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Today seems to be a dumping station for conservatives to tell us Hillary Clinton is really winning. There is a three article collection forming a Bermuda triangle like axis of BS about the Democratic race.

In short form, Byron York and Rich Lowry argue that Democrats are betraying the "one person, one vote" mentality that drove outrage following the Florida 2000 election. York and Lowry seem to have written their articles using the same 5th grader's math homework.

Ed Koch, on the other hand, simply takes the position that Hillary Clinton is being treated unfairly, and should fight to the convention.

It worries me greatly that these views aren't limited to the stupid or malicious people writing these articles, but will have an effect on many under informed Democrats as well. That's why we need to push back by at very least exposing how ridiculous their arguments are.

More after the jump.

Ed Koch begins by arguing when people want to destroy a politician, they begin taking their comments out of context. He uses Hillary's RFK comments as proof, and concludes:

The clear meaning of her reference is that primary campaigns have often lasted into June, and many unforeseen events - or statements - can happen in any political race before the Party settles on its final choice.

Of course, that's exactly what many thought, that Sen. Clinton was referencing the possibility of the unforeseen event - namely, an assassination - could befall Sen. Obama, as a justification for staying in the race.

Koch continues:

Hillary's sole chance of becoming the Democratic candidate for president is in the hands of the super-delegates.

And following this brief truism, expresses one of the great myths of the campaign season:

Clearly, a majority of them have either not made up their minds or prefer to wait and decide that issue closer to or at the Democratic convention. Why else have they not publicly announced their preference? If Obama were the clear choice, as his supporters believe he is, why haven't they convinced enough super-delegates to announce their support of him and end the ongoing series of primaries? Why shouldn't the last states to vote have a chance to affect the result? The reason is obvious. Many super-delegates are not convinced he can win in November, and they are correct to have that concern based on the outcome in key states a Democrat needs to win.

This argument, that superdelegates would throw their support to Obama if only he could convince them is, to quote the esteemed Sen. Biden, malarkey.

It has been clear for some time the cause of unity would be greatly helped if Sen. Clinton accepted defeat in the course of the primaries rather than being pushed out by a wave of superdelegates. That doesn't "prove" the superdelegates are weary of Sen. Obama. In fact, party leadership has continually sent signs they will not let the race break down into a knife fight through the summer. Nancy Pelosi, Rahm Emanuel, James Carville, George McGovern, Nunn/Boren, Robert Byrd and Ted Kennedy have all either endorsed Obama or recommended his nomination as a fait accompli. So clearly, the gray beards in the party understand this contest is over, and are simply angling for as much dignity to accompany it's conclusion as possible.

Koch finishes with this barn burner, encouraging Sen. Obama's supporters to follow the rules:

Why are Hillary's opponents so afraid of a fair fight? Let the voters decide this campaign, not the spin doctors in the back room.

This leads nicely into Byron York and Rich Lowry's bogus arguments.

Lowry begins:

During the 2000 election controversy, Democrats brayed "count every vote" in Florida and discounted George Bush’s eventual victory in the Electoral College because he lost the national popular vote to Al Gore. Hillary Clinton has to yearn for the return of that Democratic Party of yore.

And York begins:

During the 2000 Florida recount, newly elected Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said, "I believe strongly that in a democracy, we should respect the will of the people and to me, that means it's time to do away with the Electoral College."

It was a common enough feeling among Democrats at the time, after Al Gore lost the Electoral College — and thus the White House — even though he won the popular vote. Now, Democrats could be on the verge of recreating that unhappy situation within their own party.

So, both start off by comparing the decision to count popular votes over delegates as a disenfranchisement akin to Florida in '00. But it gets better. These two writers seem to shop at the same outlet for examples.

From Lowry:

Obama won more net delegates from Idaho (12) in winning the state by 13,000 votes out of 20,000 cast than Clinton netted from New Jersey (11) in winning the state by more than 100,000 votes out of 1 million votes cast.

And from York:

Or look at Idaho and New Jersey.

In Idaho, about 21,000 Democrats gathered for caucuses. Obama won in a blowout by a margin of 13,000 votes. For that, he won 15 delegates to three for Clinton — a net gain of 12 delegates.

In New Jersey, Clinton won by a margin of 110,000 votes out of more than 1 million cast. For that, she won 59 delegates to Obama's 48 — a net gain of 11 delegates.

Now under what system does it make sense for Obama to collect more net delegates for beating Clinton by 13,000 votes in one state than Clinton does for beating Obama by 110,000 in another?

Is it me, or did these guys get the same set of talking points?

However, while Rich Lowry bemoans the unfairness of it all, Byron York seems to capture the point after a few more misleading paragraphs:

Now, Clinton does not deserve any great sympathy for running afoul of the Democratic system's idiosyncrasies. The high-priced talent on her campaign team certainly knew, or should have known, how the rules in each state would work.

Obama simply outsmarted her.

So clearly he meandered off the official Clinton talking points... I mean, whoever may have provided these carbon copy arguments to these two esteemed journalists. He concludes by saying this:

But for all his skill at maneuvering through the system, if Obama comes out of the race the winner in delegates but the loser (or even virtually tied) in popular votes, he will be a bit diminished when he should be the unquestioned leader of his party.

This diminishing is exactly the concern which drove me to write this piece. The more we allow mouthpieces in the media to keep repeating the idea that the popular vote is somehow a fair metric, the greater foothold it will earn in the minds of Clinton supporters already inclined to feel she's been cheated.

In my opinion this is the work of three conservatives all trying to stir that pot, undermine Obama's legitimacy as the nominee, weakening his support for the general. The problem is, I don't know how to push back, so I thought I'd pull the three bogus articles together and let the DKos community laugh at them, in the hopes some commenter will have a better idea on how to push back than I have.

