Posted by Teh Nutroots | First off, let me get this off my chest one more time: Screw the DNC and its selective application of its intermittently all-important rules. What if the DNC had been as strict with SC as with FL and MI?
But apparently when SC decided to flout the rules, the DNC had grown tired of being hard-asses. See Wayne Barrett's discussion here (the part headed "Some Democrats are more equal than others"). "As much as the DNC tries to pretend otherwise, it had choices. In fact, it later showed understandable leniency to three other states who changed their primary dates--New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina -- seating all their delegates. The tough love treatment was reserved for Michigan and Florida." (HuffPost)
Obama's people have been negotiating with Hillary's about how many votes we actually get, though only as long as they get to discuss a plan for cutting delegate votes in half. I wonder why they'd want to do that? Shouldn't 'populist' Obama be in favor of having everyone's vote count? Could St. Barack have....an agenda? Nah, couldn't be!
I've never bought the argument that it would somehow be unfair to St. Barack to count all the votes from the Jan. 28 primaries, but: whatever. At this point anything's better than nothing. And I'm sick of having "Florida" blamed for what happened with the primary. That was our cagey, wily, heavily Republican legislature, as Wayne Barrett (of The Village Voice) explained:
The Republicans don't just control both houses of the Florida legislature. Their combined 103-to-57 majority allowed them to dictate the terms of the bill that moved the primary to January 29. It is true that all but one of the state's Democratic legislators supported the bill. But a closer look reveals that vote to be more an indication of a realistic and productive compromise with the ruling Republicans than any intent to breach Democratic rules.
Florida's leading news outlets, just like Michigan's, converted an early primary into a matter of state patriotism, and that point of view, coupled with the mathematical inability to even slow the Republican push, forced Democrats to roll over.
Another factor attracting Democratic votes in the legislature for the bill was one the DNC should certainly appreciate. Governor Crist threw a reform long sought by Florida Democrats into the bill: a mandatory paper trail for all votes cast in future elections. "The Democrats have been fighting for a paper trail bill since 2000," said State Senator Nan Rich, "and Governor Bush never would support it. So finally we got a governor who was willing to support it and it ended up connected to the early primary bill. That was unfortunate. If the paper trail hadn't been there, I believe we Democrats would've all voted no. Still, if all the Republicans had voted one way and all the Democrats had voted another way, the bill would've passed."...
But "the driving force behind the move," as the Tampa Tribune put it, was 36-year-old House speaker Marco Rubio, who announced that pushing the primary up was a top goal before he took over the House at the start of 2006. Branded a "Jeb acolyte" by the Florida press, Rubio...Rubio is a member of a wired Florida law firm whose chairman is so close to Bush that he rushed down to the county jail when the governor's daughter Noelle was arrested on a drug-related charge. When Rubio's term as speaker ends later this year, he is slated to go to work for a think tank headed by a Jeb Bush business associate. The primary bill originated with Rubio and ultimately passed the House unanimously -- but only after Democrats made what they knew would be a losing effort to alter it.
Martin Kiar and Mary Brandenburg, House Democrats who were cosponsors of the bill, tried to amend it. "We offered an amendment on the floor shifting the date to one within the Democratic party rules," said Brandenburg. "The Democrats all voted for it, and Republicans all voted against it." Actually, the Kiar/Brandenburg proposal did not completely comply with DNC directives, but it was a signal of the concerns Florida Dems had about the move-up legislation. Said Kiar: "No matter what, whether we supported it or cosponsored it, the Republican majority was going to push it through."
When the DNC sanctioned Florida, it critiqued the efforts of the Democratic leaders in both houses, suggesting that they'd merely gone through the motions of feigned opposition. But the House cosponsor of the bill, David Rivera, literally laughed on the floor at the Democratic amendment, according to the House Democrats. Going through the motions was all the outgunned Democrats could do. A DNC critic of Florida Democrats was reduced in a recent New York Times op-ed to citing remarks supporting the early primary made by state leaders after it was a fait accompli, likely because she couldn't make a case about their conduct before the Republican legislature set the date. (Huff Post; emphasis added)
But it seems that the DNC---doubtless disconcerted by the fury of the disenfranchised and Hillary supporters who resent her being cheated out of her delegates---has relented. Well, sort of.
From Democratic Daily:
Politico...reported that “earlier today, DNC chair Howard Dean told reporters, after a closed-door meeting with Florida’s Democratic congressional delegation, that the Sunshine State will be seated at the national convention in Denver this summer.”
“It is our intention to do everything we can and we believe we will absolutely seat the delegation at the convention in Denver,” Dean said. “It is in everyone’s absolute interest to see that happen.”
Rep. Ron Klein (D-Fla.) an unpledged superdelegate, called Dean’s comments “a breakthrough.”
Florida Democratic Party officials said they considered Dean’s comments “a ray of hope.” (DD)
Lots of Florida Dems haven't been happy. It isn't just us here at BN-Politics, you know.
About five dozen Florida Democrats held a rally last week near Delray Beach urging the DNC to recognize the state's primary. Broward County teachers delivered 10,000 messages to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz last month demanding the state's Jan. 29 vote count. (PBP)
At Dem Daily, commenter Gilbert Martinez wrote:
Dean must be feeling the heat.
If Obama accepts any deal, then that means he accepts the popular vote as well. That instantly gives Hillary a net of 250,000 votes or so. She instantly closes the gap in the days leading up to PA. Really, that’s what most of us “democracy concern trolls” (more on that later) care about anyway. The delegate apportionment is so screwed up that its hard to justify its use at all.
My guess is that Obama takes the deal because a revote is likely to net Hillary even more votes. But it really would change the narrative in the three weeks before PA. It would motivate her base even more and get those who have been frustrated to perk up a little more. Good news for Hill, bad news for B. Obama. (DemD)
Man, I hope. Like I said: better than nothing, though not by much.
The worst casualty of this crazy-ass campaign has been the respect I used to have for a very large number of prominent Democrats, starting with Howard Dean.