples of this.

    There is no good way out of this train wreck. Its a catch-22 situation. If you count the votes now, people will be mad. If you don’t count the votes, people will be mad. If their is a re-do, people will be mad. Regardless of the decison made, lawsuits will be flying. It is unfortunate for the voters of those two states that had no decision in this.

    There is no way the Democratic Party is going to be able to fix this. I have but one question regarding the “super” delegates. Are the votes of the “super” delegates going to count from those who reside in either Florida or Michigan?

  149. Barry

    Are the votes of the “super” delegates going to count from those who reside in either Florida or Michigan?

    I’m pretty sure.

    Which is an interesting point. If they don’t do a redo, and they decide to abrogate the intent of the Superdelegates (which is to have them vote for any damn person they please) by telling them they have to vote for the person who won their state (which I have heard suggested), I think Hillary wins.

  150. Frank @ 159: Sure makes me glad I’ll be leaving Denver on Aug. 11th. I live in the Chicago area and am old enough to remember 1968 :(

  151. Kerry,

    I lived in the Chicago area in ’68. I stayed away from downtown then.

    The Republican convention is in Minneapolis this year. We’re all preparing for the influx of hookers.

    Hookers or hippies? Hmmm, what to choose, what to choose.

  152. Frank,

    Dang, the Democratic party might be really heading for some trouble.

    Listen everybody, we are all smart people and it is Friday so let’s get together and brainstorm this for some creative solutions.

    I’ll start us off. What if Obama married Hillary in some sort of group marriage thing? If they are both President they are above the law, right? Charges of bigotry are out. It could be like a reality show with cameras and stuff.

    Really, we can do this people! We’ve got the time and we’ve got the talent, now I want some solutions!

  153. Tripp @161

    Hookers or hippies? Hmmm, what to choose, what to choose.

    Makes me want to go Republican.

    Of course, given how underperforming Global Warming has been this year, I’m not sure I want to be Minneapolis in September.

    Bad enough livin’ in Vermont.

  154. I’m skipping to the end, John, so please forgive me if there’s been repentance and such, but:

    The *states* didn’t do jack. The *state political parties* did this, and the *national political parties* decided that they didn’t like it. I live in Michigan, and had no more voice in this than I’ve had in – well, most of what’s been going on in this country.

    Just another reason that I tell Democratic politicians to s*ck , um, ‘it up’ if they want my money.

  155. WHY did Florida and Michigan break the very same rules they voted to appove a year and a half earlier? WHY?

    They knew they were breaking the rules, now they have to pay the consequences.

  156. Jeff #165: FL and MI did not “agree” to those rules other than by not yanking their state parties out of the national party in protest when the DNC leadership and some pet activists rammed it through on a voice vote. Many state Dem parties objected to shoving Nevada and South Carolina up to the head of the line–including New Hampshire and Iowa–but the activists won the voice vote. The FL and MI state Dem parties “agreed” to it in the same fashion that SF/Berkeley voters “agreed” to a second Bush admin by casting ballots for other guys in 2004.

    Of the 70 or so DNC “leaders” (officers, vice-chairs, and national chairs) wanna guess exactly how many FL and MI have between them, total? ONE. No, the FL and MI Dem parties did not “agree” to the change. It was forced on them. The state parties revolted and told the DNC “up yours.” In retaliation the DNC rules committee re-set the traditional and expected half-delegates penalty to an ALL-delegates penalty. Also on a voice vote.

    And no, it wasn’t an evil Rovian plot. The votes in FL and MI to set the primary date were made after the rule changes that moved up Nevada and SC, and was unanimous in the FL House, nearly so in the FL Senate. Not sure on the precise totals in MI, but it was also a massively bi-partisan move.

  157. John,

    Your understanding of the Florida/Michigan situation is lacking a couple of important points. The move to have a “redo” in Michigan and Florida is not coming from the state parties, but from the candidates (especially Hillary Clinton) and from the national party. It has always been understood that these delegates would end up being seated at the convention, and it was assumed that it wouldn’t matter because by then there would be a presumptive nominee. No one (well, I did) imagined that the Florida and Michigan elections really would matter. As for “bad behavior” that is a matter of opinion. This is a power struggle between the national and state parties, but the state parties do have the legal right to set the date for their own primary elections (the Michigan supreme court ruled in favor of the state parties on the matter). The national party wants to control the process by setting an order of precedence, and is willing to disenfranchise millions of voters in order to assert that control. (Voters which, by the way, had no say in the timing of the election.) What is your reason for jumping in on the side of the national party? I think you would feel differently if it was your vote that didn’t matter, or you that stayed home during the primary election because you had been told you had no voice, or if it was you that never got exposed to any campaign materials or ads from democratic candidates. (It was really weird visiting Ohio last weekend and actually seeing campaign commercials.)

    By issuing an ultimatum it wasn’t really planning on enforcing (banning the delegates) the DNC has created a royal mess. At this point there is no satisfactory solution. An election redo is impractical and will likely not happen for a number of reasons, and both state parties are flatly refusing to pay for it. But banning the delegates outright, especially when the nomination is in doubt, is also unsatisfactory. This is a really bad situation, and it will cast a shadow on the general election, possibly even costing the democrats the election due to the chaos and the lingering hard feelings.


