Friday, August 8, 2008

I will believe it when given solid reason to believe it

Before yesterday, a number of friends and family members told me, repeatedly, that the DNC would never allow Senator Clinton's name to be put in nomination. One very kind friend dropped me a note yesterday offering congratulations because, as she put it, it looks like "the tide may be turning". I extend thanks to this friend for both aspects of her message - the supportive congratulations and the extremely astute comment noting that the tide has not actually turned, but it looks as though it may be.

I am not privy to the discussions going on between Senator Clinton and Senator Obama and respective members of their staff. I do know that looks can be deceiving, and that until Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, DNC Chair Howard Dean, and presumptive Convention Chair Nancy Pelosi all state publicly and unequivocally that Senator Clinton's name will definitely be put in nomination and they state publicly and unequivocally that time has been reserved for nominating speeches for both candidates, I am sticking to my course of action, which is to insist that the DNC and Senator Obama stop standing in the way of the first woman with a serious opportunity to become her Party's nominee and therefore candidate in the general election, and eventually the President of the United States of America. I am not expecting nor do I think that Senator Obama should withdraw his own bid for nomination.

Senator Obama has achieved a comparably historic position to Senator Clinton's in the sort of way I noted above. Just as Senator Clinton is the first woman with a real shot at the Democratic nomination; Senator Obama is the first black man with a genuine opportunity to achieve this goal. Because racism and more extreme forms of racial animosity, like sexism and misogyny, have played and still play an enormous role in our society, it is essential for the Democratic Party not to deny either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton their respectively earned chances to be elected at the Democratic National Convention come August. Neither candidate's campaign succeeded in making either of them the automatic nominee - neither won enough pledged delegates to qualify for that. That issue is water under the bridge: whether you think either candidate could have run a better campaign and managed to prevail in this manner or whether you wish one of them had, that is not what happened. Now delegates - pledged and unpledged - should have the opportunity to do the job envisioned by the Democratic Party's own rules and Procedures: elect the Democratic candidate at the Democratic Convention.

All relevant parties must quickly and absolutely assure rank and file Democrats that the Convention delegates will have this opportunity and that the opportunity will be a genuine one with nobody expecting or arranging any type of predetermined outcome of delegate balloting at the Convention itself. As I have been saying - and saying - unless the Democratic Party nominates its candidate in this manner this year, no Democratic candidate can win the general election in a year that should be a cakewalk for the Democratic party, with a relatively weak Republican candidate running in the shadow of what many regard as a disastrous Republican administration. The sooner Senator Obama, Senator Clinton, Dr. Dean and Speaker Pelosi make it clear that Senator Clinton and Senator Obama will be actual candidates for the nomination in a true election the more quickly rank and file Democrats will be able to unite around the principles of fairness and democracy that a genuinely free and fair election reflects and perpetuates. Note that a genuinely free and fair election is one that is wholly determined by the balloting procedures specified by The Democratic Party itself. There must be no side deals, such as one that would require either candidate to step aside if she or he does does not win a majority on the first ballot. Balloting must continue without improper coercion of delegates until balloting yields a majority for one candidate or the other.

As of today, we rank and file Democrats have nothing like the assurances I am talking about. According to some of the most recent coverage I could find, "Clinton's role at Democratic convention remains unclear" as the headline to the story states.

Acording to the AP/Hearst report, "Democratic Party leaders were pondering Thursday what role to give Hillary Rodham Clinton at the party's convention later this month – and whether to allow her name to be placed in nomination alongside Barack Obama's."

I do not see what there is to ponder. The Party has a set of procedures for what is to be done in the circumstances it now faces. Indeed, these procedures were formulated in the event this sort of situation were to arise. Pondering is an irrelevant waste of time when we already have a mechanism for electing a nominee when none makes it to the convention with enough pledged delegates to win. The Democratic Party should simply inform both contenders that it will be using those procedures, and only those procedures, to fairly and freely elect one or the other as the nominee.

As for the candidates themselves, they are a long way from making it clear that this is their understanding and expectation. From the same news story quoted above:
Neither [Senator Clinton nor Senator Obama] directly answered questions about whether Mrs. Clinton's name should be placed in nomination so that her backers could record their votes.

"I'm letting our respective teams work out details," Mr. Obama said. Asked if that meant he wouldn't object to her name being placed in nomination and a vote taken, Mr. Obama said: "I didn't say that. I said that they're working it out."

Mrs. Clinton has not said whether she will seek a formal vote on her bid for the nomination.

So, pondering and negotiating continue. Time for both to cease. The quickest route to a smooth convention, which all involved say they want, is to make it absolutely crystal clear to all delegates, and all rank and file Democrats, that there will be a smooth and honest election at the Convention, which will be held according to established Democratic Party procedures and in line with authentically democratic principles.

(If you agree, please consider a donation, no matter how small, to
The Denver Group, which is working hard to make sure this route is the one taken.)

17 Comments:

Anonymous diana said...

