Well as you might have guessed, I was at the protest in DC today as the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee (RBC) met to decide what to do with the votes my family all cast back in Michigan, and those in Florida.
We turned up to make our voices heard in the hopes that the RBC would do the right thing and NOT punish the people for what their state party leaders – and those of the respective state republican party leaders did in moving up their primary dates. It’s always been my view that they were talking about punishing the wrong people but that doesn’t count for much as I’m not one of the 30 people on the RBC.
I didn’t even make it inside the meeting but others were there. Some were chanting when it was clear what was the RBC was doing with the delegates from Michigan, and JaneHamsher at FireDogLake grabbed this video of one of the women who were forcibly ejected from the meeting…
They manhandled and bruised a teacher and a Democrat of over 40 years for crying out loud..
Harold Ickes – who serves on the RBC and is widely recognized as an expert on the DNC rules and their history – talked about Michigan’s delegates during yesterday’s press conference call when an AP reporter asked him if it’d be acceptable to Hillary’s campaign if BO got any delegates from Michigan’s primary. Here’s what he had to say…
AP – is it acceptable to you if BO gets any pledged delegates from MI?
Harold – Uncommitted status is considered as a presidential candidate. Closed in and given the same rights and protections as a named presidential candidate. There were 4 candidates who VOLUNTARILY took their names off the ballot. She [Hillary] didn’t – there was no requirement that she do so. Some 238,000 people voted for uncommitted – no way to discern the wishes of those voters. Our view is that while delegates who fill out those 55 slots have the absolute right to go and support whomever they want. They must be certified to the convention as uncommitted delegates. The RBC has no right to award those delegates to another candidate any more than they’d have the right to award any of her 73 delegates and give them to another candidate. Short answer – NO.
Giving away some of her delegates. How prophetic that one turned out to be.
I’m too pissed and disgusted to really go into all the ways in which the RBC screwed over 2.35 million people today. I’ll just let Harold Ickes sum up what I’m thinking right now. What follows are my notes, taken as he spoke prior to a vote on the motion to seat all 55 uncommitted delegates as Obama’s delegates (which is illegal according to the DNC’s rules that folks have been blathering on about for the past few months). On top of that injustice, the motion involved stealing 4 of Hillary’s delegates and giving them to Obama.
He spoke of the audacity (my word not his) of the RBC in thinking that the judgment of 30 people should take the place of the 600,000 voters in MI…
Was the process flawed?
You bet your ass it was flawed.
I’m stunned that we have the gall and the chutzpah to substitute our judgment for that of 600,000 voters.
You can not take delegates from one candidate and give them to another.
Not only will this motion hijack 4 delegates from Mrs. Clinton, it will take 55 uncommitted delegates and give them to Obama.
I submit that hijacking 4 delegates… is not the way to start down path to party unity.
Finally – one final word – we are … Mrs. Clinton has instructed me to reserve her rights to take this to the Credentials Committee.
– Cheers –
Here’s what Hillary’s campaign manager – Maggie Williams – had to say a little while ago…
Decision on Florida and Michigan
Hillary has consistently stood up for the voters of Michigan and Florida. She, like you, has insisted that the voice of all Americans be heard. Today, the DNC’s Rules and Bylaws Committee announced their decision on seating Florida and Michigan’s delegations. In recent days, almost 350,000 of Hillary’s supporters wrote in to the committee to make clear what an important principle it is for our party to count every vote.
Our campaign has released an official statement about the results of the Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting and I’d like to share it with blogHillary readers. I know how passionate Hillary’s supporters are about the importance of counting every vote cast in Florida and Michigan and I hope that they continue to express their feelings with the respect and thoughtfulness they’ve shown during the course of this campaign.
Harold Ickes and Tina Flournoy made the following statement:
Today’s results are a victory for the people of Florida who will have a voice in selecting our Party’s nominee and will see its delegates seated at our party’s convention. The decision by the Rules and Bylaws Committee honors the votes that were cast by the people of Florida and allocates the delegates accordingly.
We strongly object to the Committee’s decision to undercut its own rules in seating Michigan’s delegates without reflecting the votes of the people of Michigan.
The Committee awarded to Senator Obama not only the delegates won by Uncommitted, but four of the delegates won by Senator Clinton. This decision violates the bedrock principles of our democracy and our Party.
We reserve the right to challenge this decision before the Credentials Committee and appeal for a fair allocation of Michigan’s delegates that actually reflect the votes as they were cast.
The RBC, in their infinite ignorance, stole delegates from Hillary and gave them to her opponent – a guy who saw the polls in the lead-up to the MI primaries, knew he was going to get his @ss handed to him, and took his name off the ballot in order to kiss up to the voters in IA.
IN other words – he told the voters of MI that their votes didn’t count and used his gigantic FU to them to win votes in another state.
And his little stunt worked.
Adding insult to injury… when the folks in Michigan tried to cure the problem (as seen by the DNC) by holding a new election – a plan that was signed off on by the DNC, the state leaders AND Hillary – BO told the voters in MI to eff off again by refusing to face the voters in that new primary.
There was even a plan in place to PAY for this new election AND – if memory serves – polls at the time were showing a much closer race in MI then than back in January. He stood a chance of it being a wash so what was he afraid of?
BO couldn’t be bothered to face the voters of Michigan not once – BUT TWICE!
And now he’s rewarded for his refusal to face those voters with FIFTY-NINE DELEGATES?
This makes absolutely no sense. None whatsoever.
BO and his supporters on the RBC might be celebrating folks – but they’ve just handed Hillary a damn fine reason to keep fighting at least through to the meeting of the Credentials Committee.
If they’re so convinced that BO has this locked up – that there are scads of super delegates waiting in the wings to help him claim “victory” in a day or three then why couldn’t they have just followed their own rules and left Hillary’s delegates alone and sent those 55 delegates to the convention as uncommitted delegates?
The RBC has just violated their own rules here by stealing 4 delegates from Hillary and giving them to a guy who couldn’t be bothered to put his name on the ballot so please spare us any more talk about your precious rulz .
They’ve completely ignored their rules in giving BO any delegates from MI.
They’ve completely ignored the fact that people – in good faith tried to cure the situation by holding new primaries and that it was BO who stood in the way of that cure.
I’m beyond disgusted by this whole fiasco and I lay a lot of the blame at Dean’s feet for his complete and utter failure to lead us through this mess that he and Obama have created. The only people who are paying for their failure are my family back home, and the 600,000 voters of Michigan.
Florida voters didn’t fare so well either. Half a vote. Is that all Florida is worth to us in the general election?
Well I’ve got news for you guys – if the votes of my family are only worth half a vote, don’t be surprised if our party loses a lot of support over this come November. I’m already hearing a lot of Democrats talking about leaving our party over this shite.
This is NOT the way to bring a fractured party back together guys.
Not even close.
Rather than clean up the mess Dean has created, they poured gas on the flames.
If you’re as pissed as I am over the way they’re railroading our party toward defeat in November, you know what to do dammit…