March 26, 2008

In Texas, the Obama campaign tries to win over Clinton's county convention delegates.

On the night of the Texas caucus, I blogged about the chaotic caucus my son Christopher attended. Scroll down to the 12:04 update.
Chris said that people didn't understand the rules. Could they just sign in and leave, or were they supposed to stay? Staying seemed to have to do with being chosen as a delegate for the state convention [actually it was the county convention], and they needed something like 40 delegates for the 300 voters in that precinct. What were they supposed to do if there weren't 40 caucus goers left in the end? The voters themselves had to "kind of take over and figure out what was happening." And this was in Austin with educated, politically involved caucus-goers, but there are 8,000 precincts in the state. Imagine the confusion on that scale. Caucuses are horrible, he said. Anyway, he ended up as one of the delegates for Hillary at the state county convention.
So he's supposed to go to the county convention and represent the Clinton, right? Or can he switch to Obama? Chris sends these photos of a card that came in yesterday's mail:

front of flier

back of flier

Chris emails:
I just got a flier in the mail from Barack Obama. It's clearly a special flier for delegates. It has my full name, address, and "Support Barack Obama at your County Convention!" There's no point in sending a message like that to anyone who isn't a delegate; the county convention is where the delegates meet, post-caucus. So, they got my name and address from a list of caucus delegates, and the lists of those delegates say who each person has pledged their support for. In fact, Clinton's campaign sent me a link to the lists that are sent to the campaigns, so I know what they look like. [ADDED: This list, which shows which candidate the delegate supports, is on line.] Technically, I could change my vote from Clinton to Obama, but the delegates were selected proportionately to represent the voters. Surely, he isn't suggesting that I do this, since he so firmly believes that delegates, pledged or super, can't go against the will of the people. Or is he?
He adds:
I'm not a "pledged" delegate yet. I'm not obligated to stick with Hillary until I sign-in at the convention and write "Clinton" by my name on the sign-in sheet, like voting at the precinct convention (the caucus). But the delegates were chosen at the caucus to proportionately represent both sides, so it would be against the will of the voters if I changed my mind about who I supported and then went to the convention and voted for Obama. Also, you could argue that it was computer-operated and they just plugged in the addresses of all the delegates, but obviously they would know that that would mean sending it to all the Clinton delegates.
Interesting. I don't think the Obama campaign is doing something wrong, but this mailing shows that the Obama campaign is fighting to flip Clinton delegates in Texas. Is Clinton doing the same thing and will some delegates slip away? What's really striking is that the effort of going out to a caucus in Texas on primary night doesn't seem to matter as much as it should. And, as Chris said, it's a tad hypocritical for Obama to encourage delegates to change sides, since he is the one who is trying to make a big principle out of binding the superdelegates at the national convention to the will of the voter.

UPDATE: I get a response from the Obama campaign.

95 comments:

AllenS said...

As much as I can't stand McCain, these two dems make him look better every day.

MadisonMan said...

Perhaps it's a blanket mailing to all county convention delegates. That would be easier to do than to send out based on candidate preference. The wording on the card seems generic to me.

Hoosier Daddy said...

As much as I can't stand McCain, these two dems make him look better every day.

Well in all honesty, that doesn't take much of an effort. Then again, this shouldn't come as a surprise either.

Perhaps it's a blanket mailing to all county convention delegates. That would be easier to do than to send out based on candidate preference.

You have a point but if you're not that politically savvy, as Chris stated, he thinks he was picked to represent Clinton voters proportionally to Obama.

For all the ranting over the Electoral College back in 2000, this type of process certainly seems more complicated.

tjl said...

"The wording on the card seems generic to me."

No it doesn't. The card reads "Support Barack Obama at your county convention." It doesn't say "please support the candidate of your choice." The message is clear.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Sorry, I think there's a difference between the county convention stage and once the pledged delegates have been chosen. I also think that to stem run-off from Clinton's poaching attempts, this is a perfectly appropriate defensive tactic.

I also have no idea why anyone would support Hillary Clinton at this point.

Slim999 said...

Hmmm,

This appears to be nothing more than a reminder to a group of people who seem to have no real clue what they're supposed to do that their job is not finished yet.

They actually have to show up to the Convention and finish their task. Not a bad idea with the MTV generation your son represents.

Nowhere in this mailing does Obama suggest that a delegate should "switch sides" and that you see something nefarious in this non-descript reminder notice is somewhat revealing.

Your son showed up at a political caucus with zero clue what you're actually supposed to do there. Your son should be better prepared if he is representing his Party at such an important task.

This criticism doesn't pass the smell test, but if you look hard enough, I'm sure you'll find what you're searching for in there somewhere.

Fen said...

I also have no idea why anyone would support Hillary Clinton at this point.

Its the same dilemma Louisiana voters faced: do you vote for a corrupt weasel [Edwards/Clinton] or a racist bigot [Duke/Obama].

Mortimer Brezny said...

Duke/Obama?

What are you cutting your meth with?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Your son showed up at a political caucus with zero clue what you're actually supposed to do there. Your son should be better prepared if he is representing his Party at such an important task.

Funny I said the same thing back in 2000 about those wizened seasoned citizens in Florida who possessed years of voting experience but couldn't figure out a Democrat designed ballot that a bunch of grade schoolers handled with ease.

