August 26, 2007

Democrats punish Florida.

Shouldn't they be nicer to Florida?
"I understand how states crave to be first. I understand that they're envious of the role that Iowa and New Hampshire have traditionally played," said [Donna Brazile, a member of the rules committee], who was Al Gore's campaign manager in 2000. "The truth is, we had a process. . . . We're going to back these rules."

Though the DNC's action was well-telegraphed, it came after emotional pleas from state party leaders, who blamed the initial selection of the date on Republicans who control the legislature.

[Karen L. Thurman, chair of the Florida Democratic Party] said she and her staff spent "countless hours" trying to persuade the legislature to pick another date.

Jon Ausman, a DNC member from Florida, begged his colleagues to make an exception for Florida because of those efforts.

"We're asking you for mercy, not judgment," Ausman said.
Mercy?! Ha! Rules are rules!

33 comments:

Slim999 said...

The disenfranchisement of Florida voters at the hands of the Democratic Party knows no bounds.

They should abandon the party that strips them of the right to have their vote counted.

Paul Zrimsek said...

When Republicans control a legislature, they don't settle for half-measures: the bill moving up the primary passed by a vote of 115-1.

Now, can the Florida Supreme Court do anything about the DNC's hypertechnical reliance on the letter of the law?

EnigmatiCore said...

Rules are rules?

To Florida Democrats? Or Florida Republicans?

Surely you jest.

joe said...

A real strong Stalinist streak in the Dem party. Nationwide and at all levels. Dissent will not be tolerated!

Gahrie said...

1) Let's be clear here. Only 1 Democrat voted against moving the primary. Blaming the Republicans is pure bullshit.

2) The RNC is probably also going to move to punish the Florida Republican party also.

3) We are talking about primaries, which are hardly democratic affairs as they stand. No one is having their voting right taken away.

4) The parties have a vested interest in doing the rsponsible thing in trying to protect the primary system.

RHSwan said...

If the RNC is smart, they should do nothing publicly. Let the DNC get all the publicity. Then when the general election comes around, if the Democratic candidate has not said anything about this, the Republican candidate can hit them with this issue.

Personnally, I'm beginning to think there should be one primary election day for both parties. People are starting to run for election for President way too early in my opinion.

Paddy O. said...

I agree with the primary day thing. If the respective parties want control over the day, then they need to get their congressfolks to pass an amendment specifying. If not, then they need to respect the right of each state to be silly.

Personally, I like the early primaries. The earlier the better! I think we should go to an Olympic style system in which we vote now for who runs in 2016.

That way they'll know to do all the training and infrastructure and general clean-up in time for their run. No more lack of experience issues.

Simon said...

This is ridiciulous, and Brazille's comments especially so. As Tully pointed out yesterday, "it was the DNC itself that started this spitball contest last year, moving Nevada and South Carolina to the front of the primary lineup, breaking the tacit agreement that has held with both parties since the McGovern-Fraser Commission of 1968, which was designed to foster open selection of delegates."

Tully said...

You betcha. It is delicious irony that Florida is the first to get the axe from the party. As I warned a year ago when the DNC announced this move, this is an open power grab by party insiders, grabbing the nomination process away from Democratic voters and placing it in the hands of party activists. Back to the insider trading!

The McGovern-Fraser agreement of 1968 was supposed to provide minorities with a voice in the process, and provide public transparency to the selection process. I guess those are no longer favored principles of the DNC. Democrats are now supposed to be better off just etting their party superiors handle such things, so the voters don't have to stress their pretty little heads with them.

The DNC is trying to blame this on the GOP-dominated Florida legislature, but as Paul Z notes, only one member voted against it, and there's a lot more than a single Dem in that legislature.

Icepick said...

The parties have a vested interest in doing the rsponsible thing in trying to protect the primary system.

No, the parties are moving to protect the interests of Iowa and New Hampshire. As it has stood in my lifetime, the Florida Primary has never counted for anything. Why should farmers in Iowa get the over-stated influence that they currently receive? Is Iowa really more representative of the nation than Florida?

Gahrie said...

Icepick:
Is Iowa really more representative of the nation than Florida?

Frankly? Yes.

However more importantly, it gives smaller states like Iowa and New Hampshire, and the people they represent a say in America's politics.

Florida's voters will always receive consideration based on Florida's importance by nature of it's number of electoral votes. Ditto for California, New York and Texas. Large states like these don't need early primaries to protect their influence.

Gahrie said...

Tully:

this is an open power grab by party insiders, grabbing the nomination process away from Democratic voters and placing it in the hands of party activists

You're kidding, right? In a primary and convention system full of "super delegates" representing special interests, party officials and Democratic office holders, this is the threat?

