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January 14, 2008

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The Clinton campaign misrepresented Obama's "present" votes during the campaign in NH. Now they are busily misrepresenting again in Nev.

It isn't even an ambiguous situation--the Clinton campaign leaders know very well that Obama's "present" votes were part of a strategy worked out between Plannned Parenthood and the Ohaio Democratic party leaders. It is deliberate misrepresentation.

Some would argue that it is not "politics as usual" but "Clinton politics as usual". I can't recall Edwards or Obama trying this sort of slimy trick. Am I wrong?

There have been one or two bloopers--like the precinct chair who urged Republicans to vote as Democrats--but nothing top down from the Obama or Edwards campaigns that I know of anyway.

It seems that Hillary has learned from Karl Rove. Her campaign is using proxies to promote smears through concern trolling, too: Kerrey on the benefits of a madrassa education, the recurrent suggestion that Obama had a drug problem or that unknown people might think he was a dealer, hint, hint, wink, wink. That's right out of Rove's playbook. The deliberate misrepresentation of facts is a common Republican ploy (the "resent" votes). And now voter surpression.

Nice.

"The plaintiffs were perfectly fine with the rules when they thought it would help Clinton."

Begs the question. A simple scenario as counterexample: the teachers' union saw its interests more or less aligned with the gamers' union when neither had endorsed a candidate, and little at stake, and no real reason to rock the boat - but now that there is a race, with the other union having made an endorsement, and a good chance that they will lose influence, they care that the system is tilted against them.

Also note that the lawsuit seems pretty unlikely to succeed [to this non-lawyer] and pretty likely to annoy lots of Democrats so I have trouble understanding why the Clinton campaign would have pushed for it.

Jeralyn at TalkLeft's widely-linked post had some practical suggestions for resolving the dispute fairly - I would hope both the Obama and Clinton campaigns will speak out for such solutions.

"There have been one or two bloopers--like the precinct chair who urged Republicans to vote as Democrats--but nothing top down from the Obama or Edwards campaigns that I know of anyway."

I think it likely that the Obama campaign has been systematically misrepresenting neutral statements from the Clinton camp as racist - a very harmful tactic. But then I want the D nominee to be ready to rumble with the R nominee. (Also note this, a bit late but still welcome.)

Hmm, TypePad doesn't want me to share good news. Bad Pad.

More very welcome stuff.

Is this enough text to make the link not dominate the comment and set off the overeager TypePad?

I think it likely that the Obama campaign has been systematically misrepresenting neutral statements from the Clinton camp as racist- a very harmful tactic.

Yeah, what's wif all that shuckin' and jivin'? Even a drug dealin' Muslim named Hussein would know better than that.

So who put the Obama campaign in charge of editing quotes at the New York Times?

Every time a black person complains about the Clintons it's been portrayed as the Obama campaign's doing.

I like Matt Yglesias saying the best thing about Hillary is that she can and will match the GOP slime-meisters spitball for spitball in the general election.

Kinda hard for Democrats to complain with a straight face about spreading anonymous campaigns to spread vicious innuendoes, the "right wing slime machine", voter suppression, the "politics of personal destruction", etc. when your frontrunner is matching Karl Rove point-for-point on those tactics - AGAINST A MEMBER OF HER OWN PARTY. Also sorta hard to write off people who have a visceral negative reaction to the Clintons. Or claim that opponents who think that Hillary is an unprincipled cynic who cares only about power are overcome by irrational "Hillary hatred". Or ridicule "both parties do it" Broder-ism.

If Hillary wins the nomination and her high negatives lead to her getting waffled in November, it will be poetic justice.

Sorry, forgot to answer the main question of the post: Politics As Usual: Who Engages In Voter Supression Again?

Almost always the GOP. Thanks for playing.
Looking forward to your upcoming series on the subject of voter suppression that isn't just a partisan jab on a subject that has offered little interest to you until now.

"There have been one or two bloopers--like the precinct chair who urged Republicans to vote as Democrats-"

As I wrote about yesterday, in Teh Other Thread, which I'm too tired to look up just now, there is absolutely nothing unethical about telling people that open caucuses are open caucuses.

The idea that there is something wrong with that is nuts. It's perfectly legal, and perfectly ethical for people to decide to vote for whomever they wish to, in whatever party they wish to.

No matter what party they think of themselves as traditionally having belonged to.

What, are we inventing thoughtcrimes now?

This is absolutely crazy.

However, I'll be gone all day tomorrow, and not around to further argue until at least Wednesday (it's possible I may stay overnight with friends in Colorado Springs, and it's possible I will not), so I'll have to get back to anyone who wants to explain to me why they think there's something wrong with what we call "the right to vote." It's not "the right to vote only for the party I voted for before."

Jeepers, this is a lunatic accusation that there's anything wrong with urging someone who has voted for a Republican to vote for a Democrat.

I mean, heaven forfend!

Presumably it's equally objectionable to ask a usually-votes-Republican, or always-votes-Republican, person to vote for the Democrat in November, as well.

If not, why not?

(Did I exclaim Jeebus! enough? This is one of the stupidest political accusations I've ever heard in my life: oh, they're trying to persuade people to vote for someone! Teh horror, teh horror! Vote for a Democrat, oh, no, we can't have that unless it's my Democrat! How does anyone find this a plausible objection? On what possible grounds? Do we have hereditary parties we're committed to for life, now? Or wtf?)

A simple scenario as counterexample: the teachers' union saw its interests more or less aligned with the gamers' union when neither had endorsed a candidate, and little at stake, and no real reason to rock the boat - but now that there is a race, with the other union having made an endorsement, and a good chance that they will lose influence, they care that the system is tilted against them.

That's not a very good counterexample. First, the timing: the risk that the unions might endorse different candidates was always there; filing a lawsuit just 6 days before the election, and after the other union has made an endorsement, is a horrible strategy; filing the lawsuit 6 months ago wouldn't have risked a backlash and would have given them time to fight it, without the Obama campaign weighing against them; if it's disenfranchising now, it didn't suddenly become more disenfranchising then it was 6 months ago, so why wait; they admitted that they haven't even approached the state Democratic Party about the issue.