Article on Reuters today suggests Obama is not agreeable to Hillary being in nomination. As if it should be left up to him, or either camp. There is a true lack of leadership here.

Quote: "Asked if it would be cathartic to have Clinton's name come up for a floor vote at the convention, Obama suggested it was not a great idea."
Link: http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSN0727266620080808

August 8, 2008 at 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

diana - since Obama doesn't think that it is a good idea to have Sen. Clinton's name in contention for nomination; sure makes one wonder what the heck he meant when he wrote a letter to the DNC asking for Florida and Michigan's votes to count in full!!

This man has as much substance as vapor!

August 8, 2008 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Shtuey said...

If the presumptuous nominee and party apparachiks attempt to block Hillary's name being placed in nomination I hope that her delegates will walk out and leave the party fractured. Cruel to be kind.

August 8, 2008 at 8:26 AM  
Anonymous freyja nyc said...

I agree wholeheartedly!!! Neither earned enough pledged delegates to guarantee nomination so if Obama & the DNC prevent Clinton's name from being placed in nomination, then he will have STOLEN the nomination. Democrats can cheat and steal as well. Just because he has a D next to his name does not make stealing an election any better than what Bush did.

We want an honest nomination! If he is so sure of his vast support in the Dem party, then why is he so afraid of her having a proper vote?

August 8, 2008 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous DWPforHILL said...

If Senator Clinton's name is not in nomination, her delegates should walk out.

Let the nation, and the world, see for a fact that the Democratic Party thwarted the democratic process, and that the Party is truly fractured.

August 8, 2008 at 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pondering is an irrelevant waste of time

The wasting of time, of course, is the point. We have been down this road before. This is like FL and MI all over again.....the Obama camp and the Dem elite sneer at any question , declare it will all be resolved , but never say how, and time evaporates.

FL and MI should have been resolved long before The Day of The Daggers ( May 31st). That mess went on and on with much the same non-statements coming from Dean and the DNC and no one believing how they let it drag on.

Because Hillary stayed in and kept winning, Obama and the DNC finally felt compelled to deal with FL and MI by stealing Hill's votes from her.It was never going to be fair. As freyja nyc said, Democrats can cheat and steal as well.
Indeed.


Now, Hillary is trying to tell Obama & Co what they need to do about the convention, but their whole bent of thinking is too based on gaming events and browbeating to heed her.

You cannot make clear your intentions , if those intentions include free flowing coercion, cheating, and the trampling of every political norm to get to your fix. Hillary Clinton can't be party to tearing up the rule of law and cutting voters out of the process ....nor can she tell her voters what to do. Since telling his voters what to do, is all Obama does, he cannot understand what she is saying....and keeps the pressure on Hill to somehow hand over her voters before disappering.
It's an impossabilty.

It's like someone is saying 2+2=4 and the other person, who wants a 5 answer , thinks the this person is just being obstinate. So we are at an impasse.

Obama & Co keep thinking Hillary is the problem. She keeps saying no, it's the 18 million who voted for me you need to honestly deal with and respect. The two camps speak completely different languages. It's little wonder communication is difficult.

What is so shocking is watching the whole of the Dem party super-structure doing all they can to make it happen for Obama and his backers. Really Obama wouldn't be any where near Denver if the Dems elite weren't working harder than I have ever seen before. They can't goose step fast enough. They either cannot see or do not care about the cliff edge ahead.

Thank you and The Denver Group for all your efforts! It's so important!
The ads are a great!

August 8, 2008 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger democraticjack said...

I agree. It is time for the DNC and it's leadership to stop playing cat and mouse and implement it's own rules. The fact this has not happened speaks to the quality of leadership in place at the moment. The presumptive nominee clearly lacks the confidence and the character to guide the issue. What is emerging is the reality that he is a follower and not a leader.

August 8, 2008 at 11:07 AM  
Anonymous adamonis said...

In politics, perception is everything. For me the perceived damage is already done. The DNC betrayed me and countless other voters from Florida, Michigan, and all across the United States. I honestly found it shocking that one vote did not equal one vote. The DNC weighted the delegate apportionments and dealt Draconian "punishments" to voters from certain states who dared to hold their primaries too early. The results were a predetermined outcome that was planned to benefit Senator Obama, or any other Candidate that could match the demographic benefits of the apportionment. The damage is done and the betrayal is complete. I am ashamed to be a registered Democrat. My presidential vote will be given GLADLY to Senator McCain regardless of the machinations, or should I say negotiations, regarding the Democratic Convention and their sham of a nominating process.

I continue to admire all of your hard work and pray that your efforts will help cleanse the Party after this disastrous election cycle comes to a close. Thank you for all that you do.

August 8, 2008 at 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Bridgeport said...

I would love to wholeheartedly agree with this mornings post, but there is still the matters of Florida and Michigan, caucus fraud, and the media. Obama did not with the nomination but was given the nomination by the DNC. No unity at this time. It will need to wait for 2012 and a new DNC leadership.

