Howard Dean Must Go – Hillary Clinton Will Stay, Part II

Writer Gene Lyons says it best:

As recently as 2000, Democrats were outraged that, due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Bush vs. Gore, not all of Florida’s presidential votes counted. In 2008, advanced thinkers supporting Sen. Barack Obama have persuaded themselves that fairness dictates that none of them should count. Nor Michigan’s, either. Better that the voters of two critical swing states comprising close to 10 percent of the electorate be disenfranchised than that Obama’s inevitable nomination be delayed. Nobody’s expected to notice the main reason that Team Obama faulted every suggested revote plan: He wouldn’t stand the proverbial snowball’s chance of winning either state’s primary. Rather than face that unpleasant truth, his supporters proposed various compromises with one common denominator: that Obama be awarded delegates he hasn’t won. That this strikes them as reasonable reflects the deep unreality into which roughly half the Democratic party has fallen. Once again, with feeling: The votes belong to the voter, not the candidates. Oddly, it’s Sen. Hillary Clinton, who grasps that elementary democratic principle, who critics say feels entitled to the presidency. Meanwhile, TV pundits like CNN’s Jack Cafferty warn us that should Obama’s supporters be disappointed in their hopes, “you wouldn’t want to live in this country.” A more concise way of turning the November contest into a racial referendum can’t be imagined. Who will win that one ? Then what ?

In Time, Mark Halperin provides a list of “Painful Things Hillary Clinton Knows—Or Should Know.” No. 7: “The Rev. Wright story notwithstanding, the media still wants Obama to be the nominee—and that has an impact every day.” We’ve come full circle. So confident have the Beltway media courtiers grown in their social and political status that what once was furiously denied is now boasted about. Politicians may come and go, but Chris Matthews, Howard Fineman, Tim Russert and Maureen Dowd preside over a permanent House of Lords. [snip]

Gene Lyons accurately describes the the continuing Big Media overthrow of the democratic process.

Instead of fighting for the primacy of Democratic voters in a Democratic nomination race, Howard Dean has abandoned Democratic voters. Howard Dean must go.

Howard Dean is not alone in abandoning Democratic voters. His appointment of Donna Brazile to Chair the Voting Rights Institute of the Democratic National Committee is emblematic of the abandonment of Democratic voters. Of course the confusion at the Voting Rights Institute is such that it is hard to determine who is in charge at the moment. But it is clear that Donna Brazile has sided against the nomination process, with voters voting, and all delegates to the convention voting. Donna Brazile has even vowed to resign from the DNC if things do not develop as she thinks they should. According to Donna Brazile “Superdelegates” voting according to their conscience would somehow be undemocratic.

What escapes Donna Brazile is the reality that if all Superdelegates decided to take a page from Obama’s voting history and vote “present” at the Democratic National Convention neither Hillary Clinton nor Barack Obama would have sufficient votes to get the nomination.

Donna Brazile wants to “mau-mau” the Superdelegates into voting for Obama.

Donna Brazile and Howard Dean are not alone.

Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives,i also wants to cook the books for Obama. Pelosi’s position as co-chair of the Democratic Convention makes her shilling for Obama extra nefarious. Instead of being truly impartial and letting the Democratic process play out Nancy Pelosi is putting her fingers on the scales. Nancy Pelosi has stated repeatedly that a unity ticket of Clinton/Obama is impossible (we agree with her on that point at least). Nancy Pelosi has also stated, like Donna Brazile, that Superdelegates should ignore their voting rights and follow the delegate count. That is in violation of the very reason why “Superdelegates” are given a vote in the Democratic nomination process. Of course, Nancy Pelosi says these things in order to tip the scales to Obama and attempt to create a sense of momentum for Obama. Most egregiously Nancy Pelosi has also argued against a revote in Michigan and Florida, thereby disenfranchising Democratic voters in these two states.

Nancy Pelosi should resign as a co-chair of the Democratic Convention because she has proven over and over again she is not a fair and neutral minister in this Democratic nomination race.

So egregious has Nancy Pelosi’s attempt to upend the Democratic nomination process been that Democratic donors are protesting. These donors who have contributed over $24 million to Democratic causes over the years wrote a letter to Nancy Pelosi.

But this dynamic primary season is not at an end. Several states and millions of Democratic voters have not yet had a chance to cast their votes.

