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Solomon's Baby

by: emptywheel

Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 13:38:03 PM EDT


What I'm about to write will probably get me bounced from local politics. But here goes--my suggestion for how you resolve the impasse over the MI delegates.

This is the current apportionment for the MI delegation:
emptywheel :: Solomon's Baby

Congressional District

Clinton Delegates

Clinton Alternates

Uncommitted Delegates

Uncommitted Alternates

       

 


1

2F, 1M

1M

1F, 1M

0

2

1F, 2M

1F

1F, 1M

0

3

2F, 1M

1M

1F, 1M

0

4

1F, 2M

1F

1F, 1M

0

5

2F, 2M

1M

1F, 1M

0

6

2F, 1M

1F

1F, 1M

0

7

1F, 2M

1M

1F, 1M

0

8

2F, 2M

1F

1F, 1M

0

9

1F, 2M

1M

2F, 1M

0

10

2F, 1M

1F

1F, 1M

0

11

1F, 2M

1M

1F, 1M

0

12

1F, 2M

1F

2F, 1M

0

13

2F, 1M

0

1F, 2M

1M

14

2F, 1M

0

2F, 2M

1F

15

1F, 2M

1M

2F, 1M

0

 


       

Subtotal

47: 23F, 24M

13: 6F, 7M

36: 19F, 17M

2: 1F, 1M

         

PLEO

10

0

7

0

At-Large

16

2F, 1M

12

1F, 2M

         

Total

73

16

55

5

The 47 Hillary delegates and the 36 uncommitted delegates were chosen on Saturday. Obama picked up most--but not all--of the uncommitted delegates (my estimate is that he got about 31 of the 36, with the others primarily going to union members who originally supported Edwards).

The PLEOs and the At-Large delegates have not been selected yet.

In addition, MI has 28 super-delegates (26 named and 2 add-ons), though there is a chance that Kwame Kilpatrick will no longer be a super-delegate by the time August rolls around.

My proposal is this: you seat the delegates selected on Saturday with full voting strength. That would net Hillary 11-16 delegates from having won the Clusterfuck in January.

You treat the PLEOs as is. This would net Hillary another 3 delegates from the Clusterfuck.

You split the At-Large delegates 50-50 (that is, 14 each). This would give Obama the opportunity to influence the selection of 14 of the delegates in Denver (his campaign did not vet any of the people who ran as uncommitted delegates on Saturday and at least some of the delegates selected are not solid Obama supporters).

You do not seat the super-delegates, at least not as super-delegates. The campaigns are perfectly free to use their 14 At-Large delegate slots to give to the people who would otherwise be super-delegates, but they will be delegates just like any other.

This solution accomplishes everything everyone has said they want to do. It would give MI's voters--the people who will do the grunt work to get our Democratic nominee elected in the fall--a say at the Convention. It rewards Hillary, slightly, for having won the Clusterfuck. It penalizes Obama, slightly, for taking his name off the ballot in January. And it penalizes MI, 28 total delegates, for having broken DNC rules and moved its primary up.

More...But it focuses that punishment on those who played Chicken with the votes of MI, and lost last year, rather than punishing those who had no choice in the matter and got their ability to cast a vote in a truly fair election. It penalizes the super-delegates, many of whom were instrumental in the decision to defy the DNC.

This is a way to avoid disenfranchising the voters of MI and to maintain the authority of the DNC. It asks each candidate to sacrifice so that we can resolve this seemingly intractable problem and turn our attention to beating John McCain.

Full disclosure: I voted "uncommitted" in January, not because I preferred any of the three major candidates at that point, but because I thought endorsing the Clusterfuck in any way would be wrong. I finally decided to support Obama after Hillary's people started posturing about the MI Clusterfuck; those actions badly exacerbated the already raw feelings in MI and I found them totally irresponsible and selfish. And for the same reasons, after Terry McAuliffe got on teevee on Tuesday and claimed that Hillary had "won" Michigan and that proved she could "win" the important states in November, I sent $100 to Obama.

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Solomon's Baby | 29 comments
I'm finally piping in... (4.00 / 7)
I'm one of the few front-pagers that really hasn't participated in any of the hundred or so threads on the presidential, for several reasons, but chiefly - because I've recognized this entire thing as a mess and could barely explain to others why I voted Uncommitted on 1/15 (I was an Edwards girl, through and through).

Several months later, another 50-75 posts later, I've been listening and watching to what everyone on here and other blogs have been saying. I have to say that this the first time that I've seen a plan that actually makes sense AND seems just.

So from the blogger who hasn't blogged on this subject - I finally am willing to start discussing it because for once it sounds like a plan that could work.

