What does ‘participate’ mean?

As I mentioned last night, the meeting of the RBC today is meaningless. Harold Ickes, in high dudgeon, dramatically reserved Senator Clinton’s right to ‘take the Michigan compromise to the credentials committee.”

Clinton supporters, in addition to being incredibly rude and unruly, are unhappy that Obama was given ANY delegates in Michigan, just as I suspected. Everything turns on the Four State Pledge signed by all candidates where they agreed to this paragraph:

THEREFORE, I _______________, Democratic Candidate for President, pledge
I shall not campaign or participate in any state which schedules a presidential
election primary or caucus before Feb. 5, 2008, except for the states of Iowa,
Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina, as “campaigning” is defined by
rules and regulations of the DNC.

Everything turns on the word “participate”. A couple of facts:

  1. Michigan automatically adds names to their ballot for their primary on the day that candidates declare their candidacy. Michigan also has a rule allowing candidates to remove their names from the ballot.
  2. Florida does not have a similar provision allowing candidates to remove their names from the ballot. Once names are there, they’re there.

Participate has an active and passive definition. The active definition is “be involved in; enter a race; enter an agreement; enter negotiation;” The passive definition is to ‘become a participant’ by default (e.g., having one’s name added to a ballot)

If one does not actively pursue adding their name to the ballot, then the term ‘to participate’ has to be interpreted as leaving it there.

Therefore, the only way to stay consistent with the pledge was to withdraw their name from the ballot. Further, voters for Edwards, Obama and Biden were urged by the Michigan Democratic party to vote ‘uncommitted’ to express their preference for unlisted candidates. They did so, with the assumption that either no votes would count, or their ‘uncommitted votes’ would be allocated to some candidate in some fashion later on.

For anyone to argue that Obama wasn’t entitled to any delegates is simply dishonest. For any DEMOCRAT to argue for voter’s rights while simultaneously moving to disenfranchise 238,000 Michigan voters proves the cynical basis for the original argument.

Obama needs 68 delegates to reach the now-firm delegate number of 2118. He will likely win 43-45 after the final primaries. He only needs 28-30 superdelegates to reach the nomination. If an additional 40 superdelegates make a public commitment, the threat of the credentials committee appeal will be irrelevant.

It would be good for Hillary Clinton to be gracious on Tuesday night. It would certainly go far toward healing the very large breach and softening me toward her and her rude, obnoxious supporters who were so incredibly harsh in Washington DC today.

It would be good, but don’t hold your breath.

For more info about the credentials committee, see my post on Delegate Voodoo.

The RBC meeting will be irrelevant

…Because the Clinton campaign has drawn a deep line in the sand, a line which can only be resolved with the intervention of the credentials committee.

However, there is another way. The pledged delegates and superdelegates, with the press, can make her irrelevant. It’s time to start doing that.

There will be some sort of resolution in the rules committee, but it will not be acceptable to Senator Clinton. Therefore, she will continue on through the convention, but it is possible to silence her divisiveness if the pledged and superdelegates pledge unity to the candidate who won legitimately by the rules, and the press quits calling this as a horserace.

California delegates have pledged unity and a goal to win in November. Let’s see if they will lead the way.

Worthy of attention

  • Jeffrey Toobin: In McCain’s Court
  • Might he really be a “maverick” when it comes to the Supreme Court? The answer, almost certainly, is no. The Senator has long touted his opposition to Roe, and has voted for every one of Bush’s judicial appointments; the rhetoric of his speech shows that he is getting his advice on the Court from the most extreme elements of the conservative movement. With the general election in mind, McCain had to express himself with such elaborate circumlocution because he knows that the constituency for such far-reaching change in our constellation of rights is small, and may be shrinking.

  • Pentagon Announces Troop Deployments Of 42,000 To Iraq, Afghanistan
  • Why Republicans Might Attack Iran Before the General Elections

    For example, one of the strongest scenarios among neo-conservatives is based on the hypothesis that in the case of any military attack against Iran — even a limited air strike — the greatest beneficiary among the three presidential candidates would be John McCain. The reason for this is that the American people’s first priority would become national security instead of the economy, and since there might be a “perception” that McCain would deal with foreign policy issues better than economic ones, he would have a stronger chance of winning in November.

  • Clinton Puts Up A New Fight

    Later, when asked if she thinks this campaign has been racist, she says she does not. And she circles back to the sexism. “The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head,” she said. “It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists.”

    (My aside: No racism? REALLY? Yes, there has been sexism on the part of the media, the pundits, some Obama supporters and bloggers. But to say there’s been NO racism? That’s just a lie.)

Today is the day that Barack Obama will tip over the majority of pledged delegates. He will need less than 100 total delegates for the nomination. I would once again encourage the women profiled in the last article to consider the facts in the first article.