We respect those voters and believe that they, like the voters in the states that have already participated, have a right to be heard. None of us should make declarative statements that diminish the importance of their voices and their votes. We are writing to say we believe your remarks on ABC News This Week on March 16th did just that.

During your appearance, you suggested super-delegates have an obligation to support the candidate who leads in the pledged delegate count as of June 3rd , whether that lead be by 500 delegates or 2. This is an untenable position that runs counter to the party’s intent in establishing super-delegates in 1984 as well as your own comments recorded in The Hill ten days earlier: “I believe super-delegates have to use their own judgment and there will be many equities that they have to weigh when they make the decision. Their own belief and who they think will be the best president, who they think can win, how their own region voted, and their own responsibility.’”

Super-delegates, like all delegates, have an obligation to make an informed, individual decision about whom to support and who would be the party’s strongest nominee. Both campaigns agree that at the end of the primary contests neither will have enough pledged delegates to secure the nomination. In that situation, super-delegates must look to not one criterion but to the full panoply of factors that will help them assess who will be the party’s strongest nominee in the general election.

We support a NO Donations without representation posture on the part of Democratic donors.

* * *

Hillary Clinton is fighting for the rights of Democratic voters. If necessary the Democratic nomination process will end at the Party convention in Denver.

Hillary Clinton said “Let’s have the Democratic party go on record against seating the Michigan and Florida delegations three months before the general election? I don’t think that will happen. I think they will be seated. So that’s where we’re headed if we don’t get this worked out.”

Bill Clinton has also made it clear, as only he can, that this Democratic nomination process is far from over no matter what Big Media dictates:

Speaking to several hundred supporters in Parkersburg on Wednesday, the former president said division among the Democratic presidential candidates is nothing to be concerned about, and if politicians don’t want to get “beat up,” they shouldn’t run.

Clinton rejected calls from some “elite” members of the Democratic Party who are suggesting his wife bow out of the race so as not to divide the party.

He says now is not the time, as his wife is gaining ground on Obama.

“Let’s just saddle up and have an argument. What’s wrong with that?”

Clinton told the crowd that his wife has better plans than Obama on the economy, health care and the war in Iraq.

The Hillary campaign and supporters are on the same page in wanting to see the Democratic nomination process to the end.

“It’s interesting that the Obama campaign often gets its back up when we say that their campaign is just words,’’ Singer said. “But I think few things illustrate this point better than what Sen. Obama is doing with regard to Florida and Michigan.’’

Obama is campaigning with ads in Pennsylvania that speak of his record as a young civil rights worker, Singer says, but “now he only wants to count some of the votes.’’ [snip]

“We could have avoided the entire Bush presidency if we had counted votes in Florida,’’ Singer said. “The fact that Sen. Obama is endangering and jeopardizing Democratic prospects’’ in two states vital to winning in November is “unacceptable.’’

“The general election is going to be very, very close,’’ said Harold Ickes, a senior adviser to the Clinton campaign, calling Republican Sen. John McCain a “formidable’’ opponent. “Florida, I think we have a real shot at winning this year, if Hillary is leading the ticket… Slapping these people in the face is not the way to engender support,’’ Ickes added.

Daniel Baer a faculty fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Foundation Center for Ethics at Harvard and a supporter of Hillary Clinton makes some additional points:

It is now clear that superdelegates will ultimately decide the Democratic nominee for president, so the campaigns for both Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama have been making their case for what these party pooh-bahs ought to do.

Senator Obama’s camp asserts that superdelegates need to vote for whoever wins more pledged delegates – almost certainly him. Senator Clinton’s team contends that her often-decisive victories in large and swing states – crucial battlegrounds in the November election – should compel superdelegate support. [snip]

It is a superdelegate’s duty to reflect carefully on each candidate’s strengths, on how she or he would fare in a general election, and how he or she would perform as president.

In wooing superdelegates, Obama’s campaign must make the case that he can go the distance, withstand Republican attacks, and reach beyond the core demographics that have supported him in caucuses and primaries thus far.

Here’s where the Clinton campaign’s counterargument comes in: Her wins with key Democratic constituencies in large states and swing states, and a possible popular-vote edge, provide a compelling reason for superdelegates to tilt her way. [snip]

We know that there will be more focus on policy differences than there is in a primary, where voters often have the luxury of picking on personality. We know that in 2008, the economy, healthcare, and security are likely to be the top issues for voters. And we know that recent GOP wins have been built upon inroads with three groups: Latinos, so-called security moms, and working-class whites.