August 8, 2008 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with those who say that Sen. Clinton's delegates should stage a massive walk-out of the convention if Sen. Clinton's name is not placed in nomination. If the DNC does not wholeheartedly support the established Party procedures and traditions as well as the democratic process -- with Sen. Clinton's name placed in nomination, ample time for her and her supporters to speak, and a full, open, honest roll call vote -- this 38-year Democrat will completely walk out on the Party and encourage every Democrat I know to do the same. I will never again give another dime or another vote to any Democrat. I will vote a straight Republican ticket for the first time in my life starting this Nov., with Sen. John McCain's name at the top, and will encourage everyone I know to do the same.

August 8, 2008 at 2:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello all and thank you for this site. I am finding it difficult to express my feelings regarding the entire DNC debacle this year and this site, as well as The Denver Group site, is giving me some much needed and smart communication on the process. I have watched Hillary's taped talk several times now, and I agree with her perception of the situation, especially since I am one of those people who realize how we were cheated by our own party this year!
I must admit I harbor thoughts of her winning at the last minute, afterall, she has already won the people's vote! So, obviously, I am all for her being nominated at the convention. Are there groups organizing Hillary supporters to attend the convention? I am looking to join like-minded supporters in Denver?

Thanks again, Jeanie

ps please don't vote republican, "don't write her off; write her in!" I am having bumper stickers printed and sending them to every supporter I know!

August 8, 2008 at 3:05 PM  
Blogger CognitiveDissonance said...

What still makes absolutely NO sense to me is why Obama is allowed to have control of the party BEFORE he has proven to be the REAL nominee.

Of course he's not going to willingly allow Hillary to be placed into nomination. He knows that would mean he might lose.

This is the very reason someone who is not yet the nominee should not have control of the party - because it means they have the means to manipulate their own election. That is so basic I cannot understand how the Party can possibly not have foreseen this and put it somewhere in da ROOLZ. You don't get fair results when someone is arbitrarily given the means to manipulate them to his own advantage.

August 8, 2008 at 3:42 PM  
Anonymous kavala007 said...

I truly admire your dedication and perseverance in trying to make the Democratic Party behave democratically. I support you and the Denver Group and will go to the DG website to show my support by making a small donation.

I note that anonymous thinks that if the DNC persists in their destructive behavior and the selected one is the nominee one should write in Hillary’s name come Election Day. States have different rules on write-ins. If the write-in name belongs to political party, the write in vote may go to the nominee of that party. This means that a write-in vote for Hillary may go to Obama. Please check the rules of your particular state.

If we have a selected nominee I could not, in all good conscience, vote for that person and reward their or the DNC’s atrocious behavior. In addition, the draft of the Democratic Party platform leaves much to be desired. Some parts of it speak to a further American Imperialism under the guise of global co-operation.

August 8, 2008 at 4:19 PM  
Anonymous mm said...

Anonymous asks if there are any organized trips to Denver for Hillary supporters. There are many people coming to Denver from activist groups and there are many activities planned in support of HRC. I would encourage you to come to Denver and join in with her supporters. We will be easy to find.

August 8, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Obama arrogance is never-ending. It sure isn't going to bring Hillary people around.
As some commentators have pointed out, he won the nomination on points (in part by manipulating "the nomination math" via low-turnout caucuses, many of them in republican states!. Clinton earned it--nailing the high-turnout primaries, the swing states, the battleground states, the blue states. She had the broadest coalition (with the exception of the African American base and the very young)--and soundly won registered Democrats. And she clearly had the momentum in the last two months, winning nearly every contest since March!
But Obama edged her out--math and hardball politics. But he does not even have a majority of pledged delegates (he needs those suprdels to put him over, just as Hillary would). She got 18 million votes and lost by a hair--and he has the GALL to deny her a roll-call vote? To "weigh" whether he should put her on the ticket as veep?
And now the word is there's a new Obama salute being rolled out. I'm not okay with McCain, but I honestly don't think I can punch the ballot for Obama.
By the way, we're still keeping the Hillary faith on http://www.SmartWomenForHillary.com -- daily news updates.
Thanks for your great blog + all of your vitally important work with the Denver Group (which we feature on our Links page).

August 8, 2008 at 5:40 PM  
Blogger Carol in Atl said...

I so agree with you Heidi. That's why I am making another donation! What you are doing is fantastic and much appreciated by all of us. Your ads are the most efficient means of reaching the most important audiences.

August 9, 2008 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Rose of Tralee said...

To Cognitive Dissonance: Right. That's the part I don't get. How is Obama in a position to say that her name is not put in nomination? And he so evasive!
"I'm letting our respective teams work out details," Mr. Obama said. Asked if that meant he wouldn't object to her name being placed in nomination and a vote taken, Mr. Obama said: "I didn't say that. I said that they're working it out."

That whole statement starting with "I'm letting" turns my stomach.

The Party's been hijacked. How did this happen? Should I have been reading Sun Tzu? Re-reading Machiavelli?

August 9, 2008 at 10:30 PM  

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