Then again I also don't see what's wrong with a straight up vote rather than caucausing either.

Ann Althouse said...

Slim: "Your son showed up at a political caucus with zero clue what you're actually supposed to do there. Your son should be better prepared if he is representing his Party at such an important task."

Thousands of Texans went to those caucuses without knowing what they were supposed to do. It was chaos. Chris is describing the chaos. It's not his personal problem of not having a clue! He took responsibility for trying to figure it out and was able to see that the Obama people were organized and taking over, which bothered him a lot, and he did what he could on the spot to protect the candidate he'd shown up to support. Many others, even in the most educated town in Texas (I think) were walking in and out and signing in without even noticing how ineffective their actions where. The problem is with the caucus procedure, and Clinton supporters are right to be upset when they notice belatedly that Obama has built his lead on caucuses.

And my son wasn't "representing his party" when he showed up at the caucus. He went to a caucus as an individual.

Fen said...

Duke/Obama? What are you cutting your meth with?

Black Liberation Theology. As embraced by Obama while attending his little jew-hating anti-american madrassa.

ricpic said...

"...I...don't see what's wrong with a straight up vote rather than caucusing..."

Me too. But maybe caucusing does hold some advantage over voting. Can anyone say what that might be? Could it be that a vote is final but a caucus has the option to change its mind pending developments?

Der Hahn said...

Nice spin, and the mailing was obviously designed for that sort of plausible deniability.

On the other hand, if you asking me to believe the Obama campaign is so inept that they don't know which Texas county convention delegates support him, then explain to me again why I want him to be picking the people running the federal government?

ricpic said...

On second thought, a pledged delegate is a pledged delegate, whether arrived at by vote or caucus. Pledged means can't switch allegiance -- I think.

Fen said...

Many others, even in the most educated town in Texas (I think) were walking in and out and signing in without even noticing how ineffective their actions where.

Look to Dallas or Houston for "most educated town in Texas".

But Austin IS the center of liberal activism in Texas. So your point that these were not ignorant noobs is valid.

Middle Class Guy said...

I would bet that the Clinton campaign is doing the same thing in Texas and other caucus states.

Both campaigns are being run by seasoned professionals who know how to game the system(s).

Robt C said...

Per Encarta, Austin has the 5th highest percentage of college-educated people in the US. Houston and Dallas weren't listed in the top 20. FWIW.

Fen said...

Yes. But thats a percentage of total population.

brad said...

This comment thread as well as the campaign itself is draining any remaining hope that this country will be able to change direction in November. The vitriol so freely dished out is disheartening indeed.

Simon said...

Is this structurally somewhat comparable to asking "pledged" electors in the electoral college to vote the other way?

Fen said...

This comment thread as well as the campaign itself is draining any remaining hope that this country will be able to change direction in November.

Thats interesting. Obama has marketed himself as the bringer of Hope and Change to America. How effective an agent of Change will he be, considering that he can't overcome ONE senator's mudslinging?

Mortimer Brezny said...

The problem is with the caucus procedure, and Clinton supporters are right to be upset when they notice belatedly that Obama has built his lead on caucuses.

Why not be mad at their candidate who has so much executive experience that she couldn't plan ahead or budget properly?


Is this structurally somewhat comparable to asking "pledged" electors in the electoral college to vote the other way?

No, which was my point. The delegates haven't been pledged yet, and this is a defensive manuever.

reader_iam said...

I found the caucus experience to be a positive one (except that it was really, really, really crowded and my son was restless). But perhaps this has to do with the culture in Iowa and the fact that it was the first "contest" in the nation, before things started getting really gnarly.

That said, my precinct contained loads of "ordinary" people, many, many of whom aren't highly educated and many of whom are in the working class, working poor and so-called underclass. No one seemed to be having a real problem following what was going on, and on the couple of points where there was minor confusion, it was quickly cleared up.

Maybe it really does have to do with timing in the campaign season, how individual states' political process is conducted, and local culture???

Hoosier Daddy said...

How effective an agent of Change will he be, considering that he can't overcome ONE senator's mudslinging?

A senator from his own party no less.

Talk about irony.

Blue Moon said...

Middle Class Guy:

Hillary is doing the same thing. I am ostensibly a pledged delegate for Obama. Came home monday, hit "Play" on the answering machine, and got to hear the sweet dulcet tones of Hillary Clinton asking me to support her in these difficult times since she is the candidate with the experience to get things done. I wonder how she got my number...

Fen said...

Blue Moon, have recent relevations of Obama enabling racism [Trinity affected your support for him in any way?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Came home monday, hit "Play" on the answering machine, and got to hear the sweet dulcet tones of Hillary Clinton

I'd get your hearing checked.

I wonder how she got my number...

Obviously the FBI has a file on you.

Steven said...

Even "pledged" delegates to the national convention are not actually obligated to vote for the candidate to whom they are "pledged". No, not even on the first ballot.

So, if Obama's going after the Clinton delegates to Texas county conventions, what principle can he cite to object to Clinton going after the Obama delegates to the national convention?

bearbee said...

Stand For Change

Different face, old politics.

Tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend.....

Mortimer Brezny said...

