So, Who’s On the Credentials Committee?

With all this talk about Hillary Clinton bringing her fight to the Democratic Convention and to the Credentials Committee, it’s worth wondering who, exactly, will the Credentials Committee be made up of?  Maryland Politics Watch did a bit of reporting on this a little over a month ago, and guess what?  They’re the same freakin’ superdelegates that the Clinton camp has been fighting for all along.  And but for the chairpersons, none of the members of the committee have yet been determined.  They will be picked by Howard Dean.

The article points out that two out of three of the chair people for the Committee are former Clinton White House officials.  But also keep in mind that one of the former Clinton CC chairs, Alexis Herman, is also a member of the Rules Committee, the group that is largely responsible for the fate of Florida and Michigan’s primary do-overs.  Is she going to overturn herself?

And once again, Clinton’s relentlessly spiraling, confused attacks on the superdelegates, the DCCC and anyone standing in her way are not going to help once she gets to the convention.  Congressmen who’ve had their campaign money dangled in front of their eyes may not react kindly to Mrs. Clinton’s  appeals.


We Could Use Some Leadership

It strikes me that, with all that we have going on right now, we are in dire need of – as Obama once said a few years back – adult supervision of our government.

But can we expect this from the Democrats?  Not if Howard Dean is any indication.  Whatever else happens, I’ll be happy to contribute to the candidacy of any Democrat who runs on a platform that includes acing Howard Dean.

Because of course the whole Florida and Michigan thing is his fault.  Yes, there were politics happening in those two states that also bears some responsibility.  But as the leader of the Democratic effort to take the White House, surely he must have seen that not seating the delegates of those states was a freakin’ huge mistake, right?  . . . Right?


No Florida Do-Over

That’s a negative, there, ghost rider.

I suppose that, in a state with the electoral history of Florida, messing around with a last-minute, untested mail-in voting system was probably ill-conceived and likely to be dismissed, at best.  Besides, there’s really no fair way to do it, other than what SilentPatriot and others suggest:

Crooks and Liars » Florida House Says “No” to Primary Re-Vote

I thought the mail-in idea was worth considering. Oregon’s similar system is one of the safest and most efficient in the nation. They did have a decade (instead of a few months) to perfect it, though. Dean really needs to start flexing his muscle and enforcing the agreed-upon rules. If the states refuse a re-vote, split them down the middle.


Superdelegates can be Contributors, Too?

Buried way down in the bottom of a piece analyzing Hilary Clinton’s strategy against Obama is this little nugget:

For Clinton, Bid Hinges on Texas and Ohio – New York Times

“They are looking way too much at Florida, Michigan and McCain, because all three won’t matter if she doesn’t blow Obama away in Texas and Ohio,” said a Democrat who is both a Clinton superdelegate and major donor, and who spoke on condition of anonymity to offer a candid assessment of campaign strategy. “Obama has momentum that has to be stopped by March 4.”

I don’t think that the role of superdelegates in the convention process are entirely clear to the Democrats, even if it is a Democratic Party invention in the first place. But somehow, based on what the media has been describing the superdelegate role to be, it seems somehow a conflict of interest to have someone be a contributor and also be in the position of potentially deciding the nomination over the heads of voters.

This is not meant as an attack on Hillary: I’m sure that Obama probably has a few people wearing these two hats as well. I’m just saying that the responsibility of being a superdelegate at the convention should probably preclude someone from also contributing to their campaign.

But then, in a season where fractions and surprises dominate the nomination process, every little bit of the process is scrutinized in ways that under normal circumstances probably do not seem all that important. Whether that means that the process needs to be changed to prepare for the next eventuality or not is up for discussion. The caucus process also seems worthy of review, as does the ordering of state primaries.

Will this season’s fractiousness cause Democrats to rethink their nomination process?


