Speaking of Florida . . .

You fail to learn from history at your own peril. 

Many Democrats, including the current Speaker Nancy, Pelosi, have been advancing the theory that because Barack Obama has the majority of elected delegates, he should be the nominee of the party.  The last time that measure was used to to determine the nominee, the Democrats ended up with Walter Mondale. 

There is a reason why superdelegates exist. 

By embracing the notion that “change from George Bush and the Iraq war” is going to unify the country into voting for Barack Obama, Pelosi et al are throwing away the very voters that Bill Clinton courted to win the Presidency.  independent, moderate voters–many of them women.  According to polling, not only do more Clinton supporters say they will not vote for Obama than Obama supporters say won’t vote for Clinton, the Clinton supporters go even further and say they will vote for John McCain.   Some dismiss this, others don’t. 

Because of recent gaffes, most in the media have are neglecting to realize Clinton’s primary asset is still Bill Clinton.  While the Clintons may have underestimated the ability of a challenger to fundraise using the internet, Bill Clinton remembers the coalition he built, and that it is still there.  The independents who voted for Ross Perot in the 1992 election turned to Clinton in ’96, after Clinton proved he was more of a moderate than a true liberal.  Of course, then he couldn’t keep his peepee in his pants and the world went to hell in a handbasket. 

And then there was Florida.   (Watch Recount on HBO) Hanging chads, voting machines, Katherine Harris, the Supreme Court, and George W. Bush.  And here we are again, this time not an election yet but a nomination; this time not only Florida but Michigan as well, where voters came out in unheard of droves and voted for Hillary Clinton.  But they may not be counted.  As we have seen clearly in the past few elections, Democrats need Florida in order to capture the presidency.  And Florida is just chock full of “independents.”  Who voted a Bush into the governor’s office.  And recently elected another Republican governor.

“But the Florida voters knew their votes wouldn’t count!” many say.  Really?  They voted in a primary approved by the legislature and governor of their state.  (Again, Republican)  Are we really supposed to believe that a record number of primary voters came out in Florida for a primary they knew didn’t count?  After agreeing to let the Florida voters revote, Obama said “no,” shunning those same Florida voters. 

Yet, because pundits (who keep calling everything wrong) have been blindsided by the sheer fundraising power of the internet in Obama’s favor, many new, inexperienced young Democratic congresspeople are casting their delegate votes for Obama.  Some superdelegates are holding off from endorsing or pledging, and wise Democrats had better hope that they’re waiting to see what happens with Florida.

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10 thoughts on “Speaking of Florida . . .

  1. There are limits to the internet.

    Even as Al Gore (and others) harp on how powerful the internet has become, it is worth pointing out that the Democrats’ “web offensives” in 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2006 have produced extremely uneven results. Although nobody denies that cyberspace is a very powerful forum, as well as a potent fundraising tool, it doesn’t actually replace being well organized on the ground.

    For armchair revolutionaries in the West to assert that they can start revolutions in Burma, Tibet, and Sudan by clicking on the “donate” button from the comfort of their apartment is exceedingly naive. Likewise, for Democrats to claim that they’ll win elections on the basis of the Huffington Post, DailyKos, MoveOn, and Americablog hit counter is equally ridiculous.

    The left-wing blogs were all too happy to claim credit for the Democratic victory in the midterm elections. Yet, their role is unclear at best. None of these online activists seem particularly eager to claim credit for the 2004 election. In fact, like the rest of the Democratic establishment, they’d rather just blame the gays for that one.

  2. I intend to watch Recount…but mostly because I have a perverse crush on Danny Strong.

    I’m one of those dismissive types. It’s May. The election is in November. McCain has done very little to imply that his presidency would be any different than Bush’s. If those “independent voters” many of whom are women are capable of holding that sort of grudge and vote against their best interests for McCain instead of Obama, who has far more in common with Clinton than Clinton has in common with McCain, then this country is fucked beyond saving anyway and it frankly doesn’t matter who gets elected because we’re all operating at the level of 10 year olds.

    Seriously, it’s great to say “Give Me Hilary or Give Me McCrazy” now while the idea of Clinton is still alive, but when Clinton finds a way to save face and get out of this, she’ll throw her support to Obama and her supporters will rally. McCain-loving Clintonistas are red herrings.

  3. it frankly doesn’t matter who gets elected because we’re all operating at the level of 10 year olds.

    I think if we’re all operating at that level then it matters all that much more who gets elected.