Shameless plug: Emptywheel and I discuss the convention, McCain, Obama and HRC on this week's Blogger's Edition of Off the Record with everyone's favorite Senior Capital Correspondent Tim Skubick and two right-wing bloggers. Let's just say the fur flies a bit. :-)  

I want to change the world, not help people adjust to it. - Millie Jeffrey, MI - National Women's labor and Democratic activist, Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient


Great job Julielyn and Marcy (4.00 / 6)
on Off The Record. Just watched it and what a treat. I got to listen to you two(and hear Marcy use pissed off three times) and see a real live princess.

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson


[ Parent ]
Damn (4.00 / 6)
I thought I had said pissed six times? I'll have to try harder next time.

Pissed. It's the new bitter.

Thanks though.


[ Parent ]
Go with the harsher words. (4.00 / 2)
Nothing draws in ratings better than a few bleeps:).

Great job.


[ Parent ]
Don't feel bad. (4.00 / 3)
I swore during my first and only time on television... I was 5 and it was the Deputy Don Show.

Anyone remember that kid's show? It was on Saturday mornings?

If you don't know what I'm talking about; Deputy Don was this old fat guy dressed up in a cowboy outfits and he had this shtick where he'd sit on one of the kids in the audience every show... and I happened to be the kid he picked to sit on.

I started punching and kicking and screaming for him to "get  his fat ass to get off me."

I'm pretty sure my mom probably made some sort of conscious decision that I never be on television again that day.  

The experience has also probably played a huge part in my decision to not reproduce... I've got a lot of payback that my mother constantly wished upon me when I was a kid waiting for me if I had kids and I'd just assume avoid trigging Armageddon by birthing the anti-christ. :-)  

I have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. Charles De Gaulle (1890 - 1970)


[ Parent ]
This plan gets my vote (4.00 / 3)
It's the closest I've seen to untying the Gordian Knot.

Ditto (4.00 / 2)
anything to get this behind us for crying out loud!!!

[ Parent ]
I agree (4.00 / 3)
This is the best I've seen. Rank and file get seated. Penalty falls on the deciders.

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson


[ Parent ]
I will repost a comment I made at WMR a while ago: (3.00 / 3)
"Clinton wants the Jan. 15 allocation:

District 47 36
PLEO 10 7
At-Large 16 12
Total 73 55

Obama wants 50-50, or as it would be, 64-64. A straight compromise would be 69-59, rounding up a half-delegate for Clinton. That would mean four more AL & PLEO shifting from Clinton to Obama. Not a problem.

But Clinton needs MI & FL to be hanging out there creating uncertainty, and the perception that they could change things if seated. Once seat them under this compromise, and people would do the math (again) and see that there was still no way for her to catch Obama.

Since this is a zero-sum game - only one winner - rationally, if a compromise was marginally better for one, it should be marginally worse for the other, and no compromise should ever be reached (assuming complete information on both sides). However, there is one aspect which is not a zero-sum game. Both candidates have to be thinking of their chances to carry Michigan in the fall, should they be the nominee. This should encourage both to favor a compromise that was close to neutral in terms of its effect on the nomination."
------------------------------------------------------------
Look familiar? Except for unseating the supers - an idea I have also endorsed in the past - this is exactly the same compromise you propose here!

The part I put in italics is why the two candidates should agree to this.

However, there are three problems:
1) I am afraid the Obama campaign is running scared right now, which means the focus is short-term, on the delegate count, and not in the mood to concede anything.

2) Even if MI could be resolved by a move of a paltry four delegates, the same is not true of FL; yet reaching a compromise on MI makes it harder to resist a compromise on FL, which would hurt Obama more in the delegate count.

2) As I say above, in the short term, Clinton has more to gain by keeping MI & FL in flux, to add to the uncertainty, rather than resolving the situation. Once resolved, we could do the delegate math, and it would be even clearer than now that she cannot reach a majority without a wholly implausible break from the remaining undeclared supers.

So, I am afraid that this goes on for now, unresolved. Things should be clearer in two weeks. (Ha! I've said that before...)



Didn't see that (4.00 / 3)
And didn't realize it makes mathematic sense, too.

I'm not sure Obama is running scared--you saw his 50 state voter reg effort?

I think the only way to advance this though--because the supers are sure to hate it--is to get a lot of support for it among realy MIchiganders and force both the campaigns to admit they get a bit of what they've been demanding, and they get a solution.

One other advantage of pushing this now (aside from the fact that Ferguson is pushing pretty much the opposite choice: give people like you a half vote but supers keep full strength) is because it'd force Hillary to admit that enfranchising Michiganders isn't what she really cares about. After all, this would ensure that all ELECTED delegates (admitting that the Clusterfuck was a Clusterfuck) voted. And it'd really stop there, and split the rest fairly.


[ Parent ]
As soon as I posted, I realized 'running scared' (4.00 / 1)
was too strong. Rather, they just don't want to give an inch that would validate the idea that Clinton still has a chance, even as they go on (admirably) to prepare for the general, spending some of their cash advantage on the Obama Organizing Fellowships, 50-state registration, and other efforts aimed at the fall.

