I didn’t even realize that I was entitled to any delegates in this Democratic primary until around 7 p.m. yesterday. If you didn’t win a state’s primary election and your name wasn’t on the ballot, you might be entitled to some delegates, too! Follow along and I’ll explain.
See, yesterday, I watched the meeting of the Democratic Party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, which was seeking to resolve the question of what to do about the delegations from Michigan and Florida — two of the states which violated party rules by holding their primaries earlier than allowed. The final decision was to seat all of Florida’s delegation, but give each delegate half of a vote, and to seat the Michigan delegation, giving Senator Clinton most of the delegates she earned and giving the delegates for “Uncommitted” — plus some extras — to Senator Obama, with each delegate only worth half a vote.
At first, I was very angry with the decision — particularly about Michigan — because it seemed like a decision which goes against the basic principles of the modern Democratic Party, where voting rights are supposed to be sacred, and where the results of an election are supposed to be a fair reflection of the expressed will of the voters. There were points raised prior to the meeting which challenged whether the Democratic Party’s Charter would allow any delegates to be stripped of their full vote, but that argument was brushed aside. And then, in the name of “the rules”, the rules themselves were brushed aside.
It was pretty amazing — almost Bush-like — the way the Rules and Bylaws Committee just totally invented a rule out of thin air, giving themselves the power to override the votes actually cast by the public. Using a suggestion from the Michigan State Democratic Party, they divided up the delegates based not just on actual ballots cast, but also on:
- those wonderfully accurate exit polls from Michigan’s primary day
- polling from the day Michigan’s primary was supposed to be held
- a fudge factor which presumed to divine the intentions of the registered Democrats who didn’t vote
So the outcome is, the tea-leaf readers on the RBC have interpreted the will of the voters to mean that:
- not everyone who voted for Senator Clinton really meant to
- everyone who voted for “Uncommitted” really voted for Senator Obama, and
- more of the voters who didn’t vote would have voted for Senator Obama than for Senator Clinton
Instead of Senator Clinton getting the 73 delegates her vote count should have entitled her to, and the other 55 delegates going to the convention uncommitted to either candidate, the RBC took 4 delegates from Senator Clinton, then gave those 4 plus all the others to Senator Obama. Final tally: Clinton – 69 delegates, and Obama – 59 delegates. They didn’t even really have to run the election, since the RBC totally made up the results, anyway.
When Senator Obama’s political ancestors in the Chicago Democratic “Machine” used to fix elections, at least they made the dead people actually cast a ballot! And when the Republicans stole the 2000 Presidential election, at least the dispute was over counting ballots. This way is so much more efficient and flexible for getting the result you really should have gotten if only those pesky voters had done as they were expected to.
Anyway, I got to thinking: Senator Obama got 46% of the delegates in Michigan, even though no one voted for him and his name wasn’t even on the ballot. Well, no one voted for me in Michigan and my name wasn’t on the ballot either! In fact, no one voted for me and my name wasn’t on the ballot in all 50 states! I think I’ve got a pretty good case to make in Denver, and I won’t be greedy: the Vice Presidency is just fine with me!