    “That sort of grudge?” People have long memories when it comes to being slighted, QJ. And, like I said, they just voted for Charlie Crist. In the middle of this war. To quote the great Stan Lee, ‘Nuff said.

  4. “That sort of grudge?” People have long memories when it comes to being slighted, QJ.

    But who’s really been slighted? Given the enormous amount of information at their disposal, people still remain largely uninformed and, by and large, their “support” is malleable. Certainly you have the hard lefters (many of whom seem to blog, like Pam’s House Blend and AmericaBlog) who act as if Clinton made a campaign stop just to take a shit on their cats, but they rather make a job out of being offended. When it comes to the average person, I predict they hardly feel so deeply outraged about how this is playing out that they’re going to vote against their own self interest.

    Hey, I could be wrong, but I would like to point out this cycle has been extremely unpredictable and if you had called the primary for Clinton six months ago (as many did), you would have been mistaken. So auguring the actions of Clinton supporters six months hence, after a long, hot summer of high food and energy prices, rampant inflation and continued economic drain due to Iraq with little success, a keystone of McCrazy’s campaign, is a bit fanciful.

  5. QJ’s right no one cares enough to bear a grudge. They’ll come to the end and depending on how they feel that day months from now (if they haven’t already made up thier mind) they’ll vote probably for one of the major party candidates.

  6. And there’s still plenty of time. First of all, QuakerJono, I’m not convinced that those who predicted Clinton will get the nomination are wrong yet, although it clearly doesn’t look good for her now. And when the nomination is finally wrapped up, it will be a whole new ball game.

    We will find out if Obama (if he does get the nomination) really is the savior for hope, or if he is just like any other blowhard politician and see if there is anything behind his rhetoric. And we’ll know more about whether McCain is really ignorant or if he was just play acting for some reason.

    I don’t pay much attention to the polls that say how many percent will vote for the Democratic candidate that wasn’t their choice for the general election.

  7. I’m not convinced that those who predicted Clinton will get the nomination are wrong yet, although it clearly doesn’t look good for her now.

    See, I’m not sure that’s a good thing at this point. While I’m no fan of Obama, I think we’ve reached a point in the national dialog where, should he not get the nomination, there’s going to be a massive outbreak of WTF?-itis. This could be devastating, not only to the Democrats who Obama has managed to turn out in record numbers (and I do believe this is Obama’s doing, not Clinton’s), but to the country as a whole. I just watched “Recount” on HBO and while I’m hesitant to be critical of anything my future husband Danny Strong may do, I have to say that, even though I didn’t necessarily think it was a very impartial take on the situation, I do think it very accurately summed up when the schism in the U.S. happened. Not only between right/left, Republican/Democrat, but a certain sundering of who we think we are as a country and who we actually are. Given the loss of faith in the most basic of U.S. premises (one man, one vote) because of the actions of Florida and the Supreme Court, to now have people once again energized and involved in the process only to then have their victory snatched from them because of Byzantine election rules would cement the fact that it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s all going to be decided without you anyway.

    Most likely, Obama is indeed just another blowhard politician. Still, sometimes blowhard politicians are what one needs as they inspire others to get up off their asses and do something. Obama seems to be quite good at that and I’m not sure Clinton is.

  8. Obama seems to be quite good at that

    Yes, but is that the yardstick we really want to measure by? Because it also applies to every successful tyrant in history.

  9. QuakerJono, I agree with you regarding the rules. But the rules have to change first. The rules themselves have to be more fair. Clinton, Obama, and the others knew what the rules were. So it was clearly possible that one candidate can get more votes, but not get as many delegates, thus not getting the nomination. Similarly, for the general election and the garbage we saw in 2000. If we don’t want the same thing to happen in 2000, then the rules have to change, including get rid of the Electoral College. We saw that Florida’s election problems did not stay in Florida, but affected the whole nation.

    A tougher situation is Florida’s and Michigan’s primary mess. Sure, the rules were broken there, but it wasn’t the voters’ doing. And in Florida, my understanding was it may not have been the Democratic Party’s doing either. What a mess.

    In short, the rules have to be changed, and they have to be fair. But until then, the rules are the only thing we have. So if Clinton can pull it out somehow, then whatever. I don’t think it’s going to be any worse than if Obama wins at this point, as expected. Because, despite being the presumptive candidate, Clinton is essentially still pulling even, or maybe a little better than Obama in the recent primaries.

  10. Insert “than” after worse in the third line of the last paragraph, to avoid the opposite meaning of what I intended to say.

    (Fixed it for you, Pat.) –J

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