I'm all for it - I just don't know how much voice us peons have in pushing this, even with our blogs as megaphones.

What about my point that MI entails FL, which is harder for Obama to agree to?


[ Parent ]
FL (4.00 / 1)
You're absolutely right. But I can't really speak for FL, because I do think it's not so cut and dry about why they had their mini-clusterfuck.  

[ Parent ]
Ferguson can take a flying leap. (4.00 / 4)
If his plan,( which penalizes us common folk, for the mistakes of those at the top, and rewards them) goes through then surely we must revolt.

The end of the human race will be that it will eventually die of civilization.

 - Ralph Waldo Emerson


[ Parent ]
The truth is...it doesn't really matter (4.00 / 4)
not as far as determining who the nominee will be.

Some fantasize that Michigan will somehow play a role in revitalizing the Clinton candidacy...it won't.

The primary will be all over but the crying after early June.

The Supers will step in and settle this (they may already be doing so...we may see it end after the May 6th primaries).

But Michigan and Florida must be punished to send a message to Iowa and New Hampshire, that they will be punished too if they continue to block revamping the primary process...how severe that punishment will be I leave to the DNC (who actually have the right to decide this).

The only thing I would want to see is that the Supers receive the brunt of the punishment here, as they were the jokers who caused this mess.


... (4.00 / 2)
And for the same reasons, after Terry McAuliffe got on teevee on Tuesday and claimed that Hillary had "won" Michigan and that proved she could "win" the important states in November, I sent $100 to Obama.

I heard that, and heard it from Carville in his debate with Bill Richardson.  I wish they'd leave us out of it, already, and stop treating this state like it's a pawn.

Among the Trees


Very reasonable (4.00 / 2)
I can also support this proposal emptywheel, however, a couple of your arguments are flawed.

1. Hillary has been the only candidate "trying" to settle this fiasco, so your argument that she "wants" this to continue unsettled is not only unfounded, but factually incorrect.

2. You completely ignore the fact that Obama also has been posturing. He has feigned innocence in the backroom deal he made with Edwards to take his name of the ballot to begin with. Then he has the audacity to ask for 50% of the delegates in a state that he has completely ignored both before and after the election? If that is not the most corrupt position I have ever heard of.... I don't know what is.

So, besides the one-sided accusations, the compromise proposal itself is the most sane thing I have seen so far. Kudos.

Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


So (0.00 / 0)
You're saying that Hillary's rejection of the only reasonable way to have a redo--and, incidentally, the way Michigander's DO elections--a firehouse caucus, had nothing to do with the failure of a redo? Sorry, that's false--had everyone decided on February 5 that we were going to do a caucus, we could have done so--by the time the primary failed, it was too late.

Also, you seem to be unaware of the fact that Hillary rejected allowing Democrats who had crossed over in the January Clusterfuck to vote in a re-do, which was the nail in the redo coffin.

Both candidates fought any reasonable solution. Suggesting HIllary did not ignores two months of events as well as the complex reasons why a redo failed.


[ Parent ]
And what has Obama rejected? (0.00 / 0)
The point I was making was that your accusations were oddly one-sided - as if Obama has never done political maneuvering a day in his life.

While I am very pro-Hillary, I don't think my candidate walks on water, parts the red sea, heals the sick and all that other stuff.

Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


[ Parent ]
Obama rejected (4.00 / 1)
A vote that would allow all the people that voted Democratic in January to vote again (that is, which would exclude a lot of like Obama supporters by definition), of dubious legality, that a lot of the Clerks believed unworkable. And he rejected counting a vote that no sane person believes to have been a real vote. Most egregious, IMO, was that he didn't immediately call for the most logical solution: a firehouse caucus, though at the time Hillary was adamant that shew woudl would not accept one.

Both rejected stuff. But the MI clusterfuck has become one of the key bargaining chips in Hillary's campaign. When her surrogates get on Teevee and claim this was a real testament to democracy is an insult to all the MI voters who lost their opportunity to vote in a real election. That's what pisses me off, the repeated claims that a vote that VOTERS knew full well wouldn't count should count.

As for whether I believe "my candidate" walks on water: "my candidate is whichever candidate wins our primary. Both are superb, but far from perfect, candidates.


[ Parent ]
Okay (4.00 / 3)
So as I've already stated your plan seems like the best solution. Even though opinion is split on the Joel's Ferguson thing, maybe it will take a person (like you or Joel) outside of official "leadership" to bring both sides to a final solution.

I'm like you, I just want this thing to be resolved. I'm all for stripping the supers if necessary as punishment so that the everyday person's vote counts.

Hey, maybe we should draft you to become part of the DNC rules committee??? (It's obvious the ones on there now doesn't have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot!)