Clinton’s campaign must continue to demonstrate that she has the substance – the Clinton track record on the economy, her nuanced command of foreign policy – and the strength with key demographics that will be necessary to win the general election, especially in states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

There has been an inordinate amount of handwringing about the superdelegates among Democratic activists and the punditry:

“Oh no,” they lament. “The unelected superdelegates are going to make the call. No one imagined this nightmare scenario when they created these party rules!”

Hogwash. There is no reason to assume that the prospect of a virtual tie in pledged delegates didn’t occur to the designers of the system. Indeed, it is precisely in a case like this that having superdelegates makes sense. The purpose of such a format is to help the Democratic Party choose the best candidate when one has not been convincingly rendered by the primaries and caucuses. [snip]

It may be politically difficult for superdelegates to bracket consideration of pledged delegates, but their hopefully principled commitment to the Democratic Party demands that they do so. After all, Obama has staked his campaign in part on reminding us that judgment certainly doesn’t mean following the crowd.

As voters and caucusgoers, we have supported the person we believe in. Superdelegates have a special duty: As party leaders, they must set aside the passions of the moment, draw upon their experience and their judgment, and choose a candidate who can win and who can govern.

* * *

Superdelegates have a lot of factors to consider. The latest anti-jewish, anti-Italian remarks from Obama’s “Pastor” of 20 years must be considered. Every day new statements come to light which Obama must deal with.

Did we mention the recess in the Rezko trial will be over at the end of March?

The impact on Democratic voters voting for Republican John McCain also has to be considered.

28% of Clinton supporters go to McCain if she’s not the nominee.
19% of Obama supporters go to McCain if he’s not the nominee.

Many of these voters no doubt take their cue from Michelle Obama who refuses to support Hillary Clinton when Hillary wins the nomination.

As repulsive as Michelle Obama’s comments are, the most repulsive premise of the Obama campaign is that he can only win the Democratic nomination by disenfranchising Democrats in Michigan and Florida.

Readers of Big Pink will recall we supported the New Hampshire recount even as many bemoaned the “sore loser” attitude of Hillary oppenents. Granted we did so partly out of joy in reliving the great New Hampshire victory. But our prime reasoning was that every vote should be counted and because there should be full confidence in our election process.

Democratic voters and respect for their votes and will must be the guiding principle in the Democratic nomination process. Those that do not understand or do not wish to respect this simple principle must step aside.

“… .. I don’t think the nominee of the party will be considered legitimate if we don’t figure out how to count those votes from Michigan and Florida. … ” – Senator Hillary Clinton

Howard Dean Must Go – Hillary Clinton Will Stay, Part I

Howard Dean has failed to represent Democrats. Howard Dean has failed to protect the rights of all Democrats to vote. Howard Dean has failed to ensure that the will of Democratic voters is respected.

Howard Dean was elected Chairman of the Democratic National Committee on a promise of reform but instead he has become a creature of bureaucracy.

Howard Dean was elected Democratic National Committee Chairman on a promise of a 50 state strategy. What Democrats have instead is a 48 state strategy. Democratic voters of Florida and Michigan have been evicted from the Democratic “Big Tent”.

Howard Dean, failed to do what he promised to do. It’s time for Howard Dean to go.

* * *

The prime duty of the Chairman of the Democratic Party is to fight for the interests of Democratic voters. All Democratic voters.

The job of Chairman is not merely to manage the organizational structure of the Party. Managing the organization is important but when that bureaucratic function conflicts with the interests of Democratic voters, the interests of Democratic voters is paramount.

Lost in the back and forth arguments about Florida and Michigan are the rights of Democratic voters. It’s the voters, stupid.

Chairman Dean forgot his primary job is not to arbitrate disputes between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Chairman Dean forgot his primary job is not to try to smooth the waters or protect the bureaucracy. The primary job of the Democratic Chairman is to ensure that the will of Democratic voters is respected. It’s that simple.

After the voter disenfranchisement (Yes, the stolen election) in Florida, in 2000, which burdened the nation with George W. Bush, the Democratic Party should have learned to fight to make sure THAT EVERY VOTE COUNTS AND EVERY VOTE IS COUNTED.

