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May 29, 2008



It's funny, I always thought that elections in this country were decided by a formal process, not the parsing of polls. And also: The Clintons weren't dissing caucusese (or the media that anointed the Senator the inevitable party choice) right through the end of December.

The Democratic party has a process for choosing its candidate. That process includes your vote and my vote and all the other votes that have already been cast. How the different choices do in various polls (whose validity may be no better than the polls out of New Hampshire on the morning of its primary) is completely beside the point.

I'm a Democrat because I believe in democracy. Votes, not surveys.

John Petty

Hi Jody,

Then, since well over two million people voted in FL and MI, you undoubtedly support the seating of those entire delegations. Great!


Well, as it happens, I do support seating those delegations.

I think it should be pointed out that those people voted with the knowledge that their delegates were going to face an uphill battle to be seated, though, too.

I mean, if my state decided to hold its presidential election two months early, and the FCC told my state it wasn't going to count our electoral college votes because we were breaking the rules, and I went off to vote, I'd be pretty foolish to expect the FCC to say, "oh, well, if you REALLY insist, sure, we'll count your votes after all."

Especially if my state decided to, I don't know, leave McCain's name off the ballet.


[You still haven't addressed my actual point, which is that now Clinton seems to be arguing that elections matter less than polls for determining our party's candidate. How very democratic of her.]


I just realized, it's the House that ratifies the electoral college vote, isn't it. Same idea, though.

John Petty

As indicators of how people will likely vote, polls are obviously an imperfect instrument. Still, you take a look at the electoral map, and Hillary looks to be in better shape than Obama.

RE: MI and FL. They were not the only states that didn't "follow the rules." Neither did NH, IA, and SC. (Obama took his name off MI because he was sucking up to IA.)


The Democratic Party set the rules. On the day that NH, IA, and SC voted, they knew that their votes would count and their delegates would be seated.

FL and MI knew theirs would not.

Obama was not the only person who withdrew his name from the MI ballot.

Briefly: I think FL should be seated. Not-campaigning probably hurt Obama a little, but not enough to justify not seating everyone. MI is a problem, because who knows that "none of the above" did to the tally. Edwards and Richardson weren't on that ballot either, and at that point, they were still getting votes. There are undoubtedly Clinton supporters in a Clinton-Obama-Edwards contest who voted "none of the above" because it's sort of a cool option. There were undoubtedly others that chose Clinton as the only choice who would have voted for Obama, Edwards, or Richardson if their names had been listed. It's a mess. MI probably shouldn't have let any of the candidates remove their names, for that reason alone. There's maybe more room to finagle those totals, but there's also an argument for giving "none of the above" to Obama (ick, I hate that choice) and Clinton's count to her.

It's obvious that the party Screwed Up. They thought it wouldn't matter that they "punished" MI and FL because they thought there would be a clear winner by March and that the delegates would be released then. Given when the party made these decisions, they thought that clear winner would be Clinton.

I am really tired of the "she does better in the polls" arguments in favor of Clinton's candidacy. Clinton would be a good president because she has built an excellent relationship with the military during her years in the Senate -- she would start the game WAY AHEAD of either of the last two presidents in that regard, and it's a crucial factor. Her health care plan is better than Obama's. She's been a more enjoyable, looser, better candidate the last six or eight weeks than Obama.

I haven't heard you talk about these issues in WEEKS. You are full of vitriol and anger and insults at Obama voters, and make endless hash of polls (something you'd think no Clinton supporter would after NH). I would have taken you off my blogroll if you didn't have the best lectionary commentaries I've ever seen. I like Clinton less after visiting your site than I do before.

At the end of the day, the party is pretty evenly split between Obama and Clinton, who both bring immense strengths to the party, both have strong advantages going into the final matchup, and both ran good races. Clinton approved all the rules back in 2007, when no one thought anyone but Edwards would give her a fight for the nomination that belonged to her. I felt genuine grief when she lost Iowa, even though I have supported Obama since that point myself, but it's not democratic or fair for her to protest the rules now, just because they ended up nominating (against anyone's possible expectations a year go) a different candidate altogether.

John Petty

Thanks for the plug on the lectionary stuff, but sorry I've made you mad otherwise.

FYI, you should see the comments I read from Obama supporters. I was being flat conciliatory today--on another blog--and got told to f-off twice, and told I was full of s- besides. I thought to myself: It's a good thing I don't blame Obama for the excesses of his supporters. I will admit, however, that a Democratic Party being run by such folks leaves me absolutely cold.

What's wrong with the "look at the polls" argument? To me, that's the absolute bottom line. Who can win? I think Obama can win, and that Hillary would win. Ergo, I'm for her.

Vitriol, anger, and insults? I'll plead guilty to occasional sarcasm, and maybe even a little vitriol. Not anger and insults though, unless you can supply examples otherwise.

Thanks for the visit, Jody. I enjoy the conversation.

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