Nothing is easier than solving a problem on the back of the poor. People who don't have lobbyists or clout.


[ Parent ]
I like this plan (4.00 / 2)
Of course, it will never happen. It makes too much sense and is far too just.

The Clintonistas will discount it because you gave money to Obama.

Some Obamaniacs will complain that the January 15th Primary simply wasn't fair.

The Party Apologists won't tolerate criticism of Dingell, Granholm, and the other party bosses who fucked this whole thing up for us.


So far (4.00 / 2)
No one has attacked me for giving money (on Tuesday) to Obama. Though I think I might continue doing so every time a Hillary support claims that Hillary's "win" in the primary proves she's the better candidate. Though I'll go broke.

I think the biggest problem is that the supers would hate it. But if a bunch of their constituents endorsed it, it might just work.


[ Parent ]
One More Thing (4.00 / 2)
The Party Apologists and Clintonistas will soon take issue with you for using the term "Super" Delegate, when it's "supposed" to be "Automatic" Delegate.

Lost of pressure would have to put on the Supers to swallow this. They are the ones that deserve to suffer the penalty for this mess, not the voters or the party activists.


[ Parent ]
This is very equitable (4.00 / 3)
And frankly it should be those who screwed things up who lose their vote.  Nice try at slanting things the way of their candidate but they failed and now should pay the price of messing things up for the rest of us.

Set out to not play fair (and mess w/everyone else's vote) end up losing your own.  This smells like justice to me.

Julie

To prepare for when your life flashes before your eyes, make sure it's fun to watch.


agreed (4.00 / 6)
it's the MI superdelegates who should lose their votes.

Check out my mediocre blog.

[ Parent ]
This works for me. (4.00 / 2)
All of the breakdowns between District-level, PLEO, At-Large, etc gets too complicated for me to follow, but I'd be perfectly OK with either your plan, or a similar one, that results in the Pledged delegates being split in an equitable manner, and the Michigan Superdelegates--or at least the ones who supported the Clusterfuck--getting NOTHING.

Given what an absolute mess this has become, under the circumstances (Michigan being a swing state in November, flaring tempers, etc), I'd be willing to accept Obama taking perhaps a dozen-delegate hit to settle this nonsense and take it off the table--but ONLY if the Michigan SD's are the ones punished for going along with this crap, as you suggested.


Check out the front page story at Daily Kos right now: (4.00 / 1)
http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

(reposted in full since, let's face it, 90% of his post is reposted from somewhere else already):

McAuliffe, circa 2004: Michigan "will not get seated" if they break rules

We already had top Clinton supporter Harold Ickes, who voted to sanction Michigan at the DNC, then now complaints about the sanctions he himself approved.

Now we have Terry McAuliffe himself, as DNC chairman, enforcing the very rules he now thinks should be broken.

Mark Nickolas digs out the relevant passages from Terry McAuliffe's own book:

"I'm going outside the primary window," [Michigan Sen. Carl Levin] told me definitively.

"If I allow you to do that, the whole system collapses," I said. "We will have chaos. I let you make your case to the DNC, and we voted unanimously and you lost."

He kept insisting that they were going to move up Michigan on their own, even though if they did that, they would lose half their delegates. By that point Carl and I were leaning toward each other over a table in the middle of the room, shouting and dropping the occasional expletive.

"You won't deny us seats at the convention," he said.

"Carl, take it to the bank," I said. "They will not get a credential. The closest they'll get to Boston will be watching it on television. I will not let you break this entire nominating process for one state. The rules are the rules. If you want to call my bluff, Carl, you go ahead and do it."

We glared at each other some more, but there was nothing much left to say. I was holding all the cards and Levin knew it.

[Source: McAuliffe, Terry. What A Party!, p. 325.]

Now?

Terry McAuliffe: I'm saying they've already voted, let's count the votes. I'm saying that the state parties in those states need to work with the national party and figure out how we count the votes that have already been voted.

Hypocrite.



I'm Hazen Pingree... (4.00 / 7)
...and I approve of this plan!

I especially agree with the notion that the beautiful people (e.g. superdelegates) should be the ones to shoulder most of the pain of a cut in delegates. It's so...fair (which is why - unfortunately - they'll ensure that it won't happen). Nevertheless, some good, creative thinking there emptywheel!

"HAZEN S. PINGREE...He was the first to warn the people of the great danger threatened by powerful private corporations, and the first to awake to the great inequalities in taxation and to initiate steps for reforms. THE IDOL OF THE PEOPLE"


The only thing I'd change (0.00 / 0)
is giving those extra delegates to the unions ot be divided up equitably...if, after all, the primary was supposed to highlight the concerns of working America...

Having a block of uncommitted union delegates might make them talk more about workers issues...

Then again, they might just up the pander meter...


Solomon's Baby | 29 comments

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