Robo-Schumer Endorses Hillary

As I sit here, working on my tax return, who should call and leave a message on my wife’s phone?  That’s right: Robo-Schumer.  Chuck’s getting the message out to his Democratic constituents that he’s endorsing Hillary.  Not a whole lot of surprise there, but I know how much we all like to keep track of the robo-calls, so I’m just reporting in.


FactCheck on the Presidential Debates

It’s always good to check in with after any debate, since they generally do such a good job of cutting through the political crap that all sides and all candidates like to throw out there. Even better, sometimes they catch on to stuff you don’t even remember having been said.

To whit, check out this boner from Mitt Romney: N.H. Debate: The GOP Field

Romney: And the reason health care isn’t working like a market right now is you have 47 million people that are saying, “I’m not going to play. I’m just going to get free care paid for by everybody else.” That doesn’t work.

OK, Mitt. Go ahead and call all 47 million uninsured Americans freeloads, and see how that does for your presidential aspirations. But, with both Democrats and Republicans debating the other night, it can be difficult to keep up with the B.S. To read more, check out the Democratic analysis here and the Republicans here.


Partisanship is Underrated. . .

Here is an interesting passage and quote from the WaPo discussing Barack Obama:

GOP Doubts, Fears ‘Post-Partisan’ Obama –

“Partisanship is underrated. There is a time and place for it, and more time and place than we realize,” he said.In Obama’s first years in the Senate, he showed little interest in the middle, where moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats coalesce, often to thwart their leadership.

Partisanship is underrated. So if you do right by a small percentage of Americans over the objections of everyone else, that’s much better than trying to move the country in a direction as a unit? The second sentence doesn’t make a whole lot of sense if you read it twice. What does he mean by “often to thwart their leadership?”

In any event, the words “bipartisan” and “centrist” do not mean the same things. “Centrist” is essentially wishy-washy triangulation, whereas “bipartisan” simply means two sides agreed on something. It’s certainly true that a “centrist” policy, being inherently limp-dicked, is likely to get “bipartisan” support, but that does not mean that a good politician cannot get support from both sides of the isle on a policy from one of the wings.

But there are people on both the Right and the Left who will not let the hyperpartisanship go.


Can the Primaries be Over, Now?

Goddamn, am I sick of this crap all of a sudden.  Things are getting completely nuts on the Left and its beginning to look ugly.  Micheal Moore just put out an email discussing his endorsement (there will be none, this year) and his take on the candidates.  But really, its just more bitching.  Hillary and her vote, Edwards and his hair, Obama and this (inscrutable to me) charge of his “Rightieness” that’s permeating the Liberal blogosphere of late.

He took the opportunity to throw out the tired line that “Democrats can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.”  Oyie.  That old thing?  I might have at least expected something a bit more original from Mike.

And perhaps the reason Dems do defeat themselves is because they eat themselves alive before the primary is done.  No one can be happy with anyone, not even for a moment, it seems.  Never mind that every single one of the contenders on the Democratic side of the isle is a principled and effective politician.  Never mind that even Mike Gravel could probably pound Mitt Romney into the pavement in the general.  I just heard Bill Press summarize Mike Moore’s letter and then say, “well, who cares what Micheal Moore thinks?”

Huh?  Who cares what Bill Press thinks, and is that really the only reason to express an opinion?

But if a candidate does not line up exactly with your sense of Liberalism, you’re not allowed to be happy this year.  If they don’t endorse an exact duplicate of the health care plan you heard about on (goddamned) Kos or or the Bill Press Show or whatever the hell small patch of the progressive media sphere you lurk in, then they deserve no support from you.

Folks, there’s every reason to believe that the Democrat nominated to the presidency can become the next president.  And if there is reason to believe otherwise, it doubtless will come out of the fissures we’re seeing right now.  I don’t care who gets nominated, you’re probably not going to be completely happy, but its gotta be better than President Giuliani, so straighten the hell up and fly right.

And I do, of course, include myself in this.  If Hillary gets the nom, I’m going to need to eat a lot of crow and support her for another year.