Second, their argument doesn't make sense. The teachers' union is claiming that they're being disenfranchised because it's being made easier for another group to vote. That's asinine. While minority votes are often undercounted because they're given inferior facilities, (a) the opposite is the case here, and (b) that's still not disenfranchising, particularly since it's evident that many of these people wouldn't get to vote at all without the at-large stations. By this logic, fixing voting machines in the inner city relatively disenfranchises affluent neighborhoods. Give me a break.

Kinda hard for Democrats to complain with a straight face about [evil campaign tactics]

On the contrary, we're complaining about them now, even though they're coming from within our own party. This is called integrity. Whereas Rove and his tactics have been celebrated by the right wing. This is called ^#$*ing &$%@#&$!*kers making their home in pig-&$%# and filth.
[nb of course, some on the right objected to Rovian tactics. Ok, Im not *certain* of that, but it seems statistically likely. These hypothetical moralists are exempted from the above and lauded as examples for all to follow.]

At this point, Im not sure that I would vote for Hillary in the general. It pains me to say that, but I cannot stomach race-baiting and voter suppression, or validate it.

"when your frontrunner is matching Karl Rove point-for-point on those tactics"

I think that's so grossly exaggerated as to be clearly false.

Done some rotten stuff that I strongly dislike, and that I condemn? Yes.

But so far we're at about .1% of Rove's level, and I don't mean 1%, let alone 10%.

"Point for point" is, I suggest, not an accurate characterization. It means something specific that just isn't so.

Adam: "By this logic, fixing voting machines in the inner city relatively disenfranchises affluent neighborhoods."

Turn that around and you'll see how incorrect your entire argument is.

"A simple scenario as counterexample: the teachers' union saw its interests more or less aligned with the gamers' union when neither had endorsed a candidate, and little at stake, and no real reason to rock the boat - but now that there is a race, with the other union having made an endorsement, and a good chance that they will lose influence, they care that the system is tilted against them."

This may be true, but it's neither a legal nor an ethical argument. It's purely a power play. I'm unaware of a legal or ethical right to political influence.

"I'm unaware of a legal or ethical right to political influence."

I'm arguing fair representation, as I understand the union to be arguing.

I assume everyone has read Jeralyn's post.

Right, except the lack of proper nouns I don't see how the "alternate scenario" really differs. I suppose it's an argument that the Clinton campaign isn't behind it, but Bill sure seems to approve, doesn't he?

If they were concerned about everyone's voting rights they ought to have raised these concerns early enough to make it feasible to give MORE people a chance to caucus at or near their work sites, not to shut down the sites on the strip. The "think of the janitors!" thing is pretty f***** unconvincing.

It's a shame that the back and forth bickering over race has overshadowed this absolutely shameless attempt at disenfranchisement that has the tacit support of the Clinton campaign. It's especially telling that Hillary seems to have decided to stay on the sidelines on this one when she was frequently complaining after the loss in Iowa about how the caucus system disenfranchises people who happen to be working at the time they take place.

'Right, except the lack of proper nouns I don't see how the "alternate scenario" really differs.'

It seems quite obvious to me.

What is Jeralyn's post supposed to tell us? That this caucus system violates "one man, one vote"? All caucus systems do that. If the four of six plaintiffs who were involved in designing the system thought that was a problem, they could have designed another system.

Or at the very least they could have not voted for it when the committee they were on designed it.

Or they could have objected to it six months ago.

There is no reason to try to revamp the whole system just because you find out that it didn't help your preferred candidate as much as you originally thought when you set up the rules.

The whole reason you set up election rules in advance is so that you can't always adjust the rules to help yourself out. Changing the game at the last second is essentially attempting voter fraud.

"A simple scenario as counterexample: the teachers' union saw its interests more or less aligned with the gamers' union when neither had endorsed a candidate, and little at stake, and no real reason to rock the boat - but now that there is a race, with the other union having made an endorsement, and a good chance that they will lose influence, they care that the system is tilted against them."

I don't understand how this is a counterexample. You set up the rules that you think are fair. If you don't think they are fair, you set them up differently. There is no "right not to lose influence" that overrides the election rules you set up. And the teacher's union could easily endorse someone anyway if they thought it was important to gain influence through legitimate channels. What they are doing now is attempting to influence the election while maintaining a a surface neutrality. There is no "right to influence elections while pretending to be neutral".

"I'm arguing fair representation, as I understand the union to be arguing."

And the reason it wasn't unfair six months ago, but suddenly became unfair last week is...?

Your argument brings us back to that point. You've explained that it became unfair and "now that there is a race, with the other union having made an endorsement, and a good chance that they will lose influence, they care that the system is tilted against them."

Well, then, too bad they didn't think to care about it allegedly being "tilted against them" six months ago, when they were stopped by a team of super-villains from filing a lawsuit then, and replaced by evil robot doubles who signed onto this long agreed upon set of rules.

You don't get do-overs when you don't like the results; not in politics, nor anywhere else where fairness is supposed to be at work.

This isn't a legal principle; it's one of the valid principles of kindergartent.

I think, along with others, that the teachers' union should have raised their concerns a while back, when this system was being set up. And I'm not sure why they didn't: the concerns about this system disenfranchising teachers, if valid, should surely have trumped concerns about which candidate, if any, the system would favor. I mean, they do not exist to further the interests of one or another candidate; they exist to further the interests of teachers.

If they didn't think that this merited a lawsuit before, I completely fail to see how bringing one 6 days before the election is anything but an attempt to deprive Obama supporters of influence by denying them the right to vote. And I think that's shameful.

On the contrary, we're complaining about them now, even though they're coming from within our own party. This is called integrity. Whereas Rove and his tactics have been celebrated by the right wing. This is called ^#$*ing &$%@#&$!*kers making their home in pig-&$%# and filth.

Yes, people here are complaining - I should have made a distinction between Democrats writ large and the Democratic party establishment - they're the ones who have forfeited their right to complain. As far as celebrating dirty campaign tactics - is it really that much worse than tacitly endorsing them as Yglesias does?