Even "pledged" delegates to the national convention are not actually obligated to vote for the candidate to whom they are "pledged".

If that's your argument, then why have a primary and caucus system at all? Why not simply use national polls on an appointed day? And if so, Hillary Clinton should have won simply because she had higher name recognition. That isn't an argument, it's just hackery for Hillary Clinton. We can set it aside on that basis and that basis alone. No one is so dumb as to fall for that. Not even you.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So, if Obama's going after the Clinton delegates to Texas county conventions,

As a defensive maneuever to Clinton poaching Obama's delegates. The difference is self-defense. We could all uphold the same principle if Clinton simply hadn't threatened to poach at all.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

As a defensive maneuever to Clinton poaching Obama's delegates.

...just in case Obama delegates are having second thoughts about supporting a racist.

Roger said...

ricpic:

Disclaimer: I'm active in the Texas Republican Party.

The advantage to caucasing for delegates and having the primary on the same day is that the caucus allows party activists more of a say than those who just show up at the polls.

In Texas, the Republicans determine their delegate pledges by the results of the primary per Congressional District and the entire state. I'm not intimately familiar with the Democratic rules.

Mortimer Brezny said...

...just in case Obama delegates are having second thoughts about supporting a racist.

I don't think any Obama delegates were planning on supporting you, Fen.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Clinton poaching Obama's delegates

Well poaching in Indiana is illegal so she better watch her step.

Poaching eggs on the other hand is legal and a nice change from scrambling.

Blue Moon said...

Alright Fen, you asked for this (long post coming):

I am disappointed that he chose this church because of the life I have and the choices I have made. I am a 35 year old black man. My parents are both from the South and as such suffered through Jim Crow. My father was a great athlete in high school who could not go to the schools he would have wanted to go to because of his race. The recruiters would say "We'd love to have you but, you know..." So he went North, went to grad school, met my mother there, had me, then my sister.

I grew up out west in a middle class neighborhood. My classes were very diverse until we moved to the desert where blacks were less than 3%. I was more or less told by black people during high school that I had to choose: hang out with us exclusively and "be black," or hang out with everyone and be "an Oreo." At that point in my life I decided that playing the race game was pretty dumb so I decided to do my own thing. My best friend was black, and he decided to "be black." Even though his father was a very accomplished lawyer and his mother a PhD, he felt like he had to prove his "blackness." Unfortunately in the 80's (and today to a certain extent), blackness meant either being a great athlete or acting like an angry young man and seeking conflict and "respect" at every turn. Such was the myth of the black man then that he challenged three white kids to fight him at the same time and they ran away. He was always getting in trouble even though he was an honors student. Then, because black honors students were accused of trying to be white, he dropped those classes.

Not all was happy for me during this time. My white friends' parents liked me because I wasn't like "those other black people." They would actually say that to me. The girls I was friends with had parents who would freak out when I showed up -- some would even ban their daughter from venturing to my house (but they could go to white boys' houses).

With all that said, I believe that Obama, both politically and personally, felt that he had to prove his blackness. Ivy League mixed race guy shows up on the South Side in the 80's talking like a white boy never had a chance otherwise from a political point of view. I really do not believe he believes the stuff Wright says because I have been in settings where similar things have been said. The first time was when I went to a black youth conference when I was 14 where a woman was condoning the ANC's killing black people who "collaborated" with whites by putting flaming tires around their necks. My all time favorite moment was being a student at a top law school and listening to black some students rage about oppression -- 10 years later some of them are now $300k per year partners. I decided not to continue as a member of that group because I felt it was too negative, but even in law school I was never black enough for many of my colleagues.

You can say (and often I do) to the Wrights of the world "Get over it," but you have to remember that many of "us" carry the slights and insults of our pasts, not to mention the stories their parents told them (my parents were arrested umpteen times for violating the code). I cannot count how many times I had n-bombs dropped on me in junior high and high school. My mother had to fight to even allow me to apply to the Gifted program because the administrators asked "What makes you think he is gifted?" even though the new white kid next to me was allowed to apply no questions asked. I had teachers who would see me coming into the room the first day of school to "Honors English" and ask me if I was sure I was in the right place. Frankly, and this may just apply to me, if I did not have my faith in a God that transcends these petty racial templates we have I would be angry.

So, I am disappointed in him, I thought that he showed a weak sense of self by joining that church, and moral weakness in continuing to stay, but I understand because I have been faced with that choice. It ain't easy. To the extent you can feel sorry for a millionaire senator, I feel for him because the "race demon" chases all black people who do not accept the racial box that many black, brown and white people would have us stay in. Most people long for a sense of community and he felt that was the best way to gain it. As sad as I am about it, I still support him because he has largely run the campaign I would run and because I think he will use the demon for good purposes if elected.

Fen said...

Mort, how do you defend your support of Obama's racism? Ignore it? Justify it by pretending the other side is worse?

At the very least, can you admit that Obama enabled Wright's racism for 20 years?

And how would you respond to Krauthammer's question?

"Why did give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?"

Mort, why are you supporting a man who supports a racist hatemongerer?

Fen said...

BlueMoon: With all that said, I believe that Obama, both politically and personally, felt that he had to prove his blackness. Ivy League mixed race guy shows up on the South Side in the 80's talking like a white boy never had a chance otherwise from a political point of view. I really do not believe he believes the stuff Wright says...