It's all up to you...

Originally posted to leftahead on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:37 AM PDT.


Is it possible to effectively push back these types of arguments?

20%14 votes
10%7 votes
13%9 votes
55%38 votes

| 68 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Ignore all Republicans. (0+ / 0-)

    That's always a safe rule to follow.  You can ignore Koch too, if you want, though he's a solid Democrat.  Heck, ignore everyone!  Just ask yourself why a candidate would quit if s/he had any chance of winning, however small.  Of course they wouldn.t, but you expect Clinton to be the first.

    On a related note, if the idea of fighting till the convention is so repugnant, why do we have a convention?

    -5.38/-3.74 I've suffered for my country. Now it's your turn! --John McCain with apologies to Monty Python's "Protest Song"

    by Rich in PA on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:43:19 AM PDT

    •  Glad to see you are true freedom fighter (0+ / 0-)

      It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change. - Charles Darwin

      by Freedoms Road on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:44:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why would a republican want the democrats (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      housesella, bustacap, BigVegan

      to fight on their nominee all the way to the convention, did you ask yourself that?

    •  huh??? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Koch the " solid Democrat" that voted and stumped for Bush???  If that is the kind of person you call a  "solid Democrat" then you must love that really solid democrat Lieberman stumping for McCain...

      and on a related note, the convention is and always has been first and formost set up to be a great big fat drunken party, which is why we have one

    •  On your 'why quit' question: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      housesella, bustacap

      "Just ask yourself why a candidate would quit if s/he had any chance of winning, however small?"

      because the chance of causing harm in the final outcome, although not a certainty, is certainly much greater than the chance of winning at this point, and it becomes greater with every passing day.

      that speaks to very, very poor judgement on the candidate's part,

      unless the outcome to the party and the country is unimportant and only the candidate's personal gain counts,

      which is in itself a disqualifying notion for the candidate.

    •  easy questions, easy answers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just ask yourself why a candidate would quit if s/he had any chance of winning

      The good of the party, the good of the country... but if we're going to remain within the Clintons' narrow frame of self-interest, then self-respect qualifies.

      if the idea of fighting till the convention is so repugnant, why do we have a convention?


    •  Nominee in February? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      That's what the convention schedule was set for.  DNC assumed HRC would wrap it up on Super Tuesday.  Otherwise, it was idiotic to plan for having a Republican nominee in February while we Democrats keep pissing on each other until just two months before the GE.

      Since the actual voter preferences in sanctioned contests prevented the February coronation from going as planned, the DNC is quite properly coming up with plan B:  choose our nominee in June after all the voters voting votes have been voted and counted.

      Only a Republican would want the Democrats to put off having a nominee until August.

  •  That York and Lowry are for it is reason enough (5+ / 0-)

    to dismiss it without even knowing what the topic is.

  •  Except this is a primary -- not a GE (4+ / 0-)

    Big difference.  People are allowed to be excluded from the process in a party primary -- not so in a general election.

    Florida 2000 was about counting votes for all; 2008 is about making party rules stand for future party primaries.

    The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

    by jim bow on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:46:41 AM PDT

  •  The Republicans want to run against (0+ / 0-)

    Hillary and not Obama. They've been supporting her in various measures throughout the primaries.
    As to Ed Koch, he's so far in the tank with the Clintons that he has no objectivity left, and is hanging onto all the same thins straws that they are.

    What's so funny about peace, love and understanding?!? Elvis Costello

    by BigVegan on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:48:27 AM PDT

  •  Did you visit RCP this morning? (0+ / 0-)

    They've been promoting those that make this argument over there. (for awhile now)

  •  Gee (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, TomP

    They must have missed when Ronald Reagan got 20,000 more votes in aggregate than Dick Nixon in the 1968 GOP primary (source:  wiki).  I didn't see anyone calling into question Nixon's legitimacy.

    The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

    by jim bow on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:48:51 AM PDT

  •  is Ed Koch still a Democrat? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bustacap, TomP, Joe Beese

    He's like Lieberman - Democratic label, kisses up to and has endorsed conservatives, comes from a very blue state - minus four-fifths of the press coverage that idiot senator from Connecticut gets.

    I know, it's probably not what you want to hear. oD

    by obligatorydiscord on Wed May 28, 2008 at 08:50:47 AM PDT

  •  thinking alike (0+ / 0-)

    yet another one for you in Mr. and Mrs. Buell from SF.  see my post if you're interested.  They are the ones taking out full-page ads for this ludicrous argument.

  •  Ed Koch? (0+ / 0-)

    who cares what HE has to say about anything any more?

    "Bomb Bomb Bomb, Bomb Bomb Iran" is NOT a coherent Mid-East Strategy Mr McCain!!

    by KnotIookin on Wed May 28, 2008 at 09:10:56 AM PDT

  •  The "Idaho" Argument (0+ / 0-)

    The argument that it is "unfair" or "stupid" that Obama can net 12 delegates as a result of a "13,000 vote win" in Idaho and yet Clinton can only net 11 delegates out of a "100,000 vote win" in New Jersey is probably the dumbest argument of all.  By this logic, the number of delegates assigned to each state should be in proportion to the ultimate voter turnout (a variable number we cannot know until after the election), and not to the state's population (a static number that we can know befoe the election).  Moreover, the logic suggests that Obama should not net 12 delegates out of Idaho even if he won the state by a "popular vote count" of 100,000 to ZERO.  

    This, "my friends," are two propositions so absurd that they can only be invented by political hacks.

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