[nb of course, some on the right objected to Rovian tactics. Ok, Im not *certain* of that, but it seems statistically likely. These hypothetical moralists are exempted from the above and lauded as examples for all to follow.]

I suspect such people are more numerous than you think. I know quite a few Republicans who can't stand Rove or the kind of politics he represents.

At this point, Im not sure that I would vote for Hillary in the general. It pains me to say that, but I cannot stomach race-baiting and voter suppression, or validate it.

With you there 100%.

"Point for point" is, I suggest, not an accurate characterization. It means something specific that just isn't so.

Gary, I should have clarified. By "point for point", I meant that Hillary's campaign is engaging in each and every one of the aforementioned tactics - not that the overall quantity approaches that of Rove. In any case, I think the fact remains that Hillary's campaign has provided some pretty strong evidence validating the view that the Clintons are ruthless, slimy, etc.

i just remember the one post but my take was that Ygg was trying to put himself in the "i'm not going to call out the clinton's baiting because getting people to call them out is what they want" camp

I suspect such people are more numerous than you think. I know quite a few Republicans who can't stand Rove or the kind of politics he represents.

Whenever I think I've so obviously got my tongue in my cheek, I just manage to not get it across to other people. Sorry.
I mean, yeah, of course there are principled conservatives who don't like dirty politics. If we haven't heard from them much, it's bc the Scaife's of the world don't fork over money to buy them megaphones IMO.

completely aside, I love phrases such as "the Scaifes of the world", bc it makes it sound like Im contrasting these Scaifes with other extraterrestrial Scaifes (those not of this world'), who are apparently known for their ethical approach to politics. The Vampire Scaifes of Ceti Alpha V (or was it VI?), for example.

[and, I apologize for murdering the apostrophe in the previous post. I only hope The Angry Flower can forgive me. But then, he is not known for mercy.]

I suspect such people are more numerous than you think. I know quite a few Republicans who can't stand Rove or the kind of politics he represents.

Okay, since you're the one making the assertion here, let's see you cite a comment from RedState or LGF or FreeRepublic deploring the (frex) distribution of flyers in low-income neighborhoods telling people that if they voted in a primary election its illegal to vote in the general election, or that it's illegal for people with police records to vote, or that registered Democrats are supposed to vote on the day after election day.

Go ahead. Find one. Find one.

This is one of the stupidest briefs I've ever seen filed. E.g., let's look to graf 33, where plaintiff alleges that the allocation of voters disingenuously interprets NRS293.133 by treating the at-large precincts like counties. Here's NRS293.133:

[...]The number of delegates from each voting precinct in each county to the county convention of any major political party for that county must be determined pursuant to the rules of the party[...]
They go on to claim that not giving "proper notice" of the number of delegates is required. Actually, it's just the default rule: the statute they cite doesn't apply if the notice is "consistent with the rules of the party"... which were laid out 6 months ago.

Wow. This is embarrassing.

Go ahead. Find one. Find one.

I don't frequent those sites, but even if I did, why would I need to find an example there, among a population of regular contributors who are probably 90% stupidly irrational partisans? I know a lot of Republicans in real life who feel strongly about protecting the rights of every voter.

I think this Nevada teacher's union thing demonstrates pretty clearly that the Clintons and their ilk don't give a hoot about minority voter suppression unless the minorities in question plan to vote for them.

Johnny, Sebastian didn't say anything about Redstate or Free Republic or LGF. If the hypothetical moralists exist in significant numbers, I doubt they're hanging out in those places (Redstate, for example, would ban them immediately).

I know I sound like a broken record. But Obama's strategists need to pay attention if what happened in NH isn't to be repeated all over the country.

Read Bob Herbert in today's NY Times. "If there was ever a story that deserved more coverage by the news media, it’s the dark persistence of misogyny in America. Sexism in its myriad destructive forms permeates nearly every aspect of American life. "

I wish women would fight back as effectively against Jesse Jackson Jr.'s outrageous statement on HIllary's so-called tears as some African-Americans criticized Hillary's badly worded 1960s history lesson.

In contrast to Edwards, who has repudiated by some feminist supprters for a much less objectionable statement, Jackson got a free pass, by women, by the media, by Obama himself. Feminists are very apprehensive about being called racists; look what happened to Gloria Steinem. I would have called for his resignation. I have been furious ever since. If Russert was a real journalist, he would have played that clip on Meet the Press.

I hope I got the link right. Blogger does it for you.

Lay it on us, Sebastian.

There is an easy way for the janitors to partake of the caucus. The individuals who wish to caucus can be given the day off to attend the activities where they want.

They could even be invited to the Strip.

Rilkefan:

Thanks for the links regarding the truce on the racial thing. When I see it in my local paper in addition to DKOS, I'll like it even more.

Meanwhile, to Hillary, Barack, and John:

Cut it out! Or the monologue on Jay Leno regarding this stuff, should the Writer's strike end, will be part of the permanent "presentation" of the Democratic candidate next Fall.

Meanwhile, hooray for the writer's strike!

I want my Democratic candidate ready to kick Republican butt next Fall, too. But, training exercises should use blanks instead of real ammo.

Save the ammo. I don't mind mushroom clouds rising over the horizon on the other side during the primaries, but the Democratic Party should keep the festivites down to fisticuffs.

As to Rove, no doubt he'll be advising Obama (and Clinton, too) from his perch as columnist at whatever news magazine he's vomiting for.

Afterthought: I agree with Gary Farber upthread that announcements by the Obama campaign inviting Republicans to vote in the Democratic primaries are no big deal. It's called crossover. How do you think the Republicans assembled the Reagan coalition?

That said, if the same Republicans vote against Obama in the general election, they can drop dead. Until after the election. Then they can get back up and go about their business as the country goes kaputnik.

Meanwhile, lay it in us, Sebastian.