Blue Moon, very thoughtful response. Thanks.

former law student said...

After what I've seen from Hillary, I was prepared for any kind of Rovian skulduggery from either side. But not (shudder, gasp!) a Glossy Postcard!

Glossy Postcard -- Deadly Enemy or Faithful Friend?

In the hands of a seasoned politician, a Glossy Postcard serves only to seduce and traduce loyal Hillarians to the enemy's camp.

But in the hands of your friendly and conscientious family dentist, a Glossy Postcard serves as a useful reminder that plaque, like McCain, is the common enemy. Brushing and flossing must be supplemented with scraping and polishing.

gophermomeh said...

ripic, I'd have to agree. With that small window of opportunity of someone possibly changing their mind, is it really that much of a crime to offer this up - with the offer coming from either candidate?

So some of the process is linear, some fluid - so what? This card takes that in to account. No one's trying to change your mind, but if there are crumbs available...and you're starving...

Do what you think is right and live with it. That's all you can do.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks, Blue Moon.

Tim said...

"I also have no idea why anyone would support Hillary Clinton at this point."

Really?

So you think all those Democrats in Pennsylvania who are going to vote significantly for Clinton over Oh-Bah-Muh are idiots, then?

I'm sure they appreciate your condescension.

Regardless, the Oh-Bah-Mi should not forget that were Hillary! a remotely likable candidate, Oh-Bah-Muh would be sitting on out in the audience in Denver, applauding her acceptance speech.

But she isn't, so they presume the cult chant of "Change We Can Believe In" is sufficient to elect the next President of the United States of America.

That ain't gonna happen.

former law student said...

If Tim didn't believe in the magic power of repetitive chants, why would he use them?

Paul Zrimsek said...

Oh-Bah-Muh

What, if anything, was the point of this? You sound like Maureen Dowd, for fuck's sake.

Cream City said...

I appreciate hearing about the caucus states from one involved.

That said, perhaps your son -- and others -- don't realize that this is why the delegate count is soft and essentially unknown as yet for a candidate who relied so much on caucus states. That's because the caucus process starts over at every level, re-caucusing for new counts, until state conventions this summer when the delegate counts to the national conventions finally will be determined from those states.

So until then, none of the caucus states' local delegates are "pledged." It is up to them to show up and stay strong for their candidate, so good for him. But if not enough show up for a candidate at each step of the way, those left will be out of luck -- and that is why numbers are shifting in other caucus states already (so far, about evenly for both candidates).

Mortimer Brezny said...

And how would you respond to Krauthammer's question?

I.

Dean Snyder, the senior minister for Foundry United Methodist Church — which the Clintons attended during Bill’s presidency — defended the Rev. Jeremiah Wright last week on his church’s website:

The Reverend Jeremiah Wright is an outstanding church leader whom I have heard speak a number of times. He has served for decades as a profound voice for justice and inclusion in our society. He has been a vocal critic of the racism, sexism and homophobia which still tarnish the American dream. … Dr. Wright, a member of an integrated denomination, has been an agent of racial reconciliation while proclaiming perceptions and truths uncomfortable for some white people to hear. Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.

II.

HANNITY: He's been -- but he's been going to the church for 20 years. His pastor -- the church gave a lifetime achievement award to one of the biggest racists and anti-Semites in the country, Louis Farrakhan. Would you go to a church that -- where your pastor supported Louis Farrakhan?

MCCAIN: Obviously, that would not be my choice. But I do know Sen. Obama. He does not share those views.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQquSOnlxJ8

III.

Stop polarizing the racial issue.

Mortimer Brezny said...

So you think all those Democrats in Pennsylvania who are going to vote significantly for Clinton over Oh-Bah-Muh are idiots, then?

No. I think a good number of them are Republicans.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Those of us who are white Americans would do well to listen carefully to Dr. Wright rather than to use a few of his quotes to polarize.

Thanks but I have and I think Ayman Zarwahiri should file a copyright infringment suit.

Fen said...

Mort: Stop polarizing the racial issue.

Not polarizing, just trying to figure out how someone like yourself with such a history of racial sensitivity would support a man who in turn supported Black Liberation Theology for 20 years:

James Cone: "If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him.... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."

How can Obama fans ignore that, Mort? How can you excuse such filth?

If the "destruction of the white enemy" is the goal of Black Liberation Theology, that fairly begs the question of Obama’s self-professed role as racial unifier.

[Note: Cone quotes taken from William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube (Westminster John Knox Press).

http://sayanythingblog.com/entry/spengler_cone_wright_obama_and_black_liberation_theology/

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

ricpic: As I explained, I can still switch alliances. I'm not pledged yet. Just to make it clear, at my precinct about 200 people voted for Obama and about 80 voted for Clinton. The math worked out so that 30 Obama delegates and 12 Clinton delegates were chosen for the county convention. So, a specific number of Obama voters and Clinton voters were selected, with the understanding that they would continue to support that candidate at the convention. But those delegates haven't made a commitment until they get to the convention and declare which candidate they support when they sign-in. And if Obama was able to get my name and address, they certainly would've been able to see which candidate I was supposed to be a delegate for. I also got a call from the Clinton campaign as a delegate; I doubt they're calling all the Obama delegates.