Howard Dean has not learned that lesson from 2000. It’s time for Howard Dean to go.

* * *

The consequences of Chairman Dean’s failures hurt all Democrats, but particularly Florida and Michigan Democrats. Even now Chairman Dean surrenders veto power on voting rights in Florida and Michigan to the Democratic presidential candidates. No thought of the rights of Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan spurs Chairman Dean to action.

Chairman Dean’s surrender of a veto pen to Barack Obama (and Hillary Clinton) has resulted in failure to respect the Democratic voters in Florida and Michigan. Barack Obama’s successful veto of voting rights, to praise from Republicans like David Brooks, echoes his successful electoral strangulation of election opponents, such as Alice Palmer, in Illinois.

The results of Chairman Dean’s capitulations are devastating. A recent poll in Florida demonstrates the foolishness of Chairman Dean’s leadership:

Howard Dean and Barack Obama may insist Florida’s Democratic presidential primary was meaningless, but a new poll shows Florida Democrats aren’t buying it, and one in four may not back their party’s nominee in November if Florida winds up with no voice in the nomination.

Not only do Florida Democrats say that the Democratic presidential contenders’ boycott of their primary had little effect, but an overwhelming plurality want the officially meaningless results to count, a new St. Petersburg Times/Bay News 9 poll finds.

A record 1.75-million Florida Democrats voted in the Jan. 29 primary, which Hillary Rodham Clinton won by 17 percentage points, but as punishment for holding the primary earlier than allowed by the national party, no delegates were at stake. Now, as a nomination stalemate looms, the candidates and state and national party leaders are struggling to figure out how and if America’s biggest swing state can have a voice in the Democratic nomination.

“If there’s one thing that this survey says is you have to acknowledge the Jan. 29 primary on some level,” said pollster Tom Eldon. “You really can’t say the Florida primary was a non-event to voters. It was a non-event to Howard Dean according to the rules of the DNC.” [snip]

Florida Democrats point the finger of blame for the primary debacle in several directions: 28 percent blame Republican leaders in the Legislature, 25 percent blame Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean, and 20 percent blame the Florida Democratic party.

More than three out of four Florida Democrats say it’s “very important” that Florida’s delegates count toward the nomination, and one in four said they would be less likely to support the ultimate Democratic nominee if Florida’s delegates don’t count. [snip]

The poll suggests most Florida Democrats viewed the Jan. 29 primary as a legitimate election.

Howard Dean should have cared about the voters of Florida and Michigan if he truly believed in the 50 state strategy.

Howard Dean Must Go

* * *

Hillary Clinton and her supporters are not going away. As of last night, the fight moves to Pennsylvania – and then to the Democratic Party convention in Denver this August.

Echoing remarks we made at the end of a recent post (Pennsylvania is the Avenue to the White House. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Let’s get there.) last night Hillary said: “the road to Pennsylvania Avenue leads through the state of Pennsylvania”

Then Hillary said “credentials committee”.

Get ready for the mountains of Denver:

The Democratic race is a “long way from being over,” Hillary Clinton told FOX News on Wednesday, and she has no qualms about taking the primary fight all the way to the convention floor. [snip]

But neither candidate is expected to lock down the nomination on pledged delegates before the August convention. And although Democratic leaders are scrambling to avoid a prolonged fight that could give GOP nominee-in-waiting John McCain a decided advantage, Clinton said Wednesday there are too many ifs for the matter to be settled yet.

“Well this is a really close election. Despite what some might say, it is a very close election in the popular vote and in the delegates,” she said. “We have 10 contests ahead of us, plus, don’t forget, Florida and Michigan. You know, I keep beating this drum … millions of people are going to be voting in the next three months, and I hope that will include Florida and Michigan.”

Clinton’s campaign has argued for seating the Michigan and Florida delegations, which were stripped after those states held early primaries in violation of party rules. Recent efforts to hold re-votes in those states have fallen through. [snip]

Clinton said, barring a resolution on Florida and Michigan, the fight goes to convention.

“You know, you can always go to the convention. That’s what credential fights are for,” he said. “Let’s have the Democratic party go on record against seating the Michigan and Florida delegations three months before the general election? I don’t think that will happen. I think they will be seated. So that’s where we’re headed if we don’t get this worked out.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hillary is a fighter. We are fighters. We’ll have more in Part II.