Also, bring it on, but that's for later. ;)


Put me on the side that thinks this is total BS. With that said, I can't help but be curious (or not terribly curious, because I already have a pretty firm opinion) about how this affects the general public. Are most people really going to notice or try to understand the details of caucusing enough to care? I suppose people in Vegas will notice, which may affect the outcome in NV the opposite way the plaintiffs appear want it to. And maybe that will affect the momentum in the race to some small degree going forward. But I don't think it's going to matter to 99% (feel free to pick your own percentage) of Americans, in and of itself, the way it is to the bloggiest 1% (subtract your previous percentage from 100). Please don't take that to mean that this discussion shouldn't be had. It's just something I was thinking.

I would prefer that my Democratic candidates save their appeal to Independents and Republicans to the general election. It is absolutely wrong that Republicans and independents can vote in Democratic primaries, and I believe that doesn't happen in the bigger states. My English husband thinks it is insane. Democrats usually don't appeal to Republicans in the primaries to crossover to defeat their Democratic opponents. Obama does not stress he is a Democrat; he didn't do it in the famous convention speech and he doesn't do it during the campaign.

I have a little time before the bus to the bus to the bus to the bus to the bus, so let me say:

Okay, since you're the one making the assertion here, let's see you cite a comment from RedState or LGF or FreeRepublic deploring the [...]

Go ahead. Find one. Find one.

False premise: the extremist sites you list no more represent all Republicans than, in fact, any of the most excitable Democratic blogs/sites represent all Democrats. (My extremely vague impression is that Free Republic is a lot more diverse than the other two, btw.)

People of all political persuasions do often have an awful tendency to make just that error in their ongoing evaluations, though, and it's dreadful thing to do: to imagine that everyone who disagrees with you is the worst and most extreme example of those who disagree with you.

But that's not how the world works. Really. That's why extremes are, you know, extreme.

Similarly, in the views of those Republican extremists, all Democrats are wildly enthusiastic for A.N.S.W.E.R, and all their policies, as well as being Marxists to one degree or another, hating the military, and on and on with the nonsense that only a tiny noisy minority (well represented on campuses, but not many other places) of extremist leftists believe.

Redstocking, there are many states that allow crossover voting, and which, in fact, do not require party designation upon registering.

In Illinois I have, at times, voted in the Republican primary and at others in the democtratic primary.

I know some states do not allow that, which to me is a shame. I understand the philosophy you are advocating, after all the nominee is the nominee of the party so only let party members decide. And on one level that makes all the sense in the world.

It also, to some degree takes us back several decades to the "smoke filled room" scenario. Many people do not perceive themselves as a party member and yet would like to have some say as to who the candidates will be in the general election.

And there is an argument to made for that.

"I hope I got the link right. Blogger does it for you."

It was right. And isn't it better to know how to do for one's self, wherever one goes? ;-)

3 minutes until out the door: aren't countdowns exciting?

"lay it in us"?

No, no, lay it on us!

Not having much interest in this topic, I will offer a small observation: waiting until you find out that a particular election set-up is going to harm you before filing suit doesn't seem to me to necessarily signify bad faith. It might well be required by the constitution, inasmuch as only someone who is harmed by something has standing to complain to a court about it.

Sure there's an argument that there was always enough harm to support Article III standing, but there's also the notion that a diffuse harm, like this, isn't enough. That said, I'll be surprised if the plaintiffs prevail.

(I'm waiting for a decision in a case with proportional injury standing issues. A government regulation will lead to a couple hundred deaths per year, spread among people who ride in or drive cars. Each of us who does so has an increased risk of being one of those persons killed, but is that individual increase enough to allow any of us to file suit?)

The Republican support for Obama terrifies me. If Obama thinks these people are going to support him in the general election if he defeats Hillary for them, he has been sleeping the last 7 years.

In New York politically savy independents who don't perceive themselves as members of any party often register as Democrats to have a say in the important election, the primary. No one requires you to vote for the party you chose when you registered to vote. Registering as a Democrat incurs absolutely no obligation. If the Republicans always won in my state, then I might register as a Republican to vote in the primary and then vote Democratic on election day. This seems very different from being a Democrat for a day.

I am beginning to think a national primary would be a much better idea.

"It is absolutely wrong that Republicans and independents can vote in Democratic primaries, and I believe that doesn't happen in the bigger states."

It is absolutely wrong to think of a vote as an identity.

Despite our colloqial usage, none of us are Republicans or Democrats in any inherent sense. We simply make a choice when we vote as to how we wish to vote, each time we vote.

That's what democracy is. Declaring that it's wrong for people to cast their vote as they choose is absolutely wrong.

"My English husband thinks it is insane."

The British have an entirely different political system. We don't, in fact, sign up and pay dues to our political parties in America; if we had the British parliamentary system, you'd be right.

But we don't. So you're wrong. Flatly. Sorry.

Aaah, gotta run.

Gary, I have known how to link for a long time. I just didn't know how OW did it. Give our and sympathy love to Andy's family.

Red: It is absolutely wrong that Republicans and independents can vote in Democratic primaries, and I believe that doesn't happen in the bigger states.

If Maryland Democrats allowed unaffiliated voters to vote in their primary I would likely do so. Maybe this proves your point though because I’d vote for Obama, who is not your choice. (Note though that Maryland Republicans have welcomed unaffiliated voters in the past.)

This doesn’t just impact the presidential race – it also affects our local races such as judicial races. 14% of MD voters are unaffiliated with either party. Would you say that’s a lot – and would you say that we are disenfranchised?

(Note: This is my first election as an unaffiliated voter and this is one of the things I didn’t really think through when I changed party affiliation. I’m just realizing that there are some local races I care about where I will have no primary vote, and the race is decided for all intents and purposes by the outcome of the primary.)

"Well, then, too bad they didn't think to care about it allegedly being "tilted against them" six months ago, when they were stopped by a team of super-villains from filing a lawsuit then, and replaced by evil robot doubles who signed onto this long agreed upon set of rules."

Perhaps a team of super-villains is preventing you from carefully reading what I wrote.

"But we don't. So you're wrong. Flatly. Sorry"

Well, that puts the stupid bimbo firmly in her place.

It is absolutely wrong to think of a vote as an identity.