I think sending a flier looks like it could be a mistake, but if you think about it, it's probably not one. Maybe they should try to win over the not-yet-committed delegates, but if they do, they can't really complain when Clinton tries to win over the superdelegates.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

blue moon: Interesting. But it's not hypocritical if she does it, is it? She's not the one making the argument that the superdelegates must follow the will of the people.

Steven said...

If that's your argument,

Argument? I'm not making an argument, I'm pointing out a fact. The DNC rules do not specify for whom a "pledged" delegate has to vote. That decision is left to the delegate's conscience.

The difference is self-defense.

Interesting. So, what was the initial aggression by Clinton which justified this otherwise-excessive tactic by Obama?

Hoosier Daddy said...

So, what was the initial aggression by Clinton which justified this otherwise-excessive tactic by Obama?

Defying prophecy by daring to seek the Democrat nomination for President?

Blue Moon said...

Chris:

The Clinton campaign seems torn about the issue. One minute they say that they will not try to turn over pledged delegates, the next minute they say that pledged doesn't really mean "pledged." People would be less outraged if she had had a moment in December when she said "We will fight for every delegate pledged or unpledged till the bitter end."

I think it is different than superdelegates because superdelegates reason for being is to exercise judgment based on their position. You and I are just supposed to show up and sign in for our candidate. Once you break the seal on that, it really begs the question why we even have delegates.

Mortimer Brezny said...

I also got a call from the Clinton campaign as a delegate; I doubt they're calling all the Obama delegates.

I'm not sure what the doubt is based on, given that you aren't an Obama delegate.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How can Obama fans ignore that, Mort?

Sorry, but I just think you're a crazy person.

garage mahal said...

She's not the one making the argument that the superdelegates must follow the will of the people.

Which brings up the obvious question:

Why aren't the superdelegates endorsing Obama yet? They could end this today. If Hillary is tearing the party in half and cannot even win, and Obama is going to get on unifying the country why won't they back him right now? Seems to me they are the ones to blame if anyone. I get a kick out of the daily rants from Obama supporters and the media saying she can't win and it's already over, but yet they want to see tax returns, hard copy donation records and making hay out of 12-15 yr events as if it mattered. Every comment is researched and dissected under a microscope right down to her facial topography.

Mortimer Brezny said...

But it's not hypocritical if she does it, is it? She's not the one making the argument that the superdelegates must follow the will of the people.

It may not be hypocritical, but that doesn't mean it won't hurt the party or that it is ethical. I guess you don't care about the Democratic Party or ethics.

Also, a number of superdelegates have argued that their vote should represent the will of the people, most recently Maria Cantwell. So while Clinton may not have argued such, her remaining superdelegates may not be so persuaded as are you by her nonchalance. Which makes winning quite difficult.

So let me modify. Unless you hate the Democratic Party or ethics, I have no idea why anyone would vote for Hillary Clinton at this point.

Why aren't the superdelegates endorsing Obama yet? They could end this today.

Those who would want to wait until after June (voting concludes), but before the convention in Denver (August). It seems that many others want to shut the voting down now, fearing Hillary's "Tonya Harding strategy" will help John McCain. But there is no massive movement to shut down things, say, tomorrow.

Fen said...

Mort: Sorry, but I just think you're a crazy person.

How am I crazy?

1) You support a man who in turn supported Black Liberation Theology for 20 years.

2) Cone points to Obama's church as "one of the first examples he would cite of putting liberation theology into practice."

3) Cone: "Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."


For 20 years, Obama has worshipped at a church who's underlying philosophy is premised on the destruction of white people. Why would you ignore that? Cognitive dissonance? Or do you agree with Black Liberation Theology?

garage mahal said...

Those who would want to wait until after June (voting concludes), but before the convention in Denver (August). It seems that many others want to shut the voting down now, fearing Hillary's "Tonya Harding strategy" will help John McCain. But there is no massive movement to shut down things, say, tomorrow.

Where are all these superdelegates that want to shut this down now? If she can't win, then why wait?

There is a reason why they are holding out. Exactly what that is we can only speculate.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Mort: Sorry, but I just think you're a crazy person.

How am I crazy?


Because you're arguing with a Believer. I mean he's already called you a racist for daring to question, it was only a matter of time before your mental health was questioned.

Its all very Soviet. Next thing you know, he'll be calling for Ann to have you airbrushed out of the blog.

Pogo said...

Mortimer: "We've always been at war with Eastasia, er, Hillary."

John Coby said...

It is good to know the hate for Hillary is not limited to the Republican party.

Icepick said...

Madison Man wrote: Perhaps it's a blanket mailing to all county convention delegates. That would be easier to do than to send out based on candidate preference.

Any competent (and a great many incompetent) office workers would be able to sort this list by pledged candidate in somewhere between 10 to 120 seconds, depending on the format of the original file. The time saved by NOT doing a sort would be more than made up for by the added time spent printing all the extra post cards. (Not to mention that it would be much cheaper to just mail it to Obama's delegates.)

No, if they're sending this to everyone it is because they want everyone to see it and get the "Support Baraka Obama at Your County Convention" message.

