Friday, April 25, 2008

The "Rules"

Many of us out here talk about the Democratic Party Delegate Selection "Rules." But, how many of us who talk about them have actually read them, especially those who condemn Hillary Clinton for making her stand in state after state. You can find them here: DNC Delegate Selection Rules

Despite many loud claims to the contrary in the media and from Clinton opponents:

1. There is no Rule "agreed to" by the candidates, but there is a Rule imposed by the party which prohibits a candidate from campaigning in a state that violates the early primary rule: Rule 20.C.1.b. Candidates did sign a pledge not to campaign in FLA and MI, including television ads.

2. There is also evidence that Obama may have violated that pledge or Rule: Obama's national television ad plays in Florida.

3. The DNC Rules do not call for or mandate a complete loss of delegates for holding an early primary; they call for a 50% reduction in delegates and alternates: Rule 20.C.1.a and 20.C.4. (Yes, I realize the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee may choose to impose greater sanctions: Rule 20.C.5.)

4. Even if a state changes the democratic primary date to an impermissible early date, according to the "Rules" that state should not suffer any penalty at all if it is shown that the change was a result of a "state law" and that the Democratic leaders took all positive steps and acted in good faith to oppose that change in state law moving the primary date: Rule 20.C.7.

Of course we all know that the Florida State Legislature is 2-1 Republican and that it has a Republican Governor (Jeb Bush). Let me know how the Dems were supposed to stop the maneuver by the Republican majority to move the date to an impermissible date.

5. You will also find among the party "Rules" many are fond of talking about that any ruling or decision by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (the committee which chose to impose the death penalty on Michigan and Florida voters) may be appealed to the National Convention in Denver. In other words it is provided for in the "Rules" to challenge any ruling by the committee, including its decision to disenfranchise the FLA and MI voters. It is the Convention that is the final rule maker. Rule 23.D.

6. You will see nothing in the "Rules" which calls for ignoring the popular vote as an indicator of a candidates support.

7. You should also know that Obama voluntarily removed his name from the Michigan ballot; and, he did so in a blatant (albeit successful) attempt to pander to the voters in Iowa (and notice the dates on these articles):
Michigan, Iowa and the Games the Politicos Play
Off the ballot in Michigan

There simply is no DNC rule that a candidate must remove their name from the ballot in a state with an impermissible early primary or caucus. So of those so inclined, yell all you want that Obama wasn't on the ballot so we can't count the votes in Michigan. The "rules" do not support your, pardon me, Obama's, position. In an act of political pandering Obama chose to remove his name from the Michigan ballot. It is fair to say then that he must live with his decisions, good or bad in the end, after all he is running for the presidency. Because he voluntarily chose to remove his name from the ballot due to political pandering that fact certainly should not be used to support an argument that Michigan voters should be disenfranchised. Obama did it to himself.

8. People can accuse Clinton all thay want about the rules, but I believe it is the height of hypocrisy for anyone to run a self-styled campaign of "inclusion" and then turn around and say "don't count the votes."

Hillary Clinton will follow the Rules as they were written and adopted. And, just like Obama, she will use the ones that help her case. She won't ignore the Rules or break them; she will use them, just like Obama. Now that the Rules are known, Obama's arguments seem to be less genuine and much more political.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Obama Goes Negative and Lies

After months of preaching against negative campaigning, Senator Obama has decided to go negative, running an attack ad misrepresenting Senator Clinton's health care plan. The negative spot is currently airing throughout Pennsylvania. From the Clinton Campaign:

1. The Obama ad claims that Hillary’s “plan forces everyone to buy insurance even if you can’t afford it.” Health policy expert Ken Thorpe reviewed this claim and found it to be false. Under Hillary's plan, everyone will be able to afford coverage.

"Ken Thorpe, a health-policy expert at Emory University who has advised all three major Democrats, said he ran cost estimates for the Clinton plan at the Clinton campaign's request, and found there should be enough money to make insurance affordable for all." [Wall Street Journal, 12/5/07]

2. The advertisement also claims that that Hillary's plan would make people who fail to enroll "pay a penalty." Sen. Obama's own plan would fine parents who fail to enroll their children and he has said he will consider imposing penalties on people who don't enroll.

Hillary would consider a range of ideas, including automatic enrollment, to ensure everyone is covered. Sen. Obama's plan, would, experts agree, leave 15 million people out.

3. The ad also claims that Sen. Obama's plan reduces costs more than Hillary's plan. There is no citation for this claim because it is false. Hillary's plan has more aggressive cost cutting measures and has more generous subsides. Because Sen. Obama's plan leaves 15 million people out, it would drive costs up, because everyone would have to subsidize emergency care for the uninsured.