Despite our colloqial usage, none of us are Republicans or Democrats in any inherent sense. We simply make a choice when we vote as to how we wish to vote, each time we vote.

Seconded.

I've been registered a Republican, mostly, when I've ever bothered to register. The only reason I'm not voting this primary as a Democrat is that my vote won't do anything, as far as the presidential primary is concerned.

I'd vote for Obama, if I could. If I really wanted Democrats to have the most chance of galvanizing widespread, emotional opposition, I'd vote Clinton. It'd be the sabotage vote. And, given my success in manipulating outcomes, we'd wind up with another eight Clinton years, and another near-impeachment.

That last bit was kidding, FWIW.

My English husband thinks it is insane.

With regards and apologies to our friends overseas, I care not at all for what people think about our political system, when it comes to the point of execution. Sure, we can discuss what works and what doesn't, and consider what to do to change it, but in general, everything that's legal and possibly advantageous will be done, as well as various combinations of illegal and disadvantageous. This is America, and we have our own special brand of crazy, here. Perhaps not as britcom-refined as in other places, but it is our own crazy.

I mean, sure: you can think what you like, and advise all you want, but people are going to go ahead and do what they do regardless. Maybe even to spite you; it wouldn't surprise me.

"It is absolutely wrong that Republicans and independents can vote in Democratic primaries, and I believe that doesn't happen in the bigger states. My English husband thinks it is insane. Democrats usually don't appeal to Republicans in the primaries to crossover to defeat their Democratic opponents."

That is factually wrong for say the 1/6th of the country that lives in California where you can register Independent and vote in either primary and for a lots of other states as well. The open primary is often pushed by Democrats (it certainly was here).

"The Republican support for Obama terrifies me. If Obama thinks these people are going to support him in the general election if he defeats Hillary for them, he has been sleeping the last 7 years."

You may believe that, but you're probably wrong. I know lots more Republicans than you do, and they are genuinely interested in Obama.

Charleycarp: "I will offer a small observation: waiting until you find out that a particular election set-up is going to harm you before filing suit doesn't seem to me to necessarily signify bad faith. It might well be required by the constitution, inasmuch as only someone who is harmed by something has standing to complain to a court about it."

The standing doesn't draw from an organization like the NSEA potentially losing power and influence, but rather from the situation that the voters who are members of it are placed in by the procedure. This procedure and the position it would allegedly put janitors in on a middle of the day Saturday was known since March 2007. Standing is a tough area, but I don't see any way that the legitimate 'harm' for standing purposes is any worse now than it was in April of 2007. The whole argument is made ridiculous in this instance by the fact that all of the individual plaintiffs were either intimately involved in creating the procedure (and in fact voted for it) or are closely associated with those who created the procedure.

Well, that puts the stupid bimbo firmly in her place.

That's one vote for "stupid bimbo"; do I hear two? Careful how you bid; you might wind up owning it.

Mixed some metaphors pretty well, there. Is it too early for a martini?

Here in Florida, we have closed primaries, which means an Independent has nowhere to go but the two major parties. I would have gone D for the primaries but the DNC (stupidly, it may turn out) stripped all of its delegates from Florida, while the RNC only took half.

So I'm a Republican, again, if only to cast my school board votes.

"Well, that puts the stupid bimbo firmly in her place."

Playing the victim card when no one has said our even remotely implied any such thing does little for the intellectual rigor of your argument. You were flatly wrong and pointing that out isn't calling you a stupid bimbo. It was treating you like any other member of this community. My understanding is that feminists want that.

The below is from the NJ form for declaration of party affiliation:

*If you are a registered member of the Green Party, Libertarian Party, Natural Law Party, Reform Party, U.S. Constitution Party or the Conservative Party, you can participate in the convention of that party, according to its bylaws, but you cannot vote in either the Democratic or Republican Primary.

**If you are a previously affiliated voter who becomes unaffiliated, you must file the declaration form no later than 50 days before the primary in order to vote in either primary.

Declaration must be filed no later than 50 days preceding the primary in which the voter wishes to vote. A newly registered voter, an unaffiliated voter or a voter who has never voted in a primary election, can affiliate with the Democratic or Republican Party on the day of the primary.

Since I can show up to vote in either primary the day thereof, I have to decide whether I should vote for Obama or a Republican who can't win in the general.

OCSteve, aren't you in Wayne Gilchrest's district? If so, I guess but no lonegr being a Republican you're missing out on helping him survive a primary challenge from those on the right who are angry that he hasn't supported Bush enough on the war.

Fortunately there are two opponents splitting the anti-Gilchrest vote, so he may make it. I'm rooting for him despite his party because he's not a wingnut and has done a few good things (on the war and DC voting rights) and we're unlikely to get a Democrat in that district anyway.

I was pissed at Gary's condescension, but I was teasing as well. God, how easy it is for a feminist woman to be accused of playing the victim card. Could you hear my secret tears? My debating skills don't entitle me to victimhood.

The issue I raised is more complicated than that, or I better give back my political science degree. Of course i understand how the British parliamentary system works, in contrast to ours. I have been lusting after it since my first political science class in 1964.. The founding fathers were opposed to political parties, so they are an uneasy match for our constitutional system. I was just giving some foreign perspective on our insane primary system.

"When no one has said or even remotely implied any such thing"
Two posters telling someone they are flatly wrong on a controversial issue without elaboration does little for the intellectual rigor of their argument.

I have read OW daily for four years. I would not read it if commenters were usually dismissed as wrong, without taking the trouble of answers their arguments.

Hairshirthedonist, go for Obama. Trying to guess the least electable Republican is a dangerous game. It's probably someone I wouldn't want to risk as the Republican nominee because that's too close to the presidency.

I probably will, KC. I imagine I'd feel much more like I did the right thing by voting for Obama than otherwise.

Two posters telling someone they are flatly wrong on a controversial issue without elaboration does little for the intellectual rigor of their argument.

It also does little to bolster an accusation of sexism, unless that never happens to male commenters. If you don't want to be accused of playing the victim card, consider not saying things like "Well, that puts the stupid bimbo firmly in her place." It's hard to interpret that as anything other than playing the victim card.