  158. My only question is, should a few million voters get disenfranchised because a few political mucky-mucks decided to hold the Michigan and Florida primaries too early?

    I live in Washington state, where all of the Democratic party delegates are chosen by caucuses held for one hour on a particular Saturday afternoon. If you work, or are physically unable to be there, or whatever, you’re automatically disenfranchised. Any proxy you sign can’t put in your vote for a specific individual, s/he can only let ’em know you wanted to be there, basically.

    Isn’t all this sort of related to the laws that kept particular ethnic groups from voting back in the day???

    Please can we have a single national primary in September every four years, and an election the following November? Pretty please, with sugar on top?

  159. Everyone has a right to a vote.

    Everyone has a right for it to be counted.

    Does everyone have a right for it to matter?

    The reason I ask this question is that people are saying count the votes. OK, count the votes. Does the fact that the votes were counted mean that you have a right for delegates to be seated?

    I believe it was determined that the DNC is a private entity, much like the Girl Scouts. They can set whatever rules they want and the government can do nothing about them. The states have laws which they must follow. In this case, both Florida and Michigan had elections and votes were cast. There are vote tally’s from the states for the candidates. It is up to the DNC to determine whether or not to accept the results.

    The DNC rules clearly stated from the outset that the votes would not count. The DNC had the chance to change their minds and didn’t. What right does the DNC have to tell any state what date they should hold their primary. What if the Republicans, Libertarians, Independents, Green Party and others wanted to hold primaries on different days? Who sets the date for the elections, not any party, but the state. Can you imagine the cost of holding primaries on different days just because the Party told you so? No state should be told by any Party when they can hold their primary, unless perhaps the Party wants to foot the bill!!!!

    For all you people who are blaming the Florida Governor and the Florida Legislature for changing the date, I believe it was a bi-partisan effort to make Florida count more in the primary process. I hear you blaming them because they are Republican. Excuse me, but I believe there were Democrats who voted for it as well. Regardless, the state should not be told by any Party that they can hold elections on only certain days!

    I blame the DNC and the candidates for their arrogant stance on this issue. The candidates were merely following the Party bosses. This shows a lack of leadership and judgement on their part. It should be the one issue all candidates from any party agree on – that being to count the votes. Why would anyone want to vote for someone who goes against this founding principle of America? It goes against common sense not to let the voters votes count. Perhaps this is what is lacking in the DNC and the candidates. The DNC and candidates think they can dictate policy to the people. They have it backwards.

  160. If you don’t count Florida and Michigan, That will be saying America doesn’t care about our Millitary Men, and Women fighting in Iraq, and saying to them we are sorry your vote don’t count, because the rules are the rules. Is that what Sen. Obama wants?
    .Hillary thinks you should count Florida and Michigan votes.

  161. Doc

    Are you calling Hillary a “flip flopper”. I believe she actually agreed with the DNC and Obama on not letting the votes count. Obama, to his credit is at least playing by the rules. Unfortunately, both candidates had the chance early on to show their leadership and judgement – both of which were sorely lacking. Why would anyone even think about not counting the votes? Why would anyone now even think about voting for either one of them?

  162. Screw ‘em.


    The Democrats have abandoned democracy in favor of arbitrary party rules.

    And now we can all live happily ever after.

  163. The rules are rules, and they’re not arbitrary as so many others have complained. To just count the votes as they were made is completely unfair to Obama, as he chose to not campaign in Fla and Mich because their votes didn’t count. To do a re-vote is economically impractical, and again would unfairly favor Clinton, as she had already campaigned there for some time. The only fair thing to do is to ignore these states and reduce the total number of delegates needed to win (currently 2025) by the 266 votes from these two states. Thus, 1759 delegates wins the nomination, and we’re MUCH closer to having a real nominee!

  164. Mike

    Why would you want to support a candidate who shows such a lack of leadership and JUDGEMENT? I believe the word “JUDGEMENT” is now copywrited by Obama and nobody else has the right to use the word unless he says so. Obama, as well as Clinton, and many others in the DNC agreeed to strip the residents of Florida and Michigan of THEIR right to have THEIR vote count. They need to get off their high horse and realize that the people are the ones in power, not them. The right to vote is the most basic principle of American society. If these candidates can’t understand this, this country is in a “WORLD” of trouble.

  165. The one bit of sympathy that I have for the Florida Democratic party is that the primary date was enacted by a Republican-controlled legislature and signed by a Republican governer. When it became clear that the DNC was going to enforce the penalty for the early primary, the Democrats tried to get the date changed and the Republican leadership in the state house prevented it. Their rationale was because there was a big property-tax referendum on the ballot that needed to be approved as soon as possible, but going back to super Tuesday would not have been a problem.

    Since I’m a registered independent down here, and the primary is closed, I didn’t get to vote anyway. I think the fairest solution for Florida would probably be to convert the Democratic party’s penalty to match the Republicans’ and seat half the delegation. Michigan is tougher, since not all candidates were on the ballot there, so it’s basically awarding Mrs. Clinton some free delegates even with this approach.

  166. Bruce

    I believe it was a DEMOCRAT who introduced the bill for moving the primary date up. I don’t understand why people blame the Rebublicans for this, other than they need to find a scapegoat for the mess the Democrats are in. You can blame whoever you want, the bottom line is that no Political Party has the right to tell any state when to hold an election.

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