Super delegates were expressly designed to allow political insiders to control the Democratic nomination process. Democratic politicians made that power grab you are so worried about a long time ago.

Paddy O. said...

Ditto for California

When does California get a say?

I think that the California primary should be the only one. Because of immigration (from all the various foreign states and countries), along with the vast variety of interests here, California is a microcosm of the country as a whole. So, to save everyone time and money the sole primary should be held here, and that way everyone gets a voice fitting our benevolent wisdom.

Gahrie said...

Paddy O:

I live in California, and I think that's one of the worst ideas about government I've ever heard.

grimson said...

The early primaries weed out candidates, such as Clark, Sharpton, Kucinich, Gephardt, Lieberman, and Braun in 2004. They do not pick the nominee, so it matters little who goes first or early in the process.

Kerry did not go on to win the nomination because he won Iowa (24 delegates) and New Hampshire (14 delegates), but because he also won in the large states--New York (208 delegates), California (315 delegates), and Florida (190 delegates).

If the large states want to regain their influence, they need to assert themselves with their votes, instead of just rubber-stamping the front-runner.

Daryl said...

Gahrie, I think Paddy is joking. The rest of the country despises California and thinks we have too much power as it is.

I agree that all primaries should be held on the same day. It is ridiculous that the same states get to go first, again and again and again.

Paddy O. said...

I think that's one of the worst ideas about government I've ever heard.

I know! That's what makes it so brilliant. Everyone can join together hating it. It'll bring an unheard of unity across the county while streamlining the process.

Joe said...

Having primaries starting ten months ahead of the election is crazy.

The best proposal I've heard is to have four regional primaries spaced three weeks apart starting in early May (or a month apart with the first on April 16, the day after taxes are due.) Every four years, the regions would rotate.

If that doesn't work, then congress should simply pass a law stating that primaries must start no earlier than six months before the general election. If that upsets Iowa and New Hampshire, tough, I see no reason they should go first and plenty why they shouldn't (the insane farm subsidies--especially ethanol--being front and center.)

Another option is pick states by lottery and spread them out from May 1 to August 1.

Gahrie said...

If that doesn't work, then congress should simply pass a law stating that primaries must start no earlier than six months before the general election.

Why? What possible justification is there for Congress to get involved at all?

The politcal parties and their primaries are not part of the government! They are private organizations!

I mean the Democratic Party nominating process isn't even small "d" democratic! They appoint "super-delegates" that aren't elected and represent special interests and party elites. (in a supreme bit of irony, the Democratic Party has a quasi-republican nomination process, and the Republican Party has a democratic nomination process)

hdhouse said...

frankly the tit for tat would be for the ny legislature to vote to hold its primaries only on the tuesday after christmas or something. HRC is going to win. Watching Rudy spend millions to duke it out in expensive NY airtime with every interest group in the state biting at his heels would be rich.

this passage of laws and stuff to the end of screwing around with another political party really has got to stop. it really has.

Joe said...

Gahrie,

I do realize congressional authority in this matter is tenuous at best. However, the process is becoming so broken that it is affecting the general election. At some point I do think federal action would be required. (As fanciful it is to believe the political parties are private, we all know they aren't and do use an awful lot of government resources, albeit mostly at the state level.)

Perhaps a better solution is a constitutional amendment.

Simon said...

Gahrie said...
"What possible justification is there for Congress to get involved at all? The politcal parties and their primaries are not part of the government! They are private organizations!"

If that is so, can a public employee seek a party's nomination without falling afoul of the Hatch Act? Certainly they would have to resign having obtained the nomination, or fall afoul of 5 U.S.C. § 1502(a)(3)'s proscription on such a person becoming "a candidate for elective office," but if the primary is nothing more than the internal affairs of a private organization, under your interpretation, I don't have to resign before seeking the nomination, because the nomination isn't "elective office," right? It's just a purely internal affair of a private organization, similar to seeking the presidency of my local gun club, right?

And for that matter, how do you square this "purely private function" conception of the prmary with United States v. Classic?

Gahrie said...

simon:

1) With respect to United States v. Classic, I would argue that the case was wrongly decided, or at least overly broad. Unfortunately, the Court has a history of erring on the side of Federal control when it comes to voting issues. I would return to the near unanimous holding of Newberry V United States.(especially given the facts of the case in light of the McCain-Feingold Act that I also oppose)

2)As a firm believer in federalism and republicanism, I support the immediate repeal of the 17th Amendment.