Larry Johnson is an Anti-Intellectual, Fearmongering, Lying Pig

Photo: Larry C. Johnson’s self portrait,
as published on the Huffington Post

If this guy is a friend of Hillary Clinton’s, she really doesn’t need any enemies. With screeds like this where imaginary terrorists named William Ayers become arguments against Barack Obama 5 days ahead of the West Virginia and Kentucky primaries, the excrable Larry Johnson displays the worst and ugliest of the Bush/McCain administrations while stumping for..

a Democrat. And not just any Democrat. Hillary Clinton.

His bio is revealing:

Larry C. Johnson is CEO and co-founder of BERG Associates, LLC, an international business-consulting firm that helps corporations and governments manage threats posed by terrorism and money laundering. Mr. Johnson works with US military commands in scripting terrorism exercises, briefs foreign governments on a regular basis on terrorist trends, and conducts undercover investigations on product counterfeiting and smuggling.

If you’re inclined to read the entire bio, you’ll discover two important facts. First, he was probably Barack Obama’s age (6) during the Weather Underground times and only knows what he’s read from biased right-wing liars. Second, he worked for the CIA at important, critical junctures, up to and including the year 1989, when the CIA should have been gathering and reporting the intelligence that could have prevented the 9/11 attacks. The CIA failures that caused George Tenet to fall on his sword. Yes, that CIA.

Of course, it also goes without saying that those same years in the CIA that have earned him such “acclaim” were also the Clinton years. Of course, it is true that they were a little distracted there at the end.

How unfortunate that he would go ballistic on Hillary Clinton’s behalf and write this:

Hillary’s only hope is that the super delegates will come to their senses and realize that Barack Obama’s relationships with the corrupt Tony Rezko, the racist-wife stealing Jeremiah Wright, and the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers will provide the Republicans with ammunition they have never had at hand to use against the Democrats’ candidate. This is particularly true of that flag stomper, Bill Ayers.

No, those are no hopes at all for Hillary. None. Zero. I’d like to think she’s learned her lesson when it comes to relying on this stuff. See, this year the voters are all about authenticity. Even the ones who didn’t go to college are thinking. (Note: If you believe any of the guano Johnson is tossing, you’re NOT thinking. Start.)

In actuality, the flag stomper is Mr. Johnson, who qualifies in my book as the same kind of government shill that was doing the dirty work for the Bushies with the networks when they were loaned out by the government as “consultants and commentators“.

So, Mr. Johnson, let me put this plainly. Bill Ayers ain’t going to play much of anywhere other than backwater areas where they only get Fox News and actually believe the shit they try to pass off as fact. Why? BECAUSE BILL CLINTON PARDONED TWO WEATHER UNDERGROUND CRIMINALS AND BILL AYERS WAS NOT CONVICTED OF SQUAT.

Got it? Good.

The rest of Johnson’s rant is just irrational. It hasn’t worked for the past month and it’s not going to work now. Ayers isn’t going to play no matter how desperately Bob Novak (aka Mr. “Out Valerie Plame”) wants to think so.

And Mr. Johnson, consider this. Not one time has Barack Obama pointed out Whitewater, the White House travel scandal, the “Lincoln Bedroom for campaign cash” scam, or Bill Clinton’s impeachment. Not one time. Surrogates speaking for Hillary Clinton should consider their own conduct in this regard.

This desperate gasp on Mr. Johnson’s part confirms what I’ve believed all along. The GOP was desperate for Clinton to be the Democratic candidate, believing that they had 1200 pages of dirt to serve up in the upcoming national campaign. Now that the majority of voters (no matter how you cut it, with and without Florida and Michigan, by the way) have said they choose Barack Obama, the GOP knows the inevitable truth.

In November, they will lose the White House and the Congress. There will be a sweeping mandate, and there won’t be a goddamn thing they can do about it.

The Republicans’ chickens are coming home to roost.

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We will end it by telling the truth…

Just in case there’s any doubt whatsoever, here is a reasonable prediction of the remaining primaries; indeed, almost a best-case prediction, including Florida and Michigan with no penalty. Obama has 259 Superdelegates right now. The math is inevitable.

[edited to give Senator Clinton the correct FL/MI delegates and reset remaining to 50/50 for more accurate forecast]

So don’t ever forget that this election is not about me, or any candidate. Don’t ever forget that this campaign is about you – about your hopes, about your dreams, about your struggles, about securing your portion of the American Dream.

Don’t ever forget that we have a choice in this country – that we can choose not to be divided; that we can choose not to be afraid; that we can still choose this moment to finally come together and solve the problems we’ve talked about all those other years in all those other elections.

This time can be different than all the rest. This time we can face down those who say our road is too long; that our climb is too steep; that we can no longer achieve the change that we seek. This is our time to answer the call that so many generations of Americans have answered before – by insisting that by hard work, and by sacrifice, the American Dream will endure. Thank you, and may God Bless the United States of America.

– Barack Obama, 5/6/08

No, Barack, thank you. For staying focused on the goal and keeping your hopes up. Thanks to you, my disenfranchised 27-year old homeless veteran son put on his Obama ’08 shirt tonight and left his cynicism at the door.

Yes, we can.

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