Christopher Althouse Cohen said...

Mortimer: You can keep making these statements that only an idiot can support Hillary or only someone who doesn't care about ethics can support Hillary, but that's not going to win over anyone who doesn't already agree with you. It, frankly, only makes the Obama support seem more cultish. You don't see Clinton's supporters making those kinds of statements in reverse, and they would be equally justified given the Wright controversy and the likelihood that Obama won't be able to win in the general now.

blue moon: I think Clinton's campaign hasn't come out completely on the side that says superdelegates should do whatever they want because they don't want to turn off the voters who haven't gone yet. Any candidate in either of these two positions would just make the argument that works for them politically. When it goes to the superdelegates, both candidates will just make whatever argument helps them. And if Obama were in Hillary's position, he'd be preaching about how Michigan and Florida must be counted, and he'd be gearing up for winning over the superdelegates by whatever means necessary. And his supporters would be saying Hillary is trying to steal the election by blocking the revotes.

Also, it seems to me, whatever the rules allow for is fair game. If we're currently in a position to change our minds, the rules allow that. They allow superdelegates to make a decision based on whatever factors they want. The Obama side wants to define things as being against the rules that aren't against the rules at all (like the superdelegates making up their own minds about who to vote for) and basically invent its own set of rules. Not everything that seems un-democratic is cheating. The system for choosing a candidate just isn't completely democratic, even at the level of selecting pledged delegates. If it were a completely democratic system, we would have had a national primary with a popular vote winner at the beginning of all this, and that winner would have been Clinton.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Mortimer: You can keep making these statements that only an idiot can support Hillary or only someone who doesn't care about ethics can support Hillary, but that's not going to win over anyone who doesn't already agree with you.

1. It should be rather easy to check the thread and see that I never claimed you were an idiot.

2. The argument for Hillary's candidacy hinges not on whether Obama supporters can persuade you to switch to Obama, but rather on whether Hillary has a viable argument to make to the superdelegates, including her own, at least some of which may flee her in the absence of a few upsets (e.g., a blowout in Indiana and North Carolina) and a collapse by Obama (e.g., it is discovered he has seven other wives in Indonesia). Given 1, you should interpret my question as a sincere challenge to a non-idiot who loves ethics and cares about the Democratic Party: what is the argument that you envision Hillary will put forth to the superdelegates that justifies (to you) your support of her candidacy?

It, frankly, only makes the Obama support seem more cultish. You don't see Clinton's supporters making those kinds of statements in reverse, and they would be equally justified given the Wright controversy and the likelihood that Obama won't be able to win in the general now.

1. Claiming that most Democrats who voted are cult members blatantly contradicts your statement that Clinton supporters do not make such statements in reverse.

2. In any event, prominent Clinton supporters (other than you) do make such comments in reverse, and far worse ones. To highlight at least three prominent examples: Taylor Marsh, TalkLeft, and Jerome Armstrong at MyDD.

3. As for your sketch of an argument against an Obama candidacy, it doesn't really fit the facts. David Brooks has recently called for Hillary Clinton to drop out, and when asked by Matt Lauer why Hillary should do so given the Wright controversy, Brooks explains that the polling data shows the controversy simply hasn't had the deleterious impact Clinton supporters would wish. It has more or less evaporated, as far as the polls show. Given the statement by the Republican nominee in an interview with Sean Hannity that Obama simply doesn't share Wright's views (not to mention Mike Huckabee chastising the media for blowing the issue out of proportion), I think Obama has sufficient cover in his video archives. As for the notion that Obama now can't win, that's about as well-founded as your doubt that Obama supporters aren't being called by the Clinton team (i.e., it's a bare assertion without any factual support). I imagine that Obama will have a much easier time dispatching with John McCain when he doesn't have Hillary Clinton reiterating McCain's talking points, praising John McCain's national security credentials, and distracting attention from John McCain's weaknesses. The idea that Obama's superior poll numbers against McCain would not return once Hillary Clinton is no longer serving as McCain's attack-dog is rank speculation. I see no reason to believe that superdelegates will find it convincing. Why do you think otherwise?

Mortimer Brezny said...

[I]f Obama were in Hillary's position, he'd be preaching about how Michigan and Florida must be counted, and he'd be gearing up for winning over the superdelegates by whatever means necessary.

If Obama had been in Hillary's position (i.e., losing 11 in a row), he'd have been pushed out of the race and we'd have a nominee already. The notion that the Democratic Party hasn't bent over backwards to accomodate Hillary Clinton's vanity campaign is astonishingly absurd, and so is your condescending suggestion that Obama would be "preaching". I suppose Hillary Clinton's unwillingness to drop out of the race is hysterical, no?

Blue Moon said...

Chris:

I agree that there is very little that has been done by Obama or Clinton that is against the letter of the rules. I'm sure there is not a written rule that pledged delegates can't change their minds. There is nothing illegal about calling ostensibly pledged delegates and asking them to switch. I think it smells though, and if Obama is doing it, then it still smells.

I disagree about your national primary bit. Obama ran a campaign based on the rules as they are. Change the rules and I am pretty sure Obama is not in Boise or Lincoln Neb. But anyway...