KCinDC: aren't you in Wayne Gilchrest's district

Yup. And he’s having a hard time of it. I’m not that confident he can pull it out. He’s got Gingrich and Steele campaigining for him, but Ehrlich is backing Harris. You might not think much of Gilchrest in the next few weeks because he has got to run to the right to survive.

I’ve given some thought to switching back to vote for him. If he doesn’t clearly pull ahead soon I may have to do that.

I greatly appreciate the posters who corrected my misapprehension and overgeneralization about some of the larger states. I apologize to you Sebastian as well; I had missed your earlier helpful post. I need solid information when I am wrong. I have been a reference librarian for 20 years.

Unlike Obama, like Paul">http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/introducing-this-blog">Paul Krugman I firmly believe in Democratic partisanship. Nonpartisanship in the last 7 years means the Democrats role over and play dead and the Republicans do what they want --torture, spy on Americans, destroy Iraq, undermine the constitution and the Bill of Rights, make Bush and Cheney virtual dictators, ignore Congressional subpoenas with impunity, put themselves beyond the law. I am appalled at all the Democrats, who should be hammering home these crimes in every speech, not squabbling with each other.

I would take gladly take a raincheck on feminist and family issues and vote for anyone was calling for War Crimes Trials for Bush and Cheney.
It's not that I like Hillary so much; it is that I don't think Obama is any better and might very well be less progressive on domestic issues. I fail to see how you can make the necessary attacks on Bush and Cheney and appeal to Republicans simultaneously. Listening to the Democrats tear each other apart, you could easily forget President Bush has another year to continue destroying the consitution.

It's funny how people read things. I took Redstocking's "stupid bimbo" comment entirely as a joke.

Charley: I don't get the standing point. As I see it, the (legitimate) interests of a teachers' union involve the effects on teachers: the potential dilution of their votes by having other people get allegedly preferential treatment, etc. This was all known months ago. The only novel fact is that the other union endorsed Obama. Can the teacher's union legitimately claim that this new fact presents them with a harm, the sort that would -- at last! -- allow them to claim standing?

Redstocking: I'd be a lot more worried about GOP support for Obama if it were coming from the GOP establishment and not from actual voters. Voters who will, this time around be confronted by an extraordinarily weak field of Republican candidates.

Redstocking, as a general thing, teasing someone who's been in chronic depression and other medical trouble (and the related financial crises) on the morning he's trying to get to the memorial service for a friend of his and not even sure he'll be able to attend as he'd like may not be sound strategy. If there were ever any day to cut Gary some slack - and there is - this is it.

Thank you hairshirthedonist; I feel appreciated. I love your name. To see me in my blonde bimbo phase, check out the profile on my blog. Do I still qualify as a blonde bimbo because my white hair is mistaken for platinum blonde in some light? When I was 16, I applied to be JFK's bimbo until I discovered the line was 8 years long.

Slartibartfast, I would love to have a hard English cider with you while you have a martini. We would have lots of laughs.

Hilzoy, you might have a point. The republicans seem dead compared to the thrilling Democrats.

"Well, that puts the stupid bimbo firmly in her place." It's hard to interpret that as anything other than playing the victim card"

And I thought only feminists didn't have a sense of humor:) Yikes, maybe I am too young for you, with all my leftover 60s hippy, radical, pacifist tendencies combined with my venerable elderhood..

You are absolutely right Bruce; that was crassly insensitive of me, and I am very sorry about that. I owe Gary an apology. I was just reading his blog; I didn't know.

Hilzoy:

I left a message for Gary on the "Playing to Win" thread, but if you read this, let him know that even though I'm not attending Andrew's service, I can give him a ride in a pinch if he somehow gets stranded.

I'm in the Denver book.

Good luck.

John -- thanks. (For some unfathomable reason, I didn't remember that you were in CO until last night, when I checked my email in my lovely airport hotel room.) I think he's taking the bus.

Cold state you've got here. Big mountains, too.

(And yes, I have been to Colorado before. Several times, in fact. :) )

All this talk of Colorado Springs cold makes me hope the demon sweaters are effective.

Redstocking: No problem. It's unusual circumstances, to put it mildly. (And apologies too if I came off to brusquely. I am in my turn concerned for Gary today, but that's not license either.)

I am changing the name of my blog to Redstocking Grandma. I hope that will remind me to show more decorum.

It's funny how people read things. I took Redstocking's "stupid bimbo" comment entirely as a joke.

I thought it might have been a joke, and wired my response so that it, too, might be a joke. I'm almost disappointed that we opened the box.

I don't think your remark that stirred Gary to declare you Wrong was wrong in the right/wrong sense, so much as wrong in the that's-your-opinion sense. Possibly right for you, but there's no rationale behind it that seems to stick that same reading on your right/wrong meter to me.

I have little doubt that you have some well-formed rationale that goes along with it, but you have to consider that I might not agree with it, even if you do.

Or then again, I might. Care to give it a try? Your place, or ours?

I need a translator. What box did we open:)

Upon the fifth reading of paragraph 3 and 4, I think I understand what you mean. Thank God I made a joke instead of getting all huffy, stinging people with the victim card.

My place is always NYC whether I actually live there or not.

I have been trying unsuccessfully to find a reputed dictionary definition of "victim card." I suspect victims cards are more apt to be found in the eyes of the beholder than in the hands of the purported player.

If Hillary wins the nomination and her high negatives lead to her getting waffled in November, it will be poetic justice.

Yes, but it will be "poetic justice" the rest of us will have to live with, as "The Syphilis King" becomes president (great analogy BTW).

============================

The Republican support for Obama terrifies me. If Obama thinks these people are going to support him in the general election if he defeats Hillary for them, he has been sleeping the last 7 years.

I doubt he's counting on it. But a lot of Republicans (and even more independents) are sick of the mess the Republicans have made of the country (OCSteve is but one). I think "Obama Republican" may not be an oxymoron.

==========================

Text is a flat medium, and doesn't carry sardonic humor, irony or sarcasm very well. It's usually best to err on the side of caution (that people will take you at face value) when posting.