Here are some action items to prepare for which we will also discuss in Part II (coming this afternoon):

North Carolina Hillary Clinton events for today:

All events are free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

Hillary Clinton Delivers Economic Policy Address
Wake Technical Community College
9101 Fayetteville Road
Raleigh, NC
Doors Open: 9:00 a.m. EDT
Event Begins: 10:30 a.m. EDT

Hillary Clinton Attends a “Solutions for America” Event
Terry Sanford High School Gymnasium
2301 Fort Bragg Road
Fayetteville, NC
Doors Open: 12:00 p.m. EDT
Event Begins: 1:30 p.m. EDT

Hillary Clinton Attends a “Solutions for America” Event
Forsyth Technical Community College Gymnasium
1300 Bolton Street
Winston-Salem, NC
Doors Open: 4:00 p.m. EDT
Event Begins: 5:30 p.m. EDT

From Birdgal – Hillary Clinton California events:

Senator Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton are coming Back to the Bay Area & Central Valley!

Sunday, March 30th, 2008
Lunch Reception with President Bill Clinton in Modesto:
At 12:30 p.m. join President Clinton for a lunch reception in Modesto at the home of Rupinder & Amarjit Dhaliwal, M.D. The cost of the event is $1,000 per person. For more information or to RSVP, contact Sabra Foley at 415-402-0303 or go to www.hillaryclinton.com/modesto

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008
Reception with Senator Clinton in Menlo Park:
At 6:00 p.m. please join John Doerr in welcoming Senator Clinton for a reception in Menlo Park at the Quadrus Conference Center. The cost of the event is $500 per person. To attend the 5:00 p.m. VIP reception the cost will be $2,300 per person and will include a picture with the Senator. For more information or to RSVP, contact Marina Costabile at 415-402-0303 or go to www.hillaryclinton.com/menlopark

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008 (*please note time change)
Breakfast with Senator Clinton in San Francisco:
At 8:00 a.m. join Senator Clinton for breakfast at The Merchants Exchange Building in the Julia Morgan Ballroom in San Francisco. The cost of the event is $250 per person. To attend the 7:30 a.m. VIP reception the cost will be $2,300 per person and will include a picture with the Senator. For more in formation or to RSVP, contact Sabra Foley at 415-402-0303 or go to www.hillaryclinton.com/sanfrancisco

From Dot48:

Call DNC regarding Donna Brazile and to count the votes in Florida and Michigan
Main Phone Number: 202-863-8000 (For questions about contributions, please call 877-336-7200)

rgb44hrc has more on Donna Brazile

Filbertsf has news on a Nancy Pelosi demonstration for this Friday:

Northern California: To update those not in the Bay Area, we are organizing a demonstration at our California State Democratic Convention in San Jose—on Friday March 28th when Nancy Pelosi will be speaking. The theme is Voter Disenfranchisement/Voter Issues. We are not wearing Hillary shirts, caps, buttons, etc. It’s NOT about the candidates. It’s about our votes…our voices…As stated in the petition, it’s not just MI & FL; I think we all agree that there is an underlying theme in our political parties that disenfranchising voters is acceptable. 1) DNC disenfranchised MI & FL voters 2) Caucuses – are these inclusive? We’ve seen how these work and how they disenfranchise voters and 3) Open primaries! So it’s okay for Republicans to vote in a Democratic primary, but vote Republican in the general election—throwing an election? Astonishing!

Please sign the petition, and if you can, bring your hand made posters and join us at the SJ Convention Center at 4:30pm.

Petition http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/countFLoridaandMichigan/

SEAT OUR DELEGATES website.

We’ll discuss the letter to Nancy Pelosi from donors in Part II as well.

Dot 48 has contact information for Nancy Pelosi:

District Office – 450 Golden Gate Ave. – 14th Floor – San Francisco, CA 94102 – (415) 556-4862
Washington, D.C. Office – 235 Cannon HOB – Washington, DC 20515 – (202) 225-4965

The great Jamie Rubin:

“… .. I don’t think the nominee of the party will be considered legitimate if we don’t figure out how to count those votes from Michigan and Florida. … ” – Senator Hillary Clinton