Getting into what supporters of candidates say, Hillary people do say the same kind of things. "Only a black person or an effete white liberal who wants to assuage his guilt would vote for Obama." As for women, "only a self-hating woman would support Obama." Which is why I am weary of playing surrogate bingo.

Mortimer Brezny said...

How am I crazy?

Sorry, but I'm not a doctor.

dick said...

Chris:

If we were a democracy, then a national primary would make sense. However, we are not a democracy and never have been. We are a republic and therefore the primaries need to be run somewhat like the way the government is set up.

As to the caucus, I never have understood why people would go for that. I could see having meetings to discuss the issues and the candidates. However, caucuses will only truly work if they are held at a time and place that everyone can get to. The minute you hold them at, for example, 7 PM, then all who either work or are stuck in traffic or have other demands on their time at 7 PM are excluded from having a voice. When you have a primary vote that extends over the day and with absentee ballots, etc, then you have a chance for all who want to to take part.

Fen said...

Sorry, but I'm not a doctor.

So you're going to keep dodging the issue with cute little insults. And you have the nerve to discuss "ethics" upthread.

Fair enough. I'll continue to bring it up in every Obama thread you respond to. At least until you show some spine [as Blue Moon did].

Again:

For 20 years, Obama has worshipped at a church who's underlying philosophy is premised on the destruction of white people. Why would you ignore that? Cognitive dissonance? Do you agree with Black Liberation Theology? Are you a racist, Mort?

1) You support a man who in turn supported Black Liberation Theology for 20 years.

2) Cone points to Obama's church as "one of the first examples he would cite of putting liberation theology into practice."

3) Cone: "Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."

How can Obama fans ignore that, Mort? How can you excuse such filth?

I guess The Left Doesn't Really Believe In The Things They Lecture Us About

Mortimer Brezny said...

At least until you show some spine [as Blue Moon did].

I already responded.

The responses of Hillary Clinton's pastor and John McCain are sufficient, in my view.

Your compulsion to raise the issue in the face of testimonials like Blue Moon's to justify your passion for hurling careless, bogus, and polarizing charges of racism only demonstrates your craziness, in my view.

Nothing further need be said.

Fen said...

I already responded.

No, you haven't. You've dodged the question.

And they aren't careless, bogus, and polarizing charges of racism. They are well-documented, and more will come out bewtween now and Nov. Its hardly "polarizing" to ask why you would support a man who supports such filth.

And ironic that, like Obama, you can't simply denounce the racism of that church's black theology. So I'll continue to hound you about it, until every google search on Obama pulls up "Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy."

Mortimer Brezny said...

Your wild threats of relentlessly harassing me only further support my conclusion that you are mentally unstable.

If anyone is interested, here is empirical analysis of the effect of the Wright flare-up and the response of the superdelegates to Clinton's tactics of recent.

Polling:
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/821438.aspx

Tactics:
http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/820834.aspx

Fen said...

Mort: Your wild threats of relentlessly harassing me only further support my conclusion that you are mentally unstable.

Hectoring a hypocrite who refuses to condemn Obama's religion of hate is hardly a sign of being mentally unstable. The fact that you continue to cover your moral cowardice with personal attacks reveals how weak your position is.

If anyone is interested, here is empirical analysis of the effect of the Wright flare-up

Your links are inop.

And you should be looking at polls of Independents re the Wright hate-mongering. People who don't even follow politics are starting to ask questions about Obama's racist theology.

Mortimer Brezny said...

Your links are inop.

All you have to do is cut and paste them into your browser, like a sane person would acknowledge.

The polls actually do not support your claims. But keep insisting your reality-defying opinions are correct. I will continue to ignore them.

Fen said...

All you have to do is cut and paste them into your browser, like a sane person would acknowledge.

Yah, thats what I did. They don't work.

And your continued "insanity" attack is really lame.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Okay, the comment page cut off the last part of your link

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/821438

You have to include the line below it to get a working link, or back out to the main page.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/821438.aspx

Of course, I informed you the links were inop as a courtesy. For that, I am called "insane".

Thats your only defense of Obama's religion? Insane? Maybe we need a disqualifier: Mort, do you support Black Liberation Theology? Do you honestly believe that a man who swam in that filth came away clean?

lurker2209 said...

At least Chris is registered to vote. Here in Washington, some of the delegates apparently aren't. Others may have been selected as a delegate for a precinct they don't live in.

http://www.seattleweekly.com/2008-03-26/news/your-delegate-may-not-be-registered-to-vote.php

You don't have to poach delegates, you just have to get enough of the other guy's delegates disqualified by the credentials committee.

Caucuses are crazy. And to think the state of washington had a perfectly good primary. Which cost the state a ton of money and counted for nothing.

lurker2209 said...

Fixed the link:

Seattle Weekly article on delegate problems

Mortimer Brezny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mortimer Brezny said...

Mort, do you support Black Liberation Theology?


I originally answered "No."

But, based on the wikipedia entry, including its list of black liberation theologists, I would change my answer to "Yes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_theology

Do you reject and denounce the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr. on race relations?

garage mahal said...

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/03/26/820834.aspx

MSNBC quoting several unnamed delegates criticizing Hillary's tactics. Why am I not surprised. Guess they may be just too evil to go on record about.

Tim said...

