Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am furious!

[Not that I can do much about it.]

This morning's news brings the story of folks in Santa Barbara forced to live in their cars in parking lots, after losing (in some cases, jobs and subsequently,) their homes. [CNN story, via LAT.] This, in the USA. Amazing! So the possibility that the next President would be someone who self-admittedly doesn't know much about economics, and is advised by lobbyists and ex-legislators who have played a major role in precipitating the current home foreclosure crisis and have been lobbying Congress on behalf of the affected banks... is downright scary. [MSNBC story, via TPM.]

And that brings me to this morning's news about the seemingly-endless Democratic primary season. Democratic legal-beagles have put forth a 38-page memo which states that the Rules and Bylaws Committee, which meets May 31, cannot award more than 50% of the delegates from the disqualified FL and MI primaries (how to apportion them is another matter altogether). HOWEVER - the Credentials Committee, whose decision have to be approved by the Democratic Convention, can restore 100% of the FL and MI delegations.

What does this mean? Of late, Senator Clinton has been positioning herself as the new MLK, fighting for the civil rights of Florida and Michigan voters, and demanding that the full delegations be seated (never mind that FL/MI broke the rules, and she herself said - at a more comfortable position in the race - that the FL/MI elections would not count.) The Democratic legal memo says this cannot happen before the Convention. Ergo, she can fight all the way to August if she wants.
[UPDATE: Just saw this NPR story that describes Senator Clinton's turn-about on FL/MI.]

People who don't learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Three elections in recent memory have gone to the convention - Dems in 1972 and 1980, and the GOP in 1976. In 1972, the anti-McGovern forces tried to change the allocation of California's delegation (which at that time was winner-take-all). This movement was apparently spearheaded by now-ex-President Jimmy Carter. In 1980, Senator Ted Kennedy fought President Carter all the way to the Convention. In 1976, President Ford had more delegates than now-ex-President Reagan, but not enough to secure the nomination; hence, they fought it out on the Convention floor.

If you haven't figured out the trend already - the eventual nominee lost all three times. Now, in two of those elections, the opposing candidate ran again the next cycle, and won. So... is that what Senator Clinton has learned from these events - destroy Senator Obama's chances for this November, so she can run in 2012? Never mind that in the interim, the country will be governed nominally by an economic novice and in reality by unaccountable, behind-the-scenes lobbyists and ex-lobbyists, who couldn't care less about the rising unemployed and homeless?

If that is indeed the case, then I seriously doubt Senator Clinton will have the luck of Presidents Carter and Reagan. Not by pissing off the most loyal Democratic voting block (African-Americans vote 9:1 for Democrats, compared with 3:2 or even 1:1 for Women), and not by turning off younger voters who prefer Senator Obama 3:1.

After all (as I have said before), Senator Clinton can continue to blame sexism and misogyny for her loss this year, but the fact is, her own campaign mismanagement screwed up her chances. And no matter who is to blame - Penn, Solis Doyle, President Clinton, whoever - the buck eventually stops with Senator Clinton.

Some interesting reads:
Roland Martin says that for the ClintonS, it is the ClintonS first, the Party be damned.
Marjorie Valbrun (agreeing with other XX-ers) over at the XX Factor on says that Senator Clinton knew exactly what she was saying when she mentioned Senator Robert Kennedy's assassination. Melinda Henneberger says Americans tend to see no evil, even if the intentions were not good. (I myself was willing to give Senator Clinton the benefit of the doubt - but there is a pattern here of saying things first and asking forgiveness later. That seems to be the Clinton way.)
Lawrence Bobo at says Senator Clinton should learn about the function of the hook at the Apollo.
Finally, for all those who say there will never be another female candidate for POTUS - Dahlia Lithwick presents an excellent rebuttal.

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