I do worry about Hillary's high negatives, but I wonder if one gets a distorted view of them reading progressive blogs. I just don't know. I hope the primaries give a clearer picture. It might be better for the Democrats for the race to outlast February.

Yes, Jeff, I'm relearning the lesson of erring on the side of caution and not being sarcastic, which I learned very well as a mother. . Occasionally I regress to being my dad or one of my brothers as a defense mechanism. After 4 years of lurking, I was very apprehensive about commenting on OW, particularly since I was expressing a minority viewpoint.

Being bipolar, I usually post too much or entirely disappear:(

"Perhaps a team of super-villains is preventing you from carefully reading what I wrote."

Oops, I have to expand my (overly snide) 10:35. Gary ignores the possibility that the union had good reason not to have taken action previously when seeing no likely gain to compensate the cost, prompting the above. Then he acknowledges that the system may have been and may continue to be unfair, but says, "You don't get do-overs when you don't like the results; not in politics, nor anywhere else where fairness is supposed to be at work." This last, isolated from the rest of the argument, seems like a bad way to run a railroad.

Afaict this lawsuit is not a smart way to seek balance, but maybe the union doesn't have the world's best lawyers. I again note the suggestion of other solutions to achieve fairness, and can't see any reason why that shouldn't be a goal for an intraparty dispute.

The Lesson today is from the First Book of Clinton, beginning at the First Verse:

1 And Triangulation spoke to them, saying: "This is my first-born Clinton, in whom I am well pleased. 2 I have given him a tongue of brass and ears of tin, that he may serve me and adore me, all the days of his life. 3 Neither shalt thou speak against him, nor permit others to do so, for the tribe of Clinton is sacred forever. 4 Even thus shalt thou adore the Concubine, whom the King raised up, out of the Land of Arkansas." 5 And the assembly cried out mightily, praising the King Clinton, and all his works. 6 Now Triangulation spoke again: "And there shall come a day when thou seekest a true Clinton, and by these works shall ye know: by obedience to my statute, which is Triangulation made manifest before ye. 7 Nor shalt thou permit any man who is not of the tribe of Clinton to enter into the shrine which is called Voting Booth. 8 Those that shall seek to do so, let them be accursed, even unto the sands of Nevada, unto the Third Primary. 9 Thou shalt denounce them, and all men shall hail thee as persecuted, because thou lovest me and walkest in the path of my law."

"I think "Obama Republican" may not be an oxymoron."

However, the more I learn of where he actually stands on the issues, the more I suspect "attentive Obama Republican" is an oxymoron. I don't believe his bipartisan appeal, based as it is on personality and not policy, will long survive campaigning against anybody who has an actual motive to out him as a liberal.

"I don't believe his bipartisan appeal, based as it is on personality and not policy, will long survive campaigning against anybody who has an actual motive to out him as a liberal."

I'm not so sure. I don't support him because he comes to my conclusions, but because he at least seems to understand and consider my reasoning.

Sebastian--that's exactly what the conservative gal who worked with him on the Harvard Review said: he was consistantly a respectful listener and respectful responder (but he was also consistantly liberal).

I'm back.

"Gary, I have known how to link for a long time. I just didn't know how OW did it."

Uh, there is no "how OW [does] it. There's only HTML.

"Give our and sympathy love to Andy's family."

I leaned over to Hilzoy and whispered, part way into the service, to remind her that folks here had asked us to think of them thinking of Andy. So we thought of you folks thinking of Andy and his family.

I spoke briefly to Mr. and Mrs. Olmsted about how many people were continuing to find Andy's last post, and how it would go on finding new readers. Mr. Olmsted had thrown his arms around Hilzoy and thanked her with emotion for all she had done.

I'd probably still be standing there telling them more, if Hilzoy hadn't yanked me to move on and let others speak to the Olmsteds.

Regrettably, it wasn't until a bit later that I realized I had neglected to find and speak to Eric, Andrew's brother. I'm terribly sorry, Eric.

It was not an easy experience for Hilzoy, myself, or anyone, least of all the family, and obviously for Amanda, far more than anyone else.

But I'll be glad the rest of my life that I concluded there was nowhere else I'd rather be, even though I'd give anything to not have had to have been there.

I'm too tired to write up a blow by blow. Possibly tomorrow, but no promises whatever.

It was very hard to look at the upside-down rifle, with the helmet on it, and Andy's picture, and boots.

Okay, now I'm crying again.

Anyway, hope y'all had a respectful day of posting. And my thanks to Hilzoy for picking me up, and buying me drunch, and more. Hilzoy is WYSWIG, as I figured.

Looking at the TRO brief, I wonder why Nevada set up a system allowing the at large caucus goers to have more delegates per participant than regular caucus goers. It does seem strange.

I see that the DNC is intervening to defend the Nevada system, and that a hearing is set for Thursday.

"Two posters telling someone they are flatly wrong on a controversial issue without elaboration does little for the intellectual rigor of their argument."

Redstocking: "It is absolutely wrong that Republicans and independents can vote in Democratic primaries,"

Gary: "It is absolutely wrong to think of a vote as an identity."

I don't feel a need to address this further.

"without taking the trouble of answers their arguments."

I wrote:

[...] It is absolutely wrong to think of a vote as an identity.

Despite our colloqial usage, none of us are Republicans or Democrats in any inherent sense. We simply make a choice when we vote as to how we wish to vote, each time we vote.

That's what democracy is. Declaring that it's wrong for people to cast their vote as they choose is absolutely wrong.

"My English husband thinks it is insane."

The British have an entirely different political system. We don't, in fact, sign up and pay dues to our political parties in America; if we had the British parliamentary system, you'd be right.

I also wrote a lengthier comment here about the caucus system yesterday. I've also written about it before on this blog, and about the variations in primary and caucus systems in different states, the differences between open and closed caucuses/primaries, the valid arguments for each, and so on.