"Oh-Bah-Muh

What, if anything, was the point of this? You sound like Maureen Dowd, for fuck's sake."


Shit. Maureen Dowd.

You must be offended?

Anyway, I've only taken my cue from the Oh-Bah-Mi: http://youtube.com/watch?v=ghSJsEVf0pU

Blame Oh-Bah-Muh's supporters - it's their damn propaganda piece, and I'm just referencing their work - I think I got the cadence right, too.

Anyway, from here on out, it's Oh-Bah-Muh. They like it.

Gary said...

Look at Iowa, precinct delegates do not have to vote for their previous candidate at the next level.

Judging by the comments a lot of stupid people read this blog. I just follwed someone stupid enough to post this link in an email list that had banned arguing about candidates.

Daryl said...

Is Clinton doing the same thing and will some delegates slip away?

And: can we count the number of delegates who flip each way? And then pester them with media attention? That would be very interesting.

What kind of person is elected as a delegate and then "flips"? What sort of foul traitor--or, deeply conflicted partisan--would do such a deed? I want to know.

Daryl said...

Apparently there's at least one stupid person on your email list, Gary--and I don't mean the person who forwarded the link.

I don't blame you stupid people from banning such argumentation. You're obviously not mature enough to handle real discussions about pressing issues.

M. Simon said...

This election season is more fun that '04. Except for not getting to relive Vietnam all over again. The Doors "Light My Fire" on the boom box. Incense burning in the holder. It smelled like victory.

I guess the new Dem theme music should be: "This Is The End".

I think this election season is the final proof we need that Dems are smarter than Rs. Too smart by half.

BTW there are rumors that Obama is a plot by Rove.

Is Rove Behind Obama? You have to follow the links to get the evidence. It does seem possible.

Pitting the Dems two largest identity groups against each other was a genius move no matter who thought of it. Ds or Rs.

M. Simon said...

Here is a bit I did on Liberation Theology.

==

Dr. James Hal Cone is behind a lot of this. Here is what he thinks:

* "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him."

* "All white men are responsible for white oppression."

* "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism."

* "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil.""

* "The black theologian must reject any conception of God which stifles black self-determination by picturing God as a God of all peoples."

* "We have had too much of white love, the love that tells blacks to turn the other cheek and go the second mile. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power, which is the power of blacks to destroy their oppressors, here and now, by any means at their disposal."

From: The American Thinker

Now that should really help Obama along - to the dust bin of history. I still don't get how Obama wasn't properly vetted. Oh yeah. The press was in the tank for him until it was too late.

The white man as devil. That should be a big seller during election season. It is not helping during the pre-season games either.

former law student said...

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20080331/ehrenreich

If candidates are to be rejected because of the affiliations of their religious groups, then Hillary's association with a group of Hitler admirers surely trumps a follower of a black liberationist. Read Ehrenreich's article, and the Harper's and Mother Jones' articles she cites.

M. Simon said...

fls,

Yep. Both are unqualified.

And I'm only nominally a McCain supporter because I prefer him over the other two.

As my mom (88), a yellow dog Democrat, said - What is the country coming to when we have the worst candidate line up in her memory? On that point we agree.

portia said...

March 27, 2008
BUBBA BEGS TEXAS DELEGATES TO STICK WITH HIL

Despite winning the popular vote in Texas, Hillary Clinton and her advisers are terrified that they’re about to suffer an Al Gore moment by losing in the pledged delegates race to Barack Obama beginning with county conventions on Saturday. Enter Bill Clinton in a conference call this afternoon to cajole the rank and file to keep fighting for his wife.

“A race this close, every delegate counts,” the former president said in a hasty call with 960 Austin Dems who are backing her, which The Mouth of the Potomac listened to. “The turnout could literally give Hillary the support she needs to win the nomination.”

“We can still win this thing. We’re going to have a big victory in Pennsylvania. It’s going to change the psychology even further, but we need your help,” Clinton said.

About 88,000 county delegates will meet statewide in Texas on Saturday to thin the herd going on to the state convention, where they will divvy up 67 caucus delegates between Clinton and Obama, in addition to the 126 primary delegates already decided.

“I just have to ask you to try one more time to make sure we get the most out of our efforts to get as many of these 67 delegates as we can,” a seemingly exasperated Bill Clinton said in the call. “We just can’t sit it out or stay home - we cannot get tired.” Clinton said that while his wife has done great in big primary states, “it’s the caucuses that’ve been killing us,” and added that her wins in Texas and Ohio have improved her polling in Pennsylvania and Indiana.
- James Gordon Meek
http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dc/2008/03/bubba-begs-texas-delegates-to.html

Mr. Brutal said...

That Convention was a Joke , reading in the Washington Post there was only one Complaint filed , I was told over 40 .I guess I should never had read the Evelyn Pringle VI part series , Curtain Time for Obama and her Cliff notes on Oped news. Room 2 the sign in room to pick your Deligate credentials up , what a mess , there was a line of Women and Men throwing there credentials back throwing a fit about the lack of fairnes they had given up . I would have been pleased if it was close to fair , my opinion , not even close . We are to question the leaders we chose , not just follow blindly. Taking the word of any Politician is a stretch . There has always been differences of opinions , never an issue , Not this time !