3) I don't get your arguement concerning the Hatch Act. Every election public employees run for office without resigning their position. Besides, given my opinon concerning Newberry, this point would become moot.

4) I would argue that under the holding of Classic someone should challenge the Democratic Party's practice of appointing non-elective super-delegates as a violation of the holdings of Baker v. Carr, and Reynolds v. Sims. Seems like a prima facie violation to me.

Simon said...

Gahrie,
Glad you're aboard vis-a-vis the 17th Amendment, but that's not really relevant to the present discussion. :) So you want to overrule Classic (and inevitably under that logic, I would think, Allwright), but you'll buy into Baker-Reynolds and their progeny? From a stare decisis perspective, what's the difference made of?

"I don't get your arguement concerning the Hatch Act. Every election public employees run for office without resigning their position."

How do you figure? You mean elected officers seeking reelection (or, IIRC, seeking election to other elective offices)? They're explicitly exempted by § 1502(c)(4).

Gahrie said...

1) I don't buy into Baker and it's progeny... as I said I'd go back to Newberry which would invalidate them. But since they are valid under the status quo, and Classic is currently controlling, I would be interested in seeing a challenge to the Democratic Party's practices as a violation of "one man, One vote".

2)The Hatch Act. Wow. I was unaware of just how sweeping that thing was. Here in California, most offices are technically non-partisan, so it wouldn't come into play much. Still, that's a pretty strong restriction on Executive Branch employees, and I note that there doesn't seem to be a similar provision for Legislative Branch employees.

Gahrie said...

simon:

I cited My opinon on the 17th Amendment because Newberry seems to rely on it, and thus Classic does by extension.

Gahrie said...

Re: Allwright

While the actions of the Democratic Party at that time were reprehensible, I do not believe they were illegal or unconstitutional. Political parties have the absolute right to regulate their membership. Disputes over such regulations should be handled politically.

So yes, I believe that case was wrongly decided also.

Wade Garrett said...

This doesn't matter as much as the proposed change to the way in which California would vote its electors. That, moreso than the proposed change in Florida, would really turnover American tradition for the sake of securing a quick and dirty Republican victory.

Wade Garrett said...

Paul,

Also, Democrats and their hypertechnical reliance on the letter of law? Do you really want to open that door?

Icepick said...

Gahrie wrote: Florida's voters will always receive consideration based on Florida's importance by nature of it's number of electoral votes.

Grimson wrote: If the large states want to regain their influence, they need to assert themselves with their votes, instead of just rubber-stamping the front-runner.

In my lifetime I remeber exactly once when Florida's electoral votes were given any importance, and that was 2000. By the time the general election rolls around it's usually a given who will win the state.

So the only chance for Florida to really influence the debate would be during the primary season. But by the time the primaries get to Florida, the nominations have already been locked up. So, no influence for Florida. (Except for all the rich Yankees in South Florida, who are usually cheating by voting in two states anyway.)

Grimson, you can say we should just stop rubber-stamping the front-runners, but if only one person is left by the time of the primary, what choice do we have? The last Democratic presidential primary I voted in was in 1992. By the time the Florida primary was held, only three candidates were left, and two of them (Gerry Brown and Paul Tsongas) were finished, they just couldn't bring themselves to quit. So what good did it do voting for Brown? None. How much influence did Florida have on the election that year? None.

But meanwhile, Iowa's farmers continue to suck at the public teat, so I guess the Republic is in fine form.

grimson said...

Icepick: In 2004, Iowa indicated that the primary candidates were Kerry, Edwards, and Dean; and the also-rans were Clark, Sharpton, Kucinich, Gephardt, Leiberman, and Braun.

That seemed about right to me.

Who do you think was mischaracterized, and who could have gone on to win the party nomination and general election?

Icepick said...

In 2004, Iowa indicated that the primary candidates were Kerry, Edwards, and Dean; and the also-rans were Clark, Sharpton, Kucinich, Gephardt, Leiberman, and Braun.

That seemed about right to me.

Who do you think was mischaracterized, and who could have gone on to win the party nomination and general election?


I don't see this as much of an argument for Iowa. They picked a guy that was as dumb as a box of hair, a guy whose best Presidential attribute was his hair, and one firebrand that had no chance of winning a general election. They passed on the two most experienced (even if boring) candidates in favor of that lot? Do you really think Lieberman wouldn't have done better against Bush than any of those three?

Seriously, the fact that the Dems didn't even make the election close in 2004 doesn't say much about the wonder of the nominationg process.

Icepick said...

Note for clarity: Gephardt was the other experienced candidate.