I assume you're not actually complaining that I didn't skip the funeral to further elaborate upon my response to you, and if you'd prefer that if I can't write yet lengthier, more detailed, responses to your comments, that I not respond at all, I can do that. I don't actually respond to people because I'm under any obligation to, as it happens. It wouldn't be my preference, but I'm not finding myself enjoying these exchanges at present, either.

It's not really what I was hoping to come back to.

The upside-down gun was hard. The roll call with Andy absent was horrific. But the coffin was worst of all.

However, the more I learn of where he actually stands on the issues, the more I suspect "attentive Obama Republican" is an oxymoron. I don't believe his bipartisan appeal, based as it is on personality and not policy, will long survive campaigning against anybody who has an actual motive to out him as a liberal.

Unfortunately for right-wingers, Republican are shockingly inattentive. For example this 2004 survey of Bush and Kerry supporters found 72% of Bush supporters thought Iraq had a substantive WMD program and 75% thought they were providing substantial assistance to Al Qaeda! (Kerry supporters generally knew what was going on.) Based on that we can be confident a large proportion of Obama Republicans will never realize he's fairly liberal, even if he becomes president.

I think Obama's strategy or Republican-tinged rhetoric for generally liberal policies is very specifically targeted at peeling off these voters.

For example this 2004 survey of Bush and Kerry supporters found 72% of Bush supporters thought Iraq had a substantive WMD program and 75% thought they were providing substantial assistance to Al Qaeda! (Kerry supporters generally knew what was going on.) Based on that we can be confident a large proportion of Obama Republicans will never realize he's fairly liberal, even if he becomes president.
Regrettably, this doesn't strike me as quite right, I'm afraid.

You seem to be neglecting the critical point that the Republicans who believed those things weren't being underinformed in some random fashion; they were being misinformed in very calculated fashion by "news" sources, whether directly or indirectly, that they trusted.

Those same outlets -- and I don't think I really have to list any, do I? -- that were happy to misinform and mislead will be very sure indeed to put out great detail on the extremist liberalist of Barack Hussein Obama, crypto-Mooslim, etc., ad infinitum.

I mean, I could be wrong, and maybe Rush Limbaugh and NRO and the Weekly Standard, and on and on will just go radio silent on Obama, but, y'know, I'm not actually going to count on that. Something about porcines, aerodynamics, and one of my bodily orifices comes to mind.

Hilzoy and Gary, thanks to you both for being here. I feel well-represented indeed.

Might I suggest a few of us hit Gary's Paypal link to defray his costs a bit. I don't know if this link will get you there, as it may be a bit funky since I'm in Japan, but you can always go to gary's blog if the first link doesn't work.

"I'm not so sure. I don't support him because he comes to my conclusions, but because he at least seems to understand and consider my reasoning."

Reason enough to like somebody, but not reason enough to vote for somebody who disagrees with you, if there's somebody available to vote for who doesn't disagree with you. I'm not saying Republicans will come to hate Obama the way they did Clinton, (They won't; Clinton put a lot of effort into Republican baiting, Obama doesn't seem to find that sport engaging.) I'm saying he's not going to get their votes in significant numbers.

Reason enough to like somebody, but not reason enough to vote for somebody who disagrees with you, if there's somebody available to vote for who doesn't disagree with you. I'm not saying Republicans will come to hate Obama the way they did Clinton, (They won't; Clinton put a lot of effort into Republican baiting, Obama doesn't seem to find that sport engaging.) I'm saying he's not going to get their votes in significant numbers.

Depends on who the Republicans nominate, Brett. If there was a Republican candidate as intelligent, classy, and thoughtful as Obama seems to be, you'd be correct. But the alternative may very well be four more years of Bush-style pandering and fiscal profligacy (Romney), anti-rational socially reactionary big government (Huckabee), or sleazy power-hoarding executive supremism (Giuliani). I would vote for Obama over any of those alternatives, because while I disagree with him on a great many issues and am aware that he may enact policies with which I disagree, he's at least demonstrated that he's a grown up and will approach governing with reason, intelligence, and a willingness to compromise. Hillary, on the other hand, is mostly about cheap political point scoring. I would not vote for her except under the most extreme circumstances.

What Xeynon said.

That gives you about half the R types that hang around here who will vote for Obama over any running R even though we’re well aware that we won’t like some/many of his policies once in office.

Small sample I know. ;)

"or sleazy power-hoarding executive supremism (Giuliani)."

Doubt it's gonna be him; 2.8% in the Michigan primary, less than half of what Paul pulled even after the recent MSM attacks on him. That's a pathetic showing.

Thank God. If Guliani were elected President, I'd start seriously looking into moving abroad. That guy scares me.

"Might I suggest a few of us hit Gary's Paypal link to defray his costs a bit."

I thank Steve greatly, but while I continue to more than welcome any and all donations and subscriptions (PayPal buttons at the top of my blog) to help keep me going beyond the projected 3-4 months or so I'm currently projected to last, people should be aware that my trip expenses have already been compensated for (and it turned out I'd over-estimated the cost, as well), and then some, so said donations wwould instead go towards rent and food.

Okay, I'll cut you in for a percentage of my winnings from the monthly Vegas trip, if you don't tell.

...beyond the projected 3-4 months or so I'm currently projected to last...

What do you mean by that?

"What do you mean by that?"

I mean as best I can estimate given the amount of cash on hand, and subscriptions, I have, as regards my long wait for approval of my disability application, as explained at my blog, albeit I need to update the header, and plenty of other stuff, which I'm not doing along with not posting much there of late, due to my depression.

Writing here is therapy, since it's pressure-free. It's also about the maximum I'm able to accomplish in life at present.

Otherwise this is a topic I'm not up for discussing much further; feel free to peruse my blog for further information, and feel equally free not to.

I thank Steve greatly

*weakly waves*

Gary, apologies for discussing the topic slightly further, but I think hairshirthedonist's question is whether you intended to refer to how long your funds are projected to last or how long you yourself are projected to last. I'm assuming and hoping that you meant your funds.

I wasn't trying to pry, Gary. I'm pretty well aware of your situation, but the words I quoted took on a far more dire meaning in my mind than, based on your reply, you had intended. Consider me relieved.

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